This post was sponsored by Rustoleum and JOANN Fabrics and Crafts. All opinions are mine!

I changed up nearly everything in our bedroom. The bed, the bedding, and I even painted a new mural behind the bed. It looked great, but the nightstands needed to go. The previous nightstands were a big too big and tall for the new space. We upgraded to a King bed and the nightstands felt out of place.

Dressing Up Old Furniture with New Paint

I believe in the power of paint. I mean, have you seen my house?! Paint can take an old rambler in desperate need of renovation to a bright, inspiring, and creative space. Paint can breathe new life into furnishings of all kinds too.

I felt like this space was complete, but it just needed different nightstands. I didn’t want to go out and buy several hundred dollars worth of nightstands. I needed something that was not only functional, but interesting.

I went out to my garage and dug around through my Goodwill finds. I had some cute, small wooden nightstands thrifted at a dirt-cheap price that I hadn’t really used yet in my home.

Cute wooden nightstand that I found thrifting
Wooden nightstand prior to my first failed attempt at painting it with wall paint

Poor First Attempt at Painting Nightstands

These wooden nightstands were great, but they had a laminate surface. While I know that paint usually doesn’t stick well to these surfaces without some grit and/or primer, I went ahead and used some normal wall paint I had lying around.

Dear friends, I never seem to learn this lesson. It always pays to use the right product or tool.

After slapping that normal wall paint on, I stood back, admired my work and put it in place in my bedroom.

After a couple of days of light use the painted started scratching off. Plates, cups, book edges were catching the paint and making a mess of my rushed paint job.

The scratching got so bad that I could barely use the nightstand.

Preparing the Nightstands for Rust-Oleum Paint

The nightstands finally reached a frustration breaking point. I took them outside on a sunny day and started peeling and scratching off all the wall paint on the nightstands.

Once I got most of the paint off, I used my orbital sander to sand off the remaining paint. I did another pass with the orbital sander to make sure that the surface of both dressers was roughed up enough to grip the paint better.

Using an orbital sander on a wooden nightstand prior to painting it with spray paint
Wooden nightstand with patches of wall paint that need to be sanded away
Sanded finish on a wooden nightstand
Roughed-up wooden nightstand with an orbital sander

Picking the Rust-Oleum Paint for my Nightstands

My new wall treatment is very, very colorful. The color blocks made it necessary to ground that bold color with more muted and neutral tones in the furnishings.

I was very worried about color selection with spray paints. It’s easy to find the right wall paint colors as you can have them mixed and you have a huge selection.

Finding the right Rust-Oleum spray paint turned out to be much easier than I had hoped. They have a variety of color options that I was able to scan through until I found this incredible color called Castle Rock. It’s has a neutral tone, but is still warm enough to work in a space like my bedroom.

I picked a matte finish and the Rust-Oleum Universal spray paint. I usually pick matte or satin finishes because I think it looks nice in every home environment and you don’t have to worry about light reflecting or bouncing off the surface. I had no idea how many finishes were available from Rust-Oleum.

Love this Rust-Oleum Castle Rock Universal spray paint and primer for my wooden nightstands

Ordering Rust-Oleum Through JOANN

With everything going on with COVID-19, I sometimes feel like I’m walking out into some post-apocalyptic novel into the unknown with my mask on the way to a store. I don’t like to venture out unless I know what I’m getting and that it’s in stock.

The JOANN app lets you order curbside pickup and you can filter their products by what is in store.

Why Spray Paint?


What I love about spraypaint is that it feels more durable than other paints. I don’t know if it’s the type of paint, but I feel like spray paint gives you a hard finish.

Any time I’m painting if I want it to stick well, I use spray paint.

Primed & Ready to Go!

Even better, Rust-Oleum’s spray paint is a 2 in 1 and acts as though you already have primer on there. I love saving myself from having to do several coats of primer prior to painting the thing.

Super Fast

I am constantly jumping from project to project. Spray paint allows for fast turnarounds for spaces without breaking the bank or taking me a whole weekend.

It’s also easy to paint it a different color or change things up if it doesn’t work. Spray paint makes it easy to change your mind and not feel like it’s a final version.

Detail & Intricate Surfaces

Spray paint is phenomenal for furniture with detailed wood carvings, intricate flourishes, and all the nooks and crannies you might find on a piece. I find that it works great for picture frames with a lot of decoration or surface variety. Not to mention, you won’t get streaks or texture like you do from brushes and rollers.

You get a nice smooth surface as long as you do good prep work and apply it carefully.


How to Spray Paint Nightstands

It’s important that you follow the instructions on your spray paint. Most importantly, make sure that you are the proper distance from the piece you are painting. This will help make sure the paint doesn’t pool up or drip.

I highly recommend testing your spray paint strokes on another surface before attempting it on a piece of furniture.

When you apply the spray paint, make sure to do multiple multiple light coats on it. Very lightly pass over the furniture on all sides and inspect for any drips. Repeat this process until the furniture has a nice even coat.

It doesn’t take a ton of paint either! I painted two night stands with a nice, even coat and only used two cans of paint. One can of paint per nightstand. I couldn’t have planned it better!

Spray-Painted Nightstand Durability

We’ve now had these nightstands painted for over a month and I’m pleased to say, it has worked incredibly well. Compared to my first attempt with wall paint, the spray-painted coat is hard and shows no signs of scratching or peeling.

This is good new because I feel like nightstands frequently get more objects dragged across them or dropped on them. I say this because when I set my phone down for bed I pretty much toss it. And I’m guessing you aren’t particularly nice to your alarm clock either.

Spray paint is a great option for revitalizing some furniture in your home that needs some new life.


Spray Paint All the Things

The only downside of this is now is that I’ve started to spiral. Spray paint is so easy to apply and I started looking for things around our home to revive.

I spray painted my kids helmets into fun, bright, bold colors. I’ve restored some dormant picture frames and I even spray painted the mats. It brought an old frame from my garage to one of my main walls.

And even better, I’ve started to look outdoors too. We have these awful metal fence poles dug deep in the ground that we can’t remove. Slightly concerned that they are actually fixtures of the earth’s mantle and not actually man-made. They aren’t going anywhere and now I’m going to spray paint stripes up and down those puppies.

Our kids plastic outdoor play sets are sunworn and faded. Spray paint is coming!

The old, rusty, metal swingset in our backyard that looks like an abandoned AT-AT from Star Wars? Paint it all!

Spray paint lowers the barrier for adding color to your life, so grab a couple of cans and start making!

Check out other projects from makers like me ​#handmadewithJOANN!