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10 Ways Paint Can Update Thrift Store Finds

10 Ways Paint Can Update Thrift Store Finds



The most exciting part about thrift store or antique shopping is that you never know what you are going to come home with.  Go in looking for something specific and you're likely to leave empty handed.  But enter the store with an open mind and willingness to look around and you will undoubtedly find a treasure.


Chances are, though, that treasure will need a little work to be something worth showing off.  By far, a simple coat of paint is the easiest way to update just about anything that you'll find.  With just a little time invested and not much money at all, you can have furniture and accessories that are right on trend with what people are paying a lot for in stores and online.



Paint is an easy and cost effective way to transform just about any furniture or accessories you'll find at the thrift store, antique store, or consignment shop.  See 10 ways paint can update what you buy at www.andersonandgrant.com



And paint knows no style.  It doesn't matter whether you decorate in a farmhouse style, fill your home with shabby chic pieces, or prefer a clean line, modern look.  It is the type of piece that you choose to paint and how you finish it off that will determine whether or not it fits in your home.  


A thrift store chair can be painted black and placed immediately into a contemporary space.  Or, the same chair can be painted in a fresh white and distressed for a Fixer Upper style home.  Use a bit of antiquing wax over the paint and distressing to age the chair to have a bit of vintage charm.  And this same thought can be applied to any furniture, candlestick, wood bowl, or whatever you find speak to you at the store.



Paint is an easy and cost effective way to transform just about any furniture or accessories you'll find at the thrift store, antique store, or consignment shop.  See 10 ways paint can update what you buy at www.andersonandgrant.com

Please know that some of the links in this post are affiliate links that have been added for your convenience. You can view my disclosure policy here.  



Over the past few years, I've found my share of diamonds in the rough that needed just a few coats of paint to uncover their beauty.   While I'm partial to Fusion Mineral Paint, you can also choose chalk paint, milk paint or basic latex paint to update any of your finds.


Here are some of my favorite transformations that have just needed paint, a little elbow grease, and an open mind to look past what the item was in order to see what it could become.  (Click on each photo or the link included to see the before and afters and learn more about the total project.)




This wood letter from Michael's was given a farmhouse style makeover with paint and distressing.  Learn more at www.andersonandgrant.com



The majority of this fancy ampersand letter is constructed out of plain MDF (or medium density fiberboard), which isn't something that you'd want to see peeking out from behind the distressing.    It was so easy to stain, though, and once the letter was painted, you'd never guess that the entire thing wasn't made of real wood.  For something picked off the clearance shelf at Michael's, it was a quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive update.






This chair was black and dated, but received a makeover with paint and new upholstery.  See the before and after at www.andersonandgrant.com


When I purchased this chair from an estate sale, I was forced to look past the dark stain and worn tapestry upholstery.  Now, it couldn't look any more different painted in white with drop cloth material covering the seat.  The dark stain creates a beautiful contrast in the places where the paint has been distressed.


See how this chair went from dark and dated to a modern farmhouse classic.




Ordinary wood salad bowls from the thrift store are made stylish with paint and distressing.  A quick, easy, and inexpensive DIY for anyone to try.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com


These bowls were just basic wood salad bowls that are found in quantity at most thrift stores.  Although they may lack a little style as they are, paint and distressing give them them the look of having been around and used for years.  Add some apples and you've got an easy and useful decoration to sit on your counter.

Create farmhouse style bowls from a common thrift store find.



This beautiful console table in the entry was not so pretty before it was given a makeover with paint.  See the full project at www.andersonandgrant.com


There are times when you may find a piece of furniture that is no longer used for it's intended purpose.  I picked this stand that originally held a radio up at a yard sale for just $5.  Although it was in very rough condition, you'd never know that it wasn't a priceless antique console table after a few coats of paint.

See the dramatic before and after of this radio stand.



Update a rusty metal object with paint.  Learn the secret to this DIY at www.andersonandgrant.com


So many times I've seen kitchen tools, hardware, and metal objects that are covered in rust.  Not something you want to use or place in your home.  But it is possible to seal over the rust and even add a painted finish like I did on this old kitchen scale.


Learn the steps you need to take to cover rusty metal with paint.





The contrast between the wood top and painted legs of this dining table is beautiful.  See the before and after at www.andersonandgrant.com


For many years, this antique table sat in my basement because the thought of removing the old stain from the legs and fancy trim was overwhelming.  However, stripping just the flat tabletop and painting everything else created an updated dining set that fits right in with the style of my home.

See some up close pictures of this antique dining table.




A broken picnic basket is repurposed as a useful place to store blankets or magazines.  See the DIY project at www.andersonandgrant.com


In it's former life, this decorative storage piece was a picnic basket.  When I spotted it at Goodwill, I found that one handle had bee broken off.  It was an easy fix to remove the other handle and lid before painting and distressing the outside.  Now it is the perfect place to store blankets, magazines, or even extra toilet paper in the bathroom.

Discover how to give a realistic worn finish to a basket.






A dresser missing a drawer is given a DIY makeover to create a storage piece perfect for any room.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com


A lot of times, the furniture that ends up at thrift stores and consignment shops is damaged.  Although this dresser was very sturdy and had beautiful hardware and details, it was missing one of the small drawers at the top.  

A coat of light gray paint updated the base and white paint was used to highlight the details.  The other drawer was removed and the space inside the dresser was given a coat of the same gray paint.  A couple baskets from The Container Store were added in place of the drawers, transforming this old dresser into a unique custom piece of furniture that could be used in a variety of rooms.


See the before and after of this antique dresser.




Create your own distressed pieces of architectural salvage out of thrift store shelves.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com


Have you ever seen those mirrors and candle sconces that look like they're made of gold, but are really plastic?  While gold is definitely popular, fake gold isn't so much.  It is tempting to walk away from items like this because they are made of plastic.  But plastic can be painted and when done right, can even be distressed giving the impression that the item is made of wood, like these resin corbels.


Find out how to make resin look like wood that is chipped away.




Update an antique chair by painting just the seat.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com


This antique high chair (or booster chair) had likely seen much use back in the day.  The wood looked a little tired and dingy, but cleaned up nicely with hemp oil.  The seat of the chair, however, didn't fair so well.  There were places where the wood was chipping away and was too far damaged for the hemp oil to bring it back to life.  By painting just the seat, I was able to preserve the beautiful chair just as it was and easily add a unique contrast to the old wood.


Learn how to use hemp oil to restore old wood.






I hope that this post has inspired you to take a trip to a local shop just to see what you can uncover and transform on your own.  It is possible to have style and beauty in your space regardless of the skills you think you have or the budget you can spend.  

If you would like to share some projects that you've done involving paint with me, feel free to tag me on Instagram, Facebook, or send me an email.  I'd love to see what you've created!





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Paint is an easy and cost effective way to transform just about any furniture or accessories you'll find at the thrift store, antique store, or consignment shop.  See 10 ways paint can update what you buy at www.andersonandgrant.com

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Re-purposed Glass Jars as Unique Kitchen Storage

Re-purposed Glass Jars as Unique Kitchen Storage


Save glass jars and bottles to reuse as unique storage containers for food in your kitchen.



Save glass jars and bottles to reuse as unique storage containers for food in your kitchen.  |  Tips at www.andersonandgrant.com



It is the little things in life that add the add the spark to our lives.  And the same is true for what we place in our homes.  We should surround ourselves with beauty on a daily basis and try to find ways to make even the most common of items that we reach for put a smile on our face.


Our cupboards and pantries are full of different sizes and colors of packaging.  Businesses spend a lot of money trying to make their products stand out from the others.  But when we bring them home, it isn't necessary to have the boxes and bags vying for our attention.  I love dispensing things like pasta, rice, and baking supplies into clear glass jars and containers so that my pantry can look as clean and organized as elsewhere in my home.  And for smaller quantities of things like tea bags or candy bars, you can easily repurpose glass jars that you would otherwise be throwing away.



An empty raspberry syrup bottle is repurposed for holding vanilla in the kitchen.  Find more useful glass storage ideas at www.andersonandgrant.com

Please know that some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This allows me to make a small commission if you purchase something, but your price will stay the same.  I only will share products I believe in and all opinions are my own.  You can view my disclosure policy here.  Thank you so much for helping to support this blog!



I do a lot of baking and like to buy bulk sized bottles of vanilla because I go through it so quickly.  Time after time, I'd reach into the pantry for the large, clunky bottle and find it hard to hold on to and inconvenient to use and store.  And don't even get me started on the lack of style this plastic bottle gave to my cupboard!



As a side note....When making cakes and cookies, it is almost impossible to tell the difference 
between pure vanilla extract and imitation, so it is not worth it for me to spend more money 
than I have to.  There is a more noticeable different in low-heat sweets like pudding and 
ice cream, however.  This is where spending extra for the real thing is worth the cost.  



After a little searching, my mom found a bottle of raspberry syrup at Home Goods that was in a beautiful container perfect for repurposing to hold the vanilla in the pantry.  After enjoying the delicious topping on pancakes and waffles, the glass bottle was easily washed out and the labels were cleaned off the sides. Now I can fill the special bottle with vanilla and store the plastic bottle out of sight until it needs filled again.

As crazy as it sounds, this simple bottle makes baking a batch of cookies seem a little more special.



An empty raspberry syrup bottle is repurposed for holding vanilla in the kitchen.  Find more useful glass storage ideas at www.andersonandgrant.com



I've also repurposed some jars that had jelly in them from Christmas Tree Shops to hold my homemade hot chocolate mix and marshmallows this winter.  The large jars stack nicely and are much prettier to see and easier to store than a plastic container and half empty bag of marshmallows.



Empty jelly jars are the perfect place to store homemade mixes like hot chocolate.  Learn more at www.andersonandgrant.com.



Glass is a wonderful material that can be easily cleaned, used again and again, and keeps food fresh.  Years ago, our grandmothers would save jars out of necessity and not just for re-use in the kitchen.  Although there are plenty of options out there for us when it comes to purchasing storage containers, there is no reason why we can't occasionally save the jar we are ready to throw out for unique storage in our cupboards.





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Save glass jars and bottles to reuse as unique storage containers for food in your kitchen.  |  Tips at www.andersonandgrant.com


Save glass jars and bottles to reuse as unique storage containers for food in your kitchen.  |  Tips at www.andersonandgrant.com

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Secret Ingredient and Tips for the Best Scrambled Eggs

Secret Ingredient and Tips for the Best Scrambled Eggs


Learn how to make scrambled eggs that are creamy, fluffy, and full of flavor for breakfast.




Learn how to make scrambled eggs that are creamy, fluffy, and full of flavor.  Plus, find out what secret ingredient you should be adding to make them the best you've ever tasted.   |  www.andersonandgrant.com



Scrambled eggs are a favorite for breakfast.  Making them isn't a time consuming process and they aren't too hard to cook.  But, they are hard to do well.  If not cooked correctly, scrambled eggs may end up dry, crumbly, bland, or browned, none of which sounds very appetizing.  The goal when making scrambled eggs is for them to turn out soft, fluffy, light yellow and full of flavor.  And this can be accomplished by following just a few simple tips.


According to Alton Brown, the secret ingredient to the best creamy scrambled eggs is mayonnaise.  As he says, "You'll never know that the mayo is in the recipe unless you leave it out."  And believe me, he is absolutely right.  The tiny amount adds a flavor that transforms the basic scrambled egg into an extraordinary dish for your breakfast.

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Valentine's Day Craft Ideas, Projects, and Recipes To Spread Your Love

Valentine's Day Craft Ideas, Projects, and Recipes To Spread Your Love


Even though Valentine's Day is right around the corner, it isn't to late to add a little bit of a festive touch to celebrate the day.






While we  typically think of the holiday being all about love in a romantic relationship, there is no reason why you can't celebrate the feeling of love for your friends, children, or neighbors, too.  For your coworkers, why not bake up a batch of the delicious dark chocolate cupcakes with raspberry buttercream frosting, pictured below.  Or take the time to print out and address some vintage inspired valentines for your best friends.  Sending out a little love doesn't have to be just for elementary school children!


Here are some of my favorite simple craft ideas, projects, and recipes that you can try this week to celebrate all the loves in your life....


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A Farmhouse Bench with a Secret Distressing Technique

A Farmhouse Bench with a Secret Distressing Technique


See how a basic scrap wood bench is transformed into a 
distressed farmhouse style piece of furniture.



Learn how to add extra vintage charm to this distressed farmhouse style bench.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com



If you enjoy hunting for worn out furniture to refurbish, it can be tempting to look just for pieces that have built in character like turned legs or fancy trim.  You know that those details will always look great when painted and distressed.   All that piece of furniture needs is a little love and updating to look special once again.  But, furniture like that can be hard to find, especially at a reasonable price because it is what everyone is looking for.

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How to Fold Shirts Like Your Favorite Clothing Store

How to Fold Shirts Like Your Favorite Clothing Store


Do you ever wish your folded clothes looked as neat as your favorite shops?  Check out this post with tips for easily folding your shirts every time.  |  www.andersonandgrant.com



Have you ever wandered through your favorite clothing store and wondered how they get those neat little stacks of perfectly folded shirts?  Although none of us live in a house with our own boutique shop for displaying what we wear, there is no reason why the storage of our clothes can't look just as tidy.


Whether your shirts are stored on a shelf in your closet or tucked away in a drawer, the folding technique is the same.  It doesn't take much time to do it correctly, and it is a pretty fool-proof process.  Knowing the proper way to fold your clothing will not only make your closet look neater, but will also help to keep your clothes wrinkle free and ready to wear.

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