Painting Old Furniture: A Thrift Store Makeover


Painting Old Furniture: A Quick & Easy Thrift Store Shelf Makeover

I heart thrift stores!  I can spend quite some time in the home and furniture sections. I move things around, re-imagining how I can make them look different.  I picture things in different colors and in different rooms in my house.  One of the easiest trash to treasure transformations is painting old furniture.  I always say, “They just don’t make things like they used to”… I know… I sound like a Grandma.

I went to a local Salvation Army (SO conveniently located I’m in there so often!).  I found this great shelf.  It was a little beat up… ok A LOT beat up. P.S. Don’t look at how gross my garage is!

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Look at the top. Ew…

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And who knows how long this has been there…

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BUT it was only $5.00, I knew exactly where I would put it and I loved the lines and shape of the arms…or are they legs? Whatever they’re called…  With a little TLC, I knew I could give it new life.

I sanded it down really well and took a knife to the gum.  I cleaned it and cleaned it again.

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Spray paint is the best way to go with a makeover like this.  Spray in a well-ventilated area and make sure to protect all surfaces.  I allowed mine to dry for a full 24 hours before I brought it in and used it.

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Here are a couple AFTER photos.  Isn’t it cute?  It’s DIY Inspired Blue! (I wish that was the real name…{sigh}…maybe someday).

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By the way, I recall two other garage sale furniture pieces I bought for five dollars each.  If you want to check out my upholstered bench makeover or my refurbished side tables, please do! Also, check out my trash to treasure guide for why you should buy furniture secondhand. It also includes a list of trash to treasure tips and project ideas.

For more repurposing ideas and trash to treasure ideas, check out this fun round-up of garage sale and thrift store transformations! There are over two dozen original projects I have done including housewares and furniture transformations.

Thanks for reading!

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  1. Dinah, I LOVE that! It totally looks like something we would have had in our house in the real early 80’s but definitely NOT in that fun color! And I love how your Eat sign makes it so perfectly!

  2. OMG, you and I should live next door to eachother!!! You should see what I’m going to do with our vintage high boy dresser! And thrift stores…..oy! There are two within minutes of me I go to at least once a week!! My area is prime for them!

    I LOVE the color you used on that shelf! Bright, cheerful! It looks fantastic! I love doing stuff like that to old furniture!!

  3. Do you mind sharing what color this is and what type of spray paint you used…I’m painting some of my old furniture for my dorm room next year and would LOVE to paint it this exact color!!

    1. Of course!! It’s Rustoleum Painter’s Touch Satin Aqua spray paint. I got it at Home Depot. I’m so glad you like it! I’m using the left over to paint a bird bath I’m making for my yard… coming up soon! Thanks, Brooke for stopping by!

  4. I think you made a great choice for a shelf and your paint color is beautiful…the way to have an inspired and uniquely decorated home is to do as you have done, re-purposed something from the past…about 15-20% of the people who shop our estate sales, are DIY’s

  5. I hit Salvation Army, Goodwill, independent thrift stores, and amazingly – Craigslist Free category. I am surprised what people end up throwing away that is easily refurbished. Little projects with the kids that can be flipped for sale. It’s fun and is a great lesson in business. Great post.

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