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I’ve been painting again | Nightstand + dresser from Freecycle

Those of you know know me in real life will not be surprised by this because for the last several months, I’ve been on a roll with the whole furniture painting thing.

freecycle dresser before and after paint

For some reason, we’ve been blessed to receive an awful lot of solid-wood furniture recently on Freecycle…since March, we’ve gotten four dressers, a desk, a chair, and two nightstands.

Oh, and a wooden file cabinet too!

Anyways, my latest acquisition was a little nightstand. Here’s what it looked like before:

freecycle nightstand before
and here’s what it looks like now, with new paint and new hardware:

freecycle nightstand after
I’d probably have chosen some rounder hardware, but I wanted it to match the hardware on the dresser in that room, which is also from freecycle. Here’s a picture of what that looked like when I brought it home:
freecycle piece of furniture.
That’s actually a very flattering picture…in real life, it looked a lot more beat up. I wanted it to be white, to match the crib in the room, so I painted it(of course!).

white freecycle dresser
So, now Zoe has two pieces of solid-wood furniture (with dove-tailed drawers, even!) in her room, for the cost of primer, paint, and hardware.

($8 on paint, $3 on primer, and about $13 on hardware, and I still have more white paint left).

white painted freecycle furniture
Freecycle rocks.

We were going to buy a solid wood dresser and paint it (which would have cost at least a couple hundred dollars), and even then we’d still have had to buy the primer, paint, and hardware.

The nightstand didn’t really save us any money per se (it’s holding her books and her diapers, which were in baskets before), but her room does look neater without the baskets, which makes me happy.


P.S. Here’s how I paint wooden furniture (I share my fave paint and primer, plus the sander I use.)

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Wednesday 9th of July 2014

Have you used milk paint? I'm interested in trying it . And would like some instruction. I love you site!! I too am a frugal gal. Motto is use what you have and I can do thischeaper. I LOVE your projects! So inspiring. thanks a bunch.


Thursday 10th of July 2014

I've never used milk paint-so sorry! My experience is with the latex paint I talked about in my how to paint wooden furniture post.


Monday 25th of November 2013

Hi Kristen, I stumbled on your website looking for ways to give a old furniture of mine a new life. Great blog and awesome content. I share a similar passion like yourself in being frugal and I write tips on finding cheap flights at my blog. I am all set to paint, thanks for the inspiration.



Monday 9th of September 2013

thank you so much for all your tips, I was going to buy a book but have learnt a lot from yourself, going to experiment now, will let you know how I progress


Tuesday 3rd of September 2013

Hi there,

I picked up a dresser from a rubble was once red, and was painted pink (poor paint job, pink paint is severely chipping). I like the effect of seeing the red under the pink, in some spots. How can I preserve this color effect and make the dresser useable? If I sand, I'll probably remove all of the pink, but I want to put something like an acrylic finish on it, to seal the chipping paint. Would the acrylic finish seal the chipping paint? Is this a lost cause as my husband thinks?


Wednesday 4th of September 2013

I think you'd probably want to use something like a coat of polyurethane to seal it.

I personally would probably be inclined to sand it down and give it a new coat of paint, but that's sort of hard to say without seeing it.


Friday 12th of July 2013

Hi... Just bought 4 bar stools for my kitchen.. It's a real light oak... Want to do a red color... My husband thinks I know what I'm doing... I don't. Should I spray paint or roll it? I understand priming is important ... Help!!


Saturday 13th of July 2013

I'd sand them to scuff up the finish, spray paint the primer, and then brush on the paint. Here's how I paint furniture:

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