Makeover on a budget: Ikea Nightstand Hack

As I’m sure you’re starting to catch on, I love DIY projects – especially home DIY projects that I get to admire every day. But when it came to time to makeover these Ikea GLADOM Tray Tables, I was at a loss.

There’s really not much to them… I mean I could probably carry five of them at once they are so light (and trust me, my muscles are basically non-existent) and they look more like outdoor tables than something I would ever want in my bedroom as a nightstand. Actually, I think in every Ikea advertisement I’ve seen featuring the Gladom Tray Tables, it’s been an outdoor space… Wait, have I had outdoor patio tables in my bedroom for six months?!

Anyways, you may be wondering why I bought them in the first place… I spent HOURS and HOURS looking for nightstands. But each one I at least somewhat liked came at an enormous price tag. I just couldn’t bite the bullet.

So instead I went the other way. I spent $40 for two of the GLADOM Tray Tables ($20 a piece) and mildly hated them as they sat in my bedroom, mocking me and reminding me daily of my poor decisions.

At one point, I painted the base a light purple to try to “jazz” them up a bit. It wasn’t bad, but it definitely wasn’t great.

But then – AH HA! I had my “light bulb” moment and I knew what I wanted to do with these (what I now realize are totally patio) tables!

I’m currently redesigning my bedroom from yes, BEIGE on BEIGE, to a more romantic, moody vibe. For this reno, I’m throwing out all the silver accents and going with gold instead. So that being said, I decided to paint the base and the top of each table a metallic gold and then add a wooden top to pull in some more natural accents.

This project cost me a total of $74 ($34 in supplies plus the $40 for the two tables), which isn’t bad when a single nightstand could put you out a few hundred dollars!

Want to give your own nightstand a makeover? Here’s what you’ll need…

  • GLADOM Tray Table: $20. I repeat, $20. At that price, who cares if it probably totally definitely is for your patio?
  • Metallic gold spray paint: Available at any home supply store and priced from $4 – $8 per can. I used 2 cans of Krylon® Premium Metallic Finish in 18K Gold… ’cause I’m fancy like that. But if you’re going for a different look, choose whatever color you like! Whatever you do, spray paint is a must. If I hear about any of you pulling out a paint can and brush for this project, I will be thoroughly disappointed.
  • 17.5 inch diameter wood circle (or slightly larger): I found these wood circles from an Etsy seller for $10 a piece. I love that they are the exact size of the tray table and they come sanded and ready to stain/paint.
  • Wood stain: Use whichever stain you prefer, but you certainly won’t need much! I used leftover Varathane Honey stain.
  • Cloth for staining: Did you know you can repurpose old white undershirts for staining wood? Not only do you get to save some money, but you also get to make those worn shirts disappear from your man’s wardrobe! Double win!
  • Wood glue: To secure the wood circle to the tray.

Four simple steps

  • Step 1: It’s probably worth wiping down any gunk or dust that may be on the table before covering it with paint. I mean, unless you don’t mind always knowing there’s remnants of coffee and midnight snacks lying beneath the paint… but again, it’s totally your call.
  • Step 2: Now it’s time to unleash your inner badass, pull out that can of spray paint and get to work (preferably outdoors and with cardboard laid out under the table to protect your driveway / sidewalk / grass). Be sure to fully cover the base of the table. For the tray, you’ll only need to spray the edges and the top because you’ll be covering the bottom with the wood circle.
  • Step 3: While the table is drying, use your cloth to stain one side of the wood circle. Remember to follow the grain of the wood and avoid moving the stain in circles. Depending on your preferences, you may need to do a few coats of stain to achieve the color you want.
  • Step 4: Once the wood circle and the table has dried, it’s time to put it all together! Keep in mind that you’ll be securing the wood circle to the bottom of the tray because you’ll need the surface area to attach the two. Apply a generous amount of wood glue to the tray and place the wood circle on top of the tray.
  • Step 5: To keep the wood circle and tray from buckling or shifting, place something heavy on the top while it dries. I used a can of paint, which seemed to do the trick!
  • Step 6: Once everything is dry, you can put the table back together and wa-la, you’re done!

And just like that, another project bites the dust.

What do I love about this Ikea nightstand makeover?

These once dull tables now have interest and texture AND you can still move the tray as needed (breakfast in bed, anyone?). Plus, who doesn’t love a project that saves money and looks amazing?!

What do you think of this Ikea nightstand hack? Share / comment below!

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with our latest projects: