DIY On a Dime Furniture Facelifts

About 10 years ago my sister and I were out and about and decided to stop by a Goodwill Clearance center in our city.  Have you ever even heard of one of those before? Yeah, me neither…but it’s kind of like all the junk that Goodwill stores couldn’t sell was transported to this giant warehouse.  There were bails and bins of hand-me-down-castaway clothing that was for sale by the pound…I had never seen anything like it.  Anyways we walked around and picked up items while browsing.  I saw a hideous little wooden table that had a broken drawer, chipped paint, no drawer pulls and was way more shabby than chic.  I told my sister I was a little interested in it and we couldn’t find a price listed.  I was about to ask around and I told her that there was no way I was paying more than $10 for the piece of junk, she said I was crazy if I paid more than $7, haha. The man came over when I flagged him down and said I could have it for $2.  

Two freaking dollars, heck yes, I felt like I hit the Ugly item jackpot and I was beaming…my sister thought I was still delusional that I could make this thing appropriate for any spot in my home but she couldn’t disagree that any table for $2 was worth a shot.  


I still have my $2 table all these years later.  It has transformed a few times.  First, it was a very bright teal that had fun yellow and teal drawer pulls and white candles and frames on top. A few years later I toned down the teal with a fresh coat of sea-foam green semi-gloss and these super cool over-sized hot pink flower drawer pulls for my daughter’s room.  When we moved again that table made the cut.  It sits in our living room and is still one of my favorite pieces of furniture.  It is now a creamy white (semi-gloss paint that was already in my garage) with sanded edges that reveal some of the sea-foam under-layer and exposed wood, I had some leftover wood from a previous project (I LOVE PROJECTS) and I bought three library catalog-esque metal pulls and transformed the entire look of the table for about $8…this is my favorite kind of project.


$2 Table Upgraded

There is the cute white table in the corner that originally cost 2 bucks. It has a creamy white coat of paint and my favorite part…the drawers, well fake wooden drawers and the antique looking catalog pulls.


Closer Up

I think turning the single long drawer into appearing as if it’s 3 smaller drawers gives the little table more character.

Another favorite project that I did a few years ago was re-doing our dining room table. It was my parents’ first dining room table way back when and my mom had gotten a new dining set so this table was gonna be homeless. I scooped it up but it was super dated, however, solid oak. I wasn’t loving the style of it or the wood grain so I thought and considered and finally went for it. I took that thing out in in the garage and piece by piece I sanded it lightly with a sponge sander. I was really scared at this point, if I messed it up it was our only table. After a light sanding I used semi-gloss grey paint and did two coats with that on the entire table and chairs. Once that dried I got to do my favorite part…stain on top of paint. I got a grey stain and brushed in as straight of lines as I could manage across the table in the same directions with a paint brush. Once dry the streaks gave the table some character and emulated wood grain. Once all that was dry (a few days later) I got some polyurethane, and using a super cheap sponge brush I applied layer after thin layer over every surface. I love the shine on it and that it is super durable. It’s been about 3-4 years since I redid the table and it still looks great.



The table looked similar to this…most every American family had one like this in the 80’s, haha.



I love the grey and that the table is super shiny. It matches us much better and didn’t cost a lot but took about a week to complete. Do you see the faint variation in grey from the stain…I like the contrast better than just one dimensional grey.

My husband went to help his best friend tear out some stuff before a kitchen remodel. When he came home he presented me with a tall corner cabinet that came from our friend’s kitchen and they were trashing it. Projects are my favorite and I was excited to get started. I dragged this thing outside and floored it to the store for spray paint. I bought dark grey Rustoleum and a can of gold too. When I got home I did a light sanding and then applied two coats of paint to the cabinet and two coats to the hardware changing them from silver to gold. The shelf on the original white cabinet was white tile that seemed like it belonged in a kitchen or bathroom to me, but I wanted it to warm it up so it could go anywhere. I covered the tile in grey paint and then cut a board which i stained a chestnut brown to fit over-top the tile.



This cabinet was in great shape, just looked a little sterile for my taste. See the tiled shelf? Yep that had to go.



It looks more expensive now like a custom piece. I love the gold handles that got upgraded with spray paint. And the wood instead of tile makes the whole piece warmer.

As you can see, most of the things that come my way meet up with paint or sandpaper. Haha! Once we ended up with a bunch of old windows because my husband was using them for a photo shoot scene. One was broken when he got home so he said I could have it and try and figure out some way to salvage it. Well I chipped away the rest of the broken glass in the center pane and put some chicken wire and purchased a few wooden letters to create an intentional filler. I may have kidnapped another of the windows from the garage a few weeks later for our patio?! My daughter and I hot glued two bags of moss from Michael’s directly to the glass and I hung it on our patio so I wasn’t staring only at stucco from my favorite outdoor spot.


Window Re-Style

So there’s the window, I like the size and that the broken pane now pays tribute to our family name. Hey and there’s the corner cabinet with all the kid’s books in it.


MOssy Window

Did you know that you can spray store bought moss with water every so often if it starts to get brown and dry? The moisture will bring it back to green. I love our little living window.

There’s the window with our patio. That would’ve been a lot of stucco to stare at but the window brings in color and a visual focal point. For a couple of dollars it looks cool.

Projects happen all the time over here. Not like as a mom I don’t have enough to do…but I appreciate seeing something from start to finish. I like upgrading furniture and items that we use every day to make our house more home-y. I hope that you get excited about re-purposing items. Start with something small and work your way up.