Remember when I shared this before with you on the blog and told you I was working on it?

And then a snowstorm happened?

Well—the makeover is finally here.

We bought this piece several weeks ago at a thrift store for less than the price of dinner. When I saw the clearance sticker, I started dancing and hugging it. How had everyone else missed it?

It was missing a caster and the wood had dings and chips and needed a little TLC.


Look at all that potential just waiting to happen.

So we brought it home and gave it a makeover worthy of a television show.

And now?

It looks like this.

Here’s how to makeover a thrift store find.




Wait. Just go up and look at the before.

And then?

Scroll down and look at the after.

Here’s a close-up of the handles that I treated with Rub ‘n Buff.

It’s the easiest way to give metal a brand new look.

You can see how I’ve used it before here.

There are so many good colors, but Antique Gold is my go-to.

We painted it with Shoji White SW 7042.

It’s the prettiest white that’s a good choice if you want light and bright.

If you want some other white paint options. I put together a list of my favorite white paint colors here.

We added primer and two coats of paint.

Then we let the paint cure through a snowstorm.

And then?

We distressed it in minutes using this method.

But wait.

There’s more.

(total aside: don’t you love a sentence that starts like that?)

This thrift store makeover has a secret.

Are you ready for the surprise?


Look at the INSIDE.


It’s a mini organization station. Isn’t it so cute?

I added stickable cork tiles to the sides of the doors.

Then I added these dishrack organizers from The Container Store.

And these cute file folders that I found on Amazon.

I also added a pencil and pen holder that I found at Target.

The bottom drawers are actually file drawers, too.

I kept the original handles and made them over with Rub ‘n Buff.

And now there’s a place for all the office organization in this space.

One more look.

Just because it makes me SO HAPPY.

Here’s the before.

And here’s the AFTER.

The morals of this thrift store tale?

Thrift store shopping is the best.

Everything deserves a second chance.

Every house needs a few befores and afters.

And never. Never ever ever….

…pass up a clearance sticker. 🙂

PS Here are some of my other favorite furniture makeovers.

PPS If you need a laugh today? Here’s one of my favorite thrift store stories.

disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Linda Linda

    KariAnne, What a wonderful piece to have in your office. Great job and hints for the rest of us diy people! And a good way to keep busy and warm during the snowstorm!

  2. Image for Kathy from Cape Cod Kathy from Cape Cod

    When I got married in 1968 that was a piece to our bedroom set. It was of Spanish design that was very solid and very popular at the time. The inside is original. You have certainly given it a new life and purpose.

  3. Image for Laura Laura

    Oh my! The inside is heaven! Giggled at the cork squares after last night’s call! Need to check out rub n buff! Thank you friend! Happy Friyay! Laura

  4. Image for Rosemary Gregory Rosemary Gregory

    I fell in love twice. Once when I first saw the makeover and then you opened the doors. Be still my heart. Just wonderful! And now I have to search for its twin !, Question. The prints on the — can you tell me about them? Thanks, Rosemary

  5. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    Old furniture and paint are such a good combination. That cabinet is great for storage and so pretty. You did a wonderful thing and made it shine.

  6. Image for Jan Kinman Jan Kinman

    Everything Rosemary said! Yes, yes, yes. And yes can you tell us about the framed work on the wall next to the dresser?

  7. Image for june june

    AMAZING! Another one of your projects to keep in my idea file. I have a lovely armoire style entertainment center in our family room. Gives me hope I will be able to repurpose when we downsize.

  8. Image for Tori Tori

    Rub ‘n Buff is not talked about enough. It’s pure magic. I first used it to accent antique wood dressers that my Mom bought me for my bedroom as a pre-teen girl. It has useful applications to not only metal, but wood as well.

  9. Image for Sheryl Kauffman Sheryl Kauffman

    That’s beautiful.. I redid one.. not in white but a gray.. n the inside I would like that as well .. so organized!

  10. Image for Diane Ruebel Diane Ruebel

    I wish I had been there for your "mimi hug." But, I'd hug it now because it is fantastic. As are you! Diney on Camano Island


    Wow! KariAnne! This antique piece is just gorgeous! What a change your paint job made. I love going to thrift shops, too, as you just never know what you find that needs to come home with you! Have a wonderful weekend with your family! Bless you!

  12. Image for Mary Anne Russo Mary Anne Russo

    Oh, I couldn't wait to see it! It looks great! I love the details on the doors and the brass handles give it such a nice touch. So creative, super business space and looks so professional!

  13. Image for Sherry Duff Sherry Duff

    This is so awesome!! Did you sand any before adding primer? What kind of primer did you use? I have never tried regular paint on furniture, as I usually use chalk paint or Valspar furniture paint.. Regular paint would be great as I usually have left over paint.

  14. Image for Kim Waldorf Kim Waldorf

    I love bringing old furniture back to life and you did an amazing job with this! It is though it was always supposed to look like this. The organizational spaces inside is a great bonus. I love the cork board on the inside of the doors, too! Did you measure that.....?? It looks perfect! 😉

  15. Image for Joanne Joanne

    Wow! What a beautiful, clever, and very useful transformation. This post really touches my heart. My husband and I were married in 1977, and this is his chest of drawers to the bedroom set we bought then. Believe it or not, we still have it. With thoughts of retiring to a warmer climate, downsizing, and the desire to purchase some new furniture, this really does have me rethinking discarding this piece. Your posts truly inspire me. Love, love, love this!

  16. Image for Bug Bug

    I know I'll catch sideways looks for this, but I thought it was also beautiful before the paint. I would gladly have this piece in my home bare wood or in any color paint! Good job.

  17. Image for Lanita Lanita

    Oh my’s absolutely stunning!!! Love how you created the organized spaces on the inside, too! Thanks for so pretty!!

Comments are closed.