Home » Decade » 1950 » Refinishing Our Heywood Wakefield Encore Night Stands

August 4, 2011

Refinishing Our Heywood Wakefield Encore Night Stands

By Sara In AZ


I guess I must have some weird obsession with sanding and staining Heywood Wakefield because it looks like I gave myself another big project with these babies! Remember when I refinished the Corner Table HERE and my Dining Room Table HERE, well I guess I just can’t get enough.

I came across these Heywood Wakefield Encore Night Stands at an Antique Store in Texas back in 2009 and could not pass them up. I am sure my husband thought I was crazy insane for bringing them home — especially looking like this. They were even worse in person, if you can believe that. There was old chewing gum stuck underneath the top shelf and cobwebs galore amongst other things. Ugh.

Here they are in the Antique Store, just when I was becoming obsessed with them! 🙂


I took some pictures just before I started the sanding process just to show you, in more detail, how bad these were. You can see all the scratches and rubs, the finish is half worn off.

It’s not pretty is it?

All the pieces have a different color of finish. I really think someone tried to re-stain parts of the night stands at some point along the way, but they sure did not do a very good job.

Here you can really see how different the color of the top looks compared to the drawer. The drawer is more of what the original ‘Wheat’ finish should look like, although it is in really bad shape here. The rest of the night stand has already been sanded.

Whew, all sanded and ready for the stain!

And onto the staining process. I always use this ‘Heywood’ stain I get off of E-Bay. There is a guy on there who mixes stain to match Champagne and Wheat finishes. It is a stain and topcoat all in one so you do not have to worry about too many steps. I have always had really good luck with his stains, and he will mix custom colors for you if you need that as well. HERE is a link to his E-Bay store.

The little legs were stained first. We decided not to remove them, as it looked like it would be more trouble than it was worth.

The sides (to the top shelf) and the drawer pulls all getting stain.

Ahhhhh, the night stands are looking better already!

The drawers and the top shelves all getting stain. I had to hold the drawers down with books wrapped in foil so they would stay steady as I was applying the stain.

And finally, the finished product! YAY!

No more cobwebs and chewing gum is also a plus! 😉

Share This Post

33 Responses to Refinishing Our Heywood Wakefield Encore Night Stands

  1. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    August 4, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Girl, you are a Wonder Woman! And you have boundless energy. (and sure love sanding more than I do) Those babies look showroom new.

  2. Betty Crafter Reply

    August 4, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Wow…just WOW! Amazing! And I really appreciate your attention to detail and commitment to doing it right! I never would have taken it all apart like that – your taking the time to do that really shows in the end result! So professional looking. Color me 7 shades of impressed!

  3. Shelly in PHX Reply

    August 4, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Wow! Great work…I’m officially inspired. 🙂

  4. RetroRuth Reply

    August 4, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Sara – You are amazing!! I am always totally jealous of your great projects. I can’t believe all the work that you guys do. I’m telling you, it was the luckiest day in the world for those little nightstands when you and Mike found them in that antique store!

  5. Andrea Reply

    August 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Awesome job, Sara! I have a coffee table, a side table and my kitchen table that are all ever so patiently waiting for me to refinish them. Which I really need to get on soon, while it’s still nice enough out for me to do it outside!

  6. Sara in AZ Reply

    August 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Eartha – Thanks girl!!! I think the last little bit of “boundless energy” I had was sucked into a black hole (never to be seen again) after I finished these, I have not picked up a sander since! 🙂 Maybe someday………

    Betty – Thank you so much! I have to admit it really does help taking everything apart like that, you just have to mark what goes back to what piece! When we had my dining table apart I was a bit scared we would never get it back together again! 😉

    Shelly – Thanks! 🙂 Now be sure to send in some pics if you do any refinishing projects.

    Ruth – Thank you, you are just as amazing! I totally know you could do it too, it just takes a TON of time to sand and all!!! Eeeee, I love our little night stands! 🙂

    Andrea – Thanks so much! 🙂 I totally want to see pics after your projects are completed. I just know you will do an awesome job!

  7. Rockabillybebe Reply

    August 5, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Awesome job!! They look terrific! You are inspiring me to get back to work. I too have a ton of Hey Wake that I need to refinish. I started with one chair, but it took FOREVER for me to get the old finish off. I just used a scraper and chemicals and never finished because it took so long. Are you using a electric hand sander? How does that work on all the rounded corners? How did you get that super dark stain off. Sanding only? It’d be great if you could do a post and detail your methods. Or…let me send you all my furniture to refinish! 🙂

  8. Sara in AZ Reply

    August 5, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Hi Rockabillybebe! Thanks! I went into a bit more detail on my whole process in my dining table post, you can click that link above. Basically, though, it was all sanding. I used just a regular palm sander and went all over everything — and over the rounded corners too. You should be careful going over the rounded corners so you do not gouge them though. I sanded everything 3 times – once with 60 grit, then with 100, then with 220. There are some areas that a sander will not reach and those sections you will have to hand sand. I would not bother with the chemical strippers because it might do more harm to the wood and it seems like it would almost be harder to deal with. The really dark stain is the worst to deal with, my whole dining table was very dark and it took a really long time to get all that dark stain sanded off. For the staining process I just followed the instructions that came with the stain I bought off of eBay. I would definitely highly recommend his stain as it is super easy to use. I won’t lie, you really have to commit to want to do this – it is very time consuming but the results are SO worth it! I guess now I understand why all the people who refinish furniture charge so much! If you have any more questions please feel free to e-mail me at Sara@nopatternrequired.com and please let us see some pics of your projects when you are done!

  9. sablemable Reply

    August 7, 2011 at 3:32 pm


    I take it you used the Champagne stain. I still have my 2 H-W tables to do, so you are such an inspiration for me to get going on them!

    Good work, girl!

  10. Sara in AZ Reply

    August 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Thanks Sable!!! Actually, I used the Wheat stain. I had a hard time deciding between the 2, but I thought that color would better match my other Heywood. I can’t wait to see your tables once they are refinished!

  11. refinish wood furniture Reply

    August 11, 2011 at 10:23 am

    They look terrific! It’d be great if you could do a post and detail your methods…I love your articles

  12. Sara in AZ Reply

    August 11, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Hi refinish wood furniture! Thanks for the comment, I’m so happy you like these posts. I will certainly try, in future posts, to be more detailed.

  13. Jen Reply

    October 13, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Wow, this is fabulous! Thanks for this post. We just snagged two great Heywood-Wakefield endtables that look nice, but some love wouldn’t hurt, either. Woo-hoo!

  14. Sara in AZ Reply

    October 13, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Thanks Jen! I sure would love to see pics of your end tables when you are ready to show them off! 🙂

  15. Patti Cannan Reply

    February 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Wow! I just came across this story. The MCM faires must be fluttering around because I too am going to tackle some HW. I found two endtables awhile back at a junk store for $15 each!! And they are as sad as your nightstands were. I’ve been so worried about refinishing them myself but you have inspired me! I’ve seen the eBay’s guys stain and wondered about the quality, so thanks for your thumbs up. I will take your advice to take the tables apart and take my time. Thanks!!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      February 21, 2012 at 9:52 pm

      Hi Patti! Thanks so much for visiting and commenting! Wow, $15 each is an amazing price for Heywood anything, you are super lucky. 🙂 Don’t be scared of refinishing the tables, you can definitely do it! Just take your time and you will be super thrilled with the results! Let us know when you are done we would LOVE to see pics!

  16. Deirdre in DC Reply

    August 17, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Thanks so much for this post, Sara. I just acquired a whole “Encore” line Heywood Wakefield bedroom set in wheat…and also appreciate your link to the eBay store. Your final product looks a lot more like the champagne finish, though. Is that just b/c of the flash?

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      August 17, 2012 at 11:56 pm

      Hi Deirdre! The flash definitely did change the actual color a bit -as the nightstands have more of a brown/orange tone in real life. The actual finish color looks more like the last pic I took outside when I was still staining. If you are considering ordering some stain from the ebay seller he can send you out samples of his stain so you see what the color will look like in real life. Good luck with your project and let us know how it goes!

  17. Hezzerella Reply

    October 31, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    I came across your blog researching some Heywood pieces. I love it! I have this same nightstand that I refinished. I am jealous you have a set! I also have a HW dining table and chairs. They are not marked though. I sent a photo of the chairs to the company and they confirmed. I have only found two references of my table style a few years ago and cannot find it again. I refinished the table as well. I love love love HW pieces. You have done a fantastic job on all of yours!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      October 31, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      Hezzerella! First let me say I am SO happy you found the blog…welcome! 🙂

      Second…..I am completely addicted to H-W too! I think my husband must REALLY love me to put up with the smell of stain permeating the house every so often! Thanks you so much for the compliments, I really appreciate it!

      It sounds like you must have a pretty rare dining set, and yes – some older H-W was not marked with a stamp or the burned in logo….some earlier furniture was marked only with paper labels that have fallen off over time…..it was very smart of you to contact the company for an official ID!

      Stay tuned for more Heywood refinishing posts from me in the future!

  18. Aric in MA Reply

    March 10, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    These are great, I’m looking at getting some step tables, forget the model number. did you stain the inside of the bottom portion, and fewer coats? (can’t tell) looks like more grain is visible but it might just be the flash. looks fantastic!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      March 10, 2015 at 11:44 pm

      Thanks Aric! Yeah, it is just the pic/flash! I stained everything (bottom interior too) and everything got 4 coats. I have to say – if I was staining these now I’d dismantle the entire thing….it’s very, very hard to get the coats to flow well when you are doing interiors like that…but this was early on in my refinishing learning process…..live and learn! 🙂

  19. Aric in MA Reply

    March 11, 2015 at 12:25 am

    …and in so help the rest of us figure it out…

    thanks again-

  20. Dave Powell Reply

    July 25, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    Hi Sara!

    Your site is TREMENDOUSLY informative and inspiring! My wife found it after we purchased our own H-W Encore night stand at a local consignment shop. I’m about to begin sanding, but during dis-assembly, one unanswered question lept to mind. It looks like you removed the top shelf and its two vertical supports… but not the main cabinet’s top piece. And the drawer space below it is too constricted to get good leverage on the screws into the top-shelf supports. So did you use a special Philips tool of some kind to remove those screws…or did you actually remove the cabinet’s back panel and top and then reattach them for your photographs? (I removed the shelf-support screws in the drawer cavity using a “micro” screwdriver and a pair of pliers for torque…but I’m not sure how well they’ll work when re-tightening the screws later!)

    Actually, I just noticed your latest comments… where you said that you probably should have completely disassembled the cabinets. I may consider doing that too… but first, I’d like to know how you originally “got at” the shelf-support screws inside the drawer cavity!

    Many Thanks!



    • Sara In AZ Reply

      July 26, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      Hello Dave! First, thank you very much for the kind words…it is much appreciated!

      Congrats on the Encore nightstand score! Our nightstands are in our master bedroom right now and I could not love them more!

      I did not remove the cabinet back panel, though in hindsight (like I said to the previous commenter) I should have taken everything apart. I have removed the back panels on other H-W pieces and it can be done by VERY carefully pounding it out from the inside.

      To remove the shelf supports from inside the drawer cavity I used a right angle ratcheting screwdriver. I think ours came from Ace….here is a similar version that Harbor Freight sells.


      I would highly recommend getting one of these as this will be the perfect tool for both removing and reinstalling screws in those hard to get to spaces….and will provide the torque you need too!

      Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to check out my tutorial on refinishing H-W.


      In this post I show more detail into my refinishing process.

      Let me know if you have any more questions and good luck with your project!

  21. Dave Powell Reply

    July 28, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Thanks so much Sara…I will look for that right angle screwdriver…it’ll make reassembly SO much easier! I’ve begun the sanding process and loved the writeup about your desk. My wife wants one of those desks now! (Must seek desk M328 desk …)

    We just received our Maple and Champagne stain samples and instructions, and due to the warm woods throughout our new condo, I think Champagne will win out. I’ll definitely let you know how it goes!



    • Sara In AZ Reply

      July 30, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      No problem at all Dave, I tell you that right angle screw driver was a life saver for sure!

      Ha! The desk…..I will keep my fingers crossed for an M328 to come your way soon! Be careful….this Heywood furniture is addicting! 🙂

      One thing I started doing differently in my refinishing process (after I wrote up that refinishing post) is using a very fine grit sandpaper (minimum 1000 grit) instead of the steel wool. The sandpaper is more expensive as you will go through more of it, but it seems to give a more fine finish in the end. But honestly, the steel wool is ok to use too!

      Definitely let me know how it goes for you!

      • Dave Powell Reply

        July 30, 2015 at 4:47 pm

        Thanks Sara…Good info! I just finished my 60-grit sanding, and am about to depart into the next finer level. I’m so glad that the neighbors in our condo building are on vacation right now!!!

        • Sara In AZ Reply

          July 30, 2015 at 8:06 pm

          Ha! I know what you mean Dave……I felt guilty sanding away for hours at a time and this was in a backyard of our house! Eeps!

          Sounds like you are cruzing right along…it won’t be long before you have a beautiful nightstand you can be super proud of! Also – wanted to clarify…..1000 grit between stain coats!

  22. Pingback: Refinishing Our Heywood Wakefield M328 Desk Bookcase…….The Definitive Post on Refinishing! | No Pattern Required

  23. Pingback: Refinishing Our Heywood Wakefield M328 Desk Bookcase…….The Definitive Post If You Want To Refinish Heywood Wakefield Furniture Too! | No Pattern Required

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *