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When it comes to making over a beach house on the cheap, my family doesn’t just get our hands dirty knocking down kitchen walls and turning a tiny closet into a beachy bookcase, we’re also all-in when it comes to filling the beach house with one-of-a-kind furnishings.

My 18-year-old nephew scored this solid cherry bedside table for a song at an estate sale last fall. It was quite literally falling apart so he used his charisma and law-school-bound negotiating skills to get the seller to throw it in (for free!) with the rest of our haul. After my dad replaced missing bits and stabilized it, this once shabby little nightstand was ready for a chic makeover:
Beachy Rustic Nightstand Before and After

My sister and I decided to paint it black but re-stain the top to match an antique chest-on-chest on the bedroom’s opposite wall. Even though the finish was pretty scuffed up, more sanding was necessary to provide “tooth” for the paint while an orbital sander made short work of completely stripping the top so it could be stained. Because I planned to distress the paint to highlight details and allow the cherry wood to show thru, one coat of black paint was all I needed:
Sanding and Painting Rustic Nightstand

Once the paint had fully dried, I used sand paper to give the table a time-worn, distressed look. The key to distressing is to concentrate sanding on areas that would have naturally seen the most wear, like any raised details, corners and along edges. Next, I brushed the top with an oil-based stain, then used a cotton rag to wipe the same stain over the remainder of the nightstand. The stain soaked into the distressed areas to create a more realistic time-worn look.
Sanding and Staining Rustic Nightstand

For less than $20 in materials, this little table (that was once destined for the trash) provides handy bedside storage and adds just the right cottage touch to the master bedroom. Finished Cottage-Style Nightstand*Three years later, the beach house is still a work in progress; keep checking back for more thrifty transformations.

Budget Beach Cottage: Make a Nautical Rope Mirror
Budget Beach Cottage Before and After: Built-In Bookcase
Budget Beach Cottage Before and After: Kitchen
Budget Beach Cottage Before and After: Living Room
Adventures in Antiquing: Easy Beachy Candle Update

10 Responses

  1. Janice K. says:

    The table turned out beautifully.

  2. Chris says:

    I love how the basket underneath looks. Table is fantastic.

  3. DSK says:

    You must be so proud of your nephew for being such a good bargain hunter. Keep us informed on his law career, may need a Savvy lawyer someday.. Can't wait for your next post. Love everything you've done so far.

  4. Beth D. says:

    I've enjoyed following along on this journey as you and your family have re-done the beach house. And this little table is no disappointment either. Looks great. I, too, love the basket underneath.

  5. Davis says:

    Beautiful table restoration! For my furniture projects, I use <a href="http://www.lookintheattic.com” target=”_blank”>www.lookintheattic.com when I need new "old" hardware. They have the best selection online!

  6. matt kirk says:

    Stellar work Camille! Looking forward to more installments of the "beach house journey". Your nephew seems like an up-and-coming young chap. keep up the good work!

  7. Rebecca says:

    Love the beach house and antique blogs the most.

  8. [...] BEACH HOUSE MAKEOVERS: Budget Beach Cottage: Bedside Table Before and After Budget Beach Cottage: Make a Nautical Rope Mirror Budget Beach Cottage Before and After: Built-In [...]

  9. Timmy Epp says:

    Joh .. Ik ben niet veel in lezen, maar een of andere manier kreeg ik te veel artikelen te lezen op uw blog. Haar verbazingwekkend hoe interessant het is voor mij om u te bezoeken heel vaak. -

  10. Britta Flosi says:

    Hey – mooie weblog, alleen maar kijken over een aantal blogs, lijkt een vrij mooi platform je gebruikt. Ik ben momenteel met behulp van WordPress voor een paar van mijn websites, maar op zoek naar een van hen te veranderen dan om een ??platform vergelijkbaar met de jouwe als een proefvaart. Iets in het bijzonder zou je suggereren over het?

H. Camille SmithCamille is a managing editor for HGTV.com, fine artist and antique furniture devotee. As a former interior designer and Nickelodeon animator, she has a real passion for balanced, beautiful interiors...


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