Nightstands are easy to make, especially the modern ones that have really simple designs and lack any unnecessary decorative elements. This is a step-by-step tutorial showing you how to build your own modern nightstand. The design is geometric, with the legs featuring a stained finish while the top portion is painted white.
First of all, let’s see what you’ll need for this project. The materials required include one 1’’ by 12’’ piece of lumber and four 1’’ by 12’’ pieces, all of which need to be 48’’ long. You’ll also need a circular saw crosscut jig, a dowel jig, a drill and a nail gun.
1. Cut the bottom, sides and top.
You should start by cutting the bottom of the nightstand since it is the largest piece. Then cut the two sides and the top.
2. Cut the legs.
Measure and cut the back side of the legs. You’ll need to cut two 22’’ long pieces. Then cut the top side of the legs and cut one side at a 22 degree angle. Use the first one as a template for the second piece. After that it’s time to cut the bottom of the legs. These two will also get a 22 degree cut at one end. Finally, cut the front part of the legs. These will have both ends cut at a 22 degree angle.
3. Fine-tune the legs.
Use a framing square to make sure everything is straight. Then mark the legs and cut off the excess if necessary. You should give yourself a little bit of room for error when cutting the pieces for the legs just to be sure they’re not too short.
4. Assemble the legs.
The joints of the legs will be mostly made up of dowels so you’ll need a dowel jig to make the holes. Dowels are preferred in this case because they provide a smooth look without any visible screws. Drill two holes in one of the top leg pieces and then transfer the holes to the back piece using dowel pins. Test the joins and then glue them. You’ll only put dowels on the back side of the legs since the front is at an angle. The front will just be nailed in place using a nail gun. Add some glue as well to make the joints strong. Clamp the legs and allow the glue to dry.
5. Assemble the top.
Before anything else, mark all the point where the dowels will be placed and drill out all the holes. Add some glue and then install the dowels. Start by placing all the dowels in the bottom and then move on to the sides. Hammer down the bottom and sides and then add the top. Use four dowels on the sides and bottom and add a fifth one to the top to make sure it has some added strength since it’s suspended. Use clamps to secure all the pieces together until the glue dries. Use a rag to clean any glue that was squeezed out.
6. Smooth out the joints with wood filler.
Use some wood filler to hide the nail holes on the front of the legs and add some add the joints as well. Do the same thing for the top as well to hide any small imperfections. Then use a sander to smooth out everything.
7. Prime and paint and top.
Apply a layer of primer to the top section of the nightstand and allow it to dry. This will ensure that the paint sticks to the wood. Then apply two coats of white latex paint and let that dry as well.
8. Stain the legs.
While the primer on the top dries you can go ahead and stain the legs. A golden pecan stain was used in the video but you can opt for something different if you want. Apply the stain with a rag. Try to find a lint-free rag. After that, apply some wipe-on poly for an added layer of protection. Lightly sand the surface and then apply a second layer.
9. Attach the legs to the top.
Mark the mounting holes and drill them in the top section of both legs. Offset the legs by ¾’’ from the sides of the top and then tighten the screws up. Make sure you pre-drill the holes in the top before you install the screws.