It’s no secret that we have the best thrift stores here in Maryland.
I think the reason why is because it’s such as large metropolitan area that borders Washington, DC, and it’s so transient here. People come for years (maybe military families??), and then move on. And where do you think all that furniture goes from these people coming and going?
Oh yeah–right here into my greedy little outstretched hands! ( I say that facetiously, but the truth is that if it weren’t for thrift stores, I have no idea how I would have decorated our house!)
Anyhow, I used to allow students to bring their own furniture to furniture painting class. And although it wasn’t a problem for most people, there was always that ooooonnnnee student who would bring in something so badly chipped that it would be falling apart…or someone would bring something old and worn with mahogany stain–and you know what mahogany stain does……bleeds through!
To prevent all of those issues, I decided that instead of students bringing their furniture, I would supply all the furniture pieces. I was nervous about making this change because I thought students would mind (and some probably do), but doing this helps me to control the environment–I can pick things I know make a great project, without bleeding or being too difficult of a project.
But guess what that means for me??
It means I get to hit the thrift store more often in search of projects! WOO HOO!
For my recent furniture painting class here in Maryland, I stopped by my favorite thrift store right after dropping my kids off at school.
But what does my eyes see??
You’re probably wondering, “What the heck is it?”
Well, look a little closer.
A shimmy here….a shimmy there… and you totally get this: a hobby table!
Umm…..with two drawers.
Sitting right there in front of me, spread out in its glory!
I hadn’t even been in the store for more than 30 seconds when it caught my eye.
One of the regular stock guys, with his African accent, saw me and ask, “Ah, you want dis? You see da price? I should have marked it at $39.99! It’s a good price!”
Damn right it is, I was thinking.
I replied, “Oh, wow, thank God you didn’t!”
What’s even better is that I had a 30% off coupon, so I got it for just over $18!
I wasn’t even going to chance it by having them put a “SOLD” sticker on it so that I could walk around the store to keep browsing.
Nope. Learned my lesson there. Too many thrift store vultures lurking at my back.
I swooped that baby up so fast, loaded it up in my car, and then went back into the store to keep searching for furniture painting projects.
And When I Thought It Couldn’t Get Any Better…
Right at the back of the store, I saw this huge 36″x72″ cutting mat sitting on top of the shelf! Just my luck!
What I think happened is that this cutting mat got separated from the hobby mat.
And I was one who was going to bring them together again. HA! 🙂
Cutting mats can be pretty expensive. (Check out my affiliate link to search for cutting mats on Amazon).
I can’t even tell you how much it would have cost me brand new on Amazon, but here at the thrift store, it was $7.99, and just because I asked, I was able to get 30% off (since I had already used my coupon on the hobby desk, I thought they would say no, but they said yes. Score!).
And if you read my last post about furniture painting class, I found the cute little side table at the same time.
It was badly chipped, but I knew a little bit of sanding would make it amazing (click here to see the AFTER of this little table!).
The Prettiest Vintage Dresser
It’s not too often I get super excited about dressers at the thrift store anymore. Most of them are pretty run-of-the-mill, but every now and then, something grabs my eye and makes me wish I could lug it home, even though I have absolutely no need for one more dresser in this house.
But this one–ohhh…it was gorgeous. If it hadn’t been sold, I would have bought this!
You’re probably shouting at your phone, table, or computer screen, “OMG, I hope she bought that dresser!!! $35??!!!!”
Sorry to disappoint, folks, but there was already a SOLD sticker on it when I saw it!
And that’s not photoshopped.
It really was only $34.99!! Can you believe that?!?!
And the funny thing is that normally with dark furniture like this, my first inclination is to paint it. But there was something special about this piece.
Yes, it was chipped on top and could have used a good sanding and smoothing (piece of cake).
But there was something so pretty about that wood grain.
I’m pretty sure that if this dresser had been mine, I would have stripped and restored it.
It was that pretty.
Of course, there are times when you shouldn’t paint wood furniture. And while this one would have passed my “should I paint it or not?” test, my gut would have told me “NO!” on this piece! What about you guys–would you paint that dresser if it were yours?
I don’t think I’ve been as excited about a thrift haul lately as I was with this one.
It looked all pretty packaged in the back of my minivan!
Watch the Video!
I did a Facebook Live video right before I stored it in my trunk, and you can see how large this table is! Ignore my horrible voice! I had a cold. 🙂
The Resemblance is Uncanny!
I had posted this awesome find on my Facebook page and someone said, “That looks very similar to the hobby table at Crate & Barrel for $299!”
Well, of course I had to go hunt down this “expensive twin” of my hobby table.
And sure enough, she was right!
The $18 Hobby Table
The big difference is that their table has shelving and is enclosed.
My table has a small drawer on each side, too, which is awesome.
But, I’ve got power tools, you guys…..and I know how to use them. Wouldn’t take me longer than a couple hours, max, to figure out how to nail or screw some boards on the inside.
A little bit of wood and–BAM!–mine, too, will have shelving.
I’ve even though about the fact that I could easily build a hobby table like this from scratch and then share the tutorial with you guys! Let me work on that….
In the meantime, I’ll probably paint the whole thing white, too.
That makeover will be coming very soon!
Couple Other Fun Things
I also stopped by the ReStore and saw this cool chest. It was pretty beat up–more beat-up than what I would have taken or thought possible to really restore–but it still looked awesome with those handles and card catalog type of plates!
And I was >thisclose< to almost buying these Ethan Allen dressers which were pristine. Seriously the most clean thing I’ve ever seen while out thrift diving. They were $80 each, which is what stopped me. Who has $160 just sitting around?? They would have been amazing for my son’s room, which I think I’ll be tackling in June.
But I think they were too tall to use for bedside tables, so I skipped them. Wise decision or not?
Hmmm…I wonder if they’re still there…..
So Where’s the Hobby Table Going?
Well, as you know, I’ve been working on The Never Ending Garage Makeover. It’s moving slower than the pace of my 4-year-old getting dressed (and that’s pretty slow, HA!). Eventually, the goal is to strip and paint the garage floor…move out the remaining furniture that’s still in there…and add in some organization and finishing touches.
This hobby table is a perfect workspace to pull out when I need a surface for doing projects. And since it folds pretty compactly, it won’t take any amount of space to store when I’m not working on something.
I couldn’t have stopped by the thrift store at a better time than the morning I found my thrifted hobby table for $18.
Have you found something awesome at the thrift store lately? Leave a comment below and share what you found! 🙂