Monday, April 23, 2012

New Nightstands!

Remember back in January when I mentioned I was looking for a pair of nightstands for the master bedroom?  Well, I finally found a pair on Craigslist this past weekend.  Despite not looking for a particular style, the search took so long because I definitely had a final vision in my head.  It needed to have lots of storage - definitely a drawer and additional shelves or open storage space - and it needed to look good once I painted it emerald green, so I was leaning towards brass hardware.  Of course, if you've ever read this blog before, you're not going to be terribly surprised by the fact that I came home with a pair of campaign nightstands.

I paid $60 for the pair and couldn't wait to get them home and get working.  They're not as much real wood as I would prefer - mostly laminated MDF - so wood enthusiasts can calm down over the paint treatment.  And notice the horrible bun feet - they'll be on the midterm later.

Please disregard the mess in my garage - we also had a garage sale this weekend.
First, I removed the doors.  I hated the accordion fronts, which are unfortunately an integrated part of the door rather than being a piece I could easily cut out, so I planned on just getting rid or the doors completely.  The space behind the doors was fairly cavernous, so I wasn't sure if I was going to leave it open or perhaps add a shelf.

Next I removed the hardware.  When I'm working on a project, all the pieces get stored together until the end of the project.  You never know what you're going to need later on, so it's easier to keep it all together.  I use a highly sophisticated storage system - the ziploc bag.  Make sure you mark what project they are from.  If, like me, you tend to have a lot of "ongoing" projects, they all start to look similar after a while.  This was pretty labor intensive - I created quite a few gouges trying to pull off the brass corners.

Now onto the bun feet.  There's nothing wrong with bun feet, but their style doesn't belong on these nightstands.  The buns, however, disagreed.  I tried to unscrew them so I could save them for a future project, but whatever space-age glue the previous owner used to attach them was not budging.  I'm sure I could have found a saw that would have helped me remove them, but my plan from the beginning was to add a box frame on the bottom, so I decided to simply work around the ugly buns.

After this semi-setback, I made a nice discovery:  the door turned backwards looked mighty nice.

I immediately scratched the plan to keep the space open and decided to reattach the doors backwards.  Hopefully this works out, I'm blogging in real time over here.

To build the new bases, I picked up two 1x3x8s at Lowes for under $3 each.  I picked the whitewood since I was going to paint them anyway, but I tried to find the nicest, straightest boards they had, which took some searching. 

I made a simple box around the buns.  I don't have a Kreg jig (oh, how I want one), so I used cleats to help attach the boards, as well as countersunk screws. 

I like the new bases so much more than the ugly buns.  Don't you?

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