Day 10 – Paint some furniture

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This post is part of a 31 day series – “31 days to decorate your home on a budget.”  You can read all the posts in this series here.

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Furnishing your house with furniture can be expensive.  BUT not if you watch yard sales, thrift stores, and craigslist for deals.  Now you might be thinking, “Sure, I can find furniture at yard sales or on Craigslist, but I wouldn’t want it in my house!  It’s not my style, not my color, etc.” Smile   Don’t worry, I don’t find things in my color or style either.  But I paint, stain, and adapt them so that they are my style! Smile

I bought this coffee table at a yard sale for $3.  Yes, $3!  It wasn’t my color and it had some water damage on the top, but for $3 I thought I could give it a try.


I started by stripping the finish off and sanding the top completely down.  I then stained the top Minwax Dark Walnut Stain (my favorite color of wood – dark walnut!) and painting the bottom a creamy white.


I distressed and glazed the bottom and here it is in our living room! Smile




And this chest has a story all its own.  I frequent a flea market on Saturdays and had my eye on this for several weeks.  It is made out real wood and I loved the lines.  But the seller wanted $35, which was more than I wanted to pay.  I tried for several weeks to get him down (I wanted to pay $20) but he wouldn’t budge much (first down to $30, the next week $28…).  After 3-4 weeks of this, I was scared that if I didn’t just buy it, someone else would and I would lose it.  He finally came down to $23, so I paid and left with my long-awaited chest! Smile


From the first moment I saw it, I knew exactly what I was going to do with it and exactly where I wanted to use it!  You see, I have these cute little nieces and they love to come to “Aunt Nina’s” house and have night-night parties! Smile  And I have books, crayons, toys, blocks and such for them to play with and no where to put it all.  So this little chest will go in my guest room (the room they sleep in when they are here) to house all their little toys. Smile

The yellow plaid ugliness on the front was some sort of wallpaper?  It sanded off very easily.


And I was ready for part 2 of my plan! Smile  I love these wood embellishments you can buy at Lowe’s or Home Depot.  This one was about $5 but because the tip on the left was actually broken off, they gave me 20% off.  (I knew I could glue it together on since I would be gluing it on to something anyways.)


I glued it to the center of the front of the chest with some super glue (we were all out of wood glue and I was ready to get this project done) and painted the whole chest over again in white.




After!!  (By the way, this was exactly what I was envisioning – I even knew the shape of the embellishment I wanted to use, since I used this same one on our fireplace.)



So look past the ugliness and envision the potential! Smile

Here are some more examples from blogland:

Coffee table turned adorable bench from Sabby in Suburbia


I see dressers like this all the time at Goodwill.  And most people would pass them by.


But look at what it can look like painted white! Smile  Love this!  Check out Show & Tell for more details.


And white is not the only color you can paint things.  I see a lot of turquoise or bright colors painted on side pieces like this one by Sweet Pickins

And black is always gorgeous too –Just a Girl shows you how to get this great finish without sanding or needing a fancy paint srpayer.


So take a second look at that furniture you see at yard sales or on Craigslist and imagine what a little paint can do. Smile

Have you painted any second-hand furniture pieces to fit into your house?  What is your favorite color for furniture – dark stained wood, white, black, or a fun color?  I am a mix between dark stained wood and white right now. Smile



  1. I wish that I could create these things! Your furniture re-dos are awesome!

  2. So pretty! Your coffee table is gorgeous, especially for just $3! We have so much painted and redone furniture in our home. Other than what my hubby has built, every single thing is second hand. We’ve been neglecting our bedroom furniture for 9.5 years though and I think it is finally going to get done! (This baby coming pretty soon is quite a motivator!}

    My favorite color right now? I don’t know…black and shades of white may always be my favorites. Would love to paint something turquoise or mustard yellow right now though! =)

    • Christina says:

      I know, I couldn’t believe they only wanted $3! And I didn’t even talk them down – what was I going to say – ummm…how about $1? for a coffee table 🙂

      I am working on putting more re-done furniture in our home. 🙂 we have a lot of hand-me downs. and some I want to redo and some I want to get rid of (can you say my sweet hubby bought black laquer 70’s style furniture brand new when he was growing up?? His mom told him his future wife would HATE it and she was soooo right! Not even paint can help this furniture! 😉 So believe me, we are in the same boat of neglecting our bedroom furniture. But it is on my list.

      I would love to have something turquoise too and maybe even yellow but I am little too shy to try it right now. 😉 maybe in a few months or with a small piece.

  3. Kristen says:

    I have never distressed furniture. I plan on painting my ugly dresser a turquoise color, then distressing it. How do you do it? I’ve read so many ways, which is easiest? LOVE your website!! Plan on using a lot of your examples in my home :).

    • Christina says:

      I have only done 1 piece (the rest of these pictures are from other people’s projects for inspiration.) I did a coffee table and painted the legs white/stained the top. I distressed the white legs by just sanding it lightly on the edges and random spots. Then I brushed some stain over the entire white part to give it an antique glaze look plus accent where I had sanded it.

      You can see pictures of the coffee table in this post –

      I have lots of furniture painting planned for this spring, though! 🙂

      • Kristen says:

        Thank you so much! I’m going to do my dresser today! I’m so excited, you have given me the courage to try something completely out of my comfort zone 🙂

  4. Carrissa Stalcup says:

    I love the buffet that you painted! I doubt I would have thought to change the drawers around like that! gorgeous. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Christina says:

      the buffet was actually painted by someone else – I was just sharing some inspiration. Glad you liked it 🙂


  1. […] A little paint and stain and I love it!   See more transformed thrifted furniture ideas here. […]

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