I didn’t plan to make a kid’s chalkboard desk out of a nightstand, but I was sort of out of ideas. I’m still working my way through the free furniture I got from my neighbor Rodney. Today’s project victim is an unwanted nightstand. I’ve already made a coffee station cabinet out of the chest of drawers, and a storage bench out of a dresser. Last week I made a craft cabinet using the leftover louvered doors from the dresser.
This was a fun project once I figured out what I wanted to do with it. I did make a chalkboard desk once a long time ago, I called it the Smurf desk.
Here’s the lucky guy right here! Many times I demolish a lot of my pieces, but this guy got off easy.
*this post contains Affiliate Links which help me earn a small commission without costing you any extra money. read more here*
I dug out this piece of mdf that was dismantled for an old chest of drawers. It was the side section. On the Smurf Desk I attached legs, but because the “top” I’m using is sort of on the short side, I knew I didn’t have room to spare for legs.
Sometimes these things just “come to me”. I decided to build a small bookshelf on the end to support the left side of the top.
That would take 4 pieces of lumber for the shell of the shelf. A top, bottom, and two sides. My favorite way of building such a frame is with my favorite Kreg Jig.
This is attaching the bottom shelf (frame). I wanted it to appear it has legs instead of resting it right on the floor. I used my Kreg multi-mark tool for spacing.
After completing the construction, I drilled pocket holes on the top of the new bookshelf in order to attach it to the new top of the desk.
The pocket hole screws go from the top of the bookshelf into the left side of the desk top. You can see that I added a support in the back to help stabilize the bookshelf.
NOTE: the drawer is in the wrong place in this picture, it actually belongs on the bottom. This nightstand came to me missing a drawer.
I cut a thin piece of plywood to close off the back of the bookshelf. I secured it with my nail gun.
To replace the missing drawer with a shelf, I marked where the shelf should rest before removing the drawer guide. I cut two scrap boards to make the shelf and added cleats to hold the shelf. Then I had to deal with the dead space that is now visible. I cut two pieces of thin plywood to hide the area and popped them in with my nail gun.
So, the new desk will have a shelf and a drawer.
I always start painting my projects from the underneath side because generally when someone loads their new furniture piece in their vehicle, they need to lift it up and lay it down. I took the easy way out and used my Homeright Finish Max to get the best finish.
I love how it’s turning out!!!
While I was doing the final coats there were a lot of buds and such falling from the trees, so I used my new Homeright Spray Shelter to keep the top smoother and free of debris.
I think it was a no-brainer to make the top of the desk a chalkboard. I prefer to spray chalkboard paint with my Finish Max. I couldn’t spray on this day because I’m dog sitting Lulu Mae’s brother Charlie. It was his first day here so I needed to be close by to keep an eye on the rascals. I used a cheap chip brush which is generally okay, but this surface was too large for that. You can see how wonderful the chalkboard paint looks when it’s Finish Max sprayed in my post Finish Max Chalkboard Paint.
Plan B. I sanded down the top with my orbital sander and chose to use a roller for the next 2 coats.
The best option for seating was a green chair, I chose to give it a quick makeover with some black spray paint.
I painted the knobs to match the desk.
What do you think? Would you have found a better use for this unwanted nightstand?
see more nightstand ideas below, click the picture to see the tutorial.