In a happy, magical place there exists a Monica who can buy Restoration Hardware furniture without having to save up for 6 months.
I am not that Monica. Darn it.
I am the Monica who has to scour Goodwill, garage sales and thrift stores to find secondhand furniture with potential. It’s a thing I love to do and hate to do all at the same time. But when I score, I score big.
The goods: 2 Goodwill nightstands I bought for $6.50 each back in 2010.
The task: Make them look kinda like these nightstands. (ie: dentil detail, weathered gray/reclaimed wood look…but kinda glam)
From Restoration Hardware, $1045 each.
From Overstock, $690 each
-Nightstands (mine were laminate + wood)
-2 cans of flat white spray paint (the 98-cent Walmart kind will do)
-Latex paint (I chose a dark gray/brown color: Urbane Bronze by Sherwin Williams in a satin finish)
-3” paint brush
-Cheesecloth or a lint-free rag
-Optional: replacement hardware
Okay, let’s get started. My nightstand was made of mostly laminate (top/sides) yet the drawers have a wood front. I didn’t treat the wood differently than the laminate. Also, this method is fool proof. Anyone can do this. Even you. Yes, you.
You need to scrub down your furniture to make sure it is clean. Super clean. I usually use Lysol wipes for that step. Also, if there are any holes/pieces that need to be filled/glued do that now. One of the side pieces broke off to one of the nightstands, so we just put that sucker on there with liquid nails. I also needed to drill new holes for the handles, so I filled those holes, too.
Now we’re ready to sand.
It may look a little crazy when you sand, but it’ll all be ok. Generally try to go in the direction of the grain/faux grain.
Wipe off all sawdust with tack cloth. I do this twice to make sure it’s dust free.
Now, we prime. Here’s my most favorite primer- the 98-cent can from Walmart. I used about 1.5 cans for my 2 nightstands. Apply one coat (lightly) to the nightstand + drawers. I do use the spray paint adapter thing (seen below in black) so my finger doesn’t hurt when using cheap spray paint. Best $2 investment ever.
It will look splotchy. Don’t cry. This is normal. 🙂 You do not want a solid white finish.
Let the first coat of primer dry about 20-30 minutes, then do a 2nd coat. It will still look splotchy. This is ok. It will be fine, I swear.
Ok, so once both coats of primer are dry (spray 1st coat, wait 20 minutes, spray 2nd coat, wait 30 minutes), you can paint. Sort of. What you’re going to do is get your brush, dip it into the paint ever so slightly and start brushing it onto the nightstand. This is almost dry brushing (as in, do not saturate your brush with paint).
My gorgeous paint color: Urbane Bronze by Sherwin Williams.
Here’s an example of what it should look like. You can tell I’ve brushed on some paint in the top half of the photo, while the bottom half illustrates how the nightstand looks with just primer.
But what happens if you get too much paint on your brush and onto the nightstand? Just wipe some off (GENTLY!) I used some cheesecloth for this and it worked well. Do one coat of the dry brushing, let it dry for about 30 minutes and then do coat 2. You can basically do as many or as little coats as you’d like. For my nightstands I did 3 light, light coats. I love.
I then brought them inside to make sure they were both about the same color. They won’t be identical, but that’s ok with me for this project.
And now they have their spot in their new home (our master bedroom) and they got some fancy hardware from Hobby Lobby.
That lamp is getting a makeover, too. For now, it stays black. The smooth, satin finish is lovely. You could also add poly after the paint has dried. I am lazy and haven’t done so yet, but I likely will. Maybe.
Love the dentil finish. Makes it look a bit nicer, while the curves on the bottom make it look a little shabby chic.
And there you have it! A fool proof tutorial on how to achieve that coveted Restoration Hardware/Pottery Barn/Ballard Designs weathered gray reclaimed wood kinda thing. Whew. That’s a lot of words. I want to remind you that it works on wood or laminate furniture, and it’s so cheap compared to buying this stuff from a store.
Restoration Hardware price: $1045+ each ($2030+ for a pair)
Monica’s Luxe for Less price: $20 each ($40 for the pair)
That’s almost TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS in savings. Fist pump.
Is this something you’d try out? I can only imagine how great this would look on a buffet or kitchen table. Let me know if you try out my tutorial!