Our Refurbished Two Dollar Night Stand

This week’s Bundle of the Week will be perfect for my readers – it’s all about frugality!  Five ebooks for $7.40.  Here’s what you get this week:

  • Become a Frugali$ta in 30 Days by Susan Heid
  • Your Grocery Budget Toolbox by Anne Simpson
  • Advanced Penny Pinching by Tabitha Philen
  • From Debtor to Better by Barry Myers
  • Coupon Quick Start Guide by Angela Newsom

And in other frugal news, I wanted to share before and after pics of a little nightstand that I spruced up over the weekend.  We have a guestroom in our newly-finished basement, and we built it with a nook that’s perfect for the bed and two nightstands.  It already had one nightstand (that I rescued from a thrift store and refinished a few years ago), but the other side was empty.  I knew I wanted to find something used that I could spruce up, and I was waiting to find an inexpensive night stand before I came up with a final plan.

On Saturday, I came across this little guy at Goodwill.  For two dollars.

night stand to refinish

On the way home, I bought a roll of self-adhesive shelf liner.  The only other supplies I needed were sandpaper and paint, which we already had (I used paint leftover from the trim and doors in the basement).

The night stand was sturdy and surprisingly heavy – it was in great shape, but a bit on the ugly and plain side.  I started by sanding the veneer finish to make it less shiny, so that the paint would stick.  Then I painted everything with three coats of semi-gloss white paint.  Once it was dry, I cut a piece of the shelf liner to fit on top, and stuck it down.  I added the shelf liner for two reasons:  One, I love the print and it adds a little excitement to our otherwise very neutral decor.  And two, it makes a good surface for the top of a table like this – no worries about stains or paint being scratched.  Here’s the finished night stand:

frugal refinished night stand

When my husband first saw the roll of zebra-print shelf liner, I think he was less than impressed (and maybe a bit worried that I was going to start decorating in a Donald Trump-esque bling-is-better style).  But once he saw the finished product, he liked it.  I love it, and I think it’s perfect in the bed nook of our new guest room.

frugal thrifted guest room

Just about everything in the picture is secondhand:  The lamps, pillow shams, duvet cover, and the quilt rack above the bed are all from Goodwill (I painted the quilt rack to match the trim in the room).  The end tables are both spruced-up thrift store finds.  The afghan on the rack was made by my great grandmother, and I love that I finally have a place to display it.

So that’s my latest thrift store project.  The roll of shelf liner is still nearly complete, and I used it again last night, to line the shelves of a new little paint storage area we put under our stairs.  If we ever have a need for shelf-liner in the future, we have plenty left over.  So the night stand really didn’t cost much more than the two dollars I paid for it, and a bit of time fixing it up.  Definitely a win!

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  1. Leah Penn Inman says

    Awesome! I never would have thought of shelf liner. I’ve got a side table thing that we currently use for an aquarium. The wood is really beat up, and I’m sure it will be worse when we finally find a different spot for the aquarium. Shelf liner would be an excellent use for the side table, and it does have a shelf inside that could use it too. Thanks for the idea!

    • frugalbabe says

      I don’t know what made me think of the shelf liner, but I’m so glad I did! Otherwise, I would have had to seal the top of the table with varnish to protect the paint – this was much easier, and I think the result is a lot more fun!

    • frugalbabe says

      It works great as long as the veneer is well-attached to the surface. If it’s peeling off, it might be better to try to remove it first. But in this case, all I had to do was sand it to roughen it up, and the paint adhered perfectly. Now we can look at thrift store furniture in a whole new light – even the veneer-coated stuff! The thing I liked about this night stand was its sturdiness. It’s a really well-made piece of furniture, not an assemble-it-yourself piece from WalMart. As long as the furniture is nice and solid, you can do a lot with paint. Have fun with your future projects!

  2. kellygroves13 says

    Brilliant! We are about to move across the country (okay, Chicago to Broomfield, CO, so only halfway across the country!) and we have been debating whether or not we should bother moving our functional and free, yet not really our style bedrooom set with us. We already ditched the headboard a while ago and we have been thinking whether or not we should just try to sell it and then buy new dressers and nightstands at Goodwill/thrift stores. This refinishing has me intrigued. Definitely we could achieve the eclectic look I prefer and we would save on moving costs. Gonna have to run this one by hubby…

  3. Navya Diwakar says

    The guest room looks so cosy and inviting! And I absolutely love the decor :)

    This is the kind of decor in expensive hotels in India ! Hats off to you!

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