Turn a Nightstand Into a Cute Play Kitchen

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Creating a cute playroom or creative corner for your kids? With a bit of paint and accessories, you can easily transform an outdated or secondhand nightstand into an adorable play kitchen. Your little ones will love this because you can completely customize it to the suit their favorite colors and interests (you can even enlist them to help with the painting and gluing). Besides being a more budget-friendly option than buying a brand new toy kitchen, it's also a more sustainable one too!

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Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse
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Things You'll Need

Step 1: Clean the Nightstand

Wipe the entire nightstand thoroughly with a damp cloth or paper towel to remove any dust or grime. Allow it to dry completely. This will ensure better paint adhesion. If your surface has any major peeling or bubbling, you may need to sand those areas down before wiping it clean.

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Step 2: Remove the Hardware

Use a screwdriver to remove the existing drawer hardware. The screws should be located on the inside of the drawer.

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Step 3: Fill the Hardware Holes

Push wood filler into the existing drawer holes until they are a bit over-filled, and then smooth it out with your finger or a paper towel. Allow the wood putty to dry for a couple of hours, and then sand it smooth so that it blends in with the surface of the drawer.

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Step 4: Paint the Nightstand

Use a paint brush or a small roller to paint the entire nightstand. You'll likely need to apply two to three coats for full coverage. We used a chalky-style paint so we wouldn't have to sand or prime the surface prior to painting. However, if you already have a latex or acrylic craft paint that you'd like to use, simply mix one tablespoon of baking powder with 1/2 cup of paint, and voila! You've just turned it into chalky-style paint!

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Step 5: Attach the Backsplash

Place a plywood sheet on the back of the nightstand so that most of it sits above the surface to create a backsplash. Attach the bottom of the plywood to the backside of the nightstand with wood screws—five screws drilled across the bottom and two on each side.

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Step 6: Paint the Backsplash

Paint the plywood to match the nightstand. We opted to create a small checkerboard pattern at the base for a touch of retro flair. We also glued four wooden beads near the top to act as hooks for hanging cooking utensils, cutting boards, and pot holders.

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Step 7: Attach the Stove Burners

To create the play stove, on one half of the nightstand's surface, glue four evenly-spaced wood circles with wood glue to create the stove burners.

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Step 8: Attach the Stove Knobs

Glue four evenly-spaced wood knobs below the stove burners to create the stove knobs.

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Step 9: Make the Faucet

Use a saw to cut the 1-inch dowel into one 7 1/2-inch long piece and one 3-inch long piece, and cut the 3/16-inch dowel into one 1 1/2-inch long piece. Glue the shorter 1-inch dowel piece perpendicularly to the longer piece with wood glue to create the spout, and then glue the 3/16-inch dowel piece directly above it to create the faucet handle.

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Step 10: Attach the Sink

Glue the wood bowl on the other side of the nightstand's surface, and then position the faucet behind the bowl so that the spout is over the bowl. You may need to hold the faucet upright for a bit (or prop it up) until the glue is tacky enough to hold it.

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Step 11: Create the Oven

Paint the inner portion of the top drawer with gray paint to create the look of oven glass, and then attach the new wood handles.

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Once all of the wood glue has dried overnight, the new DIY play kitchen is ready for action! Just add some pretend play food and let the "cooking" begin!

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse
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Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse
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Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse
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