Dumpster Nightstand Makeover

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It’s not what you think.  A one night nightstand.  I am just not that kind of girl.  I like to Dumpster Dive at night sometimes, but when I do pick something up.  I am committed to it for the long haul.  Truly. My junk stays in my garage for months at a time before I decide I am going to try “change it”.

This Nightstand was found quite a while ago.  It was the early morning hours when we met.  It didn’t look like it had been around the block too many times.  No smell, no garbage, no handles that were left behind and fell off somewhere when the party got too fun.  Nope.  It was just perfect as it was.

Well sort of.  To start with, I gave it a good cleaning with Krud Kutter.  It’s a TSP like spray and it cleans!

This is a great degreaser and cleaner.  Wear gloves when you use it, but it will cut through any kind of yuck that your piece of furniture may have picked up along the way.  When you deal in Dumpster Makeovers, you just don’t know where you furniture has been and who it has been with.  Best to play it safe and clean it up.  Save yourself a trip to the store and get your box of gloves right here.  They come in handy so often!

Next I took all the Hardware off, pried off those middle decorative things and spray painted it in a standard White.  I like Glidden Flat White Interior Paint.  But spray this outside! With your gloves on, or you will end up with white hands for much longer than you planned on.

Instead of the decorative pieces that had been in the middle, like a bad 3rd eye.  I made new ones!  I used Iron Orchid Paper Clay and one of their beautiful molds.  You can make it and just glue it on, I always recommend Elmer’s Wood Glue.  Then paint over it while the clay is still wet!  This is a great video tutorial at Debi’s Design Diary if you want to see the Iron Orchid Paper Clay Molds in action.

photo from Iron Orchid Designs

Now time to paint.  I did one thin coat of DIY Paint in Bead Board.  Have you tried DIY Paint Clay Paint?  It’s magic.  MAGIC.  It will bond to any surface, no sanding, no priming.  And it is 100% natural.  The colors are all very highly pigmented so usually just 2 coats does it.  One coat of Bead Board pretty much covered the whole thing.  Make yourself happy and order some DIY Paint HERE.

DIY Paint comes in 3 sizes.  8 oz, 16 oz and 32 oz quarts.  I only used about a 1/4 of an 8 oz container.

When the Bead Board dried, I used DIY Paint in French Millinery, then I did #dothedionne.  If you haven’t seen this technique, you must go visit Dionne Woods at The Turquoise Iris.  Amazing.  While the French Millinery was wet, I added in Faded Burlap.  Next I went to town with the spray bottle to let the paint drip and blend.

You can watch the FB Live I did with Shelly Andrade of Shizzle Design and see how easy this technique is to execute.

I did a little blending here and there, but the paint is so smart, it knows exactly what to do .

After I had the paint just where I wanted it, I added a little Bead Board Back in. This is a screen shot, so excuse the blurries.

DIY Paint dries pretty quickly.  Now it was time for a perfect finish.  I almost always reach for DIY Paint 100% Natural Clear Wax.  It is super soft, but very durable.  I always find less is more, so start with less wax and add more if you think you need it. Once the wax sets up, your piece will be hazy and dull.  Just give it an easy buff with a lint free rag and you will be rewarded with a shiny, smooth finish.

I was so happy with my Dumpster Nightstand Makeover.  I decided it wasn’t fair to keep this relationship going.  My Dumpster Nightstand had clearly outgrown our relationship and neither of us needed each other anymore.

Lucky for both of us, the break up was fast.  I sold it at my space at Consignment Envy in Brentwood as soon as I posted it.  And guess what?  The lovely person who bought it, bought it to go in my son’s former Math Tutor’s apartment at college.  How is that for kind of fun, and weird?

Do you have a Dumpster Makeover?  Do you need reevaluate your relationship with it?  Take a cue from my Dumpster Nightstand Makeover.  Once you see your Dumpster piece for who they really are, you can let it go.  Be warned, you might be tempted to Dumpster rebound.  That’s a story for another day.  If you want to catch up on my Dumpter Diving finds, you can see them all here at Trashy Tuesday. 

Happy Dumpster Diving!  Hope you have a totally Trashy day.  




  1. Fonda

    Why did you change out half the handles? I would have thought using all of the same ones would make the piece a classic.

  2. Rose

    Really nice, and it is clever how you hung some of the pulls with arrow up and some down!


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