Updating outdated furniture...another "before" and "after" makeover!

You have it or you have seen it being sold for next to nothing on Craigslist or Marketplace or at garage sales.

Dated furniture. Naturally we turn our noses up at it because, well, ick.

But often these old dated pieces are rock solid and truthfully, they can be updated with very little time, money and effort. You just have to be willing to see past the “ick” and roll up your sleeves.

The first thing I did to “update” this piece was remove the little scrolly doo-dads on the top drawer and round doo-dads in the corners.

Often these little “doo-dads” are affixed with a little bit of glue and tiny nails…just use a chisel or flat object to slip behind and pop off…super simple…then just fill the holes and sand smooth.

After that I removed all the hardware. I liked the little brass knocker looking pulls so I painted them (and the round knobs on the top drawer) with metal primer and Rust-Oleum’s Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. I replaced the bottom two drawer’s hardware with oil rubbed bronze cup pulls…

While the hardware “cured” I painted the piece with homemade chalk paint. Two coats. Homemade chalk paint is SUPER cheap and easy to whip up…5 tablespoons of Plaster of Paris mixed well with 3 tablespoons of water…then add 2 cups of latex paint. You can buy sample pots of paint so you can mix the chalk paint any color you want. Then I “distressed” a tad with 220 grit sandpaper, wiped it down with tack cloth and sealed it with a spray on polycrylic.

So what does it cost to update a piece like this?

Time wise? A day. Chalk paint dries super fast so you can usually apply two coats and distress in a matter of a few hours, then spray or brush on a sealer.


Wood putty/filler. Maybe $3-4 but then you have a BUNCH for other projects.

Spray paint for hardware. 1 can of metal primer and 1 can of spray paint…less than $10…and again you will have a bunch leftover for other projects

Paint for the chest. Home made chalk paint is super cheap. A box of Plaster of Paris is about $5. A sample pot of latex paint is less than $4.

Clear coat: polycrylic or polyurethane or any spray on clear coat…less than $10.

In this case I added new hardware on the bottom two drawers…that added about $20 to the total cost…but the original hardware could have been painted as well.

A piece of sand paper and tack cloth…less than $5 if you don’t have it on hand.

So realistically WELL under $50 and a little time and effort.

Seriously…soooo simple!

I have said it before and will say it again…LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO LIVE WITH UGLY FURNITURE!!!!

You CAN do it!