- DIY creator Hannah Way turned a free pair of nightstands into a set she sold for $275.
- The 25-year-old documented the step-by-step flipping process on TikTok and Instagram.
- Way, who goes by @hanmade.details on social media, said she wants to teach people with her content.
When she got an alert on her phone that a free pair of nightstands were available nearby, she immediately jumped into action.
Way went to pick up the nightstands, which were listed on Facebook Marketplace, from someone's garage about 15 minutes away from her. She told Insider that she always informs the seller that she plans to flip the furniture out of respect.
The TikTok Way shared on May 31 featuring the nightstand flip got more than 1.7 million views. In the video, she showed how she transformed the pieces into chic home decor by cleaning, sanding, painting, and staging them.
Way started by prepping the nightstands for the transformation process.
Way cleaned the nightstands first before scuff-sanding them with an orbital sander. Although she uses electrical tools for ease, Way says much of the flipping process can be done by hand.
Next, Way cut off the legs and removed the existing handles from the drawers.
Way includes a lot of products, tools, and tips in her video, like a trick for removing the handles on the nightstand drawers.
The trick starts with Way jamming a putty knife in between the handle and the drawer. She further wedged the knife in by tapping it with a hammer, which helped pop the handle off.
She then removed the legs with an oscillating multipurpose tool, an electrical gadget that can saw through wood and drill large holes.
Next, Way used wood filler and a sander to level out uneven spots. She followed that process with a coat of paint primer.
Way said her favorite wood filler, a sandable material used to correct imperfections, is made by the brand Bondo. She filled in the bumpy spots where the legs and hardware used to be before sanding everything down to a super smooth finish.
After that was done, Way used a water-based primer by Zinsser and a roller brush to get the nightstands ready for a coat of paint.
After, Way sprayed the nightstands with a soft, green-gray-toned paint.
Using a paint sprayer, Way applied Lilly Moon Paint's matte "Magnolia Garden." She said she wanted to keep the natural wood tones in the legs and drawers, so she chose a color that complements them.
The flipper said she has a knack for sticking to her original plans for a piece. Whether she's fixing up a piece to sell online or flipping specific items for a client, she said she rarely strays from her vision.
"This might sound kind of crazy, but every piece that I pick up, I know exactly what I want it to look like before I do it. Almost 99.5% of the time it turns out how I want it to in my head, which is cool," she said. "I don't know how I do that, but I actually really love it."
Way then added a herringbone effect on the drawer using popsicle sticks — a process that didn't go as smoothly as she had hoped.
Way said using popsicle sticks to create a herringbone pattern is trending in the DIY community, so she decided to try it for this project.
However, things didn't go as planned. After trimming the sticks to remove the rounded ends, Way tried to attach them with wood glue. The sticks began warping, and after attempting to carefully sand them, she filled in the cracks between the sticks with wood glue. She finished the design by cutting the ends of the sticks to be flush with the drawer.
Way included her struggles in the TikTok video so others could learn from her mistakes, but said she worked hard to make sure the popsicle sticks turned out perfect because she planned on selling them as high-quality pieces.
She recommends using paint stir sticks because they're thicker and easier to sand than popsicle sticks.
The final steps included touching up the paint, adding a coat of satin polyurethane, and adding gold hardware to the drawer.
Following the paint touch-ups, Way sprayed the nightstands down with satin polyurethane. The Minwax Polycrylic top coat she used claims to form a clear, protective top coat on both finished and unfinished wood.
She drilled holes in the drawers and added gold handles from Amazon to complete the pieces.
Way staged the nightstands with a simple potted plant and took pictures of the intricate details before selling them.
In total, Way said she spent around $85 and two and a half days working on the nightstands. She listed them for sale on Facebook Marketplace and sold them for $275 about a week later.
Overall, the DIY enthusiast says she wouldn't change a thing about them (besides those popsicle sticks). She loosely labels her furniture flip designs as "coastal," but says she wants the pieces to feel like they can fit in different homes.
Way is achieving her goal of creating extensive DIY guides for people who want to learn from her online. She shares all of the steps to create her one-of-a-kind products and told Insider it "means everything" if someone learns just one thing from her content.
"I feel like there's so much information out there to share that even if I share a million videos and I'm giving them information in every video, that doesn't mean that I still can't make a YouTube video ... or make an e-course and give them even more information," she said. "There's just so much to learn. There's no need to keep it to yourself."
For anyone who wants to flip furniture like Way, she recommends finding inspiration in your community.
Aside from interacting with her followers, Way also talks to other women in the DIY and design community, many of whom she gets inspiration and tips. For anyone who wants to start flipping furniture, she told Insider Facebook Marketplace is a great place to look for cheap or free things to practice on.
Way even recommends wandering your neighborhood on trash day for pieces that are in good condition or only need minor repairs.
"There's usually not much wrong with [furniture being thrown out]. People get new stuff and they don't want to go take the time to donate it. It's just easier, so they just throw it away. I'm like, well it's my treasure now," she said.