How To: Floating Nightstands

How To: Floating Nightstands

Janel Laban
Feb 24, 2009

Title: Floating Nightstands
Name: Erin
Time: About 9 hours, split into 1-2 hour increments
Cost: $50

Floating nightstands are a great solution for small spaces and Erin's version is budget friendly as well. Click above for pics, below for the how-to and be sure to give Erin a THUMBS UP if you find this project helpful....

Trim Saw
Straight Edge
Stud Finder (optional, but very helpful!)
Level Drill and drill bits
Screw Driver
Spring Clamps
C Clamp
Square (or 90 degree angle tool...even a book will work.)
Large Table- to work at
Rags for staining
Paintbrush Sander (optional)
Sand Paper- Fine and Medium
Screws (assorted sizes)
Wood Glue- heavy duty
6 Small L-Corner Braces
Wood- I used 1/2" Pine, 2 sheets of 2'x4' Wood- 1"x2" or similar, for mounting
Stain- I used Minwax River Stone
Paint- I used glossy white Wood Conditioner Protective Finish

1. Determine the size you want your nightstands to be. I found that it helps to write everything down and draw it out first.
2. Once you know the dimensions, you'll need 4 pieces of wood in the same size for the top and bottom pieces (these directions assume that you are making 2 nightstands) and 4 pieces for the sides. I used 4 12"x22" pieces and 4 12"x6.5" pieces. Once you know your measurements, it's time to cut!
3. Cutting the wood...this step would have been a lot less tedious if I had a table saw, so if you have one, use it. If not, then you'll have to go the route I went. I marked my first measurement for the top piece, cutting straight across at 12". Cut the excess length on the side off later. In order to cut straight with a trim saw, it helps to have a straight edge clamped to the wood you are cutting, so you can run the saw against it. This is where the spring clamps help- 1 on each side of the straight edge. Use a C-clamp to hold your main piece of wood in place on the table. Once you have your first piece cut, use it as a guide when measuring your other 3 pieces- that way you'll be sure that they are all uniform in size. Repeat these basic steps for your side pieces. You should cut your 1"x2" now as well- basically you'll need it to be long enough to fit inside the piece, so cut 2 of them. Once you have everything cut, make sure it will all assemble nicely and match up at all the corners.
4. Sand the wood with the medium paper(or whatever you need to use for the type of wood you have) and then clean it up with some finer paper.
5. Condition the wood for staining (directions on can).
6. Stain and then use the protective finish, according to instructions.
7. I wanted my pieces stained on the outside and painted on the inside. So if you are going this route, tape off the edges and paint once the stain is dry.
8. Once everything is dry and looks good, it's time to assemble. You can do this a variety of ways, but I'll tell you my way in case you want to follow. Mainly I didn't want any visible screws, so that's why I did it the way I did. I also didn't feel like messing with more technical joining options, so my way is very basic and not at all professional. To join the top piece to the side pieces, I used wood glue. This helps if you have somebody to help you so it doesn't fall over while you are trying to work. Be sure your angles are square and then put weight on top and let dry. Once it's dry (the next day), screw in the L-corner joints on the inside for extra support. I used 6 total. For the bottom of the piece, I didn't mind screws showing since I wont see them. So to join the bottom to the 2 side pieces, drill guide holes (3 on each edge) in the bottom piece of wood. Make sure each hole is able to be screwed into the side pieces and that there is no over-hang! To mark the correct spots on the side pieces, I used an awl and marked exactly where each hole needed to be by mock-assembling the piece upside down and then marking straight down into the holes. Drill small guide holes down into the sides. Screw together. You now have your 2 nightstands ready to mount.
9. Mounting. Measure where you want your pieces to be on each side of the bed. You'll need a level for this. I drew a line straight across the wall as a guide, so I knew exactly where it would go while working. After I found the studs and marked them, I drilled guide holes into my 1"x2" so they'd correspond with the studs (the 1x2 is your bracket). I also drilled 2 holes down through the top-back of each nightstand so they could be screwed down into 1x2 and I also drilled corresponding guide holes into the 1x2. Don't don't attach it yet! Now screw the 1x2 horizontally into the studs on each side of the bed. Once they are stable, it's time to add the nightstands. I found that using a stool and some books to rest the nightstand on while I was screwing it to the 1x2 to be really helpful. Using your guide holes, line it up with your holes in the 1x2 and screw into place. Be sure it's level all around. You may need to get creative with this if you have crooked walls, like I do. For example, one of my nightstands touches the wall on one corner but sticks off by 1/2" on the other, just so it would look straight. Use your best judgment in this case. I would have ran into a lot of problems if I didn't account for my crooked walls, so make sure everything looks the way you want it to (by using that stool to set it on) before drilling into your walls!

Give Erin a THUMBS UP if you find this project helpful....

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