Designer-Inspired Nailhead Table for $6

Six Dollar Nailhead Table Makeover

Since it is Valentine’s Day, I thought I would share the tutorial for one of my favorite projects I have ever finished.  I originally shared this project on Décor Hacks, but this is the first time I have published the tutorial on Mad in Crafts.
I had inherited a bedside table that was in desperate need of a facelift, but I didn’t have the budget for a major makeover.  For just $6 and some designer inspiration, I was able to turn that bedside table into a chic Nail Head Table for our entryway!

To make a $6 Nail Head Table, you will need:
hand-me-down table
sanding block
paintbrushes
primer
grey paint sample
2 packages of gold thumbtacks from the dollar store
ruler
pencil
drill
1/8 inch drill bit
hammer
scrap cardboard
gold drawer pulls
cabrillo-nailhead-chest-bernhardt

I first spied this Cabrillo Chest from Bernhardt in an issue of Architectural Digest and loved it immediately.  The feminine global pattern and the masculine nail head trim were such a striking combination.  I used this pricey piece as makeover inspiration.

Side table before

I started with this hand-me-down bedside table from my grandfather.  While it was sturdily built of solid wood, it had no real style or design.  In other words, it was perfect for a DIY makeover!

sand the whole piece

I gave the whole piece a sanding with a foam sanding block to rough up the varnish.  Then I wiped it all down with a cloth to remove the dust and dirt.

after two coats of paint

I had some primer left over from painting my son’s bed, so I gave the table and drawer a good coat.  After the primer dried I added two coats of a warm grey paint that I had received as a free sample.

drill individual guide holes

I originally tried to hammer the thumbtacks directly into the wood, but the spikes of the tacks kept bending and breaking.  Eventually I resigned myself to having to drill shallow guide holes for each tack.  I busted out my ruler and marked dots every 1 cm down the perimeter of the drawer.  I used my smallest drill bit and drilled a shallow hole at each mark.  Once I got a rhythm down, it didn’t take long at all.

hammer in the thumbtacks

After the guide holes had been drilled, it was simple to hammer the thumbtacks into place.  It is important that I not drill the holes too deep because the tacks still needed to be able to be hammered into actual wood.

create a pattern guide

I used some junk mail to create a template for the flower pattern in the middle of the drawer, starting around the holes for the drawer pulls.  I marked dots every 1 cm again.

drill more guide holes

More drilling.

halfway through

The design was starting to take shape!  You can see there were a few guide holes that I made too deep, causing the tacks to just fall out.  I fixed that mistake by putting a little craft glue on the spike of the tack and reinserting it into the hole.  Worked like a charm.

drawer detail
 More drilling and hammering and the drawer pattern was done.

finished drawer

I replaced the dated hinge pull with two inexpensive gold-tone drawer pulls I purchased for $2 each at a home improvement store.

Six Dollar Nailhead Table Redo

I outlined the detail on the bottom of the table the same way I outlined the drawer.  I think the overall effect is very similar to my designer inspiration piece.  Most people can’t believe that I was able to give the table such a dramatic makeover for only six dollars, but that’s really all it took!
The TODAY Show chose this Nailhead Table as one of their Top 10 DIY Style Projects and featured it on air!  You can see the video on my As Seen On page linked in my menu bar.  You can imagine how excited I was when I got THAT email!

Do you have any old pieces of furniture in your house that could use a facelift?

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Thanks,  Jessica Hill
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