I took them out to the garage and used the orbital sander to lightly rough up the surface over everything but the drawer front, which I sanded down to the bare wood for staining.
Once they were dusted off, I applied two coats of oil based primer to the main body of both nightstands.
Followed by three coats of semi-gloss acrylic paint.
I applied one coat of my go-to stain, Rustoleum's Kona, to the drawer fronts. After that dried, I applied one coat of semi-gloss spar-urethane to the drawer fronts and the night stands. I applied it very lightly to the painted areas because I was afraid of yellowing. Turns out I was right to be, because there are some definite yellow areas. Rats.
Before moving on to the dresser, there was a project I wanted to complete on the wall above the dresser. I had some Ikea mirrors on the wall that I had fallen out of love with, and so I took them down.
As you can see, I had applied some of them before painting the room. They were stuck on with adhesive squares, so there was some drywall damage when I pried them off the wall.
Nothing a little spackle and paint can't fix.
Then, through the magic of the Internet, and a trip to Ikea, the new frames were up and ready to be filled with photos. Which also meant it was time to paint the dresser.
The process was the same as with the nightstands: two coats of oil based primer and three coats of semi-gloss white.
I painted the larger drawer fronts in the dining room, which the cats thoroughly enjoyed.
After much discussion and deliberation, I decided on staining only the four smaller drawers. Those also got one coat of Kona. This time, however, I learned from my mistake and bought a quart of water based polyurethane, which I brushed over the entire dresser with no yellowing at all. Score.
Looking pretty good, yes? Oh, but where is the hardware? I had used wood filler to cover up the screw holes on the larger drawers to make way for the new t-bar handles I had ordered from Ebay.
The best part is that all the hardware for the dresser and nightstands only cost me $16. Thanks, Ebay.
I'm really pleased with the end result.
And no more blending into the floor! Woo hoo!