The Small Mid-Century Modern Cabinet that had no legs | The Interior Frugalista: The Small Mid-Century Modern Cabinet that had no legs
The Small Mid-Century Modern Cabinet that had no legs | The Interior Frugalista

The Small Mid-Century Modern Cabinet that had no legs

Hello friends, yes you read that title correctly. Mr. Frugalista, a.k.a. furniture buyer has a keen eye for finding great furniture pieces for me to makeover. But last year when he came home with just the top of a small Mid-Century Modern Cabinet I gave him the "what in the heck were you thinking?" look and "where the heck are the legs?"

Into the Don't Know What I'm Going To Do With This pile it went and life moved on.
Small Legless Mid Century Modern Cabinet Before

Fast forward a few months and he came home with a package of four cabriole legs that he picked up for a song. Into the Leg Pile, they went.

Last week while working on another makeover I noticed the legs resting upside down on the top of my paint cabinet. A few minutes later while walking to the laundry sink to clean paint brushes my eyes glanced over at the now very dusty legless cabinet. DING DING DING

Cabriole Legs paired with Mid Century Modern Cabinet

...and a Metallic Night Stand with curvy cabriole legs was born. Once the legs were attached to the base, it gave the cabinet a completely different look.

Metallic Night Stand from repurposed MCM Legless Cabinet

Small Mid Century Modern Cabinet Now Curvy Metallic Night Stand


The cabinet had some wear and tear so I filled the damaged spots with Dynamic Dyna Patch. Wanting the knobs on this piece to be like the jewelry on the little black dress, I removed the original hardware and filled the holes with wooden dowels and filler.

Drawer hardware holes filled on Mid Century Modern Cabinet Makeover

To ensure a good bond with the paint and to avoid tannin bleed from the red stain on the legs, I primed everything with a coat of Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 Primer.

Cabriole legs primed for Metallic Night Stand Makeover

In 2015 the good folks at Modern Masters sent me their Matte Metallic Platinum Silver Semi-Opaque paint to try on my Vintage Art Deco Waterfall Vanity makeover. Having some leftovers I decided it would be the perfect paint to add glam to this curvy night stand.

Curvy legs on Metallic Night Stand Makeover

I applied the first two coats with a small foam roller and wasn't happy with the results. It was looking like a hammered metal patina and I wanted a smooth as a baby's bottom finish. Using 220 grit sandpaper, I sanded the paint smooth and removed the dust with a tack cloth.

Tips for painting with metallics


  • For semi-opaque metallic paint, like I used, it will take three coats minimum.
  • Stir the paint well before painting and often during. The paint has real metal particles, pearlescent pigments along with traditional color pigments and they need to be blended well.
  • Prime with acrylic primer or low sheen acrylic paint close to the metallic paint color. In my case, I could have primed with a light or medium gray paint color but because I used a white primer, it took four coats to get complete coverage.
  • Use a good quality synthetic bristle paint brush.
  • Or roll with a 1/2-inch synthetic nap roller (hence the reason I wasn't getting good results using a foam roller). Be sure to rinse and dry brush first to remove loose lint.
  • Apply paint in long even brush strokes (I painted from end to end).
  • Work with a wet edge to eliminate roller edge or brush marks.
  • Don't go over the same spot twice while the paint is drying.
  • I found by dipping the tips of my brush in water (damp not soaking wet) and then into the paint on my final coat, eliminated any visible brush strokes.
  • Allow paint to dry a minimum of 24-hours before applying a protective top coat.
  • Be mindful that top coats can dull the metallic shimmer. It's best to use one specifically for metallic finishes. I used Modern Masters Top Coat in a satin finish.

Silver and gold metallic night stand makeover

I always like to line the drawers on my pieces and had this pretty silver metallic contact paper leftover from the Antique Scalloped Tilt Top Table. I should note that the drawers on this little cabinet have dovetail joints - they don't make them like that anymore.

Paper lined drawers in Metallic Night Stand Makeover

I found the center of each drawer front and using a 1/16-inch bit I drilled a pilot hole for each knob. Next, I used a drill bit the same size as the screws that came with the new knobs and finished drilling the holes. I don't remember when or where I purchased these pretty turquoise ceramic flower bloom knobs but I had just two in my stash. It's like they were waiting for this particular makeover.

Turquoise Floral Bloom Knobs on Metallic Night Stand Makeover

I found the gold stem on the knobs too stark against the metallic silver, making the piece feel unbalanced. I rubbed Metallic Gold Gilding Wax along the top and bottom edges and that was the perfect finishing touch.

Mid Century Modern Cabinet turned Curvy Metallic Night Stand

I love pairing silver and gold with a pop of color like turquoise. I have to say these colors would look fabulous in our master bedroom. To sell or not to sell, that is the question?

Accessorizing a Metallic Night Stand Makeover

You'd never know that under this sexy curvaceous metallic night stand is a discarded legless mid-century cabinet.

Metallic Night Stand Repurposed MCM Cabinet Before and After
You'll find this project shared at these fabulous LINK PARTIES.


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