HOW TO TURN A DATED DESK INTO TWO UPDATED NIGHTSTANDS! |YOUTUBE VIDEO INCLUDED!
Hi creative friends! Today I’m sharing How To Turn A Dated Desk Into Updated Nightstands. I swear this desk had a mind of its own and gave me a tough time every step of the way but I LOVE how it all came together. The time and effort were well worth it!
It’s also Furniture Fixer Upper Day. I’m sharing my super talented friends’ makeovers as well. I’ve included links to their before and afters at the end of today’s post. And if I haven’t told you lately, I’m so happy you drop-in on FFU Day. Thanks for being here and joining in on the fun!
Here’s the salvaged desk I started with. One of Nick’s clients was going to throw it away so he asked me if I’d like it. YES PLEASE! It’s a well-made maple desk. I know it’s heavy-duty because when I was bringing it downstairs to my studio, I dropped it down 5 or 6 stairs. Uggghhhh. The desk was perfectly fine but it bruised my knee. Summer’s coming and it would be nice to wear shorts or skirts but I’m telling you, the amount of time I spend on my knees fixing furniture, painting, photographing …my poor knees are always discolored. 😆 Is it just me or do any other furniture painters have this problem?
If it wasn’t me who restyled it, I wouldn’t even know this set was a desk in its previous life. hehe
THIS POST IS SPONSORED/CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS TO PRODUCTS I USE. YOU CAN SEE MY FULL DISCLOSURE HERE.
REPURPOSED DESK INTO PAINTED NIGHTSTANDS
When Nick brought me this FREE desk which was salvaged from one of his job sites, I didn’t know whether I was going to do a modern or vintage look. But I did know it wasn’t going to stay a desk. Nightstands sell WAY faster than desks in my area.
I’ve transformed a few desks into end tables and when I take it step by step, it’s easy. I like to remind myself to focus on one step at a time. Inch by inch makes it a CINCH!
What I will say (and I’d LOVE to hear if you agree down below in the comments) is styling and painting modern-looking furniture is a lot more work than a vintage finish. I find when I’m painting a vintage or artistic finish it’s easy to hide small imperfections with florals, painting techniques, transfers, distressing, paint washes, etc, but with a monochrome sleek look, everything has to be perfect. Every flaw shows!
Here are the steps I took to get this look…
CLEAN + REMOVE HARDWARE
I cleaned the inside and out of this desk with this TSP substitute. If you’re following along on my social stories, you may have seen how many cobwebs there were! Once clean, I removed the hardware. I’ll definitely be keeping these pulls because they will look great on another piece, I’m sure!
Every desk is a little different but the basics are the same.
- Removed the desktop by unscrewing the screw from underneath the desk
- Remove the center drawer and unscrew the middle frame of the desk
- Using a mallet or hammer, remove the back support
- Success! Now you have two nightstands!
UPDATE THE BASE
To give these nightstands an updated base, I wanted to get rid of the whale-tail-skirt and used my jigsaw to create a straighter profile. My first attempt went a little crazy (which I’ll share in this Saturday’s Youtube tutorial) so I had to adjust my measurements higher than I planned, but it all turned out okay. I used a square and a sharpie to draw out the base. I followed the new profile with my jigsaw. Then sanded the edges smooth.
To give some interest and texture to the top drawers I added this Basket Weave Woodubend trim. Woodubend is really fun and easy. You heat it up with a hair blower or heat gun. When it is warm, it bends and cuts very easily.
I cut five strips for each drawer and glued them on with wood glue. Then using a sander, I sanded them flush with the top and bottom of the drawer. I have a full tutorial on How To Use Woodubend here.
CUT NEW NIGHTSTAND TOP
To cut the desktop into two-night table tops I measure 16 1/4″ for each. Then using a guide and my skillsaw I cut two tops. This took me HOURS. I couldn’t get my cuts perfectly straight and square. As I mentioned, this desk tired me out! The part I was looking forward to was using my router. I LOVE this router! As I mentioned in another post, I’ve tried a good few brands of routers and this is the only one I find super easy to handle and actually look forward to using!
ATTACH NEW TOPS
An easy way for me to position the new tops onto the body was to flip it over so I could see exactly what I was doing. This worked out great. I drilled pilot holes and then added my screws BUUUUT, I didn’t measure my first few screws properly and pierced right through my freshly primed top. I’m not going to lie, I was crushed.
All the work I put into these nightstands and I made a rookie mistake and ruined my perfect top. Ugggh. After I pierced the top of my nightstand, I had to sand, fill with wood fill, and then reprime with BIN Shellac Based Primer. Since I had the wood filler out, I filled in all the little dings and marks I didn’t see before I primed the piece.
DIPPED PAINT FINISH
I’ve been seeing a lot of dipped paint finishes in IG and Pinterest and I absolutely love the contrast so thought I would give it a try.
As I mentioned above, a clean modern look often takes more work than an ‘artistic’ finish because every little detail shows up and there is no covering it. Using a soft paintbrush to minimize brush marks, I painted in Coffee Bean and the bottom in this Sand Castle Mineral Paint. I think the contrast in colors gives a clean look.
TOPCOAT | PROTECTION
Nightstands are high traffic because they get a ton of use so I’ll be spraying two coats of this Satin Clear Coat for protection. I just didn’t have time before styling and doing my photoshoot. This topcoat will make these end tables easy to clean and durable.
I kept the original wood handles from this desk because I know they are going to be fabulous on something else. But for these modern nightstands, I replaced the chunky wood with these round ring pulls I ordered from Amazon. So pretty and the black really ties everything all together, don’t you think?
Here’s the finished look!
Check out these drawers!
Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on Youtube. If you have any problems viewing below, feel free to watch it on my Youtube Channel HERE. Our #siyoutube family has hit 13.2K so don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t done so already! So exciting, thank YOU! 🙂
AND NOW FOR SOME FURNITURE FIXER-UPPER FUN!
You’re going to LOVE what my creative team of Furniture Fixer Upper ladies do! Below are their BEFORE photos. Visit the links below to see the amazing AFTERS and learn how they did it! I’m heading over to take a peek as well! x
4. SALVAGED INSPIRATIONS (HAPPY YOU’RE HERE!)
Here’s another look at this desk’s before and after. I hope it’s inspired you and given you some new ideas for your projects!
For all you visual learners, I’ll have a full Youtube Tutorial published for you this Saturday. Be forewarned though, I’m a hot mess and look exhausted working on this one…lol. Also, thanks for all the kindness to me being included in my very first podcast last week! I have the link to the Zibra Podcast here.
LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THIS SALVAGED DESK-TO-PAINTED NIGHTSTAND MAKEOVER. FEEL FREE TO ASK ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE… I ALWAYS LOVE HEARING FROM YOU. IT MAKES MY DAY! 🙂
Happy furniture painting friends!
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JOIN THE SALVAGED INSPIRATIONS FAMILY!