Craigslist DIY: New Furniture on a Budget

DIY on a Budget Project #1

The first project was a makeover of an old kids’ dresser we’ve had in the family for about twenty years. It was solid wood, and in good shape, but just a little small for our needs now. I felt I could still get some use out of it as a hutch or some other storage unit in my office, so I decided to check out YouTube for some tutorials and got to work.

The dresser started out a light oak color with a shiny varnish  (that was all the rage in the late 90s) and I wanted to change that, so I went to Home Depot to check out the colors of spray paint. Yup, no brushes or rolling for me – I wanted the quickest and easiest method with the least cleanup! I purchased some primer and 4 cans of spray paint (I used Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch Satin Fossil) and headed home.

rust-oleum spray paint

I removed the drawers, took off the knobs and replaced them with some newer knobs I had leftover from when I changed out my bathroom cabinet hardware a few months ago. No added expense there (I also already had sandpaper).





dresser beforeNext, I sanded the surfaces down. For a previous project I did last year, I completely sanded down to bare wood, but I decided I could probably get away with just roughing up the shiny surface on this one, so I just sanded by hand. If there were layers upon layers of paint on the dresser, I would have probably used the electric sander and gone for it, but hand sanding would have to suffice for this one.

The painting stage took a few days, because I used three coats, not including the primer, and waited a day between each coat, also giving it a light sanding with a 220 grit sandpaper in between. It’s kind of hard to see because this picture was taken on such a sunny day, but you get the idea. My green dresser was coming to life!

painted, no drawers

After I was satisfied with the color and number of coats, I sprayed two coats of clear gloss as a top coat, just for some added protection for the top, which would be getting more wear and tear. I used Rust-oleum for that, too.



Lastly, I put on the new knobs, and stood back and relished the thought that I just got a new piece of furniture for about $40!


DIY on a Budget Project #2

My next project was just completed last night, and I just love how it turned out!

Disclaimer: I am a very amateur DIY-er, so although I am quite happy with my final products, there are plenty of really, really talented people out there who have beautiful masterpieces worthy of their own Etsy shops. Me? I just like the satisfaction of repurposing old things and staying within budget.

OK, what was I saying? Oh yeah, my project. Well, ever since we moved into our new house, I’ve been wanting to create more of a space that said “me”. While most of the house is bright and airy with high ceilings, my living space is kind of dark, and everything is beige, beige, beige. I was ready to venture into painting my furniture a brighter color.

Problem 1: Dark living/workout space area.
Problem 2: I needed a piece of furniture to put my TV on (I was currently using a two-door cabinet that was an espresso color, which worked nicely in the old house, but now I needed a bigger piece and also something that would brighten up the room).

Solution 1: Shop the stores, shop online, find something with the dimensions I needed.

This led to…

Problem 3: Way too expensive and out of my budget.
Problem 4: The online retailer (Amazon, Ebay, WalMart, you name it) wouldn’t ship to Hawaii. We get that a lot here.

Solution 2: Craigslist!

I perused Craigslist for a good couple of months before I found it (not everything in there is a deal). I needed something that was solid wood and under $75, so I could do my whole sandpaper/spray paint routine. I found something for $50. Score! Here’s the “before” picture:

TV stand before

I decided on my colors, took apart the doors, hardware and shelves, and went to work.

tv stand primertv stand primer 2tv stand primer yellow paint  DIY on a budget tv stand

While the doors were off, I noticed the back side of the door faces were more modern (shaker style) looking (photos below show the original and the back side), so I decided to switch them around.

DIY on a budget door face oldIMG_0989

This meant more work, including changing the hinges and filling holes, but it would give the piece a more updated look. I was happy with the added effort.

DIY on a budget finished doors

And here’s the final product!

DIY on a budget final product

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