A Pair of Glazed Antique White Nightstands
Repurposing nightstands from vintage vanities and desks is quickly becoming one of my favorite types of projects to complete! This set of nightstands was repurposed from a kneehole style desk, and was given a makeover using General Finishes products. Read on to see how I did it!
Repurposing A Vintage Kneehole Style Desk
These nightstands were once a kneehole style desk. I commissioned my friend Greg of The Furniture Fix to split the desk apart and put new tops on them. He did such a beautiful job. The tops are actually from a washstand that I asked him to fix a few weeks ago!
When you take a desk or a vanity apart, you often wind up with some holes on either side of the nightstands. These will need to be filled with Bondo or wood putty. You can kind of see the areas that needed to be repaired in this photo:
Every piece is put together differently, so you’ll need to study how yours is constructed and determine how it should come apart. Some are easier than others, and you’ll get a feel for the process once you get a few under your belt!
Refinishing the Reclaimed Oak Tops
The new reclaimed oak on the tops of my nightstands was gorgeous. Greg used a router to create a lovely edge too!
These nightstands were quickly claimed by a good friend, fellow coworker and customer of mine who also happened to be a Jennifer! She chose General Finishes Antique Walnut Gel Stain as her color for the top.
Walnut is a great stain option if you’re not sure what color you should go with. It has a bit of black in it, making it a handsome stain and not as brown as a Provincial or Antique Brown. I think it turned out beautifully!
To protect these tops, I applied 2 coats of High Performance Topcoat in Satin.
Painting the Base
Jennifer asked that the base be painted in General Finishes’s off-white shade called “Antique White”. Here is how Antique White compares with the other neutrals in their Milk Paint line.
Snow White is a bright stark white. Alabaster is actually a combination of Snow White and Antique White. Antique White is a true off white and then Linen is the cream in the line.
This is my go-to primer of choice. Its sophisticated resin system and high solids content makes it a fabulous primer to use under light paint colors. It’s water-based so cleanup is a breeze with regular soap and water. Plus, it’s VOC compliant so there aren’t any harsh fumes.
Once the nightstands were primed, I applied 3 coats of General Finishes Brushable White Enamel that was tinted to the color of Antique White.
Brushable White Enamel is a totally different paint product than General Finishes Milk Paint. It’s an enamel-based paint product, making it slightly more durable. It also has a built-in topcoat, so there’s no need to to follow up with that step once you’re finished painting. This also helps eliminate yellowing, which is common when sealing white paint with a water-based topcoat.
Glazing With Van Dyke Brown Glaze Effects
To cut down on the clean look of the tinted Brushable White Enamel, and to add some age, I applied Van Dyke Brown Glaze Effects.
Glazes are translucent products that are brushed on and wiped back, providing a subtle layer of color. It’s tricky to do if there aren’t any recessed areas or carved details. Such was the case with my nightstands.
They didn’t really have any carved details, so I had to be extra careful with my strokes as I wiped the glaze back. Glazing takes some practice to get used to. It’s definitely a skill that takes time to develop.
I have some tips on how to glaze on my Facebook page from a previous project. You can catch that video here.
A Pair of Antique White Nightstands
When it came time to stage these sweet little nightstands, I wanted to change it up a bit. I gathered some pages from a vintage atlas I had in my stash and hung a few pages in a collage on the wall.
I like how their worn pages provided a natural warmth and patina against the glazed finish of my nightstands. The camera is actually my grandfather’s (and it still has film inside). The peonies are from the front garden and the dress form was purchased from Morgantown Market last year.
The fiddle leaf is a gorgeous faux plant I purchased from QVC and the basket was an antique find during one of my hunting trips. Together, all of these elements work nicely together in a sweet little vignette. I had a lot of fun arranging everything and the light was gorgeous this morning for photographing.
I hope you’re inspired to look for alternative places to make your own set of nightstands!