Simple Furniture Makeover

I’m a sucker for a good deal.

I’m almost positive it’s a genetic trait I inherited from my mother. When I was younger, we would shop out of season for an entire wardrobe. In the Fall, we would purchase a huge haul of spring and summer clothing for pennies from Belk and Penneys (and when traveling Macy’s and Dillards) and she would say “Now, let’s put this up in the top of your closet and totally forget about it. When Spring comes around, you’ll have all new clothes for those seasons.”

And we would and I loved it. So now as an adult, I shop the same way.

If I can find a piece of furniture at Goodwill or other thrift store that is well-built, I have confidence that I can transform it to a beautiful updated edition to a home. And if I mess it up, I’m usually out less than 10 bucks!

Recently, my husband found an end table and a desk at our local Goodwill and brought it home and said, “I think you can give these pieces a good makeover.” Usually it takes me a few days to come up with a game plan for what I want to do with the pieces. This process 99% of the time is influenced by what paint/stain colors I have on hand. Because we build furniture, I know that I have more options on hand than most people. So, that is a plus for me.

I figured with the side table, I would transform it into a nightstand to match my sons’ new bedroom move/makeover. They’ve decided they want to share a queen bed in a different room instead of the twin beds where they were sleeping in another bedroom. They are young and I haven’t decorated hardly at all in any of my three childrens’ rooms (#MOMFAIL) so I was up for it!

So here is the before of the side table.




First I removed the hardware from the drawer. Then I used the sander and sanded the whole thing just a bit. I wanted to just buff it a bit, especially on the top. I wanted a two tone finish and was using black spray paint on the top so that’s the step I did next. I spray painted probably three coats of paint on the top of the table. I did this step FIRST because I like to do as few things as possible and didn’t want to have to tape and cover the bottom if I painted it first!

After the black paint was dry, I used Rustoleum’s chalk paint in Aged Gray to paint the drawer and bottom of the table. While the first coat dried, I spray painted the hardware in black. Then I painted the second coat of chalk paint on everything. One great thing about chalk paint is that it dries fast!

I let the paint cure for at least 24 hours. This isn’t always necessary, but good practice (just in case!). My husband suggested a shiny top for the stand so I did two coats of very glossy polyurethane. This stuff is thick and runs so work quickly.

For the bottom and drawer, I could’ve used the Rustoleum matte top coat (which I like) but the process is a bit tedious so I used Minwax Matte Polycrylic as my topcoat. I use a cheap sponge brush to apply.

After that was completely dry (the glossy poly takes a while), I put everything back together and it was ready for it’s new home in my sons’ bedroom!


I basically did the same process with a desk we purchased at the same time at Goodwill. It was also painted in Aged Gray chalk paint and the hardware was spray painted “Brilliant Silver”. I do not have a before picture but wish I did! It looks totally different and fits the space so perfect now!




So, my advice is if you feel a bit intimated with the refinishing process, buy a super cheap piece or something you have in your basement and garage and try it out! I have failed many times (and still do!). It’s a trial and error process and before long you find out what works and what doesn’t! I would be happy to answer any questions if I can, if you have them!

Thanks for reading! Good luck with your own DIYs!

Kelly 🙂


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