Redecorating on a $0 Budget – Painting Furniture

While January can be a b*tch of a month as far as weather and finances go, I do like the fact that things slow down a bit this time of year.  We stay home more and we can get some things done around the house that we wouldn’t otherwise get to do when the nice weather begs us to get outside.  Evenings are spent drinking wine under cozy blankets on the couch or working on projects around the house instead of playing outside until until dark.

It’s also the time of year when I find myself looking around the house at our decor and thinking, “Ugh, I don’t think I like that anymore,” or “WHAT was I thinking when I bought that?”  I like to change things up in the house once in awhile, but because we’re in the post-holiday financial pinch that a lot of people are in, there’s not a lot of extra money in the budget for shopping.  And because we’ve gone to one steady salary, it’s getting harder and harder for me to sneak purchases into the house without Ken knowing.  So I’ve had to get creative 🙂

Last weekend I was up for a little project, and it involved this little beauty that I’ve had since I was a teenager (yes, while other teenage girls were spending their money on clothes and makeup, I was hoarding furniture and dishes for my future self).


This is a cabinet that I commissioned my father to make for my birthday about 16 years ago (yikes!).  After all these years and being dragged around to countless apartments and houses, it was still unfinished and found itself sad and forgotten about in the basement.

After 2.5 seconds of thought, I decided that it needed a facelift.  So we brought it out to the kitchen and I went to work priming and painting.


This paint was leftover from painting the studio last summer.  Two quick coats of paint, some new knobs (I already had these in my junk stash, they are from Michaels $1.50 bins) and it was done!

Total time: One evening

Total cost: $0

So what did we do with our “new” piece of furniture?  Well, we’ve had this empty space in our kitchen/dining area for awhile that was begging for something new, and we also needed closed storage for our overflowing craft supplies.  This cabinet is now working double duty as a craft supply cabinet / message centre in the kitchen.  Take a look:


I spiffed up the top of the cabinet a bit with a jar of pens, some paper and a calendar.  You know how you can NEVER find a piece of paper or a pen when you need them?  Well, I’m hoping this will solve that problem for us.  Luckily, there is also an outlet behind this thing, so we have an official place to plug in our cell phones now.  Ahhhhhhhh!!  Can you hear that?  I think it’s angels singing…

Here is what the cabinet looks like on the inside:


It’s full of paper, stickers, tape, popsicle sticks, crayons and markers.  Now the kids have the freedom to help themselves to the kiddie craft supplies without my help.  It’s  a beautiful thing 🙂


Oooh, a highlighter!

Oooh, a highlighter!

I painted the cabinet a lighter color on the inside to make it more interesting (again, leftover paint from the studio).  The color is Benjamin Moore’s Robin’s Egg Blue.  And see that piece of unfinished wood in the middle?  It’s an old piece of salvaged wood from my grandfather’s boat shop and I couldn’t bring myself to paint over it.  My Dad is always sneaking thoughtful things into his creations 🙂


Top of cabinet

Oh, one more thing.  Did you notice that awesome calendar on top of the cabinet?  Well, you can head on over to Jackie Bowman Designs and give her some props because this is one of her designs.  Isn’t it amazing?  Here’s a close up:


You can check out Jackie’s Facebook page here, and her website here.  She does some pretty amazing stuff!

So that’s it, a quick weekend project that scratches the itch for something new and colorful in the house on a zero dollar budget.  It was easy enough that I’m now looking for other things around the house that I can paint!

Have you ever repainted a piece of furniture?  Do you have any other ideas for sprucing up your house for little or no money? 

One last pic – a photo bomb from Rex.  Have a great weekend!


P.S. Sorry for all the cell phone pics lately…I’ve been lazy.  I’ll do better next time, I promise!








3 thoughts on “Redecorating on a $0 Budget – Painting Furniture

  1. I love it! We live on one salary too, and we have 7+ kids. (The + is for the ones who aren’t ours but never go home.) So this time of year I too am restless and broke! I spent the past week cleaning and decluttering the house and now I am tackling the stack of scrapbook projects I put off all summer long! 🙂

    • Thanks Tiffany! I love how you add the “+” ha ha! Something I’ll be looking forward to in the years to come, I’m sure 🙂 And don’t even get me started on the decluttering and photo projects…ugh!

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