Best of Thrift: @renewrelics


I frequent many of my local Goodwill stores on a weekly basis. I’ve even been known to go back in on the same day! Why? Well, they are constantly taking new items to the sales floor and I never want to feel like I missed out on something super awesome.

I get anxious as soon as I head through the doors and peer to the back Furniture section. Sometimes I see the top of a hutch, the back of a dresser or the legs of a table and my heart starts to race. It’s literally the thrill of the thrift hunt. It’s invigorating when you score a good solid piece at an amazing price and utterly disappointing when you see the SOLD tag which means someone got to it before you did. Either way it keeps me coming back for more.

When choosing pieces to rehab here are the things I keep in mind and look for…

  1. Age and uniqueness of the item (is it antique or vintage then YES!)
  2. Does it have makers marks that indicate who or where it was made (these give a good indication of age and quality)
  3. Is it beyond repair or not (usually not, as Goodwill does a great job of eliminating those from making it to the sales floor. Most minor blemishes are easily fixed with paint or a little know how)
  4. Do I have a vision for this piece (usually I can see the finished product in my mind as I swipe off the sold tag. If I can’t I may pass on it)
  5. Pricing (Goodwill also does a good job at fairly pricing their pieces. If something seems more than I would normally pay I always consider using my donation coupon or waiting for a sale that may reduce the price)

renewrelics maker

Recently I went thrifting and took advantage of the 50% off donated goods sale that was offered on the 4th of July. Who could resist that? I was lucky enough to to take home 2 items from two different locations that day. Just like Goodwill is providing opportunity to employees at a second chance at work training and placement I feel like I am doing the same with furniture. I see the potential in most pieces. They just need a little TLC; a few repairs, some clean up, a makeover and they’re ready to be re-homed.

renewrelics raw chair renewrelics old fabric renewrelics sanding

The first item I found was an antique arm chair with a lot of charm and detail…just what I look for! The first order of business was to take off what turned out to be THREE previous layers of fabric from the seat. Then sanding all of the little scuffs and rough spots and cleaning off all of the dust and grime.

renewrelics blue paint renewrelics seat renewrelics diy chair

Next the fun part…painting it a fun color (I chose a navy blue chalk style paint) and selecting a new coordinating fabric with a modern print. When using chalk style paint you must also seal it with wax and sand it lightly or heavily if you want to achieve a worn look. I think it turned out pretty good!

renewrelics hutch renewrelics sanding renewrelics cleaning

The second item was a well made solid maple two piece hutch made by Ethan Allen. This piece was in great condition with just a couple of blemishes I filled with wood putty and sanded for a smooth consistent surface. I cleaned the inside and outside thoroughly and removed the knobs.

renewrelics green paint renwrelics knobs

My color choice for this piece was a bold bright green chalk style paint and to leave the wood planked background as is. This item was also sealed with wax and lightly sanded in a few areas to enhance the details. Another easy way to update a vintage or antique piece is to replace the hardware with something more modern. In this case I went with simplistic white ceramic knobs as to not compete with the bright color selection.

What a fun piece to use to display dishes or to use as a coffee bar!

renewrelics cabinet

These items will now be perfect candidates for re-homing and will go somewhere to be loved and cherished for years to come.

~Laddie aka @renewrelics  – Instagram, @renewrelics – Facebook

Here are some fun pieces Laddie has “saved.”  You can find more by following her online.

renewrelics union jack renewrelics radio renewrelics vanity