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Amazing Furniture Transformation – Before & After

I’m sharing my inspiration idea with instructions for an amazing furniture transformation. You will see before & after with step-by-step instructions and a complete supply list.

Y’all, I found a great deal on this thrifted chest last year. I wasn’t sure how to refinish it, so I quickly painted it with Chalk Paint and began using it as a nightstand. Recently inspiration struck, and here’s what I did.

The Thrift Store Chest- Before & After

I purchased the chest for $40.00 at a thrift store last spring. It is a traditional small chest, solid wood, and in great shape. Although I was still determining what to do with it, home with me came.

Thrift Store Chest Before - Amazing Furniture Makeover with inexpensive Thrift Store find.

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After Painting

Here is what the chest looked like after an Old White Chalk Paint coat. I used the chest as a nightstand but wasn’t happy with its appearance.

I was waiting for inspiration to hit before making additional changes to the chest.

After painting the thrift store chest is is used as a night stand beside bed.

How To Determine The Design For Transformation

I saw a photo of a chippy card catalog cabinet and was finally inspired to transform this piece.

Once I had a vision for the transformation, I began to draw a plan.

To make the chest look like a vintage card catalog cabinet, I would use wood trim and thin plywood to form faux drawers on the front of the actual drawers.

To determine the size of each piece, I used craft paper to cut patterns for the designs. This allowed me to attach the patterns to the drawer fronts as a trial run. Therefore, I knew the pieces would fit before actually cutting the wood.

Once your pattern is determined, you want to order or purchase your hardware. D. Lawless Hardware is my go-to for unique card catalogs or apothecary hardware; they are so inexpensive.

Materials & Tools Needed for Furniture Transformation

Let The Project Begin

Using the patterns, you can begin by cutting each piece to be attached to the drawer fronts.

Cut each piece according to the patterns, then sand all ruff edges until smooth.

Sand Pieces of trim to use on the front of the thrift store chest.

Stain New Wood

You will need to stain the new wood so that it appears to match the original stained chest. If you use a gel stain, you can rub it quickly with a rag.

Paint and Wax

Next, you will want to paint the wood pieces and apply wax to seal and distress them. You can see How to Use Chalk Paint here.

Note: I used a heavy amount of Mineral Spirits mixed with the clear wax to achieve a heavily distressed appearance. In addition, I applied a small amount of dark wax over the buffed clear wax to darken the appearance further.

Paint the trim pieces before adding the drawer fronts on the furniture transformation piece.

Amazing Furniture Transformation – Prepare Drawer Fronts

Now, you need to remove the old hardware from the drawer fronts and fill the existing holes with wood-filler putty.

Once the putty is dry, sand until smooth, then paint the chest or cabinet with two coats of Chalk Paint and seal with wax. Again, you can see all the details on How to Use Chalk Paint here.

My chest was already painted, so I touched up the drawer fronts where the holes had been filled.

Attach Faux Wooden Drawers to Drawer Fronts

To attach the faux drawers to the actual drawer fronts, you can begin by arranging the wooden pieces evenly. You can mark the exact location with a pencil to ensure proper alignment.

Next, you will attach the new hardware to the wooden pieces while attaching them to the drawer front, all at the same time.

Drill Pilot Holes

You must drill pilot holes for all the screws to avoid splitting the wood.

Begin with the smaller pieces. Here I used D. Lawless Hardware Card File Label Holder w/Finger Pulls.

Next, carefully place the hardware in the desired position, drill the pilot hole, and then screw the hardware to the drawers. This will work best with two people working together.

I used Bronze Cup Pulls from D. Lawless Hardware for the larger areas. These are attached by drilling a hole for the cup attachments to fit into and using the screws provided to attach from inside the drawer.

Attach new hardware to drawers on the furniture makeover project.

Amazing Furniture Transformation – Reveal

Don’t you love it? I’m glad I waited until the perfect idea came to mind.

Amazing furniture makeover with new hardware.  Industrial style side table in bedroom.

When thrift store shopping, you always want to look beyond the piece. Ask yourself, can it be transformed, painted, or repaired?

An authentic vintage card catalog piece would be expensive if you are lucky enough to find one. I transformed this $40.00 find into a fun, exciting piece for an additional $40.00.

You might like to read 10 Tips for Successful Thrift Store Shopping also.

Amazing furniture makeover with new hardware.  Industrial style side table in bedroom.

The chest now has a more industrial feel and works better within our industrial-style farmhouse.

More Furniture Transformation Ideas

Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to sharing my next adventure with you.

Pin It To Remember It

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Amazing furniture makeover with new hardware.  Industrial style side table in bedroom.
Amazing furniture makeover with new hardware.  Industrial style side table in bedroom.


Friday 23rd of June 2023

Hey the card catalogue transformation of the dresser! My only concern is: are those label holders strong enough to use to pull a drawer open, as I don't see any other means to open the drawers? I have brutish, teenage grandsons that will be using the piece of furniture that I want to transform! LoL


Friday 23rd of June 2023

Nadja, Yes, these are very sturdy drawer pulls. Just be sure that you use quality materials and you should be good to go.

Mary from Life at Bella Terra

Sunday 2nd of April 2023

That's amazing. I am speechless!


Monday 3rd of April 2023

Mary, Thank you for commenting and all your encouragement.


Monday 27th of March 2023

From ordinary to extraordinary! Bravo!


Tuesday 28th of March 2023

Paula, I'm so glad you like it.


Monday 27th of March 2023

This transformation turned out beautiful. It was pretty how you painted it before. But the new version is absolutely amazing.


Tuesday 28th of March 2023

Tammy, I appreciate you for stopping by. Thank you so much.


Monday 27th of March 2023

It looks so beautiful! Such a great idea!


Tuesday 28th of March 2023

Renae, I appreciate this.