Craigslist + Chalk Paint

After posting Home Sweet Homburg I got a few questions about where I purchased certain pieces in our home — so I thought: why not write an entire post about it?

If you didn’t know that I’m extremely unemployed… Now you do! 🙂 


So to answer their questions… I first needed to get something off my chest…

 

 

I’m cheap. 

As in, have different ideas of what things should cost kind of cheap. 

It’s true.

Although, my husband doesn’t think so. But that’s only because he’s on a whole ‘notha level. Anyone other wives with me?


Everything in my closet was bought off a sale rack, we rarely eat dinner out, I only buy something online if I have at least 2 coupon codes and/or a gift card, and almost everything in our house was bought on Craigslist (or was gifted to us).

I’m not kidding.

Y’all, I LOVE Craigslist!

I have bought everything from rugs, to TVs, to furniture, to books, to  lamps, to paint, using Craigslist. Yes, even paint.

When my (at the time) future husband told me it wasn’t worth spending over $100 to re-paint the walls in our first rental home — you better believe I instantly jumped on the computer to show him my skills.

A week later I met a man by the name of Skipper at a gas station (in the middle of the day) to trade him $40 for a 5 gallon bucket of SW “neutral” indoor paint… #winning !

My dad is still lecturing me for this one. Oops.

But anything to not have to sleep in that dungeon of a room! Even if it was for only a year and half

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If you’ve read my Home Sweet Homburg blog post, you know that making your home into a place you feel proud and excited to live is important to me. BUT that doesn’t mean you have to sell your right arm to make it happen.

In fact, I have spent a very small amount of money in making our current house a home. My goal is to find quality, functional pieces (that bring joy) … but not pay a lot for them.

And whether you like it or not, Craigslist is the best way to make that happen. Trrrrust me.


Before we moved to Germany, I knew that we needed to buy some more furniture… (1) Because we would most likely have double the space and (2) Because I had been warned that buying quality furniture in Germany is even more expensive than in the states (or hard to come by).

So I essentially had  4 months to find 2 (matching) night stands, 2 dressers, a headboard, a rug, a farmtable, and 4 cafe chairs. (As we would be gaining another bedroom and would be leaving our current dining table stored in the states).

I began the hunt for quality (REAL WOOD) pieces, that had character, a story, and a cheap price tag. The color is usually irrelevant to me, as I’m also a big believer in… chalk paint!

Of course, when looking, I had no idea what house this furniture would be going in (actually, I had never even been to the country we would be living, ha!) So I always brought along my measuring tape and did my best to estimate sizes that would fit in most any space.

If you know the space you’re looking to fill, then it’s even easier!


North Carolina Farmtable | St. Louis Craigslist – $180

Before:

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After: (top left natural)

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Paint: Rust-Oleum’s Kreidefarbe Mobellack, Color: Antik Weiss/Antique White (German)

Wax: Rust-Oleum’s MobelwachsColor: Farblos (German)


(2 matching) Nightstands | St. Louis Craigslist – $60 each

Before:

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After: 

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Paint: Rust-Oleum’s Kreidefarbe Mobellack, Color: Antik Weiss/Antique White (German)

Wax: Rust-Oleum’s MobelwachsColor: Farblos (German)


His & Her Dressers | St. Louis Craigslist – $25 each

Before:

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After: (still considering painting the hardware)

Paint: Rust-Oleum’s Kreidefarbe Mobellack, Color: Antik Weiss/Antique White (German)

Wax: Rust-Oleum’s MobelwachsColor: Farblos (German)


Buffet | Gifted! – $0

Before:

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After:

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Paint: Rust-Oleum’s Kreidefarbe Mobellack, Color: Antik Weiss/Antique White (German)

Wax: Rust-Oleum’s MobelwachsColor: Farblos (German)


Coffee table | Birmingham Craigslist – $40 

TV Stand | St. Louis Craigslist – $40

Before: (hello, bachelor pad!)

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After:

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Both painted with: Farmhouse Wax Paint, Color: Creamy Linen 


And last but certainly not least… my most challenging project to date:

4 “Cross back” Dining Chairs | Craigslist & Arhaus – $250 total

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I had been on the hunt for 4 of this style chair for months — with no luck finding any for less than $100 each (the most I was willing to spend).

I ended up finding 2 matching chairs on Craigslist for $55 each and decided to risk finding 2 others to match them. Easier said than done. I’m pretty sure I went to every real and online store I knew of for a month, with no luck. Turns out there are MANY variations and colors of this chair.

But I didn’t give up and eventually stumbled upon 2 (different) matching chairs in the back of a warehouse that were a final sale for $70 each. SOLD! But my project wasn’t over just yet…

The second set of chairs were about 4 shades lighter than the 2 I had previously bought off of Craigslist (see comparison above & below). Sure, it would have been easier for me to stain the lighter 2 to match the darker… but of course I wanted them all the lighter shade.

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So 15 hours of sanding later  (this is not an exaggeration)  —  I had 2 chairs that were back to their natural wood and now I just needed to find a light stain to match them to the other 2.

Once again, easier said than done…

I spent another 2 weeks carrying 1 of the finished chairs into every home improvement store I knew of but nothing was ever light enough (see some examples above). And yes, the poor men at Home Depot knew me by name at this point. 

Finally, someone suggested taking the chair to Sherwin Williams to see if they could stain match it. I knew this was probably my last shot and I was starting to feel defeated… like I had wasted my time … and even started to wonder if I should have just dropped the $800 on new chairs to begin with! AH!

But after spending an hour at SW with a few more failed attempts, an eavesdropping customer became my very best friend when he looked at me and said, “I know exactly what they need — one coat of polyurethane!” Turns out my 2 original lighter chairs were never stained at all, they simply had a clear coating to be notch above natural. Praise the Lord for this man.

3 months (and a whole lot of work) later, I had my chairs… & for a fraction of the price! Hooray!

Side note… William was deployed during this whole chair extravaganza and I’m thankful it kept my mind so busy 🙂

After: 

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Other pieces (gifted to us) that I’ve painted but do not have “before” pictures of…

Entry Table (top left natural), Desk (drawers left natural), antique brass lamp:

All painted in Farmhouse Wax PaintColor: Weathered Stone.


If you haven’t already noticed, I also go cheap(er) when it comes to Chalk Paint… Surprise! 

Although I absolutely love and believe in Annie Sloan… I just can’t get myself to pay $35 for a quart of paint.

If you live in the States… I highly recommend Farmhouse Wax Paint. They have so many great colors… it goes on super easily… and doesn’t even need a separate coat of wax!

If you’re in Germany/Europe… the best I have found is Rust-Oleum Chalk Paint (at OBI). It doesn’t paint on quite as smoothly as others I have used, but it’s not a bad option. I have only used Antik Weiss (Antique White) and love the way the pieces turned out!


All this to say and show…. if you have a space in your home that needs something but you don’t have a lot of extra money — give Craigslist a chance! Or estate sales. Goodwill. Flea markets. You’ll be amazed at what you can find.

And if you have a piece of furniture that you like the shape and size of but the color bothers you.. why not try painting it?! Chalk paint is hands down the easiest way to revamp a piece of furniture on a small budget. I mean… there’s no stripping, sanding, or priming… it’s essentially fool proof!

 

I know a lot of people find Craigslist and/or chalk paint scary. But they’re two of my favorite things!

Don’t be afraid 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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