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I absolutely loved reading through all of your comments regarding sentimental vs. functional furniture.  I hate to disappoint ya’ll but I did not work over that nightstand.  Since I did put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into refinishing that piece I decided to try and save it for another space.  However, I did complete the area with this French Provincial nightstand.


well…after I made it over first.

Let me remind you of the space before…


I love how this new piece lightens up the space, gives me more storage with the three drawers, ties in the current wood tones of my bed and dresser, and hides the cords a bit better.

I found it for $10 at a yard sale. What a steal! I decided I wanted to go with the wood-on-cream look to match the end table that is currently in there by the couch.  I absolutely ADORE the look of French Provincial furniture.  It has a touch of feminine which is perfect for my side of the bed.

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First I stripped the top to bring out the wood underneath. The brands I prefer are Bix, Jasco or Kleen Strip.  I opted for Kleen Strip this time.  After a few coats with a throw-away brush, a scraper and a wire brush I had her clean and ready for sanding.

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I started with a 60 grit sandpaper and my palm sander working all of the white paint off the top so the wood was bare.  Then I used 100, 150 and 220 to make it smooth and ready for some stain.

Then I taped off the bottom of the nightstand and applied a pre-wood conditioner with a foam brush.  THIS IS A VITAL STEP when refinishing furniture.  It opens up the pores of the wood so that it is ready for stain and it will allow for even coverage.

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I then applied two coats of Vermont Maple water-based stain by Minwax.  The wood top was oak. Since oak is a harder wood you have to actually work the stain into the grain.  You don’t want to just give it light coats like you would pine but rather rub it in a circular motion to embed the stain into the wood.  If you don’t it is splotchy and uneven. I used an old t-shirt to do this.

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After one coat…

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Then I put two coats of Minwax Satin Polyurethane over the top sanding with a fine grit sandpaper in between coats. 

And here is a tiny sneak peek…

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To be continued…

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  1. OMG I have this exact side table (and matching dressers) and have been wondering how to *update* it! Can’t wait to see your finished product!!!!!

  2. LOVE it! And can’t wait to see all of it. LittleGirl has one just like it that was given to her. I’ve been completely perplexed on how to refinish it. Think I’ll try to tackle it your way! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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