Trash to Treasure: A $5 Table for the Family Room

Oh guys, I’m excited to share this one with you! Breathing new life into old furniture makes my heart so very happy, and I can’t wait to show you what I did to that nasty old $5 table/desk/thing my mom picked up for me recently:

yard sale makeover

Looks pretty cute, right? Well let me show you what it looked like BEFORE I cleaned it up like crazy!

yard sale table

And full of cobwebs…I mean, this guy was a SHOW.

yard sale table

But my mom has such a good eye – she knows when a piece has potential, and while she was yard sale-ing and stumbled upon this one, she knew it just needs some  A LOT of TLC.

I really had no idea where it was going to go, but like mom, I saw how cute it could be. So I thanked my awesome mama, and thought and thought…and thought some more. And cleaned it up. A LOT.

yard sale table

I love how it opens, and Mom and I thought it would look really cute with the top maybe propped open or something.

Our family room makeover is slowly but surely coming together, so maybe in there? Hmmm…

YES! I recently found a cool floor lamp for next to the couch and had been thinking the corner there next to it just needed a little something…but I didn’t know what. This would be PERFECT!

I reeeeeallllly had no idea what color/combo to do. Like, AT ALL. So I stood in the middle of my family room, taking in all the colors, examining all the furniture…and I came up with grey. It’s neutral, so it’ll withstand all the changing up I like to do with the colors in every season, and I had enough white goin’ on with my dresser-turned-entertainment center. Grey would definitely work! And I had a sample of Sherwin Williams Grizzle Grey here leftover from my kitchen island.

I thought about the inside. Thought maybe white? Then I decided to go for a darker wood. I had just the thing! Remember the gel stain from my banister?! YES! Against the grey…that’ll be dreamy.

yard sale table makeover

The gel stain is from General Finishes, and it’s ‘Java.’ (All the details are in my banister post, you can check that out here).

Once that was done, it was time to paint.

This blue paint had such a flat finish, that I didn’t worry about doing anything other than shaking my paint and opening the can. Only took one coat!

yard sale table makeover

I decided to go for one more step: Antique Dark Wax. You know that stuff at Michaels in the paint aisle? It’s supposed to give this an aged, antique look, especially in the dark finish. I’d been wanting to experiment for a while, so I figured let’s give it a go! I didn’t do much – it tends to give a really brown effect (which is fine, just not what I wanted for this piece) – just a little itty bitty bit on a brush (like, ITTY. BITTY.), and paid attention to all the corners and details of the table.

yard sale table

(Off topic, but I used this wax on another piece I recently did that’s white and can’t wait to share that next!)

I did sit it outside, because that stain can be stinky, but luckily it was a gorgeous day and all the windows were open so wasn’t a big deal. Once it was good and dry, I set it up in the family room!

yard sale table makeover

yard sale makeover

Don’t look too closely at the molding – we’ve started putting it up, but haven’t caulked or painted…and some pieces are still just leaning in their spots, as you can see in this shot;) —

yard sale table makeover

Ha! I’m starting to really see the finished product with every day and project that gets checked off the list, and I absolutely LOVE what I see! Taking that wall down was the smartest thing we’ve ever done.

yard sale makeover

yard sale table makeover

So that wraps up the tale of the $5 table – yet another major yard sale score from Mom! And yet another example of the power of paint – it truly is amazing what just a little bit can do!


  1. I love this, but I love everything you do

  2. It turned out great! What do you suppose it was originally used for?

  3. Looks like a classroom (student) desk to me.

  4. Sherri S. says:

    As always…this is wonderful,! I love what you did with this desk

    Happy Hump Day…

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