Hi friends. I hope that everyone had a nice Easter. I spent my Easter morning finishing up my latest IKEA hack. Before the quarantine I bought two of the IKEA Nordkisa nightstands for my guest bedroom. They were the perfect size for my space but they didn’t match the other furniture so I decided to give them a little upgrade! With a few tools, some hardwood boards and some spray paint I was able to upgrade the nightstads to give them a metal and wood mix look.
I built this modern industrial desk a few years ago for my guest bedroom. The legs are pine 2×4 boards that I sprayed with Rustoleum soft iron spray paint. It looks very close to real metal and the desk has held up extremely well which is surprising since it gets used every single day. The parts that aren’t sprayed are solid oak and I finished them with Minwax early american stain and a few coats of polyurethane.
A few months later I added oak wall shelves to the room so it was pretty clear what direction I needed to go with this nightstand hack. Oak and soft iron metal it is!
The IKEA Nordkisa collection is constructed of bamboo that is sealed with a clear lacquer. The nightstands come in two sizes that vary in width. I went with the wider one due to the size of my room. It is 23 5/8″ wide, 26 3/4″ tall and 15 3/4″ deep. The smaller one is the same height and depth but the width is only 15 3/4″.
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Materials (per night stand)
(2) 1×10 x 6′ length (for top and shelf)
(1) 1/2″ x 7.25″ x 3′ hobby board (for drawer face)
Spray Paint Primer
Spray Paint (Finish Color)
1-1/4″ Pocket hole screws
Router (for groove in drawer face. You could also use table saw)
Step 1 – Assemble the frame
I built a new shelf, a new top and a new front drawer face. For the rest of the nightstand I wanted it to look like metal so I assembled the frames as shown below and also laid out the drawer back and two sides to be sprayed.
Step 2 – Cut and assemble new top
I wanted a slight overhang on the new top so I cut two pieces of 1×10 to 8-3/8″ in width and 24 – 5/8″ in length which left a 1/2″ overhang on all sides. To attach the two boards and make a “solid” top I drilled pocket holes and secured the pieces together with wood glue and 1-1/4″ screws. Make sure that if you are using hardwood like oak that you get the proper screws. There are variations in thread patterns for hard and soft woods.
To keep everything aligned when I screwed the two boards together, I used several clamps as shown below.
Step 3 – Cut and assemble new shelf
The shelf was assembled the same way as the top. The only difference is that the shelf is smaller since there is no overhang. I cut 1×10 boards to 7-13/16″ in width and 23-3/8″ in length. Then attached with wood glue and pocket holes/screws.
In order to fit around the legs, I had to cut notches into each corner of the shelf that matched the original shelf. Using the original shelf as a guide, I placed it on the new oak shelf and marked where I needed to cut in each corner.
I then used a jig saw to make the cuts.
Step 4 – Cut new drawer face and notch for drawer bottom
For the new drawer face I used 1/2″ thick oak. I matched the dimensions of the original drawer face which is 5-1/4″ tall and 21-11/16″ long by cutting a 1/2in x 7.5in craft board on my table saw.
Below is a picture of the original drawer face being measured. Notice that it has a groove on the bottom where the drawer bottom rests. To replicate this notch I used my router but if you don’t have a router you could do it on a table saw.
My router bit was slightly larger than the existing groove so I positioned it so that the bottom would align properly and there is a very slight gap on the top. The drawer bottom is level and sits flush which is all that matters.
Step 5 – Spray paint frame, drawer back and drawer sides
Whenever I’m spray painting something a faux metal finish I always start by applying a flat black primer. The Rustoleum 2X works really well. It covers great and goes on smooth. I applied one coat of the primer.
After the primer had fully dried I applied 3 coats of soft iron spray paint by rustoleum. I also sprayed the drawer pulls and screws that would be visible so that they matched the color of the frame. For the drawer sides and back it’s really only necessary to paint the outside of the drawers but I decided to paint the inside too since I had plenty of spray paint. it gives it a more finished look when you open the drawer.
Also, I would totally recommend a spray shelter. It’s a life saver for someone like me who doesn’t have a separate shop for finish work. I just set it up in my garage and then I don’t have to worry about any dust or debris ruining my sprayed pieces as they dry.
Step 6 – Apply finish to new wood parts
Below are new wood parts laid out for both nightstands. I first sanded all pieces to a smooth finish starting with 120 grit and then using 240 grit. I then applied one coat of early american stain. Lastly, I applied 3 coats of semi gloss polyurethane lightly sanding with 400 grit in between coats.
Step 7 – Assemble
I started by assembling the drawer. First I attached the back and sides per IKEA’s instructions and then I slid in the bottom. I removed the corner bamboo blocks from the front face that I wasn’t using and attached them to the sides as shown below. Hindsight, I should have spray painted those too. I may actually do that at a later time.
Then I marked and drilled holes into the back of the new drawer front. To make sure that I didn’t drill through the front of the drawer I marked my bit with tape so that I knew when to stop. You can see an example of this in the top assembly.
I was able to use the screws provided with the nightstand to secure the new drawer face to the rest of the drawer box.
The last step for the drawer was to add a pull handle to the front.
Set the drawer in place and then loosen the screws on the sides of the frame to allow the frame to pull apart and provide room to slide the shelf in. When I first started to put the shelf in I noticed that the notches didn’t align perfectly anymore and it was a little too tight. I used a wood file to take a little bit off and then slid it in with no problem. You’ll want to be sure not to force it since it could scrape the spray paint off of the frame. Leave room on top of the drawer so that it slides easily. I used two washers at each corner of the top of the drawer to align the shelf. Then, I drilled holes into the oak shelf through the screw holes in the frame. I used the screws provided to attach the shelf to the frame.
I turned the entire piece upside down to install the top. First, I aligned the frame so that there was a 1/2″ overhang all around and then I marked where I needed to drill through the holes in the frame.
I marked the depth that I needed to drill and added tape to the bit to make sure that I didn’t go through the top of the nightstand.
I used the hardware provided to attach the top (minus the dowels). That’s it!
IKEA Nordkisa Nightstand Hack – Finished Photos
And here are the finished photos! I love how they turned out and they definitely upgrade the room.
Here is a closer look at the finishes. That faux metal spray paint is convincing isn’t it?
If you are curious, the drawer pulls are from Home Depot.
Three coats of polyurethane can be tedious but look at that sheen! It’s totally worth it in the end. Not only does it look fantastic, it also provides a more durable surface.
For a little added flair I used contact paper inside the drawers. I think I’ll go back and spray those corner pieces of bamboo.
And here is a look at both of them. This room still needs some work but it’s come a long way. I plan to build a headboard and replace the art above the bed at some point. I also plan to either make or buy matching lamps for each nightstand. Since we’re still in quarantine I was pretty limited on my decor. I had to shop other parts of my house to stage these photos.
You may notice another IKEA hack in this shot. The hanging plant holders are on the blog too!
Check out my IKEA hack page for more inspiration!
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I kept the Nordkisa nightstand parts that I didn’t use so maybe I’ll make something else with them later. What do you think?