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Mid-Century Modern Nightstand Makeover

a three drawer nightstand with a very stained top was given a new lease on life
Hello there!

I am so happy to be back in the swing of transformations with this beautiful Mid-Century Modern nightstand. This tired piece of furniture got a well-deserved makeover to bring it back to its main splendor and to be loved again.


Family members moved to the area and arrived with packed suitcases, furnishings, and more. Despite the truckloads of stuff, a full bedroom was in dear need of everything a bedroom needs!

A bed, dresser, nightstands, lights, curtains, etc. 
You can watch the video or continue reading below.

I offered my help setting up this bedroom, and without wasting much time, I was finding the regular furniture pieces that would be the starting point for my sister-in-law's bedroom.

My other SIL had already donated the yellow dresser in the corner.
empty bedroom in dear need of furnishings


My sure way to find suitable furniture deals is to spend plenty of time on Craiglist or Marketplace, and it was there that I saw this picture. 

A mid-century modern nightstand for only 50 bucks. The nightstand looked kinda crappy, but I took the chance and went to see it.

a Marketplace find

The top was covered in stains, which was, for the most part, this table's main downfall. The sides and fronts of the drawers were very OK. 

What I liked the most was its shape and how solid it felt. The dovetail drawers were in excellent working condition.

a three drawer nightstand with a stained top and yellowish finish gets updated

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I brought the nightstand home and inspected it all around; I found out it's a CLARK & REID COMPANY, Inc. piece, or what the sticker says. Brookline—Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Lot No. 6443
Piece No. 141

Clark & Reid Company, Inc - Brookline -- Cambridge Massachusetts


A complete bedroom was needed ASAP. This nightstand had to undergo a quick flip so I wouldn't have time to fight all those stains on the top. Many of you cringe when you see classic furniture painted, but again, no wasted time, as those stains take time to figure out the best way to tackle them.

No paint treatment on those drawers, as they were beautiful the way they were.

The following steps showcase the work done on this pretty Mid-Century Modern nightstand:


I removed the drawers and started sanding the top with a 120-grid sanding disc, going in the grain's direction. 

Then, the table sides and flat front pieces were also sanded.

Cristina Garay sanding nightstand

The table legs and the corners were hand-sanded to better reach those tight spaces.

corners and legs of nightstand being sanded

I also sanded the drawer fronts with 150-grid sandpaper, removing all the shiny poly.


Once you've finished sanding and ensured consistent smooth surfaces, it's time to remove the dust. Use your shop vac to remove particles and dust from the table. 

Use a tack cloth as the last step in the cleaning routine before painting/staining.


I used Krylon Chalkboard black paint because that was my only black paint color. Its matte finish worked well, as I didn't want any shine.

I applied no primer, nothing before the paint. I used a 2" angled paintbrush. The painting started at the top, then the sides, and finally, the front drawer edges.

Black Rustoleum chalboard paint on mcm nightstand

This is how it looked with only one coat of black chalkboard paint.

one coat of black paint on side table or nightstand

The second coat was applied after lightly sanding all painted surfaces with 220-grid sandpaper.

second coat of black paint on mcm nightstand


As previously mentioned, the drawer fronts were sanded, and the old poly was removed. 

sanding in between poly coats

After vacuuming all surfaces to remove dust and particles, the table was coated with two coats of Rust-Oleum clear matte poly.

Rustoleum clear matte poly


I liked the uncomplicated & sleek original hardware in black and gold.

the before

I went for the same treatment...

Spray painting the black handle black and the ends gold.

However, the paint treatment felt sticky, especially on the gold ends.

I had to remove that treatment, sanding off all the paint I had just applied. That's when I noticed the old paint treatment on those handles was also being removed!

painted hardware fail

Getting to this beautiful silver tone on those handles was lots of elbow grease.

But oh my, I love it!!

They have their own color variations, which I prefer than having them painted. 

silver mcm hardware

Look at this beautiful updated Mid-Century Modern nightstand!

wooden tone and black mcm side table or nightstand

The drawers were lined with this stick paper, as I usually do to all drawers.

black and white paper on bottom of drawers

black and wood tone mcm side table or nightstand with silver pulls

The nightstand was then brought to the bedroom, where it was badly needed.
mcm black and wooden tone side table or nightstand

And guess what?

A bed, the most crucial piece of furniture in a bedroom, was also brought in!
black and wooden tone side table or nightstand with silver hardware
Bed  |  Duvet Cover Set  |  Throw Pillows  | 

And no, this isn't a reveal, as this bedroom still needs to be improved in many other areas.

I'll be back with more about this bedroom in the following posts.

Have a great week!

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  1. I love the way it turned out! Can’t wait to see what you do with the whole room! (Those handles are gorgeous!)

    1. Hi Sheila, thanks!! I thought the black/gold handles were the original version. That black paint didn't want to go, but I was so happy to persevere as the silver version is amazing.


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