3 Thrift Store Makeovers

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Ever wonder if it’s possible to style your home with inexpensive pieces from a thrift store, garage, sale or even Craigslist and make it all come together? I’ve recently become very passionate about my new hobby of making over bargains finds by personalizing them to fit into my home’s decor.

Today, I’m showing you a few examples of my own masterpieces – I am hoping to inspire you so the next time you see an older piece of furniture that’s in desperate need of some help, you’ll consider picking up that paint brush and doing it yourself! And believe me – I’m no expert at furniture restoration. If I can do it, so can you!

All three of these pieces in my family room are from thrift stores and painted with Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan. This particular paint has been my go to for furniture because there’s no priming or sanding and it’s odor free, meaning you can paint indoors. It’s more expensive than hardware store paint but for me it’s worth it. To find a retailer and for more info on this paint, head over here.

Thrift Store Finds Hip2Save
Don’t you love the shape of this mirror? It was just $10 at the thrift store! I used two coats of the paint color Pure White and some gold furniture gilding wax to highlight some the beautiful details. Since the piece was dark, I sanded the white paint to reveal some of the detail all around the mirror for more of a “shabby chic” look. With this type of paint, you seal it with furniture wax using a paint brush. This piece has a clear wax on top.

Before & After Mirror Hip2Save

This cute little table was just $20 and I love the fact that it has magazine storage on both sides.  This table also has two coats of the color Pure White. I made the stripe easily with painter’s tape and the dark gray color French Linen. This piece also has clear furniture wax on top. Doing something as simple as replacing the knob can also totally transform the look of your furniture. I love this crown knob from Cost Plus World Market.

Thrift Store Side Table Makeover 2 Hip2Save

My coffee table is my favorite piece in the room because of the shape and the scrolling wood detailed legs. It has two coats of Provence Blue, clear wax on the top, and dark wax over the bottom details. The dark wax gives it that older look; after you apply it, you wipe it back with a rag until you get the result you prefer.

Coffee Table Makeover Hip2Save

I hope these before & after examples can inspire you to either redo something in your home that you already have or can help you to see the potential in inexpensive thrift store pieces!

Join The Discussion

Comments 71

  1. joy

    Wow! Do more!!

  2. Mae

    I love every one of them, esp. the magazine holder side table. Great job, Lina!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)


    • tiffany pate

      I HAVE that exact magazine holder table! Its sitting in a garage waiting to be redone. I got mine FREE!!! LOVE how it looks white; but I am thinking of Tiffany blue, or a tad lighter. Thanks for the vision of my table!

      • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

        How funny! thanks!

      • Keely

        Try the Annie Sloan Duck Egg blue. It’s incredible with just the clear wax or the dark wax!

  3. Barb

    that’s awesome.

  4. Marian

    Very cool! Do you strip the pieces first? The wax that you seal it with, does it give a smooth surface that you can clean and stuff? Would this be okay for a dining table/things that get heavy use?

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      If it’s a kitchen table you’ll use a ton. I’d recommend a stronger clear sealer like min wax poly. But the furniture wax is very smooth and almost velvety like. No stripping with the paint I used here πŸ™‚

  5. justme

    I love it! Very inspiring!

  6. t

    so cool!! thanks for all the wonderful tips. i love hip2save and i LOVE Lina’s tips/recipes/etc…

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Thanks! How nice!

  7. Nicole

    I have 2 dressers in my girls’ bedroom. One was mine and the other my hubby’s from when we were kids. I’ve been wanting to paint them white and redo he hardware but I thought I would have to sand and prime them. I don’t want to put in a lot of time or money. They’re not antique, yet! Lol. So could I just paint over the current finish with chalk paint, coat with clear wax and be done?

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Yes! I just did our bedroom ones too. So much easier to just paint in the room πŸ™‚

  8. Leslie

    Love Love the coffee table πŸ™‚ It’s great to get some inspiration and ideas for home makeover and re-purposing

    • Leslie

      Also, meant to ask where you purchased your rug? It would match my living room PERFECTLY πŸ™‚

  9. Lori

    This is awesome!! I have 2 nightstands in desperate of some tlc. I’m thrilled I won’t have to sand them first! πŸ™‚

  10. Cari

    Wow! I bought Annie Sloan chalk paint and vowed to never buy it again. Completely different experience for me. :(. I am so frustrated w the paint and for 40 bucks a quart for the paint and 30 for the wax, I expected a lot more. I used pure white and had to do 3 coats on the dresser- it still looks blotchy :/. I’m glad someone else had much luck with the paint. After spending so much time on the piece I realized I should not have bought paint that has classes offered on how to use it :/. Guess I should have taken the class for 100 bucks( which ends up ruining the budget for the pieces I found , especially after I bought the paint).

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Oh no! That’s a bummer. I’ve never heard that before with this paint πŸ™ I did take the class but it was really more about the different finishes you can do. Hmm I do still do use Valspar and get my electric sander out sometimes πŸ™‚

    • Tilla Ham

      Cari, have you had good luck painting other things? I don’t know how to say it without sounding mean, not trying to be, but my husband is a terrible painter. he kept blaming the paint for our horrible bathroom paint job and then I did it with same paint and a different result:) painting isn’t his forte:)

      • Jeannie

        Tilla, You said that very nice and diplomatically! I agree…some people are better painters than others.

    • Amanda

      Whoa–it’s $40/quart?!

      • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

        Yep! Also note my blue table was from a sample size, which you can also purchase. It goes along way. I painted 2 big dressers and two nightstands with one quart πŸ™‚

        • Keely

          I agree with Lina! I bought one can of the Coco color and I have painted a tall dresser and two nightstands, two coats, and still have paint left in the can. It’s incredible.

  11. Alea


  12. tisha

    very cute!!

  13. Rosario Diaz Gonzalez

    I am a thrift store nut…I’ve found the most amazing items like a Vera Wang gown for $15 to a Dyson vacuum for $20. 90% of my designer clothes is from this one Goodwill in MD.

    • Tilla Ham

      my aunt is a good will junkie and dresses like a star..she can fill a cart for 80 dollars and have an incredible wardrobe…I’ve never had the patience or the luck

    • amy

      Where in md may I ask? I’m in maryland as well.

      • Rosario Diaz Gonzalez

        The Rockville GoodWill

        • Rosario Diaz Gonzalez

          4816 Boiling Brook Parkway
          Rockville, MD 20852

    • cheapcheap goes the mommy

      Amen Rosario, I have to go to a Banquet next month with some big execs that would probably have a heart attack if they new I paid only .99 cent for my chiffon dress, its super chic and was at the local Salvation Army..its like Easter egg hunting for grownups! Love hunting for my Buried Treasures there…ARRRHHH! πŸ™‚

    • Janice

      Same question about which Goodwill in Maryland? We are near the Waldorf, MD Goodwill and it isn’t that good… not like the Goodwill we used to frequent in Colorado Springs, Co. I do like the Salvation Army store here in Waldorf however πŸ™‚
      They have 50% off all their clothes and linens each Wednesday!

      • Rosario Diaz Gonzalez

        The Rockville Goodwill

        4816 Boiling Brook Parkway
        Rockville, MD 20852

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Wow how fun!

  14. Ger

    Lina, you’re a woman of many talents! Thank you for the tips and recipes, I love them all! Love your rug, the colors are perfect for my living room, where can I find one just like it?

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Thanks!! This is a Mohawk brand area rug found on walmart.com

  15. Vivian

    Ok Lina! You’re making us look bad! How do you do all this and cook when you have 2 small kids?!!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      HA thanks Vivian! Decorating and thrifting is my “Me” time that I wish I had more of! Ha This room has evolved over the last year in small steps πŸ™‚

  16. kara

    My local Goodwill is so expensive, especially for furniture. I don’t get it.

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      None of these are from Goodwill πŸ™‚ I prefer locally owned thrift stores for furniture. Happy Thrifting πŸ™‚

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      And actually Salvation Army when they have sales during certain times of the month. I know the schedule πŸ™‚ ha

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      I have heard of this, but have not tried yet! Good idea πŸ™‚

    • Ann

      U can mix baking soda in ur paint for the same effect. A lot cheaper. I have been doing it!

    • Brandi

      If you do this, can you still go sand/prime free?

    • Renee Schuhmacher

      I’ve also made my own chalk paint with unsanded grout (white). The recipe I use is 2 tablespoons unsanded grout mixed with 1/2 cup warm water until completely dissolved then add 1 cup latex paint. I switched to this recipe after I found out that some latex paints contain primer (it isn’t disclosed on the label) which will not mix with the plaster of paris recipe. The POP recipe gets all gloppy and will not mix up for anything it kind of turns to hard curds and the more water you add trying to smooth it the stiffer it gets. With the unsanded grout mixture I did find that you do have to stir and add water after it has sat around for any length of time (overnight, etc…) but it is still just as good. And unsanded grout is super cheap.This is the nicest smoothest paint I’ve used. Another tip is that sometimes your local Habitat for Humanity store has furniture, unsanded grout, POP, and paint, paint sprayers, tape, etc…. super super cheap. Create away ladies and gentlemen.

  17. Susan

    Seriously! This is amazing! The blue coffee table matches my front room:;)) Need this! Must thrift more and get creative! Thanks for sharing this!

  18. Ann

    Looks great. I have been doing this also. Some i have finally uploaded to pinterest. I go to auctions and get some good deals, and goodwill and thrift stores. i just redid my kitchen island the same way. Love doing this. I use Olympic paint, baking soda and acrylic. Works like a charm… see here:

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Great job! Love the color!

  19. Mary

    Love all 3 pieces!! I just turned an old shutter into a coat rack and it was super easy. I’m going to check out some local thrift stores for a coffee table pronto!!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Thanks! Happy thrifting πŸ™‚

  20. Tracy Allen

    WOW! They are all beautiful! The side table with the stripe is my favorite!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Thank you!

  21. Tony

    Could you please tell the wall colors that you have used in the room. I recently bought a new furniture which is exactly this color but was not sure what color to paint my walls.
    Appreciate it

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Hi these walls were here so I’m not sure the colors πŸ™‚ we’ve had the couches forever and I’ve added aqua and whites to brighten. Thanks!

  22. cari

    Tila I paint and have remodeled most of our house and furniture. All of the rooms in my home and many furniture projects with standard sanding and paint. With the time and effort I put into this antique dresser and it is still blochy, then it was sticky from the wax-by the 3rd time try around that’s when I vowed never again. I could have had the whole bedroom set done and instead I have worked on the dresser far too long. I wanted to try the newest and greatest paint on the market, since I had a newborn on the way last year… thought it would save me some time…not sanding, but it backfired. Needless to say I’m still bitter,lol-can u tell. I think Lina’s projects are gorgeous and I love doing projects-but this girl will never buy that paint again. πŸ™‚ I still have to correct the dresser….. it will be gorgeous when it’s done. That’s what life is though, we live and we learn πŸ™‚

  23. amanda

    I chosed not to buy a baby changing table to save over $300. I donate to savers so I went there and used a 20% off purchase after donating my old stuff and purchased a dresser like the ones the mirrors come on which was the perfect height for us(we are a pretty tall family) so I got a quart of paint for like 10 after using lowes competer price( ask them about getting 10% at botb homedepo and lowes) the dresser was 13 after coupon and hardware I went a little crazy cuz I loved them $12 so a total of $35 or $40. We had a great piece for our daughter. I got little wooden letter at ac Moore and wrote her name with it.

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Sounds really cute πŸ™‚ I know new furniture is so expensive!

  24. JulieA

    Can you tell me what kind of finishing wax you used? I did an ombre effect on one of my tables but I’m not sure what to “seal” it with. I painted it with Valspar paint; a sample from Lowes. Thanks for the great projects & information!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      I did a clear wax by Annie Sloan, but minwax has a great clear poly sealer.

      • JulieA

        Thank you! I plan to tackle my oak filing cabinet next…fingers crossed!

  25. Ann Dee

    I love it! So cute! I am definitely inspired and will have to try out some of your ideas. Thanks so much!

  26. Crystal

    You are really talented. These are gorgeous.

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Thanks! πŸ™‚

  27. Lynn l

    After seeing this post, I went to my local thrift store. A similar mirror was marked $35.99. Um, way too expensive. I think it depends where you live…I live in sunny South Florida. Things are much more expensive here. Housing, rent, food, etc. Now I know that I can include second hand shopping to that list.

  28. Melanie

    Please make this a regular addition to the site. My boyfriend found a media table for free on Craigslist over the weekend & we are gonna refinish it. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      You’re welcome! Sounds awesome πŸ™‚ great score!

  29. Me

    I have been doing this for years. I love making something ugly pretty. I do it for home and the lake cabin. My husband is impressed and I’m happy. I love projects, but hate them at the same time.LoL

  30. RB

    Lina, I like the “windowpane” and side tables for their aesthetics and functionality. To be truthful, though, I preferred the coffee table the way it was (stained, rather than painted, to show the beauty of the genuine wood). (Of course that’s just personal preference.)

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Yes we have lots of stained furniture pieces as well. Love filling spaces with personal style. πŸ™‚

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