I'm so excited about this project - turning two ugly '60's end tables into pretty white nightstands for my master bedroom. I found the pair on Kijiji for $15 and snapped them up not only because of the bargain price but also because they have a simple, mid-century modern shape and both a drawer for closed storage as well as an open shelf for books and magazines.
Here's how I found them.
First, I removed the hardware, filled in the holes with wood filler, and lightly sanded.
Then I used a primer for laminate surfaces, let it dry and lightly sanded again.
I then brushed on a coat of CIL high-gloss trim paint in untinted white.
And a second coat.
After drying, I added a coat of water-based polyurethane high gloss for a protective shine.
I pasted removable wallpaper to the back of the shelf, and as a liner inside the drawer. I simply cut the paper to size and used an adhesive spray to hold it tight.
Finally, I drilled new holes in the centre of the drawer faces for new knobs I picked up at a vintage store.
I left the tapered wood legs as is for a nice contrast to the white cabinet and so that they stand out as a classic mid-century design.
And voila! They turned out pretty well if I do say so myself. They are now in my master bedroom in my little condo.
UPDATE: photos below show the stands as I've used them in my homes since this one, as both nightstands and end tables. They're amazing and look terrific and function well in bedrooms, living rooms, and offices.