I had the very good fortune of having several pieces of furniture left in my house when I purchased it. Though it wasn't my dream furniture, it sure saved us a lot of money to not have to go out and buy a whole house full of furniture.
My pre-owned Ikea bedroom furniture did happen to be a stained black color. In order to make the furniture match and extend the life of my home improvement cash pile, I just bought some minwax ebony stain and gave the old nightstands a new life.
Here's the piece in it's original condition.
oil rubbed bronze pulls
Mayan pyramid style feet at the bottom (not a real term)
So I began by sanding this sucker down. I learned from my first experience with the headboard that was also the same color that if you are going to be using stain you MUST sand it completely down to nothing but bare wood.
Then I knocked off the Mayan feet of course.
After giving her a good rub down to make sure she was free of dust I gave her a coat of ebony stain, wiped it off and let her dry. Then I bought a cheap old 4x4 and cut it into feet for her. This raised the piece up to a better height to reach from my bed and gave it a much more updated feel.
Then I brought her inside, cozied her up to the bed, added my $5 garage sale lamp, bought some brushed nickel drawer pulls that match the lamp, and there she is, my updated side table.
(Derek has a matching one of course)
The headboard was done the same way but I also stained the metal piece at the top to be black instead of rusty looking with the same stain!
matching drawer pulls
modern feet with much better height!