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3 Step Thrifted Furniture Transformation: Easy DIY Makeover

Want an easy way to update old or thrifted furniture? See this 3-Step Furniture Transformation for a quick and easy DIY makeover. Using only Chalk Paint & Wax, this tired chest has an updated finish and great farmhouse style.

Y’all, I finally got my Christmas Present in January! LOL!!! I had wanted a new piece for our bedroom but couldn’t find what I wanted. A few weeks ago, I found a small chest that was the right size at a Flea Market Thrift Shop. It just needed an update, and it would be perfect!

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The Thrill of The Hunt

This space beside our bed has been filled with this cute little table since we moved here. It was a leftover piece from our previous home, and although I love the table, it isn’t working for me any longer.

The table is too small for this space and provides no storage. So, we’ve been looking for the perfect piece to fill this spot.

Previous side table.

Before Christmas, we were scouring the thrift stores without any luck.

The Flea Market Thrifted Find

A few weeks ago, I was traveling back from Virginia and couldn’t resist stopping at a flea market I had spied on the way up.

As luck would have it, I found a great solid wood chest at a great price. In addition, my husband was traveling back later that afternoon in a truck we had just purchased, so I knew it was meant to be.

After a quick phone call, he picked up my new treasure and brought it home.

Flea Market Find Before updated transformation.  Thrift store find makeover
The chest was in great shape and only needed a little update to be perfect.

(Posts on The Ponds Farmhouse may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See the full disclosure details here.)

3-Step Furniture Transformation

Although the chest was in great shape overall, some scuffs and nicks needed to be repaired. Although the wood matched our pine bed, it felt heavy and dark when placed in the room.

Therefore, adding white chalk paint to the exterior of the chest created the perfect balance.

Step 1 – How To Clean The Thrift Store Find

The first step was to clean the piece thoroughly. Although it was in good condition, I gave it a good cleaning with Pledge furniture cleaner.

When cleaning an old piece of furniture, be sure there are no sticky areas on the wood. Clean the inside of the drawers and cabinet as well as the exterior.

Clean drawers of cabinet makeover

Step 2 – How To Paint Used Furniture

The second step of the furniture makeover was to paint the chest’s exterior. This was an easy process when using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. It’s so fast and straightforward to use.

After thoroughly cleaning the chest, remove the drawers and paint two coats of Old White Chalk Paint.

Paint outside of cabinet with chalk paint for an immediate budget-friendly update to thrift store purchase

It took less than 30 minutes to finish the painting. I love using chalk paint for most projects, and you can learn more about how to use Chalk Paint here.

If you plan to use a product other than Chalk Paint, you will need to sand the surface to remove any shine and then remove any saw dust from the piece with a tack cloth.

Paint outside of the cabinet with old white chalk paint.  Thrift store budget friendly furniture makeover

Step 3 – How To Add A Wax Finish

To finish and seal the painted surfaces, I used a combination of clear and dark wax.

In addition, I added mineral spirits to the wax. This helps to distress the finish while waxing. All of these techniques are detailed in How to use Chalk Paint!

Use a mix of clear and dark wax on white chalk paint to distress the finish.

Using the mineral spirit mixture, you can see how some painted areas are distressed.

Distress Old White Chalk Paint on Flea Market Flip furniture transformation.

Click Image To Shop

How To Update Natural Wood Drawers and Hardware

At this point, I decided to leave the drawers their natural finish. In addition, the hardware looked good, so there is no need to replace it.

Therefore, everything just needed a little sprucing up. I initially thought about staining the drawer fronts to remove the scuffs and dings.

Instead, use Annie Sloan Dark Wax, because it works like a charm to remove any sign of the scuffs. Plus, it brought the rich beauty of the wood back to life. So easy.

Also, the dark wax brought the dull hardware back to life.

The 3-Step Furniture Transformation – Finished Chest

I love a wood and white combination, and I’m thrilled with how this inexpensive chest looks beside the bed. This has inspired me to refinish the chest on the other side of the bed.

See that lamp? It was a $7.00 thrift store find. It’s now had a makeover and looks like a Pottery Barn or Anthropologie Hack. You see this easy lamp transformation tutorial.

Thrift Store Flip Furniture Transformation with chalk Paint for a Rustic Farmhouse Bedroom Chest.

A Surprise Match

The bed frame’s natural wood is almost a perfect match for the drawer fronts. After checking the manufacturer of the chest, we found that it is the same as the bed. I told you it was meant to be. LOL

I hope you enjoyed this simple project and that it encourages you to look for used pieces when redecorating your spaces. It’s a great way to recycle, and it feels great when you create something yourself.

3 Step Easy Furniture Makeover Flea Market Flip for Farmhouse Furniture transformation

More Furniture Makeover

If you’d like to see more makeovers, check out these tutorials.

You may also like to learn more about how to Shop Thrift Stores successfully.

Pin It To Remember It

Did you find some great ideas you’d like to save for future reference? Hover over the images you’d like to save and pin to your favorite Pinterest Boards when you see the PIN button.

Easy Furniture Thrift Store Flip- 3 Step Furniture Transformation with Chalk Paint for Farmhouse Style.
3 Step Easy Furniture Makeover Flea Market Flip for Farmhouse Furniture transformation.


Saturday 10th of February 2024

Thanks for sharing your technique for this chest upcycle! It looks inspiring!


Sunday 11th of February 2024

Angie, I'm so glad you found it helpful. Thank you for stopping by.


Friday 9th of February 2024

So simple but has such an impact! Love it and pinned!


Saturday 10th of February 2024

Cheryl, I'm so glad you like it.


Wednesday 2nd of February 2022

I love this. It’s gorgeous!


Friday 4th of February 2022

Thanks so much Renae,


Sunday 18th of July 2021

Love this project....have a piece I want to try the chalk paint on.....I have never painted furniture before so thank you for the step by step instructions. I am not a crafter by any means so your posts are such a delight for me. So many things I want to try! Keep the posts flowing.

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Monday 19th of July 2021

I appreciate you for saying this. You are so sweet to constantly lift me up. Thanks so much.

Michelle @ The Painted Hinge

Thursday 18th of February 2021

I love how this turned out Rachel! And it looks perfect in your bedroom. Thanks so much for sharing it at Farmhouse Friday - we're featuring you in tomorrow's party!

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Friday 19th of February 2021

Michelle, I really appreciate this. Thanks.