This sweet little French Provincial nightstand has been with me through just about everything in life. My grandmother owned this nightstand and dresser set well before I was born and when my parents turned my nursery into my big girl room, my grandmother gave them the set for me to have.

Furniture has so much character, especially when it’s passed down from generation to generation. There are many scratches and nicks in this set that I remember making as a little girl and some that I made moving this set as I drove to Florida to start my life with my future husband.

I have wanted to paint this nightstand for so long, but I kept talking myself out of it because of the history of the piece. While it has such a beautiful story and bones I found myself wanting a white nightstand to balance all of the wood tones in our bedroom. Instead of getting a new nightstand I’m making over my old friend.

Here is how we started- in all her glory:

Alton and I disagreed on what finish we should paint her in, I said Satin and he said Semi-gloss. Let me preface this by saying that when I have my mind made up that something should be a certain way, I will push it with conviction and come up with a hundred reasons why it should be done that way and my husband is the same way! He has years and years of painting experience and he has also successfully painted multiple pieces of furniture while I have failed at painting 3 pieces. I finally gave in and we decided on Semi-gloss spray paint with a Satin clear gloss finish. Here is what we used:

We also used:

150 grit sandpaper block that we had lying around

rubbing alcohol on a paper towel to clean the piece after sanding

latex gloves to protect the piece from the oils on our hands

painters tape that we already had to paint the drawer


We began by sanding the entire piece down with the sanding block then Alton used his electric sander to sand the top and the shelf. This is totally optional and you would be absolutely fine without electric sanding.

This is what she looked like after a good sand:

We then used paper towels dipped in rubbing alcohol all over the piece to clean the surface to absorb the paint.

We decided to remove the hardware, even though we were painting it the same color to prevent over spray and for a more clean look. We sprayed the piece with one coat of paint and realized that the pieces on the front where the wood was coming apart needed to be chiseled off in order to look clean. I’m so thankful to have a husband who is more patient than I am because I was so excited for the finished product that I would have totally over looked a detail that would have compromised the entire piece.

Here is what she looked like with one coat of paint and after we chiseled the broken piece off:

While we were waiting for the first coat to dry we took my father-in-laws 1965 Ford truck that he is restoring for a spin. It was so fun to ride around in a piece of history!

Here she is with a second coat of paint:

This piece only needed 2 full coats of spray paint. We let it dry for another 30 minutes so we could apply the clear gloss. The gloss coat is optional, but with my experience in the few pieces I have that I painted and didn’t put a gloss coat on, they have chipped and have absorbed dirt and ring stains. We opted for the gloss coat on this beauty because she is basically part of the family and very cherished in our home.

This is her with her final gloss coat on:

Alton was scheduled to work in Martin County for a swim tournament so we went to visit his parents. I planned on painting while he worked all morning, but his tournament actually got cancelled due to storms. It was a gift from God because this piece wouldn’t look half as amazing as it does if not for him! I’m so thankful to finally fall back in love with this little nightstand! She just needed to be white! All of the wood tones in our bedroom actually pop more now because we painted her and the rooms feels more balanced with the 2 white painted pieces on either side of the bed.

I haven’t figured out exactly the way I want to style her, but here is what I’ve got so far. I’m thinking about doing a nightstand styling post of different ways I’ve played with style here!

What projects are you currently working on? What is your favorite piece of furniture that you’ve redone?


Salem Brieske



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