Home, Style, Uncategorized

January 15, 2018

Upgrading Your Outdated Furniture For Under $40

Interior design and personal styles grow faster than our pocketbooks can keep up with! My style is always evolving and my home struggles to keep up with it. After moving in together a few years ago and recently being married, settling into and making our house a home was never a priority with mismatched furniture, random collections of stuff and storage nightmares. Over the last month, I’ve slowly been cleaning out the old and organizing the kept items. We’ve hit a point where we can begin putting together OUR style and making our home something comfortable and loving. Since we do have such mismatch, garage sale furniture, I took $40 to the hardware store to make our bedroom style complete with two redesigned nightstands!

We already owned the two nightstands – one from my childhood bedroom set and the other from a garage sale that a family member just couldn’t pass up and eventually passed on to us. Both solid wood with average wear and tear from years of use, but there was nothing detrimental to the design or use. I removed the knobs that came with the furniture and gave it a light sand with an electric hand sander to remove some of the sharp, chipped edges and normal wear. It also helped the paint stick better to the wood.

I knew I wanted to repaint them to fit our comfortable, rustic style with a twist of modern, and did some research on the best options. Since I wasn’t looking for glossy, I went with the Rust-Oleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint in Aged Grey (they offer a variety of matte colors, like blush, navy, dark grey and more) with the coordinating matte clear coat to protect the surface and chalk from wear. Using this paint, the top coat is essential if you don’t want wear since chalk paint is designed to wear overtime to look rustic and aged. For the two nightstands, knowing I would need at least three coats to cover color and design, I bought three cans of color and one top coat, each being $6 to $7.

After two coats of paint and one touchup coat of paint, I was satisfied with the coverage, but some may wish for another full coat for a more even look. Each coat was applied after an hour of the prior coat, so the painting process only took about 2.5 hours. Since it was a spray paint and not the traditional canned version you would use with a brush, the coats were more even and streak free. I let them both dry overnight and applied two light coats of clear the next day.


Once the nightstands were completely dry, I added the knobs I purchased to match from the hardware store. These worn brass knobs were at the hardware store for $3 each but clearanced for $1.27! For eight knobs, I saved almost $14 by looking at the clearance section first and finding exactly what I was looking for.

All in, I spent a total of $37.36 plus tax at the hardware store and completely changed the way our bedroom felt! This overnight trick is an easy weekend project and can mix up your style. See below for full directions and leave your comments on your favorite DIY hacks to update your home!

  • 2-3 cans of chalk paint
  • 1 can of top coat paint
  • Drop cloth (to prevent paint on floor or surfaces)
  • Knobs (varies)
  • Screwdriver
  • Base coat (may be required for brightly colored or designed surfaces)
  • Sandpaper or electric sander with paper
  • Place furniture on drop cloth to prevent floor staining. Remove knobs from drawers and sand all painted surfaces to remove rough spots and damage. Dust furniture and wipe with a mildly wet cloth to remove remaining residue and dust.
  • Pull drawers out slightly in a stagger to paint edges of drawer. Apply base coat lightly (if necessary) and let dry.
  • Apply chalk paint lightly on all surfaces of the furniture, giving adequate amounts of time for drying (Rust-Oleum recommends an hour between coats or 24 hours). Apply two to three coats until coverage is even and surface is covered.
  • If you are interested in distressing the paint, lightly use sandpaper or the electric sanders on corners or areas you would like to distress. If you mess up, apply more paint and let rest for at least 24 hours before sanding again.
  • Let furniture dry completely before applying top coat. Lightly apply top coat over painted surfaces and reapply after 1 hour or 24 hours. Apply two to three coats to prevent wear.
  • Let furniture dry 24 hours. Insert desired knobs and decorate!