OrWa Designs is a two-person team based in Vancouver, WA that builds solid wood furniture at an affordable price. (They also love finding vintage collectibles to help decorate homes.) All of the pieces can be customized to your size and color choice, and are available through the artisan site collective CustomMade. Excited for their nightstand to be featured in this month’s Deconstruction, they said, “Now people can see what a tiny furniture making business is like. We do it out of our two bedroom house, so things are tight, but we manage!” Let’s see how they do it.
We start out with long, solid pine 3/4-inch boards, cutting the correct size for the sides, top, and bottom with our table saw, making sure the cuts are precise. We want the nightstands to be square and level!
Here we draw the diamond design to prepare for cutting out by hand with a jig saw. We measured to be sure each diamond is accurately centered. Once they have been cut out, sanding is required for smooth edges. We don’t want any rough cuts.
First, we stain the inside of the wood to get an even coat before putting the frame of the nightstand together. Here we have used a dark walnut stain, our most popular. You can see the beautiful grain of the wood through the stain.
Once the frame has been set with wood glue, we clamp it with angles to be sure everything remains square. We don’t want it to wobble once the legs are installed. Once the wood glue has dried, we pre-drill holes for the screws, which is necessary to ensure that the wood doesn’t split.
Here you see that the diamond shapes have been cut out. Primer lines the inside to prepare it for the lime green paint. This will be the hatch door of the nightstand.
Once the frame is put together, we can stain the outside. We let the stain penetrate for 15 minutes, then wipe clean with a dry rag. Then, if needed, we apply additional coats to achieve the color we’re looking for.
This shows the back panel, which will be installed with screws around the border. We paint it lime green so the color will show through from the inside of the back of the nightstand.
Once we install the shelf, we prime and paint the front trim in lime green. This paint is specifically for wood. Three to four coats are required for full coverage.
We use 8-inch tapered round legs for standard size nightstands. Larger ones take 12-inch legs so they sit higher. Here we are staining the legs, which are 12-inches. The stain is the dark walnut that matches the body of the piece.
After the trim and diamonds are fully painted, it’s time to install the hinges for the drop down hatch door. The hinges are set in hand-carved grooves to allow for a perfect fit. It is important to be sure that the door edges don’t bump the shelf.
The back has been installed with the lime green side showing through from the inside. This is where we have installed the magnet door closure, right below the shelf and on the inside of the hatch door so they meet when closed, and prevent the door from falling back open. Now the door will open and close smoothly.
We use straight leg metal plates on the nightstands. Here we have measured so each plate is placed evenly with each other. The legs screw into the center of the plates. We installed the legs for these photographs. We then removed and packaged for shipping.
Once everything is installed, stained, and painted, we remove the door to apply the polyurethane. This helps protect the wood from stains and scratches. We apply a few coats for extra protection. Once dry, we install a metal handle on the hatch door. The door will the be put back on the hinges before shipping.
The finished nightstand!