August 29, 2023

How To Turn an Old Desk into Nightstands

This is by far one of the best ways to save money on nightstands and also end up with something unique for your space! If you need help finding a desk go read our blog that teaches you how to find these desks on Marketplace “How to Search Marketplace Like a Pro”. We have photos of 12 common desks we see on the marketplace all the time in the blog. These will visually help you know what to pick. These Desks can range anywhere from free to a couple hundred dollars. I always go for the free or cheap (aka what fits the budget) option as long as the style and size will work for what I need them for. Ok, let’s get started and show you “How to turn an Old Desk into NIghtstands.”

Step #1, Find your desk

This can seem like the most overwhelming part of this project. I promise I have made this part the easiest for you. First, go read our blog post on “12 Common Marketplace Desks you can turn into Nightstands “How to Search Marketplace Like a Pro”. It has pictures of common ones we see all the time on marketplace that will work. We also have tips on how to be successful in your search for your desk.

Step #2

Go get that desk you love and bring it home! The second hardest part can be committing to the right desk choice. Rule of thumb…if you love it go pick it up. Great Marketplace finds don’t last long and you have to be quick. So commit and pick your desk and bring it home!

Step #3

Plan out what your want your nightstands to end up looking like. This will include paint or stain color choice. Your hardware handle/knob choice. Depending what kind of top the desk has you may need to replace or redo what is currently there. Make these choices before you start.

Step #4

Disassembling the desk is going to feel very stressful and not right. Trust the process and just get this part done asap. You can do 1 of 2 things at this time. Either cut the top of the desk and leave the tops attached and redo as is. Or, you can remove the entire top of the desk and replace it with new wood pieces to better fit the final look you are going for.

For our desk I decided to ditch the top completely. If you go this route you will want to flip the desk over. You will be able to see the screws or whatever bracket is holding the top on easier. Remove those screws or brackets and you should have yourself two separate nightstands now.

Step #5

Assess any damage on the nightstand pieces and fix as needed. This is where you will want to either strip or sand down any existing paint or sealer to get it to bare wood. Or, prime and sand to prep for painting. This is why I said have your visual game plan of what you want them to end up looking like in the beginning. Getting to this point is the fun part and you want to make sure you do the right step next.

I chose to paint these. This meant a lot less sanding and overall work to get to my next step. I fixed any damage I saw and prepped the nightstands for paint. I used a putty knife and some wood filler.

Step #6

Whether you chose to stain or paint your nightstands, that is the next. You will want to use stain/sealer combo or primer/paint combo depending on what you chose for your overall look. I chose to paint my nightstands so we are using a primer underneath the paint first. Then we painted them with my go to Black Paint Color Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black. I love this color, it is my go to all throughout our home!

Step #7

This step will be dependent on whether you chose to keep the top your desk had originally. Or, you replaced the tops with new wood. This is the step where you will want to install the new tops or finish the existing tops as they are with stain or paint. I chose to replace the top of this desk. I was going for a two tone wood and black look.

Step # 8

Let’s do one last thing and add some hardware back onto our nightstands. Two options here…keep the original hardware and repaint or clean up to original. Or, get entirely new hardware you are obsessed with. I chose new hardware I was obsessed with. These leather and brass handles gave me more of a modern sleek look. I love these handles and how they finish our nightstands so perfectly.

I can’t wait to see what you create! My favorite part about this how to turn a desk into nightstands upcycle. Is knowing you will end up with something so perfectly unique for your space! Be bold with your choices on designing these, you won’t regret it! I can’t wait to see what you make!

As always, we love hearing from you and your experience with “How to turn an Old Desk into Nightstands” helped you! If you need more help on how to find and pick a desk go read our “How to Search Marketplace Like a Pro” !!!! Head over to our social channels anytime where you can find videos of us making all kinds of things for our home!

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