Before and After: A Discarded Brown Nightstand Gets a Boho-Coastal Makeover for $80

published Oct 12, 2023
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The perfect nightstands can tie an entire bedroom together, whether they’re floating, upcycled, or storage-packed. Just ask DIYer Kelsey Berridge (, who turned some outdated bedside drawers that she picked up at a free curbside sale into a meant-to-be blue nightstand for her bedroom for just $80.

Although the drawers’ dark brown paint and mushroom-shaped drawer knobs had certainly seen better days, Kelsey saw their potential, especially in terms of storage capacity. But first, they needed to match her aesthetic.

“Our home is tropical-inspired, beachy, bohemian, and is unique,” Kelsey says. “I want the items in our home to reflect this, even when it’s bedside drawers.”

The secret to this project lies in the four Ps: prep, prime, paint, and protect.

As a veteran furniture upcycler, Kelsey swears by four steps: preparation, priming, painting, and protecting. This time around, the prep phase was harder than usual because she had to remove a few drawer knobs that had gotten stuck before doing her usual sanding and washing.

After priming the drawers with a three-in-one primer leftover from a previous project, Kelsey got to work repainting them with furniture paint company Mezzie + Frank’s Fremantle, a chalk-style mineral paint that combines oceanic shades of pale blue and misty gray.

When it comes to painting, Kelsey is partial to using foam rollers. “It leaves a nice smooth finish without lines you get from other rollers,” she says. 

Hemp oil is an environmentally-friendly finishing option.

Although Kelsey is no stranger to repainting, this was her first time using hemp oil to finish and protect upcycled furniture.

“I was nervous that I would apply the hemp oil wrong and wreck the paint finish, but it was extremely easy to use and left the drawers with a soft matte sheen finish,” Kelsey says, adding on Instagram that you wipe the hemp oil on and then buff it with a clean cloth about 10 minutes later. 

“It’s a great VOC-free alternative,” Kelsey says (Curious what VOC means? It stands for “volatile organic compounds,” i.e. the chemicals that create stinky paint fumes. Learn more about VOCs here.)

Brass knobs replaced the mushroom-shaped ones. 

Lastly, Kelsey attached some new brass drawer knobs, and voilà! What were once trash-ready, outdated drawers now complement her coastal home vibe perfectly.

“I love everything about the ‘after’ of our bedroom drawers,” she says. “The color is especially calming and helps to create a relaxed coastal feel. I’m proud of how I have been able to show that just because something is old and outdated doesn’t mean you can’t update it to suit your home’s aesthetic.”