Throwing away old furniture around here in SLO requires a bit more thought and money to do. Not only it actually costs money to go to a trash dump to throw a piece of furniture away (different than many places in the East Coast where it's free for residents to throw their own trash), but I'm starting to be against the wasteful habit of buying new stuff when you can reuse the old.

With many estate sales around here SLO, it's really easy for anyone to find something old, but still good quality, and make it your own without having to spend too much money.

Here is the before and after of a side table that I found at an estate sale in Pismo Beach. When I picked up this side table, it was completely brown. And then I spent 2 weeks, using chalk paint to paint it grey. 
(before)
(after)

Before, we would leave store-bought packages of bottled water on the floor. My husband likes to bring bottled water for work. He has a bad back and so I thought having a side table for him would help him not have to bend as much when he needs water. 

I found this greyish chalk paint color from the Wal Mart store in Arroyo Grande. The brand is called Waverly and the name of the color is Mineral.

It costed me over $9 but less than $10 for this bottle. I found out later that if I had ordered it on Walmart.com, it would've been less than $6. So compare the prices online before you buy it at the store. 

The great thing about chalk paint is I didn't need to prime the side table first. However, I did sand parts that needed to be leveled a bit. Then I wiped the furniture clean with a damp rag to remove the debris. I started painting right away after that. I couldn't do it all in one day because I could only work on this project while my kids were occupied, in preschool or napping. I also had to wait for certain parts to dry first before I could put my hands on it again to work on a different side. 

I used blue paint tape to make sure I didn't go over the parts I didn't need to. I kept most of the inside the wooden color like it originally was. The blue paint tape helped me keep the lines clean. 

When I had the time, I went to the Michael's craft store in San Luis Obispo near the airport to find a nice paper that would give this side table a bit of personality for the inside and top. I found this gray and white panel pattern for less than $2 each. I got 2 pieces.

It was exactly what I was looking for! I measured, trimmed and glued it to the top and bottom as a lining for the table. And then applied a polycrylic protective finish over it. I also applied polycrylic over all the parts I painted except for the door because sometimes the polycrylic makes the paint look streaky, even when the chalk paint was painted perfectly.
(after painting, I started working on lining the table)

I wanted my door to look super matte, while it's okay if my table has a streaky-looking finish on the sides because I know this helps give it a bit of a rustic feel. After everything was done and completely dried, I wiped the whole side table, inside and out, with a damp cloth. It was finally finished. It took me a good 2 weeks to do this project, including drying time and all.

We call this the "water table" now. I store the extra water bottles inside and continually replenish the water bottles on top. It is useful and decorative. 

Although I didn't keep my receipts, here's the approximate cost of my supplies:
  • Waverly Mineral Paint - $10 (enough to use for a couple more projects)
  • Blue Paint Tape - $5 (enough to use for many projects)
  • Paper Lining - $4
  • Polycrylic -$16 (This is expensive but needed for the paint to last for a long time.)
  • Paint Brushes - $8 for a set of 5 of different sizes (I only used 2 of the 5 and will reuse them for other projects.)
Although this project costed me about $43 for the supplies. I will not need to buy anything for my next paint project because the supplies above will easily be enough for 2 or 3 more projects. The cost of this side table when I got it at the estate place was $0. Yes, I got it for free because the lady thought no one would surely buy it. If I had not been able to get it for free, I wouldn't have been motivated to buy new paint supplies. I had to give away all of my furniture paint supplies away when we moved here from the East Coast.

I can't wait to find my next project.