DIY Interior Design,  Interiors On A Budget

My Retro Bedside Table Refurb, Part 2

I know, I left you all in suspense in My Retro Bedside Table Refurb Part 1.

In my defence, you guys got a chance to really think about that preparation process which is so so so important to a successful DIY result. I’m not going to make you wait any longer though, here is My Retro Bedside Table Refurb Part 2: Finishing! Yay! (As per usual, if you haven’t read Part 1 to this blog post, then go back and read it – this will just make zero sense if you don’t)



Step 4: Paaaaaaainting! I did a lot of research into choosing the correct paint for this project. I ended up purchasing a Chalk Emulsion Paint by Porters Paints in the colour Obsidian. This paint gave my bedside tables a soft, matte finish which I feel provided a more professional feel as all of my brush strokes and uneven painting was masked by the imperfect paint texture. If I had used a satin or gloss finish paint, every single brush stroke or piece of dust that decided to land on my project would have been clear as day… No. Thank. You!

I purchased a horse hair paint brush from Porters Paints while I was there for painting the smaller, more fiddly parts of my bedsides (the legs and joins mostly). For the larger, flat areas of the tables I used a paint roller – this saved time and gave a smoother finish to my painting. To achieve a ‘perfect’ paint finish, all of the DIY professionals recommend sanding between each coat of paint but… I chose not to do this. As I am not as patient a human as clearly these people are. I did 3 coats of paint on each bedside table. (I was also in the middle of binge listening to ‘My Favorite Murder’ podcast while I completed this task. I highly recommend listening to murder stories while painting, great fun).

Remember to always protect your floor (and your freshly painted table) with a tarp or sheet. No matter how neat you think you are, you will always end up dripping something, trust me. 

Step 5: Protect & varnish your table! Simply painting your table is not enough, you need to protect the surface of your bedside table. Even if you don’t plan to pile up tea cups and water glasses onto that bad boy (I know you’re lying). Dust can build up on the surface and ruin your expertly applied paint finish. I chose to finish my bedsides with the accompanying Stucco Wax from Porters Paints. I hand applied this with a muslin cloth, also purchased from Porter’s Paints (it really is a DIY one-stop shop over there).

The Stucco Wax was much, much smellier than I had anticipated. I didn’t investigate this and I applied my first coat indoors which was a huge mistake. My whole apartment smelt like turpentine for days (this is a really great way to make your flat mates hate you), I think I also lost several brain cells in the process and had a pounding headache. Learn from my mistakes, friends. Do everything in a well-ventilated space, preferably outside. I ended up applying 2 coats of Stucco Wax while allowing the coats to dry for 24 hours each. 

Step 6: Sand off the Stucco Wax and re-varnish with a clear coat protectant. I found that the finish I achieved with the Stucco Wax was not durable enough for a bedside table, even with coasters (I pile up tea cups and water glasses on the reg. obvs). I decided to re-finish my tables with a clear coat polyurethane varnish that had a matte finish, not gloss. This way I still retained my matte appearance but the polyurethane varnish is a lot more durable than the Stucco Wax. I gave my tables a light sand to remove the wax, I applied a coat of paint and then applied the new clear coat varnish. Although the finish of the clear coat wasn’t as nice and rustic looking as the wax finish was, I couldn’t live with the softness and lack of water resistance that the wax finish gave.

Step 7: Hardware time! I planned ahead for this element of my bedside table refurb and actually, waiting for my new handles held up the production time of my project up by weeks! But it was worth it. I ordered a set of brass bamboo style drawer handles from Ebay. I think they cost about $9 for both and came in about 4 weeks. It took a lot of thinking and measuring to decide which size I should buy. I purchased the 9mm size which ended up being perfect! After measuring up the holes and drilling them in, my bedside tables were now adorned with their lovely jewellery. 

Step 8: Line that drawer! When I purchased these bedside tables, one had a sweet drawer liner that looked like 1970’s gift wrap and the other had been drawn in by some child saying “Robyn waz here”. Sadly for Robyn, I covered up her (or his) claim to fame. I purchased some wallpaper offcuts from… you guessed it Porter’s Paint. I matched the paint colour perfectly with this metallic bubble design. It really was fate as I found the peeeeeerfect match! I trimmed the wallpaper to size and used a spray adhesive purchased from Bunnings to apply the drawer liner. 

Step 9: Just kidding, you’re done! Yayyyyy!

And there you go. The journey of a pair of unloved bedside tables, now being cherished and looked after in their newly made-over state (it’s just like Clueless, but the furniture edition). 

Now go forth and trawl eBay, Gum Tree and Facebook Marketplace for rejected furniture that you can pump full of life and smelly toxic Stucco Wax. 

Until next time! xx