This is the story of how I saved a couple bucks, realized what smart friends I have, and convinced my husband to get on board with pink furniture. How could these three things all possibly be about one little weekend project? I’m not quite sure, but that’s how this post started and I’m sticking to it.
For the past few months, I have been obsessed with researching new night stands for our bedroom. OBSESSED. I searched every (reasonably priced) furniture store I know of, checked every local antique store, and even spent hours on Pinterest (shocker) searching for inspiration or something that would be the. perfect. thing. for my master bedroom. You may or may not remember, but I was starting to tire of my sad little Ikea night stands, in these pictures of yore:
Kind of nondescript, right? Sure, when I purchased them 5 years ago, they were my first Ikea purchase and I was pretty excited at how great they looked for a whopping $30 dollars. But, they just weren’t cutting it for the updates we were doing in our bedroom, and it was time for a change. Hence, my extensive search.
After months of searching that only led to really expensive options or night stands I just wasn’t wild about, the lightbulb turned on that maybe I could reuse my existing Ikea night stands. Don’t I (and all other bloggers) preach about the wonders of paint and how they can dress up even the most drab of furnishings? Yes, of course, paint! Why hadn’t I thought of that before?
(imagine here a before shot of my nightstands with casters, followed by lots of action shots of me refinishing these tables. Bad blogger.)
Yes, the Ikea casters were not only very boring (i.e. lacking any architectural details) but they also had casters. I knew that if I was going to keep these nightstands in my house, I had to give them a proper foot. With cheap plastic casters, they were the ugly duckling of the house and I knew it was time for an upgrade. So the renovation started with lots and lots of research on furniture feet, which eventually led me to $2.00 bun feet at Lowe’s – the perfect proportions for my simple nightstand.
As for the finishing, I went to my coworker for advice, since her husband is a professional carpenter/finisher/jack of all trades. I was a bit hesitant to re-finish these cheap pieces of furniture, but I figured if there was a way, my expert friend would know it. Not only did I get great advice (for re-finishing cheap, wood-ish Ikea furniture), I got a plethora of great information and tools to use during my project. Seriously, it pays to have friends that are experts in fields you aren’t! First, I started with sanding the night stands so that a primer would actually stick to the laquer-esque finish. Then, I applied one coat of oil-based Kilz primer (oil based sticks to everything, especially your hands), sanded slightly, and got ready for the paint.
Yes, I have pink nightstands, and I love them. I’ve been working on neutralizing my bedroom (to be revealed at a later date – oh, the anticipation!) but I knew that I wanted some fun pops of color to keep things interesting. I pulled some paint swatches, most of which were in the terra-cotta family, and went to the husband for final approval. He wasn’t pleased. He said something along the lines of “I’m not having pink furniture in my house” and suggested I do something lime green or a crackle finish. After such comments, I had to re-iterate that I am a designer and he should trust me on this one – especially considering the alternative (see heinous suggestions above). I painted one, even coat of my new salmon paint, sanded with a fine, brillo-like sanding pad (from my professional, finisher friend) and painted another coat. At this point, my husband understood and got on board with the lovely, pink paint.
After the paint dried for a day or two, I applied two thin coats (sanding in between, of course) of water-based polyurethane to give a hearty finish to our night stands. We let the poly dry for a good two days before moving it back into the room and putting our belongings on them. Sure, the night stands could stand a little bit of styling (or some baskets to conceal my explosion of un-read books) but I’m so excited with the very inexpensive improvement. These certainly aren’t my forever solution, but for now, they’re just dandy. Dandy and pink go together quite well, right?