Sunday, April 3, 2011

A numbered nightstand

For some reason I'm attracted to old apothecary type items ........ maybe it's the scientist in me.   Things like a wall full of numbered drawers filled with all sorts of ingredients and shelves of bottles with neat old labels.  "Let me just get the eye of newt from drawer number 47, it will cure all your ailments!"  Maybe that's more from witches in movies :o)

Anyway, the reason for the post.  I can't remember where but sometime in the past week or so browsing the internet I came across a blog where someone had painted numbers on the drawers to a dresser.  I tried to find the blog again this weekend but couldn't so I tried to do as best I could from what I remembered.

Brian had a small nightstand that I had painted black because a while back I thought black furniture might look nice.  But hidden away in the corner, the nightstand just looked dreary.  So I decided maybe a fresh coat of paint and some new handles might bring it back to life.  Here's a before picture:

Here's another picture of the nightstand outside in better light:

So first I had to remove the old handles from the drawers.  They were actually just wine cork size pieces of wood that had been nailed to the drawers so I had to work at driving them out with a nail set:

And then prying them off with a hammer and driving the nails back through the inside (why couldn't they have just been simple screw on handles?!).

Once I had all the handles off I filled in the nail holes with wood filler and then gave the whole nightstand a light sanding to rough up the surface a bit.  Then I applied a coat of primer.  This time I tried an oil-based primer which was quite odorous even working outside (the weather has been nice!) and stickier it seemed than the water-based primer.  Therefore, I would recommend the water-based primer unless your task calls for the oil-based (the can states use for water, smoke, or tannin stains, sealing odors .... maybe it masks the odor with it's own!).

Next I applied two coats of Martha Stewart Paints' "Nimbus Cloud", a very light grey color.  After I let that dry for a while I got down to drilling the holes for the handles.  I bought cup-shaped pulls in a pewter finish that I thought would work nicely with the brushed nickel finish of the curtain rods and the lamp on the nightstand in our bedroom.  So I first measured and marked where I wanted the pulls to go and then got to drilling:

My first two drilling attempts were not quite successful (the holes being too small) but once I chose the correct drill bit I was good to go.  Here you can see the nightstand with it's new coat of paint and handles:

And now for where the numbered drawers, apothecary-style comes in.  I found a font online that I liked then enlarged it to the size I wanted and printed it out onto thick photo paper.  I then used an exacto knife to cut out the letters and numbers (I left off the curlique of the "N" just out of personal preference):

I then traced the letters onto the drawers and filled them in with black paint:

And here is a picture of the finished product:

Isn't it cute!  Here is a picture of it back in the bedroom performing it's duty as a nightstand:

And a bit of a closer view:

I'm loving it!  I wish it wasn't hidden-off in the corner of the room but was on full display.  Now I want to paint numbers on everything!


The Painted Parlor said...

Very cute!! Thank you for explaining how to do the numbering. Stop on over to my blog if you'd like sometime ~

Vintage Restyled said...

Good Work! I am your newest follower! Come for a visit at

Linda said...

Thanks Shannon! I really like what you have on your blog too! I added your button to my site :o)

Debra said...

Wonderful transformation! My daughter has a chest next to her bed that I am going to repaint and was debating on putting numbers on it. I think you've sold me!

Linda said...

Thanks Debra! Happy painting :o)

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