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I am an avid painter. In fact, I usually opt to repaint or refinish a piece of old furniture before I even consider buying something new. It’s not because I love painting, but rather because I like a good deal. I firmly believe that it’s possible to have beautiful furniture without paying outrageous prices. A little paint can go a long way.
One of the techniques I use to score frugal finds is to utilize sites like Craigslist and Facebook yard sale groups.
Fun story: Awhile back, my husband and I were looking for a double oven for our home. Do you know how much double ovens cost? A lot. There’s no way our frugal selves were going to pay full price for a double oven. So, we searched on Craigslist for weeks and weeks, probably more than a month. One day I saw a posting for an almost-new stainless-steel GE Profile double oven listed for $625. I thought, could it be? Could it really be? Turns out, yes, it was legit. But, it came with a caveat. There was another interested buyer and if we didn’t get it that night, it would be gone the next day. That could have been a fib from the seller, but we weren’t taking any chances. That night, after my husband and I commuted an hour home from our jobs, we turned right back around and drove another hour just to get that double oven. After we loaded it onto my husband’s truck, we drove the last hour home in crazy beltway traffic. It was good times.
But that’s just who we are. We will do just about anything for a good deal…within reason. That same oven brand new costs around $3,000. That’s a $2,375 savings. You just can’t beat it.
Story aside, I also think family and friends are a good word of mouth system to utilize when trying to find used decor that just needs some TLC. If you’re willing to do a little work, you can get the high quality look for cheap.
The following list is comprised of several painting projects I have done in the past. I wouldn’t recommend trying to do all of these projects in one weekend, but even if you complete one, you should consider that a success!
HERE ARE PAINTING PROJECTS YOU CAN DO THIS WEEKEND:
The beautiful slate-colored coffee table you see above once looked dingier than the ‘before’ picture you also see above. Several years ago, this coffee table was given to my husband for free by one of his co-workers. At the time, his co-worker had purchased new furniture and was looking to get rid of his current furniture, including the coffee table above. On the top of the coffee table, the veneer was ripped completely off in one corner. We considered making a brand new top, but my dad had a better idea: reuse the current top by turning it over so the underside became the top. Brilliant!
Not only was it free, but it required just a small bit of work to flip it over.
You can see the original top in the below photo where the veneer was ripped off, not to mention the other numerous scratches.
The photo below shows the original underside that became the new coffee table top! I’m still tickled about the idea to make the flip, which cost zero dollars. Parents really do know best!
The result is beautiful! I love the way my coffee table turned out. The only expenses were items I already had: the paint and the sandpaper. I scuffed up the wood a bit before painting to ensure the paint would adhere. We already had the paint because I had used that same color on my bar base. I love reusing things I already have!
Talk about a bargain. I snagged the above table from our local Goodwill for just $75. I had been looking for one for months, and when I saw this guy sitting by his lonesome in the corner of the store, I knew he was meant for me.
The table was in great shape and had no dings, dents, or scratches. The only problem was the finish. The original finish had these tiny black dots spread throughout that made the table scream 1970s. But I knew with a little TLC, the table would fit perfectly in my home.
I wanted to compare prices on a new one vs. mine, so I did a quick Amazon search. These tables are also very beautiful, but do cost quite a bit more than my frugal find:
BRICK WALL OR FIREPLACE
I had been wanting to paint my brick fireplace wall since I moved in my house in 2013. I didn’t get around to it until years later, but better late than never. Our house was built in the 1970s, so there were several projects that needed completing in order to bring the house to this day and age.
I had read several tutorials about how to whitewash a brick fireplace. All the tutorials were the same: mix half water and half white paint. OK. Easy enough. But, I didn’t want a full-blown white effect. My house has light gray/beige walls so I wanted to somehow incorporate that hue. I decided to test out my own theory of using a combination of 1/4 white paint, 1/4 wall color paint, and 1/2 water. After all was said and done, it paid off.
The whitewash isn’t too white that it looks like stark white but isn’t too gray to a point that it looks like a gray brick fireplace. It really is the perfect color combination for my fireplace.
Why not reuse that empty wine bottle that you already bought? Grab some leftover paint you have lying around, and bam, a free painting project. I have painted wine bottles a few times and love how they turned out each time.
I have the white wine bottles sitting on my fireplace mantle. I wrapped them in burlap to give them a little bit of a farmhouse feel. I had originally used the all white wine bottles for Christmas mantle decor. Bright white looks nice with red and green.
Here’s another photo of some wine bottles I painted teal that now live in my master bedroom and bathroom.
To complete the look, I simply inserted Ashland Natural Curly Willow into the bottles that I purchased from Michaels.
I had a trio of old plant stands that I wanted to paint. I bought them at Ross several years ago. They recently started to rust after being outside for quite some time. Instead of throwing them away and buying new ones, I thought I could salvage them. So, that’s just what I did.
Typically, I would not paint something bright orange, like the legs of these plant stands. I was feeling particularly saucy that day and decided the ‘cinnamon’ paint would look good in front of my brick-colored house. I really like how they turned out.
Truth: I had a mismatched set of a silver curtain rod and bronze curtain rod rings. Womp. Womp. The reason is because I had purchased the curtain rod from Burlington Coat Factory at a super cheap price point. On a separate day, I was in Walmart and bought the bronze rings. Why did I buy the bronze rings when I had already purchased a silver curtain rod? I’ll tell you why. I was impatient. I kept forgetting to buy curtain rod rings every time I was running errands. Eventually, when I remembered to buy them, I was at Walmart and they ONLY had bronze curtain rod rings in stock. Can you believe that? So… typical me: I thought, no worries, I’ll just paint either the rod or the rings so they look like a matching set. I was not leaving there without curtain rod rings.
So there you have it.
I think it’s kind of like going to a store and finding the perfect shirt, only to find out it’s the last one and it’s not your size. I can fit in it, I tell myself. But, actually I can’t. I still buy it. *Sigh* I like to think that phase of my life (of irrational purchases) has passed, but I’m not positive that’s the case.
If you have any mismatched accessories or just want to change the color of them, paint them. This tip works great on old brass doorknobs.
Have you tried any of the above paint projects?