10 Creative Painted Nightstand Ideas for the Sweetest Dreams

Grab your paintbrush and get ready to give your bedside table a whole new look.

Published October 6, 2023


All you need to take your new or vintage nightstands from blah to ahh is a great paint job, and it's actually way easier than you might think. There are tons of painted nightstand ideas to choose from, but these are some with lots of decorating potential (and you don't have to be a pro to pull them off, either).

Get Your Graffiti Game On

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There's no reason your bedside can't have a rebellious side, and we love the idea of painting a nightstand with graffiti. This is an awesome way to elevate a nightstand you got at the thrift store (or, if you're really resourceful, you picked it up curbside).

Start by removing the hardware and spray painting the nightstand black. Then get funky with your favorite colors of spray paint. Replace the hardware when it's dry.

Quick Tip

Don't forget to add a clear top coat when you're done painting your nightstand. These tables get a ton of use with water glasses, books, and alarm clocks scuffing up their surface. A top coat can protect your hard work.

Stencil Your Way to Spectacular Painted Nightstands

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One of the easiest nightstand paint projects is stenciling. We love going super neutral for the nightstand and the stencil too — just keep the tones a little different.

After removing the hardware, sanding, and priming, paint your nightstand a neutral color like grey. Then use a stencil to create a cool design. Tiles and geometric patterns are fun and add an instant upgrade.

Stripe It Up

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Stripes are about as easy as it gets, and they're an instant visual pop in any room. Start by painting the nightstand one color (sand and prime first, of course). When that's dry, use painter's tape to cover the nightstand in stripes. Paint it the other color and carefully remove the tape.

Mix Paint and Paper in Your Nightstand Upcycling Project

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So when it comes to creative paint jobs, it's hard to beat adding a little paper in the form of decoupage. This is way easier than it looks, too.

  1. After prepping the nightstand and removing the hardware, paint it a color that will match the paper you've chosen.
  2. Once the paint is dry, use a decoupage medium like Mod Podge on the area you want to paper. You can just paint it on with a foam brush.
  3. Carefully apply the paper and smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles.
  4. Add more decoupage medium over the top and let it dry.
Quick Tip

We love using old wallpaper samples, vintage wrapping paper, or even magazines to decoupage furniture. Choose your paper first and then pick a paint color that matches.

Watercolor Your Way to Gorgeous Bedside Tables

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Another super creative nightstand paint idea is to give your bedside tables a watercolor effect. This is a really pretty look, and you can do it with watercolor paper or paint it yourself.

To paint it yourself, start with a white base and then dilute the paint with glaze (we like a mix of three parts glaze to one part paint. Layer several colors with an abstract pattern.)

Combine Paint and Plain Wood for a Two-Toned Look


Use the painter's tape method for stripes, but instead of painting the nightstands two different colors, leave some of the original wood finish. We love making geometric patterns like chevrons or tiles with this. It feels sophisticated and fun.

Quick Tip

There's no rule that says you have to do the entire nightstand in the paint idea you choose. Why not do just the drawers or just the top?

Embrace a Pop of Color on Painted Nightstands

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We love a beautiful hot pink, especially when there's a neutral color highlighting the details. To make the most of this look, you need a nightstand with tons of personality. French Provincial or carved wooden details can be perfect.

Paint the entire nightstand a bright color to start. Once that's dry, use a brush to highlight the details in another shade. Gold is a great choice.

Add a Metallic Paint Layer

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Give your painted nightstand a little extra glamor with a layer of metallic paint. Dilute the paint with glaze and add it as a top layer over another color. It will provide shimmer and tone down the base color to more of a neutral.

You can also use a metallic layer when you're distressing furniture, allowing the gold or silver to show through another color of paint.

Leave the Nightstand Tops Wood Toned

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A great way to update older vintage nightstands is to paint the base and legs a neutral color and leave the top wood toned. We love how this feels modern and a little funky at the same time.

To do it, just use paper to cover the top of the nightstand. Tape it on with painter's tape that goes right to where you want the paint to start. Then paint the nightstand in your chosen color and remove the tape when it's dry.

Assemble Your Own Nightstand and Unite With Paint

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One of our very favorite painted nightstand ideas involves assembling a nightstand from other things and then painting the whole thing one color. This is perfect for old suitcases or even a vintage crate. Just add legs or base (you can even salvage it from another piece) and then use spray paint to give it a custom look.

Combine Lots of Painted Nightstand Ideas for a Unique Look


There are so many great nightstand paint ideas to choose from that we kind of hate to pick. And what's great about getting creative with your furniture is that you don't actually have to settle for one idea. You can combine paper, bright paint, metallic paint, and pretty much anything you like to create custom furniture that's uniquely you.

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10 Creative Painted Nightstand Ideas for the Sweetest Dreams