Today I’m sharing a step by step tutorial on how to update a tired and ugly night stand by removing the skirt, removing the doors, adding legs and giving it a new color using Old Fashioned Milk Paint. OFMP has been around since the 1970’s making authentic true milk paint that is completely “green” and will not harm the environment. The shop where I refinish furniture is directly next to my home, the garden where I raise chickens and grow food for my family, and the yard where my kids and pets play. Using products that will not harm me, my family, my pets or the environment is so key.
If you aren’t familiar with true milk paint, in a nutshell, it’s made from milk protein, lime and pigments. It comes in a powder form that is mixed with water to create the paint. If you would like to learn more, I suggest you pop on over to the OFMP website – it’s really informative and can give you much more information than I possibly could.
I have used Old Fashioned Milk Paint several times before. You can see those projects here, here and here. The beauty of true milk paint is that it creates a finish like no other paint can. It gives an authentic matte finish with lots of dimension in the color.
For my project, I pulled a pair of Ethan Allen night stands out of my unfinished inventory. They are really solid and well constructed pieces, but the style was just not my cup of tea. These babies were drab with a capital “D.”
I’m not sure what the style is (other than ugly), but to me it seems very traditional and very 1980’s. Get ready for some major furniture cosmetic surgery.
1. Remove Doors
The first thing I did was remove the doors. That was just a matter of unscrewing the hinges. No biggie. I used a bit a wood filler to fill the holes that were left. I like the idea of being able to style with baskets or books in the space underneath. Just removing the doors updates the piece. But I’m not done yet.
2. Remove the Skirt
I also decided to remove the bottom skirt and add turned feet. This was a bit more involved of a process, but I’ll show you step by step.
I purchased four feet and four plates for each night stand. Lowe’s carries several different styles of furniture feet and legs. I decided to go with the chunky turned feet in the center.
You also need plates to attach the feet. There are two types – straight and angled. Make sure to get the right one – the packaging looks very similar, and I almost grabbed the wrong one. I wanted the feet to be straight, so I used the straight plates. Use the angled plates if you want the legs or feet to angle out, such as with a midcentury style.
I flipped the night stand upside down. You can see the skirt is just attached with six screws.
I simply removed the screws. Check out my stylish shoes guys, haha.
And the skirt was off. Not mine, the night stand’s. Just clarifying that point.
3. Adding the Feet and New Trim
Next, I had to add some wood to build up the inside corners so that I could attach the plates for the feet.
Because I didn’t want the metal plates to be visible (they are about 1/4 inch or so deep) I added a small bit of trim around the front and sides.
The trim is very small and delicate. I learned from a carpenter that it is best not to try and nail really small trim, since it can easily split. Just secure it with wood glue and use tape to hold it in place until it dries. Works great.
Once the trim was dry, I screwed the plates to the corners, pre-drilling to prevent the wood from splitting. I also filled the small gap on the mitered corners on the trim and sanded.
I screwed the feet into the plates.
I stained the feet and trim with a dark stain to closely match the rest of the night stand. Because I was using true milk paint, the paint color can look different depending on the underlying color of the wood. I wanted the new trim and feet to match the rest of the piece, so I stained before painting.
***Affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. Please see my disclosure page for my full disclosure policy.***
4. Painting with Milk Paint
With the reconstructive surgery done, it was time to move on to the paint. I decided to go with one of my favorite greens – Old Fashioned Milk Paint in Tavern Green. I mixed roughly one part powder to one part water. For mixing powdered milk paint, I use a Magic Bullet Blender that I picked up second hand. It works great. I find it much more efficient than mixing by hand to get a smooth and lump-free paint. I used 1/2 cup of warm water and 1/2 cup of powder. I gave it a whirl in the Magic Bullet and then let it sit for about 30 minutes. (My kids got all excited thinking I was making smoothies. They hear the sound and it’s like Pavlov’s dogs around here.) This step is really important to give the pigments a chance to dissolve. It also lets any foaminess settle down. I then added about 1/2 cup of Extra-Bond, since I didn’t want to have any chipping. Extra Bond is an additive to help the paint adhere. I actually prefer the texture of the paint with the Extra Bond added.
I applied two coats of the Tavern Green, sanded and then sealed the nightstands with a coat of Hemp Oil. The finish is so buttery smooth. New knobs and done. Here are the beauty shots. No more pics of my grubby hands and feet, I promise 🙂
I’ve saved the best news for last. I have been selected to be an official brand blogger for The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company! Woot woot! That means I will be sharing more OFMP projects with lots of tips and tricks in the next few months. I’m so excited!
Take care, friends.
I have received products for this post, but all opinions are entirely my own. This post contains sponsored links from Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company.