New Night Table

New Night Table

New Night Table

New Night Table

New Night Table

New Night Table

Night Stand / Weathered Gray Wood Stain / Filigree Knobs / Lamp / FLW Picture Frame (similar) / Trinket Bowl / Lip Balm / Eiffel Tower Ring Dish / Diptyque Huiles Précieuses

This little DIY was a long time in the making. On New Year’s Eve, my friend Herbie and I went to lunch at IKEA, and then he drove me home after work with this three drawer, unstained wood dresser. I assembled it that evening, as one does on a major party holiday, with the intention of staining it and replacing the knobs that weekend. I was dismayed upon assembly, however, to discover this thing is –and this is as generous as I can be in describing it– a piece of shit. I know I shouldn’t have been surprised; for $34.99 I shouldn’t have expected much, but I was at least anticipating drawer tracks for the drawers to slide on. I’m glad I followed through on my original plan, because after two liberal coats of weathered gray stain, and six new knobs (on sale when I bought them, $20 total!), it suddenly didn’t looks as T-U-R-B-L terrible as it had before.

Because I am a Very Bad Blogger, I unfortunately have no “before” shots to show you, but imagine a dark wood, open box with one shelf, with everything covered in dust. My intention with this night table was to have a dust-free home for everything, and I have to say, visually it looks so much cleaner to not have a jewelry box, various books, half-empty body lotion bottles, and at least six different candles all out in the open collecting dust. Have I mentioned the dust problem yet? DUST.The struggle is real. I bought a new lamp from Pottery Barn, and it casts the most golden, inviting light for when I’m scribbling in my notebook or reading before bed.

DIY Pro-tip: Spring for a decently priced foam brush to apply the stain. I bought the cheapest brush available (I think it was 48¢) and it broke on the second swipe. Rookie mistake!

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January 26, 2015 / design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 25

25 comments

  • woah, good save! the “after” looks awesome. also, you’re totally right about the glow of that lamp- i’d CRUSH some nighttime reading with that lighting. ;)

    • Thanks, girl! It is such a wonderful lamp! I didn’t know it was possible to be in love with a lamp before now ;)

  • Tu as fait une bon travail Erin ! J’aime beaucoup ta table de nuit et ta petite déco ! Tu sais? C’est vraiment l’hasard parce que dans pas longtemps tu verra la mienne ;) x
    J’espère que tu as eu un bon weekend !

    • Merci, Eva! Je ne peux pas attendre de voir ta table de nuit! C’est une coïncidence! :) xo

  • wow! you did an amazing job, it looks so good. and it certainly doesn’t look like a $35 side table at all anymore! and that lamp, oh, how i wish i needed that lamp. it is so beautiful.

    we have so much dust here too and it drives me absolutely crazy. the thing is we don’t even have vents, our heating is radiant, so i have no clue where it comes from. but it is relentless.

    • Thanks, lovey! I can’t imagine that anyone would buy that night table without the intention of heavily DIYing it, you know? This thing needs a major overhaul out of the box to not look like a hot mess, haha. Can we just commiserate for a second about the dust problem? I feel like I spend my whole life vacuuming and dusting and the moment I finish one room it pops back up. Whyyyy. xo

  • I love gorgeous DIY outcomes! This is fantastic and light years away from the old one, and the lamp is fantastic too. Trop beau!

    • Aw, thanks Samantha! It’s amazing what a few coats of stain can accomplish. xo

  • follow up: where is the beautiful tray from? unless you linked to it and i missed it like a bozo.

    • You didn’t! It was from Anthro a few years ago in their sale section, and I can’t find any record of it online. I’ll check tonight to see if there are any discernible markings on the bottom that could point us in the right direction! xo

  • It looks beautiful – love what you’ve done with it. Persistence (with painting) has really paid off. My parents have an unpainted IKEA night stand they need to work on. I’m sending them straight to your blog

    • Thanks, girl! There are a million way better DIY step-by-step guides on Pinterest if they’re really curious. xo

  • Love it! And I recognize some pretty Anthro things on there…. of course you would get the eiffel tower ;)
    Shawn and I always have the intention of doing some DIY work on our IKEA furniture, but… we’re lazy. And my nightstand is hideous. And barren. But it serves its purpose as a nightstand, and that’s all I can really ask of it.

    • Bien sûr ;) DIY work is always so tough for me. I have all these grand plans I want to accomplish (not just limited to IKEA products, haha) and it inevitably takes way longer to even work up the motivation to start doing anything. I did read a great quote from William Morris once that said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” xo

  • looks fantastic. and i’m impressed with your handicraft skills :)

    • Thanks, doll! xo

  • I think I’ve talked about my dust situation before… that several blocks away from us is the Norfolk Southern coal yard, and I have never lived in a home so dusty. Residents in our city who live closer are considering law suits for health reasons because the coal dust is so bad. :( And sadly, no matter how hard I try, my night table will never look this lovely. Or clean. Somehow half of Cal’s detritus, from books to toy airplanes, always end up on *my* side of the bed! ;)

    • Oh man, there is no way that can be safe or healthy. I always see those ambulance-chaser lawyer ads up here for mesothelioma and lung cancer cases caused by asbestos in the Shipyards; I’m sure coal dust has/will have its own fair share of health issues. I’m laughing at the toy airplanes on your night table. Be honest, they’re yours! ;) xo

  • Hahahaha I’ve seen a few makeovers of this particular IKEA dresser, but no one has described it as “a piece of shit” – thanks for the honesty :-) I love love love that beautiful shade of gray!

    • Haha, crude language aside, it’s true! I wish any of the other DIYs I’d seen on Pinterest had come with a disclaimer about the quality of the dresser. Of course, it’s much more redeemed now that I’ve jazzed it up, but if we move in the future, I am willing to guarantee it won’t survive it, haha. xo

  • i really appreciate the honesty Erin! Would never have known that this was a diy – looks lovely and the knobs are gorgeous

    • Thanks, Emma! I should say that it really does look and feel a lot nicer after all the stain and the new knobs, but I was really discouraged when I assembled it initially! xo

  • It looks lovely! I love your lamp too. :)

    • Thanks, Charlotte! It is a really stunning lamp, isn’t it? I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. xo

  • I want to stain Brett’s furniture grey. It’s all VERY OLD pottery barn–Like 18 years old. It’s good quality wood but a TURBL 90’s honey oak.

    What stain did you use?