Haywood Wakefield Makeover


Stripping furniture is not my favorite chore but every now and then I find a great piece of furniture with an unfortunate paint job that demands my intervention. When I saw this great little nightstand at the thrift store for $10 I fell in love with the lines but was a little leary because you never know what you’ll find under the paint.


When I opened the drawer and saw the Heywood Wakefield stamp I knew it was worth the risk. These mid-century Heywood Wakefield pieces are solid wood made with high-quality construction techniques and while I knew I couldn’t get it back to the original factory finish I could at least get it close.

I started the process with Citristrip gel stripper and a putty knife to remove the paint.


A finish stamp on the underside of the top helped me determine what the original finish would have looked like. With a little research, I was able to find out that this was a “Cadence” nightstand in a sable finish which retails for $299.


With the first layer of paint removed I went back with another coat of stripper, this time, using steel wool to remove any remaining paint and then sanding the entire surface.


With walnut stain and several coats of satin polyurethane, I had the sable finish looking near original.


All complete this restored Haywood Wakefield nightstands makes a perfect replacement for the cheap pine one that was once in my son’s room and it looks pretty great too!












  1. WOW! love citristrip- it works so well, but even so i know what a challenge you faced. it came out beautifully!

  2. what a neat little piece! I have a coffee table that I need to strip, and I’m DREADING it. But seeing this reminds me that it will be worth it once it’s done 🙂

  3. It looks perfect with your room. Love the inspiration of your. Thanks for the tips.

  4. I couldn’t believe that you eliminated the coat to reveal the wooden stripe. I often see people do the opposite thing – coating the wooden furniture with paint. However, I love your idea of making a value wooden furniture take it nature-look back. Thanks for your sharing.

    • Thank You, I’m not against painting furniture but when I know it’s a beautiful solid furniture piece whose beauty I can bring back, it is worth the extra effort.

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