We’ve been using an old desk as a nightstand for my husband’s side of the bed in our master. It was once my parents, and I remember it sitting in our basement holding a very old school IBM computer as a child. I loved the size and shape. Didn’t love how beat up it was. What you can’t see in this first picture is how badly it really looked.
Fair to say it needed some love.
Funny story. My sister carved her name into the top of the desk as a child. When she realized she it would be obvious who did it she carved my name below hers to throw my parents off her trail. Luckily for me it didn’t work! But, I’ve been staring at this too long. Time to fix it.
Some sanding paper and a little liming wax later, I have a beautiful new nightstand!
I love the little areas where I didn’t get all of the old stain sanded off. I think the imperfections make it more interesting.
How I Did It:
First, I sanded down the entire piece with a high grit sand paper to remove all the varnish and almost all of the stain. You can see there are some darker areas in the corners and near the feet where not all the stain was removed. I then wiped down the entire piece with a wet rag to remove all the sanding dust.
Next, I applied a layer of liming wax to the entire piece with a lint free rag. I used the same Briwax liming wax I used on my kitchen table.
And if I’m being completely honest, I panicked at this point. For whatever reason this table sucked up all that liming wax like a thirsty sailor. The piece was very white at this point. Not quite what I was going for.
To soften the look and to bring back a little more of the natural wood color, I went over the entire piece with a medium grade steel wool. This takes some elbow grease but it’s well worth it. The steel wool pulled off just the right amount of wax and made the wood soooo smoooooth. You’ll need to wipe off the dust after this step as well.
I then finished off the table with Minwax Paste Finishing Wax in Natural. To do this, I rubbed a thin layer over the entire table, and then used a new rag to buff. This made the wood appear a little more rich and gives it a bit of a sheen in-between a matte and satin. In the photo below you can see where the top half didn’t have the finishing wax and the bottom half did.
No more carvings!!! And, the lighter color ties in better with the mismatched, skirted nightstand on my side of the bed.
This skirt hides one of our old nightstands.
Instead of buying a new nightstand I simply added a piece of plywood to the top and stapled painter’s drop cloth to the plywood as to not damage the nightstand. I used the same method that I used on our skirted dining sideboard. I was able to make it appear like a larger nightstand by using a piece of plywood that was larger than the nightstand. Such an easy way to update a nightstand you no longer love.
And now I love them both!
SOURCES: ceiling fan // DIY picture frame moulding // rug // headboard // white duvet // grey blanket // black pillows – made by me (similar) // white drapes // bamboo blinds // DIY skirted nightstand // lamps – TJ Maxx (similar here)
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