Repurposed nightstand to make a wire side table

Most people would look at this old nightstand and just throw it in the burn pile. Shame one you! Just saying! I see so many people just throwing amazing things away, and although it makes me makes me so happy when I find them! Plus, if you know me at all by now you know I love wooden projects!

This nightstand however came from my Grandma’s house, she knows better! It was my Grandpa’s nightstand for as long as I can remember. I had big plans for this little guy, who still had a TrueValue price tag on the inside…I would say at least 20 years old.

Come on the journey with me as I take this from ewww to AHHH and see the epic fail i encountered in the process and how it changed the end result of this beauty.

Avert your eyes at the horror. It was so chipped up on the edges, and covered in dust from sitting in our work shop. I really wish no one ever created veneer and all pieces were made with real wood. Wishful thinking…right!?

First you want to take off the door, hinges, and back. Then give it a quick clean. If you are going to be painting something right after you clean it, use white vinegar and water to clean it. If you use any chemicals it will work against the paint. Also, if you are using chalk paint like I am, there is no need to sand before painting. If you are using any other kind of paint, sand away!

Ok, so I totally flaked on taking photos during the painting process. But I used a mint blueish color chalk paint with a chip brush and painted it on. I did not have the wire back on it yet, so you get a sneak peak of whats next haha!

Here is where my project took a turn. I originally wanted to use the door and cut out the center to add the chicken wire to it. But as I was cutting out the center, my scroll saw slipped and gouged the side and ruined it. This is where I would have loved to have a Kreg Jig to build a new door for it. Someday! So for now the door is tossed into our scrap pile of wood and maybe will be used as pieces on something else! Gotta love upcycling!

I was bummed for a minute..then thought of a new way to add the chicken wire. To the back! Who needs a door anyway!

I grabbed the roll of chicken wire and laid it on the back. I really hate working with chicken wire, but it looks so darn cute!

Start with one side and using a heavy duty staple gun staple it in place. I pull on it as I staple so that it will lay flat and not have any waves in it. Keep going down one side stapling it every few inches.

Staple the whole way around pulling the wire as you go. Then grab a pair of wire cutters and snip off the rest of the wire and hammer the ends down, and the staples down.

Ta DAAA, perfect! Ok so now that that is done, its time to make this thing look vintagy! That’s a word, right!?

Use a fine sand paper, i think I used 120 grit to sand the edges. Remember this is not real wood, so you don’t want to get carried away and sand off the veneer and have the compressed board show through. You can also see in this photo how streaky I left the paint job on it making it look more vintage and fun.

Then just sand random places making it look like time has aged the piece all on its own.

One last step and we are done! Its time to cut a new back. I was going to leave the wire as is and not add a backing, but I thought it would give it more contrast so I went for it. I took the back that was originally on it…cardboard..and traced it on a piece of thin board (the name of it is escaping my brain..was purchased at home depot, maybe someone can tell me the name of it!).

Grabbed my handy scroll saw, that I was still kind of mad at, and cut out the back.


This board splinters easily and since I was in a hurry to finish I just sanded the edges and stained it dark walnut. BUT if you want to stop the splintering, add painters tape to both sides of where you will be cutting. It will prevent it from splintering and you wont have to do as much sanding.

After you have it stained its time to attach it on.

I love my Bostitch nail guns!

Nail it in place on the corners and then add one in the center for good measure.

Give it a quick coat of poly and call it a day! I think this is my favorite refurb I have done lately and it inspired me to find more pieces like this to finish! It is now sitting in the shop waiting for a good home, although I hope no one buys it so it can come home with me instead lol.

I think I like it better without the door, what do you think? What is your favorite wooden project I have done so far?

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