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Nightstand Flip

Updated: Feb 13, 2023

Finding the perfect nightstand can be quite the challenge. These black nightstands on the left are my husbands great grandmother's and my sister-in-law used them in her bedroom. These nightstands have seen many trends-its original stain, white, and black. Over the years it has been chipped away and now it was a question of Goodwill or some TLC. When I saw these I knew they had great potential for what I was envisioning in our bedroom.

I have been inspired by so many who have found beautiful pieces and use oven cleaner to create a stunning vintage inspired wood stain. I knew this would be a pretty big project and I have never stripped a furniture piece of its paint. I had no clue what I was getting into. I went to Lowes and purchased everything I thought I would need based on other projects I had seen completed.

  • paint stripper

  • paint remover tool

  • palm sander

  • sanding disks

  • oven cleaner

  • dawn dish soap

  • scrub brush

  • new hardware

click on the image to shop my supplies

The first step in this project is to apply a paint remover. I used a paint remover that was in a can on my first nightstand but I would highly recommend using a paste rather than can. It worked so much better on the second nightstand. As you can see in my photo, the paint starts bubbling up almost immediately. The specific brand of paint remover I used calls for you to wait 15 minutes before you start attempting to remove. I ended up leaving mine on for about 30 minutes- there were two layers of paint I was trying to remove so I wanted to make sure it really soaked through. Once I felt as though it was bubbling all around I was ready to start working on removing the paint.

This was buy far the longest most painful process. When removing the paint I ended up using multiple tools. I first used this scraper. It works very well and is very sharp-almost too sharp. This is where I ran into problems. I found that it did a great job removing the paint but I ended up removing chunks of wood in the process- which made this process take even longer because I had to be very carful of the angle I was holding the scraper. I ended up purchasing a different one that required more elbow grease but it was way better and did not dig into the actual wood!

Then came the little details which is what makes this piece have so much character but is what also made this project such a pain. This is where I got creative because the scraper was way too big. I went through all of our tools and ended up grabbing a couple flat heads of different sizes and a putty knife. I basically just used them as I went. It was a lot of trial and error to figure out which worked best for each nook and cranny.

Once all the paint was removed I was able to sand it down to the natural wood. This was by far the most satisfying part of the job because I was able to really see the true wood tone. If you do not own a palm sander buy one!!! They are very reasonably priced and I have the one I used linked here. This palm sander has different levels of speed and the sand paper rounds Velcro to the pad. Don't forget to wear your safety goggles because wow is this messy!

Your in the home stretch! Now is when it gets easier. Spray the ish out of the nightstands with Easy Off Oven cleaner. Yes you heard me right! I am no scientist and have no clue how it works but the coloring it gives the wood is breathtaking. This stuff stinks so I would highly suggest doing this outside or keep your garage doors open. As soon as you finish spraying leave the premises! The time you allow this to sit is totally up to you. I was loving the color of the night stands after I sanded so I left it on for 30 minutes. I know some have left it on longer or do multiple rounds of oven cleaner. I decided to do 30 minutes and see how they look. Once the 30 minutes passed, I scrubbed them down with a mixture of dawn dish soap and water. Once I felt as though I scrubbed the entire nightstand, I hosed it down thoroughly and left it to sit outside over night.

I could not believe how beautiful these nightstand turned out. It was absolutely terrible to tackle and I don't want to do it again but I am so pleased with the finished product. I also loved how it revealed the black detail around the drawers and the natural coloring of the wood. I would highly recommend sealing but that is something I have not done so my husband knows drinks are not allowed on these nightstands. Once we seal I will edit this post with the sealer we use! If you have any recommendations please comment your suggestions!

Please email me at or tag me on Instagram @loganmmaggio with your finished project!

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