Before we moved to Oklahoma, I decided that I wanted to attempt to build something with good wood (i.e. not from pallets… See our coffee table project from when we lived in Texas) and with good plans. We had terrible, mismatched, thrift stored nightstands. They were bad. So I went online and compiled multiple pins from Pinterest for nightstand plans. I needed some kind of cohesion in at least one part of my house! I showed the hubby all of the plans that I had found and we decided on this one. Thank you Ana White for all your wonderful plans, although this was our first and maybe last time we use plans. Dale just likes being able to do things straight from his mind… and I like having ideas that I can just imagine and talk about and he can put them all together. BUT, I did enjoy the plans on this one, because they were straightforward and we knew what they would look like at the end, which we can’t say about other ideas we pull from thin air.
So we jumped in the car and headed to our local Home Depot and bought all the wood we would need. In fact, we had left overs, but that’s okay because we always need extra wood.
This is obviously the cut pieces. I searched our phones for images of the nightstands being built, but I can’t find any. But I do have plenty of images of them completely built, so yay! The handles are from Hobby Lobby, in case you wanted to know. I bought these two then decided, after we moved, that I would need some for the dresser as well. So I went back and luckily they still had them!
You see that lovely quilt? My grandmother, the woman who taught me how to sew, made that for us for our wedding. Also, interesting fact, we made that headboard as well. It was crafted with pallet wood, old fence posts, and other random wood we found lying around at our first rented house. You’ll soon find that we love this look. This will come in handy later when I attempt to get that cohesion with all our bedroom furniture.
Aren’t those lovely? Then we moved… Into a tiny apartment… where our furniture would sit in a storage unit until we found our perfect home. Shortly after moving into said perfect home, I decided it was time to stain these babies (time to get that cohesion that I had been longing for… months later). My only issue was that I had to stain new, unaltered wood to look like old, worn, and damaged wood, like our headboard. Time to turn back to Pinterest (I love Pinterest).
I found several blogs that posted about vinegar, steel wool and coffee DIY stains, as well as tea conditioner to bring out the grain of the wood. So I tried all of them. I got some scrap wood (see, I told you it would come in handy), and dabbed several kinds of brewed tea on them.
This is the front, with the teas and the coffee/vinegar/steel wool stain on top. We used everything from Earl Grey to Irish and English Breakfast, to black teas and green teas, to Morning Thunder and Sleepy Time teas, to even a Christmas Peppermint tea. Each had a different effect. I loved it.
This is the back with no tea before the stain, as well as some real oil based stains that we had lying around from previous projects.
Did you know you could essentially water down store-bought stains to create new stains? You have to use a paint thinner to thin it, but it works well. I must mention that I couldn’t wait the full 24 hours to start testing my stains. You’re suppose to wait 24 hours to let the vinegar work its magic with the steel wool and coffee. I read on one blog that you can also add hydrogen peroxide to the mix and it will speed it up and give it a new look, which it did. I tried three different stains. One was the steel wool, white vinegar, and coffee, another was steel wool and white vinegar, and the last was apple cider vinegar and steel wool. I loved each of them, plus the different teas made each end up with a different color. This is JUST what I needed for this nightstands.
So I dragged these nightstands out to our shop and began staining. Here are some in the process pics of the staining process.
As you can tell, maybe, is that it was all a guesstimate on where to do what. On the first night, I just applied different teas. On the second night, I applied the stains, both the DIY and the real, store-bought stuff. After that, it was all just tweaking to make it look good. On the edges, I used some sand paper to wear them down so they looked more worn. I also added some more of that water downed stain to several places to make it look like some areas were more worn than others. Once I had them just like I liked them, I applied my favorite protector, Polyacrylic by Minwax. I even applied this stuff to my unfinished headboard to make them all look, yes, cohesive. I love that word.
Overall, these nightstands turned out beautifully. I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty proud of these things. They match unbelievably well with the headboard. Now to conquer the beast that is our outdated, but passed down, veneer covered dresser. Wish me luck!