The Transformation of a Junky Night Table

This is a do-it-yourself project that been waiting for the better part of twenty years.  I bought this small chest in New Orleans way back in 1990 at an antique shop.

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I didn’t think it was all that pretty, but I could tell it had good bones.  I knew I could sand away the cigarette burns, paint it and buy some new hardware.  That’s just what I did…23 years later.

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I don’t know what took me so long.  I suppose I am guilty of color paralysis.  Kind of funny, considering I’m a color consultant.  But I’m picky and lazy and the color has to be “the right hue”….sorry.

Anyway, there it sat in my son’s bedroom for the past seven years.  It served as his night table.

I’d say it looks much better now.

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It wasn’t hard to do.

First, I sanded it with fine sandpaper.

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Oh, remove the drawers and hardware.  Kind of important.

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Give these a good sanding, too. I used fine sandpaper and then I got out the power sander.  Faster and more effective.  Here’s a drawer before the sanding.

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And here it is after sanding.

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I went to town on the main part.

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It’s really important to give it a good sanding.  I did not use steel wool this time.  Lesson learned.  This is the hardest part of the job, but it only takes a few minutes with a small power sander and the finish is much smoother.

Since this small chest is in my son’s room and he loves boats, I wanted to pick nautical, brass knobs.  Once again, thank you, Anthropologie.

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Just $6 and I needed three.  They remind of me of the thing you tie a boat to when docking.  I think it’s called a dock cleat. Clearly, I am not a sailor. Anyway, these are exactly what I needed to help make my son’s room feel nautical.  I also love navy and brass together.  My father was in the Navy for almost 30 years.  I think that has something to do with it.

These pulls only have one screw, which means I need to fill the two holes from the old knobs.

This does the job.

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Only, do this BEFORE you paint.  I was impatient.  I wanted to paint right away because I couldn’t find my wood filler.

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I rolled little pieces and pushed them in the hole, making sure it was completely filled.  I let it dry for 24 hours, then sanded and painted it again.

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“Blue Coal”

Once again, I stepped out of the Benjamin Moore comfort zone and opted for a quart Valspar‘s “Blue Coal” in a gloss finish ($15) at Lowe’s.  I like this paint.  Paint and Primer all in one.

First coat.  I used the same foam roller I used for the liquor cabinet.   Great application.

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As I was painting, I finally peeked at the side and noticed this lovely chest was made in Highpoint, North Carolina.  Welcome home!

I let it dry overnight, gave it a second coat and fell in love with it.

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I could hardly wait to finish.

My husband drilled one hole in each drawer for the new pulls.

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It’s a serious transformation.

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I chose Blue Coal because my son’s walls are painted in Summerdale Gold, HC-17.

I thought this blue hue would really pop in his warm, golden room.

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Ignore the comforter, please.  There is a beautiful quilt in the same colors as the sham, but my son says it feels too heavy.

Here’s a picture of the pillow sham from Target:

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And there you have it.  The whole project was done in my garage in a couple of days.  Mostly for drying.   The actual work took about 2.5 hours.  Well worth it.

I hope this inspires you to take a second look at a piece in your home that you’re not crazy about.   I used to cringe, well not really cringe, but I always noticed that darned cigarette burn on the top of the chest.  Irked me. Now I smile every time I walk into Hank’s room and stare at this night table.  He really likes it, too.

A little paint goes a long way.

4 thoughts on “The Transformation of a Junky Night Table”

      1. I know ! We usually do everything we didn’t do just before we put the house on the market and only get a few weeks to enjoy the hard work. Blogging makes me do it so I have something to post lol! Thanks for following!

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