What Would You Do? Round 2: Thrift Store Treasures Edition

Dun dun dun duuuuuuuun!  I (as well as many of you) am a bit obsessed with thrifty design.  When you are trying to find your grove learning how to spray paint (I dont care how many tutorials you read you have to actually do it to learn) the last thing you should do is try it out on some family heirloom.  Start with a thrift store find that has potential and learn on that puppy.

All of today’s WWYD submissions are just that.  Thrifty goodness at its core.  So make sure to chime in with what YOU would do, and if you have something that you are sick of overanalyzing about send it on over and I will share it with the world for you! (vintagerevivalsblog AT gmail DOT com subject line WWYD)

Up first is this AWESOME table from Laurelle:

Wow! I am so glad that you are doing this series! I bought a tiny mid-century style coffee table at a market a couple of months ago and I have been searching the internet since then for inspiration on what to do, but so far no luck. I would prefer to paint it because I just don’t know if I would be able to strip it down, sand it, fix up the wood (which is completely dis-coloured, all the edges are black – and I’m not even sure if it is made out of wood!) and re-stain it. But I am worried that paint would completely destroy the style of the piece. Anyway, I need ideas and this seems like the perfect way to get some!

2012-09-23 02.50.12 (1)

Dear Laurelle,  I am IN LOVE with your table.  The end.  Just kidding.  I would totally paint the frame a crazy fun color, like hot pink and then sand down the drawer and legs and leave them wood.  Make sure you don’t paint over the awesome brass details, and maybe find a new handle (scroll down to Becka’s paragraph and you will see some awesome hardware suppliers!)

Our second victim (and I use that term very loosely) is Becka’s dresser

Hey Mandi!

Can I first just tell you that I love your guts!  Your blog is the reason why I now have a thrifted dresser I painted an amazing shade of teal in my living room.  It’s probably my favorite thing in my house!  Thanks for making me use color!


I have another thrifted dresser that I am planning to paint black and turn into a new TV console/entertainment center. (Pictures attached)

I have two WWYD questions:

What would you do with the hardware?  Should I keep them and spray paint them or buy new hardware all together?  What kind?

Also, I am going to remove the top left and right drawers and create a shelf for our cable box and Play Station.  Should I paint the inside of the shelf a pop of color? Perhaps the same teal I used for that other dresser.

What Would You Do part 2

Hey Becks!  2 things.  Is the hardware at all curved?  I cant tell from the pics.  If it is then you might have a hard time finding the right curavature.  If its not then by all means change it up!  You can find some great ones here and here.  As well as your local thrift store.  Remember when I bought a dresser just for it’s hardware?  As far as the color goes, I would totally paint the insides of the open spaces a fun color, the teal would be great or if you are wanting to bring in another color this is the perfect way to do it!

So what do you guys think?  How would you update these thriftilicious items?

Love Your Guts


  • Lolly Jane 17.01.2013 at 16:47

    I agree with the first piece keeping the legs a separate color. Depends how bold you are but I think a fun yellow top with coral legs would be amazing. Or aqua and mustard. Keep the brass.

    For the second, I love that hardware! I think you’ll like it better once you paint the piece, try it out first. And yes to teal inside, how cute would that be to open it up and have happy pop out at you??

    Great finds, ladies!

  • Christine@ Projects Around the House 17.01.2013 at 16:49

    For the table, my husband had similar style nightstands. We painted them an espresso brown color to match our other furniture. The brass ends at the bottom were in bad shape so we painted them with metallic paint to maintain the cute element.

    For the dresser, if you can’t replace the hardware you will be amazed at how spray painting it will update the look. We had an heirloom piece we didn’t want to change and spray painted the handles silver and it really updated the piece. Good luck on both projects!

  • Mara and Jae 17.01.2013 at 16:49

    first of all, i LOVE that coffee table. so cute and unique. i want one! and i definitely agree…paint the outside a fun color and leave the drawers something different (or just the wood). so many fun options!

  • abode 17.01.2013 at 16:58

    Looking at my color bible (colors of the 1950s) you could go avocado green on the top and base of the table and antiqued cream on the legs and leave the brass!

  • Hooked on Decorating 17.01.2013 at 17:00

    If I was to redo the coffee table I would paint it a bright color such as teal or olive green and then stencil the top in a contrasting color for some interest. I would use a modern stencil for that table.

    The 2nd dresser is very similar to my buffet that I transformed into my flat screen tv cabinet. I removed the middle drawer in the front to hold our dvd player and our PVR. I love it! My hardware is slightly different than the one on the dresser but I also have another buffet in my dining room with the same type of hardware and if it was me I would keep the hardware exactly the same as it is. That style of hardware is quite expensive ($18.00 each at Lee Valley) and I think it would look amazing kept the way it is once the dresser was painted. Here’s a link to my tv cabinet if you want to get an idea what yours would look like when painted.

  • Kathy@mishmashmom 17.01.2013 at 17:12

    I might die if Becka gets rid of that hardware. It. is. awesome.
    P.S. If she does end up changing it out, she can send the old ones my way. 😉

  • SHUG IN BOOTS {Beth} 17.01.2013 at 17:18

    I love the hardware too! I would want to paint the “outside” white and the inside (that inner shelf, and it’s sides and the underneath part of the top … how much sense does this make .. I need to draw a picture) black (or some stark contrast color). What a fun find! :)

  • Shauna 17.01.2013 at 17:29

    I’ve actually been LOOKING for hardware like that. Dang.

  • Laurelle 17.01.2013 at 18:06

    Hi, this is Laurelle, owner of the coffee table! Thank you so much Mandi! I LOVE the idea of using two different colours! I like the avocado green idea and if I can I will keep some wood in there as well! Merci everyone! If anyone else has other colour suggestions let me know 😀 I also love teal or mint green … hmm so many options :S

  • Nessa the Procrastinator 17.01.2013 at 18:10

    For the first one, I love the idea of painting it all neutral (if the wood isn’t real and won’t sand nicely) like white or light gray, then paint the drawer front a pop color along with only half the legs (giving them that dipped look). I have no idea about the second one other than I’m jealous that in her house, she only has a cable box and a playstation. We have three game consoles in our living room and 7 in DH’s office.

  • Sandra Keys 17.01.2013 at 19:17

    Love the table. It could be used in any room of the house. First, I would take out the door on the left! I would put a couple of coats of Sage Green for my under coat and then a couple of good heavy coats of Antique White. Sand it in the right places and put a couple of my Granny’s old colorful quilts in the empty spaces and set it at the bottom of my bed!

    Charles N Sandra K.

  • Laura Lynn 17.01.2013 at 19:30

    Nice finds! I love that dresser hardware too. You could spray paint them but because of the swing of the handles, they would eventually flake. I think bringing out the gold tones with Rub N Buff would be amazing but they have other colors you could work with. I use it on hardware all the time. Can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  • Carrie 17.01.2013 at 19:55

    Becka-Why are you getting rid of that perfect hardware?? It’s gorgeous! Will it not match anything in the room? If you don’t like it, send it to me!

  • astr!d 17.01.2013 at 20:04

    love both these!
    1. i would strip and stain the top a rich brown and paint the rest a contrasting color- white or yellow. then either clean up the brass on the legs or spray them brass. maybe with some dark wax stain over the whole piece. i really love it!!!
    2. i agree with some comments up top. keep the hardware just respray another metallic color. i would paint the whole thing a neutral color – espresso, black/charcoal, or off white. then remove the doors and add that pop of color on the insides where the ugly electronics will go. idk if i would match with the teal from the previous project or not. but i like mis-matched designs.
    i think it should be mandatory to show ‘after’ shots of these projects! lol

  • 17.01.2013 at 23:53

    Ohmygoodness! Thank you everyone for your awesome comments. I tried to wait to complete the project, but well I couldn’t just let it sit in my basement knowing that we were having a Christmas Eve party so I obsessed over finishing the piece before the holidays. After reading all your comments and having no other choice at the time, I’m so glad I kept the hardware. I couldn’t find anything that fit the original screw holes an didn’t have time to replace so I ended up spray painting them nickel. So, here’s my after! {Mandi, Hope you don’t mind me linking.}

  • Angela Giaco 18.01.2013 at 00:02

    I love bright colors, so I’d paint it and add some fun scrapbook paper to the drawers to add some extra color and patterns! I’d also make sure to do something to make the knobs and handles stand out. But that’s just me and my colorful opinion… 😉

  • Alicia @ The Creative Vault 18.01.2013 at 04:36

    The first piece would be amazing painted white with the brass feet and the inside of that open space painted a bright color or a graphic pattern like herringbone or tribal triangles etc.

  • Jamie 18.01.2013 at 14:12

    I love that coffee table!! I just bought a small desk in a similar style for my 3 year old’s bedroom. My top is laminate so I am going to paint it with chalkboard paint, but can’t figure out what to do with the rest. Can’t wait to read all the suggestions.

  • Laurie Slade 18.01.2013 at 14:45

    For the table, Yes! Bright, bold color. Perhaps even do a checker/chess board grid on the top.

    For the dresser, keep those federalist period pulls. Perhaps hit them with a salt,vinegar paste to bring back the brass. They will gleam on the black if you are going with a low gloss or matte finish. Yes on the pop of color it you MUST remove any of those beautiful, curved drawers.

  • vintageroving 18.01.2013 at 19:00

    I like the black idea. I also like the color pop of painting the blank holes when you remove the drawers for storage.

    I would consider NEVER getting rid of those pulls. They are classics and oooze class.

    I might consider getting some rub on bronze, silver, or gold and rubbing it over the moldings and insets to give it a combi rustic/glam look. POP THOSE LEGS with whatever color is your accent color in the room and maybe paint the top in alternating thirds the same color. Example. Divide the top visually by 3. Paint the outside two sections avocado, leave the center wood where the tv will sit, paint the neighboring space avocado or ___.

    This is a timeless piece and was a significant amount of money for someone when it was purchased new. If it were mine, I would paint the top only and the legs because it is a fine piece of furniture, and when painted furniture runs it’s fashion trendy course, you will still have a valuable piece and only have to redo the top when the trend turns back to natural wool again.


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