Let’s face it: nice furniture can be expensive! That’s why thrifting and upcycling furniture is so popular.  I love that I can find furniture in great condition at Goodwill and update it by stenciling it with just paint.

I found this little nightstand at my local Goodwill for just $8.  There was nothing wrong with it, it was just dated.  I remembered having something very similar to it when I was a kid.

I decided to use DecoArt’s Americana Chalky Finish Paint to update this piece.  The great thing about this paint is no priming or sanding is needed, not even on this slick laminate.  This piece has undergone heavy use in the last year, and the paint finish is still perfect.

To create this tone on tone design, you just need one color of paint plus wax.


  • Chalk Finish Paint in Relic
  • Soft Touch Varnish
  • Distressed Harlequin Stencil

Step one:  Wipe down the night stand and paint the entire piece (including hardware) with the Relic Chalk Finish Paint.

Step two:  Mix Soft Touch Varnish with Relic Chalk Finish Paint.  Use a mixture that is 3 parts varnish to one part paint.

Step three:  Tape the stencil to the top of the night stand and use a roller to apply the tinted varnish.  Repeat to cover the surface.

Step four:  Use the tinted varnish to paint the hardware, sides, and accents like the lines on the top and bottom of the drawers.

The soft varnish really is smooth to the touch.  I love the subtle tone on tone effect, and it has a slightly different look depending on the angle you look at it and the light hitting it.
Have fun crafting and stenciling with thrifted items!  You never know what you might find.
Disclosure:  This post was written as an official Goodwill San Antonio blogger, but all ideas and opinions are my own.


  1. I love to stalk craigslist, I know this is true of some people but maybe not me so much 🙂 though if there is something I’m looking for I have been known to obsess over finding it!


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