Guest Bedroom: White and Turquoise Nightstand Makeover

As part of revamping the guest bedroom, the nightstands got a little makeover going from brown and boring to a clean and bright, with a white top and sides, a turquoise or teal interior, and shiny new hardware. paint white and turquoise furniture

Ahhh, I do so love a good before and after.  I think it stems from years ago when I’d watch Chris Harrison host Designer’s Challenge on HGTV and I loved the reveal at the end of the show (now Chris has moved onto primetime hosting gigs – yay Bachelor!).

When I first started Operation Guest Room, I really wanted to ditch our old, heavy, dark nightstands.

dark brown nightstand

We’ve had these old nightstands for 10 years and never really loved them – we bought them from Pier 1 when we moved here straight out of law school and they lived in our master bedroom until we finally booted them to the guest bedroom last year.  When I started looking for new nightstands, I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted.  So I stared hard at these babies to see if they could be saved.  I decided yes.  Here’s how I got the nightstands from “before” to “after”:

white and aqua turquoise nightstand

  • removed doors and all hardware
  • filled holes then sanded entire nightstand (I used 80 grit)
  • primed with an oil-based primer, to ensure excellent paint adhesion
  • painted interiors of the nightstands the turquoise or aqua color – lightly sanding between coats
  • painted exteriors white – lightly sanding between coats
  • created a perfect line between the turquoise and white, at the bottom of the nightstand (no one wants a wobbly line)
  • sealed top of nightstands and bottom shelf of interior with polyurethane to really protect against scratches
  • drilled holes for new drawer hardware and installed same

Here’s the end result (still sitting in the painting zone, not yet styled in the guest room).

aqua nightstand

white and turquoise nightstand furniture

nightstand after3

I love having the new open bases to the nightstands instead of the cupboard doors.  And I really love how much brighter they are compared to the old brown.  I can’t wait to get them in the guest room and all styled up.  But first we need to deal with that yucko floor (hopefully starting tomorrow!).

Anyone else revamp an old piece of furniture you have on hand?  Or go outside your typical comfort zone with something bright and fun?  While I wouldn’t do this for all my furniture, the guest room sure is a fun place to experiment!


Linking up to :  Miss Mustard Seed.


  1. 2

    I love how you transformed the nightstands! It’s like night and day!
    And the tip on the perfectly staight line is genius!! Will defnitely be remembering that one for future projects!!

    Fabulously Vintage
    Shannon Loves Design

    P.s. I found you on the YHL Forums!! :)

  2. 4

    I love how modern this looks!

  3. 6

    Gosh, thats stunning! Can you please tell me what kind of paint you used? Latex or oil based? Im trying to get into painting my own furniture but can’t seem to get my head around the types of paints!

    • 7

      Hi Pearl – welcome to the furniture painting world, I think you’ll like it! When painting furniture, you need to do a coat of primer before your finish color. I prefer to use oil-based primer because it just sticks better (especially if you don’t want to waste a ton of time sanding and if your surface is glossy). You can try latex but if it comes off by scratching your fingernail on it, then chances are it won’t be very durable. Once your primer coat is on (or even two coats of primer for extra durability), you can use latex paint which is much easier for clean-up. Latex goes on over oil-based or latex primer. I usually use Zinsser oil-based primer and Behr latex for the finish. There are tons of different ways to go about painting furniture, but this process has worked for me! Good luck!

  4. 8

    Love the turquoise!! visiting from MMS

  5. 10
    Christina says:

    Hi! I’m painting my room white and turquoise. My room is all white right now but it has pen marks, scratches, etc. do I still need a primer for the white? And also what kind of primer should I use under the turquoise? (what color) Another thing is the people that lived here before me painted over the electric outlets so they stuck there. Should I paint over them or leave them?

    • 11

      Hi Christina. Sounds like you are making some necessary improvements! I have found that pen marks can bleed through paint, so priming first will really help stop this. Maybe at a minimum you can prime those spots (although a coat of primer on everything for even coverage would be best). Any primer is fine under turquoise, but if you want maybe one less coat of paint you could get the primer tinted to your turquoise paint color. I used white primer and then two coats of turquoise without any problem. As for the electrical outlets, I’d be inclined to get new covers and scrape off the paint on the plug part itself. Good luck!

  6. 12

    Looks great! Can you tell me the name of the turquoise paint colour you used?

  7. 14

    I am LOVING your transformation project, I wish that little beauty was mine! Thank you for sharing the paint color, Behr Eucalyptus Leaf, I’m going to use it because it looks so luscious!

    Can you also share what product you recommend to top-coat the turquoise latex paint? My goal is to achieve a high gloss, modern finish. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks so much Brit!


    • 15

      Hi Dee. So glad you love it! The nightstands are such a cheerful spot in our guest room.

      For a top-coat, I’d recommend something like Minwax’s Polycrylic which comes in “gloss”. There are other brands that come in high gloss, but if they are oil-based they will yellow a little bit which would not be great for going over turquoise. Love to see your finished project!

      Good luck…



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