Let’s Go Shopping

by Kimba on May 25, 2009

in Furniture Rehab

It’s no secret that I’m always on the lookout for a furniture bargain that I can rehab and turn into something that I love. Whenever I post about a furniture rehab project like this one, this one or this one, I get comments from people saying that they just can’t see the potential in a thrift store mess.

So come shopping with me at one of my favorite places to find furniture bargains, Craigslist, and I’ll share some tips for finding pieces that you can makeover for your home.

If you leave in Houston, you NEED to go snap up this sofa ($75). It will be stunning when you paint the frame a creamy white and recover the cushions with a ticking stripe or burlap.

Would you like to do a headboard like I did in this post? If you live in Chicago, you’re in luck because you can pick up this headboard for only $10. And it looks like the trimwork is already done for you. Just paint it!

Did you see this post from Thrifty Decor Chick? That picture is her “after”.

Well. here’s another one for you Chicagoland folks. This coffee table can be had for $25 and will look beautiful with the same distressed black finish that Thrifty Decor Chick used.

Are you in Portland? This $75 chair may look dated now, but paint the wood white and recover the cushions in a bold print and you’ll have a showstopping piece better than anything from the Pottery Barn catalogue.

If you live anywhere near me in Pittsburgh, then keep your mitts off this wooden desk that I’ll be tracking down today. It’s the perfect size for The Hubster’s office and at $30 it’s perfect for a rehab project.

If you’re in Minneapolis, these two chairs can be had for $5 each!

I don’t think that it takes a brilliant imagination to see that they could handle a Mod Makeover like this one from Eddie Ross.

These patio chairs in Miami are a no-brainer. At $45 for the set of 4, they’re a bargain that could be madeover with some paint and fabric. I’m thinking black for the metal frame and a toile for the seat.

Tips for shopping on Craigslist:

  • Look at the shape. Try and look past the current finish or fabric and imagine it with a coat of paint or new fabric.
  • Ask for dimensions. Before you spend time driving around looking at pieces you see online, make sure they are the right size for your space. Take a tape measure with you when you go looking.
  • Keep an open mind. Maybe that buffet can be used as a TV stand or maybe you can shorten the legs of that small kitchen table and use it as a coffee table.
  • You CAN negotiate. Nicely, of course. A simple question like, “Can you do a little better on the price?” can often lead to a much better deal.


    You can still enter our giveaway from Purple Lemon. A winner will be chosen tomorrow.


    Need some inspiration to get your furniture rehab mojo working?
    A trash to treasure makeover: Creations by Kara
    You CAN paint laminate furniture: Living with Lindsay
    Chair makeover: Design*Sponge
    Desk makeover: Design*Sponge
    Bench makeover: Sanctuary Arts at Home

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    1 Jen M May 26, 2009 at 6:06 am

    Great items! I recently made over a little desk and posted it on my blog. I love the result so much that now I am greedily looking out for more pieces to make over even though there is no more room in my house for any more furniture plus we will be emigrating within the next couple of years. Somebody stop me!

    2 marty39 May 26, 2009 at 6:33 am

    What great suggestions. It is sometimes hard to see the potential, but these pieces could all be made into real treasures. Hugs, Marty

    3 Frugal Jen May 26, 2009 at 6:45 am

    I am heading to craigs list now to find a twin bed headboard.

    4 Lisa May 26, 2009 at 6:46 am

    Perfect tips, Kimba!

    I used to be among those who couldn’t see past a piece’s current state and I cringe to think how much potential I overlooked. Thankfully, I am now reformed but maybe a little too much — I want to take in ALL the stray furniture I see, but we have no room!

    I live near Pittsburgh but will not be grabbing that gorgeous desk out from under you — I could never give it the love I know you will!

    5 Jenny@ L.O.T.s of Love May 26, 2009 at 6:47 am

    I just did my first Craigslist makeover and had your furniture refinishing posts up as reference! It turned out great! Thanks for the help!

    6 Kathie @ my net finds May 26, 2009 at 6:48 am

    Looking past the ugliness or seeing potential in a different use for a piece has not been easy for me, but reading your blog has helped me do that! Thank you for posting this and for the tips, it really helps someone like me who isn’t naturally gifted at this sort of stuff 🙂

    7 Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage May 26, 2009 at 6:55 am

    Great finds! I need to do a little digging on Craigslist for some patio furniture. The girls and I are building DH a deck for Father’s Day and we are trying to get the decorating parts done with before then so it will be a one day makeover.

    8 Sarah May 26, 2009 at 7:11 am

    Thanks for sharing all this with us Kimba! Very helpful!

    9 Misti of Studio M Designs May 26, 2009 at 7:13 am

    Great post Kimba. I love redoing and seeing the potential in all things unwanted. I never think to look at Craigs list. I am always scrounging through friends basements!


    10 Still Learning May 26, 2009 at 7:33 am

    How funny, I just “discovered” Craigslist. How much fun is doing rehab projects? I love it.

    11 Susie from Bienvenue May 26, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Hi Miss Kimba! You just put a big ole; smile on my face and made me want to start painting!

    12 Kara May 26, 2009 at 8:23 am

    Aw man, I wish I lived closer to some of those areas. I guess I’ll just have to do my own searching. 😉

    Thanks so much for sharing my table makeover!

    13 ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage and Junkologie May 26, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Great tips, Kimba!


    14 Kelli May 26, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Great tips and motivation!!

    15 Amanda @ Serenity Now May 26, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Loved your ideas for those pieces! 🙂 You should see the $8 glass top metal table I’m redoing as my “desk.” I’m planning a post on it soon. 🙂

    16 HeathahLee May 26, 2009 at 11:03 am

    My first thought when I saw the title of the post was, “Okay!” : )

    Great post…I’m off to check my local stuff out now!

    17 Tera May 26, 2009 at 11:58 am

    This is a great post!! Very inspiring…you should do this often!

    18 Magic Brush May 26, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Do you just look under “furniture” or do you type something specific?

    19 Carol in Indian Springs Village May 26, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Wish I could find a desk like that (and that price) on craigslist. So far I’ve sold a pool table (YEAH!) and bought a slipper chair for $20 and a china cabinet for $80 that I’ll paint and use as a bookcase. Just need some paint and a little bit of molding and it will be wonderful! The chair will get reupholstered with fabric I already own so the investment is minimal. I’m trying to furnish the basement rooms with goodies such as these and bargains. Great post!

    20 A Bushel and Peck and Pigtails Paper Trails May 26, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    great ideas! I am off to shop on craigslist!

    21 Living With Lindsay May 26, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Great post! What fun pieces you found on CL. I need to search mine now. Back slowly away from Austin CL, people!

    22 PamperingBeki May 26, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Some of these ladies have a more creative eye than me. Many of those pieces, I’ve had passed on!

    23 Jen r. May 26, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Thanks for the linky love kimba! Jen

    24 Madison May 26, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Hi Kimba!!! I am Madison I love crafts and projects!!! And I LOVE your blog!!! I will Comment more later!!!

    Love, Madison

    25 Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick May 26, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    I was scrolling down and was like, wow, that looks like my table! WAIT, that IS my table!! 🙂 Thanks girl! I have NEVER bought or sold from CL — it still overwhelms me a bit. My best friend does ALL the time and loves it. I have something specific I’m looking for so I need to just jump in and try it! 🙂

    26 Michelle May 27, 2009 at 8:07 am

    There is some great stuff here with tons of potential!! I do agree that it’s hard to look at things in their current state and see past it. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for the Craigslist tips, and thanks for the links to the other bloggers….

    27 henzy May 27, 2009 at 8:50 am

    great tips. and great finds. i too am always scouting craigslist for a great project

    28 Miss(es) Canadian Pie May 27, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Funny thing…as I read your post, I am also looking online for furniture from Kijiji. (Sort of like Craigs list). I’ve scooped up some great things lately from this website. Great tips!

    29 Jared May 27, 2009 at 11:52 pm


    We have just added your latest post “A Soft Place to Land” to our Directory of Shopping . You can check the inclusion of the post here . We are delighted to invite you to submit all your future posts to the directory for getting a huge base of visitors to your website and gaining a valuable backlink to your site.

    Warm Regards

    Best Mart Team


    30 momof3girls May 29, 2009 at 12:18 am

    thank you for highlighting some makeovers off of other blogs some I had found,others I had not – and I always love to be inspired!

    31 Jo - To a Pretty Life May 29, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Thanks for the tips and advice! I’m working on seeing the shape and potential of a piece of furniture rather than it’s current dated appearance. Do you have any tips for convincing the husband? 😉

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