I don’t know if it’s just in Alaska or everywhere, but furniture at thrift stores usually is not such an incredible steal anymore. Like they caught on to the DIYers and want to make them pay more for putting extensive blood, sweat and tears into a broken down piece of furniture. For that reason, I don’t find a lot of furniture at thrift stores. For some reason, even pressboard has become this high priced item, and if I’m going to pour time and resources into a piece, I want it to be solid wood and a good deal.
Whether they were overloaded on furniture on this particular day, or if someone was just feeling particularly generous, or if the workers just couldn’t even seen any possible redemption in these two oak nightstands, they were priced as if to say, “take me home as a bundle of great firewood.” And I think, had someone bought it for that, there would have been plenty of coals for several marshmallows and hot dogs. But, my little brain started wandering, I wanted to redeem these forsaken nightstands.
They weren’t at all my style, nothing about them were attractive to me, and my kids don’t need night stands because they presently have bunkbeds. But, but, perhaps, I could do my first official furniture flip and sell these, and make at least some money to buy more supplies for other projects I have been dreaming about. So I got a vision for the little nightstands and took them home. (Wood lovers, and particularly oak lovers, you may need to look away. My justifying clause is that they were priced for firewood, they are not antiques, and if I was going to put energy into restoring, paint honestly is more sellable right now).
I have a tendency to forget to take decent before photos. I just get too excited and dig in and before I know it, the finish is off, or I have it covered in a coat of paint. They were cosmetically so unappealing. Someone had written a little love note on the top of one. There were some sort of spongey stickers growing from the front of a drawer. And the finish on the top was nearly gone on both pieces.
So I decided with the straight, strong lines that it should be a more masculine piece (although, the feminine types may love it too). I wanted to leave some of the wood since it was oak, but bring a Pottery Barn freshness to it and have a deep navy, Miss Mustard Seed’s Artissimo, to bring new life to it.
I sanded down the drawers and frames to raw wood and did two coats of Minwax Provincial. I sealed it with MMS Hemp Oil.
Because oak is so porous, I first covered it in some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, to give it a stable base. I used Napoleonic Blue. It was too blue, and I really wanted a deep navy, so I had enough of MMS Artissimo with bonding agent to do a wash (a really thin coat) over the pieces. I cannot get over how much I love milk paint! I LOVE the color pigments variation, giving every piece a bit of personality. It also played with the heavy wood grain and I think really tied in the dark stain I did on the drawers and frame, catching the navy and lighter blues. I sealed it with MMS furniture wax.
I have staged it boy vintage, but it would go with so many different décor themes. Mid-century modern – with it’s sleek lines and a pop of color, rustic or Alaskana – with the straight lines and strong wood grain I can see it paired with warm plaids beautifully, vintage – the photos give that away, or a Pottery Barn sophisticated feel.
Thank you once again, for stopping by!