The $3 Cute Nightstand

Room with $3 Night Stand

Do you need to spruce up a guest room without spending a lot of money? Do you have a piece of furniture that’s kind of ugly but it is still in good condition, has potential or you don’t want to part with it just yet?

I have a guest room that doubles as my office. I any given year, I will host at least 5 to 10 visits. Stays range from a week to three at times. A Murphy bed (the one you pull from the wall) is on the pipeline of projects, but to be honest, I did not want to spend to much money on this room.

However, I still want it to look inviting and comfortable. Here is a fun, easy project that can save you some money.


  • Furniture
  • Stencils
  • Spray paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Painter’s tape
  • Sanding paper
  • Painters or masking tape
  • Brown paper

Before doing anything, you must find out what the material is. This will tell you how to proceed. What is this made of? Is it wood, particle wood, a wood laminate perhaps? Does it have a coating?

The following procedure is for a particle wood nightstand. If you have wood and need to stain it, I suggest reading my post about kitchen cabinets and sanding.


  1. With a damp cloth, remove any dust or dirt. Do not soak!
  2. Allow to dry and sand a little bit. Enough to remove the upper layer of clear laminate (top coat, shellac, etc.). Remember, the purpose of sanding is to allow the new paint to stick. If you do not sand, the paint will not adhere properly and will peel very easily,
  3. Remove any dust from sanding with a clean brush. Wipe with a damp rag or denaturated alcohol. Use your judgment. Do not soak. Allow to dry.
  4. Paint a thin layer. It is better to do two thin layers than one thick one. Allow the first coat of paint to dry properly before doing the next one.Scattered Materials
  5. Play with the stencil placement. When you find the right spot, secure it with painters tape.There are two ways of painting with a stencil, you can paint it with a brush or spray paint it.- I chose to spray paint because I had left over gold spray paint. If you are choosing this method, remember to cover the rest of the furniture.-I you are using a brush, than all you need to do is secure the stencil and paint. Practice with the stencil in paper so that you get an idea of the technique.

Tips for buying “junk” furniture. Before you buy:

  • Inspect the exterior and the interior, including the bottom parts. Make sure there is no water damage, termites, and if there is damage, is it worth it? Can you really fix it? Is it sturdy?
  • How much are you willing to spend for that piece and how much will you have to invest to fix it? Maybe you have some materials floating around? Or will you have to invest too much money in fabric, paints, sanding machine, etc. for just one item?

Economics of my nightstand:

  • $3 for the night stand
  • $5 for stencils

I already had:

  • Paint
  • Spray paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Painter’s tape
  • Sanding paper
  • Painters or masking tape
  • Brown paper


So my total for this Project was $8…All right, lets say $15 to include the use of materials I already had. Still, this is cheap and a good Saturday craft. Enjoy.

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