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Polka-Dot Nightstand | Arts & Crafts

Polka-Dot Nightstand

Total Time Needed: Weekend Projects

This bold nightstand is bound to add zing to any kid's morning -- and you won't go dotty applying the spots thanks to a Con-Tact paper stencil.


  • 1 quart water-based primer
  • Paints (we used 1 quart each of Parrot Green, Red, and School Bus Yellow semigloss interior latex paint by Crayola)
  • 2-ounce bottle of light-blue acrylic enamel paint
  • 2-inch-wide foam wedge brush
  • 1 square foot corrugated cardboard
  • Scissors
  • 1-inch-wide polyester paintbrush
  • Low-tack painter's masking tape
  • Repositionable medium adhesive Con-Tact paper (available at hardware stores)
  • Pencil
  • 1/2-inch-wide detail or artist's paintbrush


  1. Sand your nightstand if necessary. Make sure it's clean, remove the drawers and the drawer pulls, and then use the 2-inch foam brush to prime everything (including the fronts of the drawers and the pulls). Let the nightstand dry. Store the pulls in a safe place.
  2. With the drawers still out of the nightstand, place small pieces of cardboard under each leg to prevent them from sticking to your surface if any paint drips. Use the 11/2-inch paintbrush to cover the body of the nightstand -- everything but the top and the bottom front -- with green paint. Let the paint dry completely.
  3. Set the drawers face up. Use the 1 1/2-inch brush to paint the front of each drawer red.
  4. Using low-tack masking tape, tape the edges of the body wherever the green and yellow paint will meet. The tape should be on the green paint to serve as a guard so that if your brush slips, you'll get yellow paint on the tape rather than on the green surfaces. Use the 1 1/2-inch brush to apply yellow paint to the top and bottom front of the nightstand. Remove the tape carefully and allow the paint to dry.
  5. Trace a drawer pull, upside down, on the corrugated cardboard. Cut out the circle. Now trace the cardboard circle repeatedly on the reverse side of the Con-Tact paper, leaving a couple of inches between each copy of the circle. Cut the Con-Tact paper into a series of squares, each with a circle in its approximate center. Last, cut out the circles (fold the squares in half to do so). These squares with cutout centers are your polka-dot stencils.
  6. Slide the dry drawers into the dry nightstand. One at a time, remove the backing from the stencil squares, fold back a corner for an easy removal tab, and scatter the squares randomly over the nightstand. Remember that the drawer pulls will be polka-dots too, so don't apply any dots too close to where the pulls will be.
  7. Use the 1/2-inch detail brush to apply light blue, yellow, and green dots through the stencils. Paint toward the center of the circle to avoid getting paint under the stencil. Remove the Con-Tact paper promptly.
  8. Randomly paint the drawer pulls with the dot colors for a camouflage effect. Let all of the paint dry, then reattach the pulls. Enjoy!