How to upcycle your bedside table

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How to upcycle your bedside table

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Upcycling bedroom furniture is the best way to update your room. Give your boring old bedside table a new lease of life with just a lick of paint, some hessian fabric and a new set of handles. This bedside drawer makeover is simple and stylish – what’s not to love? Here’s how:

Tools and materials

120-grit sandpaper

Paint tray

180-grit Sandpaper

Paint stirrer

Awl

Painters tape

Bedside table

Paint tin opener

Combination square

Pencil

Dust mask

Pliers

Drill

Primer

Drill bit set (with Phillips head)

Rags

Ear protection

Sanding block

Electric sander

Scissors

Eye protection

Spakfilla

Hessian fabric

Spray contact adhesive

New drawer handles

Spray paint

Paint

Tape measure

Paint brushes and rollers

 

Overview of materials and tools needed to upcycle a bedside table

1. Remove handles and hardware

Before doing anything, remove your drawers and grab a screwdriver to unscrew the existing handles and hardware from the side of the drawer. Keep these handy by popping them into a cup or a zip-lock bag – so they don’t disappear!

2. Fill the old handle holes with Spakfilla

If you’ve decided to replace the handles on your drawers with new ones – like we’re doing – you’re going to need to fill the existing holes with Spakfilla. Scrape on, then smooth away any excess and set aside to wait for it to dry. Once it is, give it a light sand with 180-grit sandpaper, then wipe clean.

Applying Spakfilla to fill holes in bedside drawer

3. Sand your bedside table

If you’re doing this by hand, make sure you have ample sanding blocks and pieces of sandpaper – you’re going to need quite a bit to get the table down to its natural timber. Using an electric sander might be easier. Pick up one of these from Bunnings. Make sure you have your dust mask and eye protection on for this – you’ll end up covered in dust, and you don’t want to be breathing that stuff in!

Sanding bedside table with an electric sander

4. Wipe away the dust

Before applying the primer, grab a damp cloth and sponge your cupboard clean. You need it to be dry and dust-free before applying the paint.

5. Tape up your edges

Before you begin priming and painting, apply some painter’s tape to the edges of your cupboards and drawers – this will allow for a nice, neat finish.

Applying tape to sides of bedside table drawer

6. It’s prime time!

It’s prime time! For this we’re using a Zinsser shellac-based primer, just in case there’s any oily residue left over from the old paint. This primer dries really quickly, so you should be able to paint fairly soon after applying. Just remember to give it a light sand after, then wipe away the dust – this way the paint will adhere more easily.

Painting bedside table with a paint brush

7. You’re ready to paint your bedside tables!

Before pouring your paint into the tray, give your tin a good shake so the pigment is well distributed. Then you’re ready for your topcoat – roll it on in long, even strokes. Use a brush for all those tricky to reach places. Wait for it to dry, then give it a light sand with 180-grit sandpaper before applying a second coat. While this is drying, you may want to spray your handles. We chose a Rose Gold colour, which we applied using a spray can after giving the handles a light sand (this helps the paint stick easier).

Painting feet of bedside table with paint brush

8. Mark up where you want your handles

Once the paint is dry, use a tape measure and a pencil to mark up where the handles go – mark the centre point first. Then place the handle against it and mark up where the screw holes are on your handle. Mark those spots with a pencil. To make sure your handle is screwed on even and straight, use a square.

Measuring placement of new drawer handles with a tape measure

9. Drill holes for the handles

Before you start drilling, make sure your drill bit is a little larger than your screw to make sure it’s the perfect fit.

Drilling pilot holes for new drawer handles

10. Spray on your adhesive

Affix your hessian with a spray adhesive – simply spray on to the front of the drawers and wait five or so seconds before placing the hessian over the top. Try to ensure you get the grain of the hessian straight. Once it’s in place, simply cut around the edges of the drawer. It’s best to leave about an inch overlap on each side when you’re initially measuring your material, then trim your piece to fit the edges of the drawer.

Spraying adhesive on to drawer front

11. Re-attach your handles

Poke some holes through the hessian using your awl (or a screwdriver), and screw in your new handles, then re-attach any hardware from the sides. Your bedside table upcycle is complete!

Applying new drawer handle onto cabinet front

12. All ready to go

It’s as easy as that to refresh and improve the quality of an old set of bedside tables.

Keep watching

Watch the full episode and more D.I.Y. projects from Make It Yours Episode 2: Master Bedroom Makeover by Geneva.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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