Site icon Finding Mandee

From Antique Vanity to New Farmhouse DIY Nightstands: A Tutorial

Being a military wife has its own unique struggles. One of which is making your furniture fit into houses of all different shapes and sizes. Which is why I recently had to make some DIY nightstands.

Our house in Texas is smaller than our house at Fort Bragg. So, when we moved our furniture into the master bedroom, it wouldn’t all fit.

Our nightstands were actually a set of end tables that matched our coffee table. But because they wouldn’t fit in our new room, we had to find new, smaller nightstands.

When it comes to furniture, we haven’t bought anything new, except our mattress and couch. Everything else has been given to us or thrifted and then refurbished.

You can see we have a pretty eclectic mix of furniture:

I love a good DIY project and I knew the perfect piece for our new DIY nightstands.

My dad has had an antique vanity sitting out in his barn for years and was more than happy to let me refurbish it (thanks, Pop!).

Here’s how we turned an antique vanity into nightstands.

What You’ll Need:

DEWALT 20V MAX* Circular Saw, 6-1/2-Inch, Cordless, Tool Only (DCS565B)DEWALT 20V MAX Random Orbital Sander Kit (DCW210P1)WORKPRO 10-Piece Precision Screwdriver Set with Pink Pouch, Phillips, Slotted, Torx Star, Magnetic Tip Small Screwdriver Repair Kit, for Eyeglass, Watch, Computer, Laptop and Phone – Pink RibbonZINSSER 1 qt 02004 White, Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Water-Based Stain Blocking Primer/SealerLotFancy 5 Inch Sanding Discs, 60PCS 80 100 120 180 240 320 Grit Mesh Abrasive Dustless Sandpaper Assortment for Car, Woodworking – Hook and Loop Random Orbital Sander Round Sand PaperBates- Paint Tray Set, 4 inch Paint Roller, Paint Tray, Foam Roller, Paint Roller Brush, Small Paint Roller, Mini Paint Roller, House Painting Supplies, Paint Roller Covers, Roller Frame, Roller NapsBristello 6pc Big and Small Chalk and Wax Paint Brush Set. Flat Furniture Paint Brush, Round, Pointed and Oval Paint Brushes for Furniture. Stencil Brush, Milk Paint and Wax Paintbrush


Step 1: Cut the Vanity in Half

The first step is to cut the vanity into 2 pieces.

First, we detached the mirror and set it aside. Then using a circular saw, we cut the top of the vanity next to the drawers.

We made sure to leave a few extra inches on the vanity top, in case we made a mistake routing the edge. It looked a little wonky because one side was longer than the other, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!

(A before picture of one of the nightstands.)

Step 2: Sand It Down

After the nightstands were chopped into two separate pieces, it was time to sand them down and prep them for painting.

Before I started sanding, I removed the hardware from the drawers.

Using our orbital sander and 120-grit sanding discs, I scuff-sanded the frame of the nightstand. (Scuff sanding means lightly sanding the surface.) I just made sure to rough it up enough to give the paint something to adhere to.

However, I made sure to sand all of the varnish off of the tops, drawers, legs, and wood detail on the bottoms of the nightstands. These were sections that we were going to leave wood and not paint over.

(I took all of the old varnish off of the top of the nightstands.)

Step 3: Primer & Paint

Once sanding was complete on the DIY nightstands, it was on to priming and painting.

I taped off the wood detail on the bottom of the nightstands and the legs.

I used Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer as a base for my paint.

**Pro Tip** When painting wooden furniture white (or any light color) you must use a primer to keep your paint from yellowing.

I covered the primer with a creamy white paint – Sherwin Williams Showcase Stain-Blocking Paint & Primer.

This paint also has a stain-blocking quality, which seems overkill, but once you spend hours refurbishing a piece of furniture and it turns yellow, you don’t take any chances!

(Adding primer to our DIY nightstands.)

Step 4: Staining & Touch Ups

While the paint was drying, I added stain to the pieces that were remaining wood.

We did a few touch-ups to the wood detailing on the bottom and the legs by scraping off paint that bled through the tape.

(Touching up the wood details.)

Step 5: Add Hardware & Enjoy!

Finally, it was time to add the final touch and return the hardware to the drawers.

I liked the hardware that was on the vanity originally, so I just cleaned it up and re-used it.

The DIY nightstands fit so much better in our bedroom now! And they match our style and the rest of our thrifted/refurbished furniture.

(Our DIY nightstands are all finished!)
(I adore the wood details on these farmhouse nightstands.)
Exit mobile version