DIY: Upcycle an old nightstand to bathroom storage for free!

Remember 2 years ago (sure you do!) before I was a wife or mom when we found a bunch of old junk on the side of the road?

I finally got frustrated enough at the ugliness of the nightstand we got in that haul to turn it into a pretty¬†one to use as bathroom storage. You can do the same, or simply refresh an old nightstand for a bedroom — and all for the low, low price of $0!

nightstand to bathroom table upcycle


What do you think?

OK, before you answer, here’s how I did it. It was very easy and took very little time at all.



  • Old wooden nightstand
  • Blue¬†tape for edges
  • Dollar store knob
  • Leftover paint from a previous project.¬†Use any colour you like that you already have, or you can buy a sample quart — I barely used anything for this project
  • Water
  • Small container to mix paint with water
  • Medium-width [around 3″]¬†dollar store sponge paintbrush
  • 3″ wide bristle paintbrush
  • Rag to work paint further into wood grain [optional]

This ‘piece’¬†has¬†been in our washroom downstairs for a while holding TP and magazines. It works¬†well¬†since we have no counter space or cabinets —¬†the whole room is oddly laid-out, so it is good to have a bit of storage.

ugly green night stand before

Before the makeover — ugly phone pic.

Unfortunately there’s no¬†picture from way,¬†way before but I had swapped out the ugly old plastic floral drawer pull¬†that came with it, replacing it with this metal one from the dollar store. (Seriously! Huge improvement on its own!)

I taped off edges I didn’t want painted, including wrapping tape around the opened drawer so no paint got inside.

Then I¬†painted the top, shelves, inner walls and the face of the drawer with a grey we’d had mixed for the nursery. It is a paint+primer so I just painted over the old green. I could (should?) have sanded first but this was an impulse project and it happened to be -15 degrees celsius outside and we have no garage.

I opted against a pure grey stand, deciding instead to bring out a bit of the grain by washing the wood on the sides by diluting the same grey paint with some water.

Nightstand after DIY. Painted, "greywashed" and happy!

After! Painted and washed. Ugly phone pic!

This wash was around 40% water to 60% paint, though looking back on how many times I had to coat it, I’d probably go¬†with around 25% water¬†next time.

I don’t like to post projects before they’re totally finished, but since it might take a while before I can, know that I hope to¬†finish this with a clear coat when it gets a bit warmer outside. I think a bit of gloss is just what this needs, and it should protect from light wear and make it easier to clean.

(I’ll post¬†a new picture of it once it’s clear-coated!)

After! Nightstand upcycle DIY complete!

I put the goods on the shelves¬†for full effect. It’s working…!

And since I used stuff I had on hand, this entire project was free! [OK, maybe a dollar if you count the pack of two (2) knobs I bought a year and a half ago.]

And now to fancy it up with some baskets to hold that delightful TP stash. What do you think? Should I go with trendy wire basket or fabric basket to hide the rolls?

About Nikki

I've been writing since I was in kindergarten where I Crayola-markered an epic tale of a tiger and a balloon on a stack of lined papers folded into a booklet and stapled along the edge (carefully, and by my teacher). I love DIY, sewing, folksy music, animals and getting out to look at and listen to nature.
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