Look what I found sitting in the alley recently– this cute table! I really felt like it had potential to become a “treasure” and couldn’t resist the urge to rescue it. Plus, I found a recipe for chalk paint and wanted to try that out. And what better way to experiment than with a free piece of furniture salvaged from the trash, right? As you can see, my little table needed some rehab–it was nothing some sandpaper and a bit of paint couldn’t fix.
I started my project by hand-sanding the table. About 15 minutes into it I was really wishing I would have busted out the power sander (as you can imagine). All things considered, the sanding part was pretty easy- it’s a small table. I’d been doing a lot of research on chalk paint and wanted to try it out to see what all the hype was about. Price-wise the “real thing” is a shade on the expensive side so I decided to make my own version. Here is the recipe I used:
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1/2 cup plaster of paris
- 1 1/2 cups satin latex paint
Combine hot water and plaster of paris. Whisk. Add to satin latex paint. Mix well.
I bought my paint at Lowe’s– I got a small-sized sample container of paint for approximately $2.50. This paint was easy to mix up and extremely user-friendly. It coated the table well– in this case I used 2 coats of paint. Luckily it dries fast so I was able to finish the project all at once. I had some leftover paint mixture and was pleased to find out that you can save it in an airtight container and it works just fine the next day (I saved some for touch ups).
I distressed the edges slightly with sandpaper and I’m still thinking about putting small tiles or maybe glass on top. I’d also like to put a sealant over it to prevent watermarks and protect the wood. Considering this is a piece of furniture that I “rescued” from the trash it turned out pretty cute. Part of me wants to sell this and part of me wants to keep it….. any offers out there??!
Right now I’m using this as a side table by the sofa to catch my overflow of magazines and books and computers. It’s a great place to rest my ipad.
Dumpster diving is sometimes viewed as an urban foraging technique.Dumpster divers typically scour thru dumpsters for items such as clothing, furniture, food and…my good luck… bookends… in serviceable condition.
Imagine my surprise and delight when my friend BC found these cool bookends near his dumpster in the North Park neighborhood in San Diego. Location to be kept secret– I have to protect my sources! BC is an avid “dumpster watcher” who is always on the look-out for trash-to-treasure opportunities. What a score!
As you can see, I had books all in disarray in the living room. Well, maybe not this bad but you get the idea, right?
So… the bookends look really cute on my shelf in the living room. And the books look a little more tidy as well. Not bad for a dumpster diving find! Bravo!
Tonite I’m writing this post from the comfort of my “new” patio. Decorated courtesy of yet another quasi-dumpster diving adventure. You don’t always have to jump in the dumpster to find the good stuff. My patio chairs were found outside the trash bin which is much easier for me to navigate given that I’m 5 ft 4 inches on a good day.
My two chairs started off a rusty, metal mess. I initially wondered if they might be better off just staying in the trash?
I busted out some sandpaper and sanded off the worst of the rust. Then I whipped out the spray paint and voila– in a hot minute I was finished. Two perfectly fabulous chairs. Side note– this sounds like an easy project but I did experience a few minor mishaps painting due to semi-windy conditions and blowing newspapers. Thankfully there’s not a noticeable amount of paint specks on the patio though the floor is now a much deeper shade of gray in certain spots. Shshsh… don’t tell my apartment complex…
To complete the project I found a cheery red pillow at WalMart for $7 and a small table at Target for $15. Right now I’m using two rugs that are rejects from the kitchen years ago. I’m still in the market for a like-new rug and maybe a few more plants and candles. I’m determined to have a low cost and semi- upcycled/recycled/repurposed patio area. So far, so good. (Let the dumpster diving adventure continue!)
Cost of Project:
- 2 Metal Chairs– FREE
- 2 cans black satin spray paint (WalMart)– $5.00
- 1 red pillow (WalMart)– $7.00
- 1 small table (Target)– $15.00
- Plants– FREE
I write a lot about dumpster diving. But what about the stuff you can find parked out in the alley near the dumpsters? Imagine my excitement when I spotted a cute little barrel type container sitting all lonely in the alley. Guess it didn’t make the cut for the dumpster! Lucky day for me.
Location of this “find”– somewhere in San Diego.
After a quick dusting the barrel looked great. It will be perfect on my patio as a plant holder.
My motto– if you’re planning to dumpster dive– do it with dignity. I’m not a big fan of physically diving into dumpsters. Mostly out of fear.
I prefer to walk by and if there is something interesting laying out front of the dumpster or perched within easy reach then I grab the item and give it a visual scan. Personally, the item needs to be in good condition and something I can put to immediate use or else I leave it.
Here is a cute table I found recently in the UTC area near Nobel Drive and Lebon Drive. It was set out front of the dumpster within easy reach. Very cute table. The only thing I had to do was dust it off and replace the drawer pull. The cost of drawer pull was $2.75 at Cost Plus World Market. Again, a really simple fix and now I have a cute table in my entryway!