I used to look at ugly old beat up furniture, wrinkle my nose and think “who would want that?!”

Now I look at old furniture and think “what could I do with that!?”

It’s a subtle change, I’m not really sure when it happened. But I’m oh-so-grateful it did. Because when you realize your new place has no linen closet… and you’ve finally got room for a desk – it’s time to thrift shop.

I mean, my first inclination was to run to the Pottery Barn website and drool over this amazing little vanity desk…

I mean, come on.

I mean, come on.

And it would only set me back a cool $499 and tax. Cough, sputter, choke.

Yeah, that’s no longer happening.

So thrift shopping I went and I ended up with both a fully functional (and FUN!) desk, an armoire type piece and a vision.

All that was included in the vision was some spray paint and a piece of glass.

So after enlisting the help of my friends with a truck (although I had high hopes, the armorie was just too big to fit in my small SUV) who could also help me get the pieces in my back yard, I was ready to sand and spray!

One note: when I sprayed all of the furniture in my bedroom, I had used Rust-oleum Primer/Paint and it was amazing. This time I tried another brand first and was more than disappointed. So if you’re painting anything – I’d absolutely advise the Rust-oleum brand of spray paint. It mentions on the bottle it has two times the coverage (which is completely true), it’s only $.10 more than the other brand AND the push nozzle is so-much-better. Which sounds ridiculous, but if you’re about to go through 6 bottles… your finger gets tired and you run the risk of putting your fat finger in front of the spray stream. Trust me. One can of primer for the first layer. Then as much as it takes for full coverage on the rest of it.

And this is what a few hours of work and a whole lot of spraying accomplished:

It's amazing what a can... or 8... of spray paint will do.

It’s amazing what a can… or 8… of spray paint will do.

Shiny white pracitcally new furniture.

Oh – and the top of the desk, I experimented with chalkboard paint. Thanks to the lovely Water Boy for the suggestion. I’m in love with how it turned out.

Isn't that just adorable?

Isn’t that just adorable?

And since I know you’re thinking “I’m sure with all of those extra supplies – you probably could have bought that amazing and incredible Pottery Barn desk” I’ll let you in on a little secret – I did all of this for practically a quarter of the cost of that fancy little desk.

Cost Breakdown:

  • Desk: $20
  • Armoire: $30
  • White Spray Paint: $30 (including the bad decision kind)
  • Chalkboard Paint: $4
  • Glass Piece: $50

Total spent: $134. Now, I appreciate that I didn’t need the glass. Or the chalkboard paint. Or really probably even the white paint… but that adds a lot of fun and character and it looks great with my already white book case that’ll also be sitting in that room!

Once I get everything moved back in the house tonight, I’ll be able to organize the back room a little bit – and I Can. Not. Wait. for things to have a “place” that they belong to.

The goal is to have everything in a place it belongs in by Friday. Go ahead and say a prayer for me!

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