Saturday, August 30, 2014 · 10:13 a.m.
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Teach yourself to look past ugly finishes and designs. The shape and condition of a piece of furniture are all that matter. (Photo: Jenna LaFevor)

Don’t you just love Craigslist? I am a huge fan. You can find anything on Craigslist. Really, anything. I promise. I found this little jewel on Craigslist a few months back.

Two different shades of chalk paint later. (Photo: Jenna LaFevor)

OK, well, she wasn’t a jewel to begin with, but she was only $5. That’s right, $5. It was easy to see the potential despite the horrendous painted flowers and awful 1980s(?) yellow-y color. It has beautiful lines and was also solid wood, so it was a no-brainer that my husband would be loading it up in the truck for me. I knew this piece would be gorgeous with a fresh coat of paint.

I took her home and whipped up a batch of my DIY chalk paint. Chalk paint is a type of paint that is thicker than latex paints and does not require a piece to be sanded or primed before painting (AKA "lazy girl's paint"). My DIY chalk paint recipe can be found here. After giving the chest a good cleaning and removing the drawer hardware, I used Benjamin Moore’s "trout gray" in my chalk paint recipe and covered the entire piece with it.

I really wanted this baby to pop. It needed some contrast against the gray. So I used some white paint from a sample pot and whipped up some more chalk paint. I used the white chalk paint along the grooves of the legs and gave the drawer handles a coat as well. Once the paint was dry, I gave the entire piece three coats of Minwax polycrylic spray for protection.

Successful makeover? I think so. When you’re thrifting, remember to look past the finish. You can easily transform a piece of furniture with paint. This whole transformation took less than a few hours. 

Jenna LaFevor rants on at Rain on a Tin Roof about DIY projects, junk decor, thrifty finds, crafty creations and other decorating dilemmas. She went to UTC, where she got a teaching degree that now collects dust. When she isn’t trying to keep her kid from climbing out of the circus ring or making sure her husband’s shirts are taken to the dry cleaners so she gets out of ironing, she can be found with a paintbrush in one hand and a cheap beer in the other. But if you’re buying, she’ll have a cosmopolitan. You can email her at rainonatinroof01@aol.com, or you can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter @raintinroofblog or at her blog. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees. 

Who knew $5 could look so good? (Photo: Jenna LaFevor)
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