Before and After: A Dinged-Up 1960s Nightstand Becomes a Surprising Statement Piece for About $50

published May 15, 2022
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Before: Vintage nightstand
Credit: Ajda Miška

From transformations that preserve the character of historic pieces to ones that create a totally new and unexpected looks, Apartment Therapy has featured tons of impressive vintage furniture flips.

Credit: Ajda Miška

This one, a nightstand flip by Ajda Miška (of @billiefrank_studio), falls into the latter category. “I really wanted this nightstand to look completely unique,” she says. “It’s bold and definitely not only meant for your bedroom, but it can easily become a statement piece.”

Ajda felt free to experiment with the piece because “it was looking very sad,” she explains. She bought the ’60s nightstand from Facebook Marketplace because she was drawn to its cute shape and size, but as it was, it had nicks here and there, disintegrating lacquer, was missing wooden details on the drawer, and its veneer was chipping.

“I saw lots of potential in it regardless,” Ajda says. “It just needed some work and some style put back into it.” And in terms of style, she went bold.

Credit: Ajda Miška

To create a new painted polka dot look, Ajda disassembled the piece, removing the old handles and hinges on the nightstand. Once that was done, she filled in the dents with wood filler. “Because the cabinet was in such bad shape, this step took a lot longer than I expected,” Ajda says. “There was a lot of filling the wholes and scratches and sanding and filling again and sanding again.” Because she decided to change the hardware, she filled in the holes of the old handles, too.

Credit: Ajda Miška

After that, Ajda sanded the nightstand down completely, primed it, and added a coat of semi-gloss water-based black paint. She then hand-painted white wallpaper with black dots and glued it to the door, finishing it with a couple of coats of lacquer to seal.

“Finally, it was time for the finishing touches,” Ajda says. “To give the nightstand some height and elegance, I added new black metal legs and new minimal hardware on the drawer and door.”

Her materials cost her €50, or $52.64.

Credit: Ajda Miška

She loves the new, whimsical look she’s created. “I love how forgotten pieces that would probably end up thrown away can find new homes and new lives when someone takes the time and has the vision and the knowledge to redesign them,” Ajda says. This one, she adds, is perfect for a new life in a living room or at the end of a hallway where it can make a big statement.