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Painting a nightstand: crime or fun?

The world gets divided into two when it comes to the question: when you want to renovate your nightstand, should you paint it or not? There are two major opinions in this matter, two approaches that are exactly against each other. In this article we’ll give some background information about how people reason and think of these projects, and also, we’ll show you how we paint our nightstands as a finishing phase of our manufacturing process.



Renovating a wooden nightstand: 2 ways


If you have a piece of furniture, do not throw it out - renovate it instead. That’s how DIYers think, and this approach offers multiple benefits. First of all, a nightstand reno project is not just a nice and creative way for spending your free time, but you contribute to sustainability as well. By reusing what you already have, you decrease environmental impact and the amount of trash that goes out from your household.


When you decide painting a nightstand, it usually has one of the these two possible reasons:

  • the surface or edges of your nightstand got damaged and you would like to repair it

  • you simply do not like the color and would like to change it to something else to have a better match with your interior or current liking

However, when the given piece of furniture is made of solid wood, opinions may vary.


Some DIYers say that it is a crime to paint a solid wood surface, because the painting makes the real wooden characteristics disappear (the paint covers the wooden texture) and you will end up with a piece of furniture of a much lower price range. Instead, these people recommend keeping the original characteristics of the solid wood furniture. According to them, a solid wood furniture will always have its charm and the best way of renovating it is properly re-sanding and finishing it, keeping its original look.


However, the other half of DIYers think that their needs and interior goals are more important - if the design requires a fully other color, why not paint a nightstand? They choose to paint the surface and are willing to change its look completely.



We at mybettershelf share the same view as the first group. Solid wood furniture is at a completely another price level and requires a higher level of craftsmanship to make it, therefore, painting it will reduce the quality and move it into a much lower category, if we might say. However, we think there is a golden mean between painting or not painting a nightstand… a woodworking method we also frequently use.


Staining instead of painting a nightstand


An efficient alternative to painting a nightstand is staining it. The difference between stains and paints is how they get in contact with the wooden surface: the paint covers the wood texture and fills the wood pores / vessels, unlike the stain, which seeps into the wooden surface, letting its texture remain visible. The furniture will keep its solid wood look, it just gets another color.



With stains, you can not just lighten and darken the same color, but can give a different color as well to your nightstand.


In the example below, we show the difference between our standard oak entryway shelf and the white-stained model:



How we paint our nightstands


The only time we paint our nightstands is when the material is not solid wood. Our MDF models are painted in a professional painter workshop - a similar place where cars get their finish. The special painting cabins offer a dust-free environment to achieve an immaculate finish. Such painted finish consists of three separate layers, a base layer and two finishing layers, to achieve the right paint thickness and an even surface.


painting a nightstand

Our standard finish is semi-gloss, but we frequently get custom requests for matte or high-gloss surfaces as well. These are all possible, and you can customize the color, too - any color is possible from the RAL list or from the NCS list.



Interested in a custom color nightstand? Feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to send you a custom offer.


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