Furniture Makeover for Less Than $10




Introduction: Furniture Makeover for Less Than $10

The title says it all :D

If you want to have a furniture makeover on the cheap, the skills required are thriftiness and creativity! Proceed if you have both!

Step 1: Find Your Piece of Old Nasty Furniture

Okay, so you been looking on Pinterest and Instructables and was inspired by all the remolding projects. You probably said to yourself that you're going to do a project of your own, but you don't quite know where to start. Well, it's your lucky day!!

Let's get started! First you need to go find that piece of old nasty furniture that's your object of desire. Everyone's piece will be different because unless we all happen to stumble upon a generic Ikea piece, it's very unlikely you'll be able to get something exactly like mine. By the way, I got mine from a dumpster.

Once you have acquire that fine piece of furniture, do some research. Here's some recommended researching criteria:

1. Final Color?

2. Physical modification? are you going to cut or build something extra?

3. Accessories? hooks, hinges, electrical components?

Step 2: Gather Your Material

As I stated before, your piece will look different from mine so our materials will vary.

My material list for this project is quite simple:

1.2x Spray Paint (Ocean Blue) $3.25 each ($6.50)

2. wood (FREE-found in dumpster)

3. Painter's tape (FREE-found at home)

4. Paint brush (FREE-found at home)

Since my table does not have a table top I had to make one. I happened to find some pallet wood from a nearby dumpster, but you can easily find free wood on I live in the Bay Area so it's pretty easy to find free stuff but it might be harder if you live in a place that's more remote.

Once you gather your required materials, you can go ahead and start. For my case, I taped the bottom of the table with the painter's tape that I'll paint a different color later. Then, I went ahead and thoroughly spray painted the table with its first coat. While I waited for the paint to dry I went to work on the table top.

Step 3: Making the Table Top

This took me through a series of emotional roller coaster full of trials and errors.

I didn't have right tools for a lot of the task that was needed so I did it the poor-man's way and winged it.

And because Instructables is very fond of lists,

Let me list the tools that I didn't have:


-jointer (easily solved with a table saw [which I have] )

-wood planer

-flat surface to work on....very basic but I didn't have it.


Let me also list the tools that I did have:

-Table saw




Anways, so first what I needed to do what glue together the piece of pallet wood to match the table's dimension. But I didn't have clamps so what I did was I make myself homemade clamps which I saw on YouTube a while back.

(YouTube)<--link. If you're too lazy to click on the link, the clamp basically consisted of two long piece of wood, and two rectangular/square piece on each end of each wood piece. The table top pieces are laid on top of the two pieces of clamp wood and the square pieces are screwed into the clamp wood at the edge of the table top pieces, but leaving a bit of space. The extra space is there so you could hamper pieces of angle smaller pieces of wood, resembling a door stopper. It easier to understand if you just click on the link :D

I tried to glue the pieces of wood together but when I went to pick it up a while later, the glue didn't hold. So I took it apart and ran the edges through a table saw and glued it together again. The reason why it didn't hold the first time is:

a. I didn't let it rest long enough

b. I didn't stripped the crusty wood edges that's been exposed to the element which made it harder for the glue to penetrate the wood pores and bond to the other piece.

Note: if you are more limited on tools than I am, such as that you might not have a table saw, you can improvise and do everything with a sander... it's not recommended but do what you got to do!

Step 4: Cleaned Up the Table Top

Once the table top has dried completely, I decided that I needed to plane it down so the surface is leveled. Since the wood that I got weren't all the same thickness because I didn't look at it when I rescued it from the dumpster. So unluckily for me I didn't have any extra wood and barely fulfilled the table's dimension and that left me no other choice than to use the different thicknesses, that's why I need to plane down the thickness.

Again, I didn't have wood planer, which would've saved me so much time and effort, not to mention decrease my margin of error, so I had to use the next best thing: A router.

A while back I also saw that I could convert a router into a planer on YouTube and that's what I did for this project.( YouTube)<-- here's a link to that video.

NOTE: This is also be accomplished with a sander too

Step 5:

The out come should look like this, all nice a smooth :D

I also did a round of sanding on the surface to rid of the routing path.

Step 6: Not Sure What's the Woodworking Name for This Is....I Think It's a Rabbet or Something.

My woodworking teacher would be so disappointed....

I saw that on the table the table top needed an overhang, so I measured the overhand on the table and transfer the measurement on to the table top. Then I prepared my table saw accordingly to the measurement.

Note: I included a picture showing how I measured the overhang and cut it with my table saw. If it's not apprehensive enough you can also Google it. I think the correct woodworking term is a "rabbet". Sounds like "rabbit" but it's not.

Step 7: Almost Complete!!

My last step, after the table is dried with its second coat of spray paint and the table top fits accordingly,is to remove the painter tape I put on in the beginning and painting it with my desired color which is white.

After the last drop of paint is applied to the table, I am one step closer to relaxing and say "mission accomplished."

Now, the "last" last step is to patiently wait for the paint to dry. In the meanwhile, you can go watch Netflix or something.

Step 8: Voila!!

This is the final product, I would like to pat myself on the back for its completion!

Final Word:

Now it's time for you to go out and find the furniture that you want remodel :D Though it's easier for many to look for inspirations, either on Instructables or Pinterest, it's harder to actually do it. The purpose of this instructable is not to guide you to do a project like this step-for-step, but yet it is intended (I hope) as an inspiration for you to go explore the creative process of making landfill-ready objects into showroom worthy objects. I hope that in the process of remodelling, you learn new techniques whether it's through trial or error like I did, or that you just have an enjoyable time bringing a furniture back to life. One more piece of advice, if you look hard enough you can actually do your entire project for FREE! Though this requires a bit of IMAGINATION! Which I'm sure you all have :)

-Have Fun!

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    7 years ago



    Reply 7 years ago

    Thank you!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    That's a really nice-looking table now you have painted it. It had "good bones," as they sometimes say of people, to begin with: well worth saving. Are you going to protect the new wooden top with varnish or paint?


    Reply 7 years ago

    I think I'm just going to leave it bare, it looks better with the natural wood look.


    7 years ago

    It's a rebate