Home diy Transforming a £6 charity shop bedside table

Transforming a £6 charity shop bedside table

by Clare Mansell
Transforming a £6 charity shop bedside table

A few weeks ago a charity shop opened around the corner from my house in a newly built unit. There was a bit of uproar in the village as the developers had promised local people a convenience store and instead signed the shop lease over to a local hospice, but quietly I was a little excited by the news and when it opened I was not disappointed.

It’s proved to be a treasure trove of bargain finds from designer wellies to vintage jewellery, children’s clothes and furniture and I’ve somewhere local to donate my own stuff to a charity who need to raise £20,000 a day to keep going.

Last Friday I stopped in to discover the manager had created a little corner purely for furniture in need of some TLC and there I found a unit which I thought would make a great bedside table for our guest room.

It was pretty ugly, the varnish was flaking off it but it was only £6 and I couldn’t resist the challenge of overhauling it.


I had to wait till the following morning to pick it up in the car and barely got a couple of feet in the door before I started attacking it…


I took the door and hinges off and filled the holes with wood filler, there was one particularly stubborn nail which Jim had to use some brute force to evict, but we got it out eventually. I had been planning to paint it with chalk paint until I discovered just how easy it was to get the varnish off, it literally took me 5 minutes to do all the sides and the drawer front.

The top was more of a challenge as the varnish was coming off in big flakes and the whole thing needed to be taken back to the plywood underneath. I managed to remove the flakey varnish with a wallpaper scraper.


When it was back to the bare bones I painted the whole of the outside with three coats of the white multi-surface paint I used for the bed (more on that when I do a whole room reveal) and painted the inside with Annie Sloan Provence chalk paint. The door knob is one which came off a built-in cupboard in the old bungalow that my parents demolished to build their house. I’ve had it for 10 years waiting for the right project…


On top of the initial cost of the unit, I used a very small amount of paint which I can’t even measure as a fraction of a tin, so the whole thing cost next to nothing to do.

The only problem now is that we could really do with a second one of similar proportions on the other side of the bed, so I shall have to keep an eye out. Meanwhile I’ll update you on the room makeover next week, when you’ll see there’s already been some big changes!

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