Easy Thrift Find Furniture Makeover That Will Save You Money

10 Materials
1 Day

Thrift find furniture is my LOVE language! It can can be hard to find the perfect piece when you're on a budget, but this one was... $5! Read on...

easy thrift find furniture makeover that will save you money

 I wished I could tell you that I have a secret place to find these $5 SCORES. Truth is, I don't find many at this price. However, I do find some really good bargains at thrift stores, estates sales, etc. Even a freebie side of the road at times, but that's a rare treat. This chest came from a garage sale. The sweetest little old man had been storing his TOOLS in it. I asked him if it was for sale. He commenced to kicking it and said, "this old thang?" "I use it for a tool box." My eyes got sooo BIG! Next thing I knew I was loading it up in the back of my truck. I almost felt guilty for taking it, but he insisted it wasn't worth anything. I'm still feeling a little guilty.

easy thrift find furniture makeover that will save you money

This chest had been sitting in my spare bedroom for no less than 15 years. I was just waiting on the the right time and inspiration to tackle it. It was in great shape other than the finish. The old varnish was dry and flaking off. It was super easy to remove it. I used my rotary sander and a 220 grit paper to sand it down to the bare wood. Gosh, the wood was so pretty. Can't paint that!

easy thrift find furniture makeover that will save you money

Dixie Belle has a wonderful water based gel stain that I love. It's so easy to use. It also comes in multiple colors. For this project I chose two colors. Tobacco Road and Black. Yep, you can custom mix your stains color just like you can customize your own paint colors. I LOVE this about their products! After staining, I allowed the it to dry overnight. Gator Hide was used to seal the stain top and gave it a hard and durable surface.

easy thrift find furniture makeover that will save you money

OMG... I love this part! Here is where the biggest transformation starts. One coat of Terracotta chalk mineral paint was quick and easy to apply. No special brush was needed. I even painted over the hardware! I know, it's sacrilegious to paint over such beauty, but it was worth it in the end. Next I dry brushed Buttercream over the Terracotta. This was a beautiful finish, but I had to do more. Ha! Then I applied one coat of the Metallic Copper top coat. After is was dried, I took my rotary sander and went to town distressing and taking back a bit of the metallic finish. Just enough to get a two tone look.

easy thrift find furniture makeover that will save you money

Next I applied Gilding wax. I use my makeup brush. Ha! It works. I'm sure there are other brushes that work too, but use whatcha got, right? I load up my brush and offload it on a paper plate. In a circular motion. I add only to the areas that need a little flare. The handles and the corners of the drawers is where my vision lead me.

easy thrift find furniture makeover that will save you money

Next I applied Dixie Dirt. It's a cool powder like dust that creates an dirty aged look on top of wax. I used a chip brush and simply dusted over all the areas where I had added wax too. The Dixie dirt sticks to the wax and seals automatically. It's perfect for adding years of dirt and age to waxed furniture without it actually being dirty.

easy thrift find furniture makeover that will save you money

Thanks for joining me for this makeover. I hope this has inspired you to keep your eyes open and your hands on the wheels while you search for you second hand, thrift furniture finds. G A R A G E S A L E !

xo, Do

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Do Dodson Designs

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Kelly J. Tinney
    8 days ago

    I’d love to see a better picture of the finished piece. What does the top look like? It’s just beautiful!!

    • I was just on her blog and will attach a slightly better pic she had there. It is beautiful! I was just encouraged to hear that things could sit around for 15 years waiting for right time! 😄🤪😩🤣

      I’m attaching the pic below... I hope. 🥴

  • Mickey
    8 days ago

    It’s very pretty but why didn’t you finish the legs the same as the top? I think that would make it just that much prettier?

  • Barbara
    3 days ago

    I'd love to know where you shop. It seems when I drop into a recycler, everything is over $100 and looks beyond repair. I like to sand and stain to bring out the natural beauty of the wood, I'm not a 'fussy it up with bling' kind of restoration person, but I'm very glad you are happy with the results.

Join the conversation

2 of 28 comments
  • Joanie

    The fella that stored his tools in this would probably drop to his feet in amazement.......it is such a pretty chest with character.

  • Lisa West
    20 hours ago

    Love it. It's so beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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