So, you buy a new bed, but you want to make your nightstands match your Passages vintage black bed. This is what a friend was going through. She didn’t want to drop the extra money to buy vintage black nightstands. She asked me if I could make her old ones match her new bed. Yes, I can do that I responded.
The old nightstands were in decent shape, and they would be the perfect choice to turn into vintage black nightstands to match the Passages bed. Let's see how it all comes together because this pair of nightstands will be transformed right before your eyes!
Newly Painted Vintage Black Nightstands
How to Get a Vintage Looking Paint Finish
Your first step to any furniture painting project should be cleaning. Use a dust brush to whisk away dirt particles, then a cleaner/degreaser to wipe away dirt, grime and any residual furniture wax left behind. Depending on the paint you use, you may need to do a light sanding. But, that was not the case with the paint used on these nightstands.
Finish Max Paint Sprayer
Remove hardware and prepare to paint. Want to save wear and tear on your back? Raising your project off the ground will give you more control over where your paint is applied. For these nightstands, the goal is a vintage black with gentle distressing.
One light coat of General Finishes Lamp Black paint was sprayed on the pair of nightstands. The paint dried very quickly, and a gentle wet distressing was done right away on random areas.
The original nozzle (Green 2.0 mm) was used to make sure a very light coat of paint was applied. Wiping off the nozzle with a cloth in between coats is easy if you remove the cap.
After the distressing was done on the base coat, a second light coat was added with the Super Finish Max. Don't forget, several light coats is so much better than a couple of heavy coats.
Light Distressing using a Damp Cloth
Distressing with a wet cloth is best done with a light touch, however with a good quality paint and the professional finish from this sprayer. However, it may take a little more effort.
So, did you know that you can spray your original hardware with your Finish Max?
This method works great if you want your hardware to match your furniture project. Perhaps you prefer spray paint? But this method will allow you to match the paint to your furniture project.
How to Clean a Finish Max Paint Sprayer
When the job was finished, the paint cup was washed with water, then filled with water to spray through the pickup tube and nozzle.
Cleaning your paint sprayer thoroughly after each use will insure it’s ready to work for you again on your next project.
Freshly painted black nightstands
I had never used this kind of paint before, but I really like it. Generally when I do gentle distressing I use emery boards. But to get the look to match the new Passages bed, I needed a different look in the distressing. I grabbed a wet cloth and distressed after the first coat and then again after the second coat.
Between the quality paint and the excellent job of the Super Finish Max –distressing was a little difficult. So, although I call it gentle distressing, I did have to work a little to get the paint off.
Use brown paper to smooth paint finish on vintage black nightstands
I really like to use packing paper to burnish the top of my painted pieces to make them really smooth after painting. Typically, I would sand in between coats, but because I was doing such a light paint on these nightstands it wasn’t necessary. Do you see the hint of brown peeking through the paint?
You may notice that where I wet distressed on the fluting has a whiteish look. I’m getting ready to take care of that!
Secrets to getting a great wax job on painted furniture
After the paint dried, it was time to wax. I used a clear wax with a car wash sponge. Do you want to know the secret to easy waxing of furniture? The key to getting the perfect waxing is to dampen your sponge slightly. It really makes applying the wax so much easier.
How much wax do I use on painted furniture?
Do you worry that you might be using too much wax, or not enough? My best advice for that is this—the wax should set up very quickly. But the time you’re finished waxing you vintage black nightstands, you should be able to wipe/buff the wax you applied first. For years, I hated waxing and buffing. But now that I know the two secrets to waxing furniture correctly, it’s not so bad. While applying and wiping off wax, it’s easy to follow through with more gentle distressing as needed.
Just to recap the two secrets to achieving a great finish using wax.
- Use a damp sponge
- Apply wax with a light hand—if it’s not ready to buff right off, you’re probably using too much.
After I finished the vintage black nightstands, I sent this picture to Kelly. She loves the new look of her old nightstands. It was good to get the paint sprayer out and use some paint other than my chalky paint primer.
Don't you absolutely LOVE the new look of the vintage black nightstands?
Don’t they look so much better?
Hi, there! I’m Gail, the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. I’m obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believe that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again—myself included! I hope you’ll enjoy the journey and pick up a few tools along the way… literally!
Could you tell me more about burnishing with paper? How does it work? Thanks.
Burnishing with brown paper is sort of like using a very fine grain sandpaper (almost). It just helps smooth out the paint, and give a nice finish to add the next coat. I just wad up a piece of thin brown craft (papcking) paper (I get mine when I order items from Amazon) I once called it sanding, and someone smarter than I corrected me to say it "burnishing". But in your head, you have permission to think of it as sanding. Just remember, thinner is better--and wad it up so it doesn't have any rough edges to it.
What type of wax did you use?
The wax I used is no longer available, that's why I didn't show a label. I've used all brands and I don't particularly love one over the other. If I had to choose a favorite over the years, it would be Miss Mustard Seed's furniture wax. It seemed to be softer and easier to apply. I hope you find this helpful.
I have painted my nightstands gray but now would prefer black ones. Can I paint over the gray?
Absolutely Deb! The prep for the black paint will depend on what paint you used to paint them gray, and what kind of paint you'll be using to pain them black. More questions? reach out to me and I'll be happy to help you once I get all the details.
These turned out great! I hope your friend shares a picture with the new headboard. I could not locate the brand of 'milk paint' that was used. I love the smooth finish.
Did you hop over to see how I got such a great finish on the nightstands Cathy? https://www.homeright.com/diy/projects/perfectly-distressed-painted-nightstands
It's general finishes milk paint sprayed with my Finish Max paint sprayer. 😉
That was the deal we made. 🙂 That she take pics for me.
they look beautiful! great job!
I appreciate you checking out the nightstands Nova!
I could never find out what kind of paint you used. Did I miss something. The nightstands turned out beautiful. Love them.
I'm sorry for the confusion, I shared that information over on the Homeright DIY blog. It is a milk paint.
I love what a coat of paint and wax can do. I suggested that we freshened our 1983 bedroom set with paint. The response, “but it’s oak”. 😂🤣😂 I didn’t win this time. I’ll keep mentioning it. The room is so small and the furniture is so big, I’d like to change to something smaller and less angular. I’ll keep working on him.
Good luck Jennie! Maybe you'll wear him down. 😉
DIY Home Sweet Home
It's amazing what a coat of paint can do. They turned out beautiful!!
Thank you sooo much. My friend hasn't picked them up yet, but she loved the pictures.