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Thrifted Makeovers ~ DIY Budget Decor

When you head the thrift store and get a good haul, it can leave you feeling pretty pumped. That is until you look at all that you brought home and the realization hits you that you brought home a whole lotta potential and now there’s work to be done. For real, right? Today, I’m showing you a few of the items I acquired and how their thrifted makeovers can help make your house your home on a budget.

Thrifted Finds Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

Let’s take a look at what I thought was worthy purchases. First, an unfinished stool, a wooden chest, and a corner cabinet. All are solid wood ane are handmade. However, they are most definitely needing something.


To start, I choose that little milking stool as my first subject.

Unfinished Thrifted Stool Before Thrifted Makeovers |

Since this piece was nothing but raw, I decided to have a little fun with it. First, I used my brush to apply Provincial Stain (one of my favorites seen here).

Staining Farmhouse Milking Stool |

After I let that cure a bit, I started out using some of my stash of paints to create a textured look with layers. My goal was to make this look like it had been around awhile. Next, I applied a wash of this blue.

Painting Stool with Chalk Paint for Thrifted Makeovers |

For the next layer, I used milk paint. This color is one of my favorites by Junque called Jadeite. Isn’t it pretty? In addition to this project, you can see how I used it on this dresser makeover in this post.

Junque Milk Pain in Jadeite used by Prodigal Pieces for Thrifted Makeovers |


Before I show you the after, let me show you the other chest real quick. Would you have bought this?

What caught my eye was the hardware on the back and the awesome joints that held this thing together. However, what needed gone fast was that awful orange finish that was slapped all over everything. The only thing I had in mind was to TAKE IT OFF. haha. My Citristrip came in super handy for this.

Using CitriStrip Stripping Gel to Refinish Chest by Prodigal Pieces |

I used my brushes to apply a thick coat of gel. To ensure it wouldn’t dry out on the hot day I was working in, I always wrap in plastic wrap. This also works well when you are letting it sit overnight. See the finish starting to dissolve in about 30 minutes?

Stripping Handmade Chest for Farmhouse Style by Prodigal Pieces |

When ready, I just used my putty knife to scrape off all that I could. Last, to finish it up, I used steel wool and mineral spirits to get the gunk off. I was after a rustic worn look, so this worked well.


Here are the first of my thrifted makeovers, the milking stool and farmhouse chest in their finished state.

Farmhouse Milking Stool and Wooden Chest Made New for Thrifted Makeovers by Prodigal Pieces |

aaahhh…that’s better. They look like they belong together, don’t they?

Farmhouse Style Vignette Using Thrifted Finds by Prodigal Pieces |

The milking stool has that washed look I love…

Farmhouse Milking Stool for Thrifted Makeovers by Prodigal Pieces |

Chippy Green Farmhouse Milking Stool by Prodigal Pieces |

…and that chest is a time-worn beauty now. It sure looks like a rustic gem to me! Check out those joints and cool hardware.

Handmade Farmhouse Pine Chest by Prodigal Pieces |

Handmade Joints on Wooden Chest by Prodigal Pieces |

Vintage Handmade Wooden Chest by Prodigal Pieces |

Inside Handmade Wooden Chest with Farmhouse Style for Thrifted Makeovers by Prodigal Pieces |

Limelight Hydrangea Display for Thrifted Makeovers at Prodigal Pieces |


Last, but not least, is my goose corner cabinet. Raise your hand if you have (and still do – ha!) have geese and country blue decor in your home. Llikewise, my mother did, so you are not alone. As cute as the goose is, it had to go bye-bye with my sander.

Sanding 1980's goose off of corner cabinet |

The first thing after sanding was to paint the inside. I chose to use the Tea Rose Pink I used on this vanity makeover. It is just the right feminine shade.Painting Tea Rose Pink Inside Corner Cabinet |

The outside got two coats of a off white. But, for added drama, I used my fun mold and hot glue gun to create some pretty decorative pieces like I did for my secretary desk.

Iron Orchid Molds for Detailing Pieces |

In addition, to give these moldings a depth, I painted and then used my brown wax to add detail.

Mouldings made from Hot Glue |


Once done, I applied them to my newly made over corner cupboard. Amazing isn’t it?

Corner China Cabinet Thrifted Makeovers by Prodigal Pieces |

The details are so fun and to think it was all done with hot glue. Yay!

Corner Display China Cabinet for Thrifted Makeovers by Prodigal Pieces |

Decorated China Cabinet for Thrifted Makeovers by Prodigal Pieces |

Also, I was even able to find an antique glass knob in my stash to replace the wooden one. It’s all about the little things to me. Though, my favorite is the inside. tee hee.

Inside Vintage Corner China Cabinet for Thrifted Makeovers by Prodigal Pieces |

Likewise, if one or all of these recreated pieces catch your eye, you can find them available for purchase in my online shop.

  • Magic Linen Beige Waffle Blanket available at Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #bedding
    Magic Linen Waffle Blanket ~ $130

So there you have it…3 quick thrifted makeovers to encourage you to give DIY a try and make your house your home.

Also, pin and share these thrifted makeovers to inspire other to break out their DIY skills and update their home decor. It’s fun!

Three Thrifted Makeovers for Budget Decor by Prodigal Pieces to show you how even on a budget you can get the look you want too. Details at
Up next, is Furniture Fixer Uppers and my kitchen remodel is back in full swing, starting with my bar stools. Head here to see the updates!

Bar Stools Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. Additionally, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!

blog signatureIn addition, more of my thrifted makeovers for you:

Want to add farmhouse style decor to your home, but lack a big budget? It's easier than you think. Come see at Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comMake Your House a Home with Thrifty Farmhouse Decor as shown by Prodigal Pieces |


  1. ColleenB.~Texas says

    Love your new found items and what you had done with them. Beautiful.
    Actually, I have head and foot board bed frame that I have to do, so them brushes would sure be handy in doing my project.
    Thank you for this giveaway opportunity

    • Larissa says

      Thanks, Colleen! It was fun to try. My pleasure to share!

  2. Mary West says

    I love the wooden chest! It turned out so beautiful! I have several things I’ve been wanting to make, a coat rack, nightstands, and several Christmas gifts so I would pick one of those to paint first!

    • Larissa says

      My favorite too. I had fun seeing that gunk come off of there. Ha!

  3. Vickie says

    Love the little stool and the chest does have great hardware on it. Thank you for this giveaway. This group of brushes can really help with my next makeover!!

  4. Sharon Schneebele says

    I have enjoyed following your work, and keeping up with your progress on your home. You amaze me with how much you accomplish!
    I am wondering what glue sticks you used to achieve this. Mine usually have a rubbery quality that yours do not appear to have.

    • Larissa says

      Awesome to hear, Sharon! Thank you. I use you basic craft store glue sticks, so nothing special.

  5. Frances Batson says

    Love the boxes. Great hardware . I don’t think I have seen one like it.
    I always have several projects around needing painting.

  6. Kaycee F says

    Larissa, as usual you’re makeovers are amazing! I just can’t get over the use of hot glue in the Iron Orchid mold! That additional touch on the corner cabinet really kicks it up a notch!!!!

    • Larissa says

      Thanks, Kaycee! It is so fun to use all these tools to get the look I’m after – I get to play!

  7. Amy says

    That stool!! OMGeee…drooling here!

  8. Laura L. says

    Your great site is so inspirational to me and others as well!! You have taught me so many tricks to refine my artsy-fartsy stuff and for that I am very grateful!!

    • Larissa says

      That’s what it’s all about, Laura. Thank you for making my day!

  9. C Brannon says

    Love seeing what you come up with!

  10. Carole says

    I absolutely love what you did to that chest! One day I’m going to get me some of those molds. They sure do make a difference. I’ve had my eye on that triangle brush f a while. I always seem to have trouble in those corners.

    • Larissa says

      What a fun difference it made in that thing. The molds are awesome, and the brushes are the best! They have made my life so much easier.

  11. Laurie says

    Thought it was going to be the milking stool as I was reading through the post, but then I saw the difference in that chest! Oh, my! Love how it turned out, that is my favorite of the three.

  12. Kim says

    I love the cabinet! Very creative

    • Kim says

      I would use those brushes on all of my furniture painting endeavors! I just recently picked up one of these zibra brushes and it is no joke!

  13. Jewell Styles says

    Good job! You have a natural talent.

  14. Becky says

    Wow! That chest especially is so cool! We have one of those molds too – I reeeeally MUST get out the glue gun and try that! Amazing!
    I have a “To Paint” list as long as my arm. Maybe first up though would be the clock I want for my new entry!

  15. Patricia Hawk says

    Larissa, so much vision! That corner cabinet was such a beautiful transformation. Can they all be my favorite? ??

  16. Barbara Brannon says

    Beautiful! You are always such an inspiration for me – wish I had your “eye”! Thanks for sharing –

    • Larissa says

      You are so sweet to say so. You never know until you try!

  17. Sarah T says

    I enjoy watching your projects. I don’t have the eye for potential that you do, but I enjoy the process also. What do you use to clean your brushes? You use the same brushes for so many different mediums? Stain, citristrip, plus all the different paints. I always worry about residue on my brushes.

    • Larissa says

      Thank you, Sarah. I clean based on what I used. For paint, just some warm water and occasionally soap. For stains either water or mineral spirits. I have dedicated brushes for stains and paints, so no mixing up around here. The citristrip can be used on my paint brushes, so no worries there.

  18. Judy Black says

    Love the cabinet and Dixie Belle paint! Woukd love to try the brushes. I need to get an Iron Orchid mold…

    • Larissa says

      You will love the brushes, Judy! Yes, those molds are sweet too.

  19. Nancy F Lambert says

    You do an awesome job on all of your great finds.
    Thank you for sharing and teaching us how we can do this.

  20. Sue Carr says

    Terrific makeovers as always! Would like to have a complete set of brushes. I do have the triangular one I found while junking one day and I love it for those hard to do corners too. My fave for the reasons you chose it too is the little chest.

    • Larissa says

      What a score for you! They are amazing brushes for sure.

  21. Elaine says

    You make choosing hard! I’m going to have to pick that adorable stool. I’m loving the hot glue and mold idea…its giving me some inspiration! Quick question… Do you use the same brushes for both stain and paint, or do you keep a separate set for stain? I’ve always been afraid I’d ruin a brush using it to stain.

    • Larissa says

      hahaha…too funny! I have dedicated brushes for stains vs. paints. No mixing up the finishes. πŸ™‚

  22. Kaitlyn says

    I love your style!! It makes me look at thrift store finds a new light! Thank you!

  23. Lee Ann Oliverio says

    So adorable, and I have to admit I do have some leftover geese, apples and other country things I am slowly making over! My favorite is that little stool, I have a weakness for milking stools πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Larissa says

      We all do and that’s okay because it will be back! hahahaha!!

  24. Anya Mathis says

    The word section is my favorite too! Those turned out cute!

  25. Debra Wise says

    Love all 3 pieces but the stool and cabinet are probably my favorite . You are so creative and such an inspiration. Would love to give those brushes a try on my projects.

  26. Rebecca - Knoxville,TN says

    I like the corner cabinet and am fascinated with the orchid mold. Is the mold made specifically for hot glue?
    I have a couple of Zibra brushes and love them but would looove to try more! I would paint an old china cabinet.

    • Larissa says

      Thanks! You can use the mold for food, paper clay, sculpey…anything. So fun! Happy to hear you love Zibra brushes too!

  27. Regina says

    Love that chest! Great find and makeover.

  28. Michelle says

    I love the little wood chest. There are a few things I always fall for and that is one of them! You did a wonderful job on giving it new life.
    I’ve never had a Zibra brush but I have plenty of projects on which on try some – from an old sewing chair – with the little drawer that comes out the side (love it!) to an antique chest of drawers with an attached ornate mirror.

    • Larissa says

      So kind of you to say, Michelle. Sounds like you’re a kindred spirit! The Zibra brushes make life much easier.

  29. Jolinda says

    Wow, are you sure these are the same items you picked up at the thrift store? I love how the trunk looks so different. Good brushes make a world of difference.

    • Larissa says

      haha…woot! Happy to hear you can tell a difference. Thanks so much!

  30. Kimberly says

    Thanks for showing us once again that it does not take a lot of cash to make a house a home.

    • Larissa says

      You bet! It’s the only way to be with a big budget or not. It’s fun and frugal, no matter what your status.

  31. Cindy L Downing says

    I love the iron orchid molds, so cool with hot glue..❀ i want to paint my dresser with the zibra paint brushes and i might have to get me some iron orchid molds

    • Larissa says

      They are fun and so are all these brushes. I go crazy! πŸ˜€

  32. Kim says

    Larissa, I love how you can see beyond the outside to the potential of pieces!

  33. Brenda says

    Oh my! There are all wonderful! My favorite is the little chest. I can think of several things I could use it for. ❀️ Great post! I always love your tutorials.

  34. Mary says

    Lots of pretty here Larissa. That little stool is adorable.

  35. Robyn Wright says

    I love everything you do. I look at furniture at the thrift store with a new eye. I just don’t have all of the knowledge (or patience) for some pieces. I am very interested in trying out these paint brushes though. Thank you!

    • Larissa says

      Awesome to hear! It does make the trip more fun to see it with a different eye. Thanks for the love!

  36. Annette says

    My favorite is the art deco buffet. I’m obsessed with makeovers of buffets, because I plan to do that (one day) with my mom’s buffet. So I appreciate the ideas/inspiration.

  37. Nancy Walden says

    I passed your recommended for Zibra brushes on to my daughter. I love the chest! All my country blue pieces are things my mom tole-painted so I try to work with them. Fortunately they all have more complex designs so there are more colors to work with! What I call her Lord and Lady chest has a partly stained and partly blue painted top and sides. The front panel has gray horses and the riders are in burgundy. I used gray on my updated armoire and a gray wash on the table top and there is a touch of blue in my rug so it all works!

  38. Rebecca Drake says

    You convinced me! I really did not like that corner cabinet, but after your makeover, I love it! Love the colors and the applique’s.
    And thanks for the giveaway!

  39. Dee Thomas says

    I really like the chest,before and after. I’m wanting to get my small,light stained,chimney cabinet painted a primitive,antique look.

    • Larissa says

      The before wasn’t bad except the varnished the hardware and it was just awful sticky. I think someone tried to touch it up. πŸ˜‰

  40. Mary says

    your projects are great. I love how the stool turned out and will try it on an old milking stool I have. the paintbrushes are the next ones I will try.

  41. Susan Esparza says

    I love you concrete tables and your changing table cart. Very clever!

  42. Yolanda Acevedo says

    You rock my friend!
    Love, love the AFTER’S!

  43. Jane Doe says

    Wow! I like them all but my favorite is the corner cabinet. I can just see that in my, (on the way) nieces nursery! My little sister is 39 and this is her first baby. We are all Ga Ga over this because she never thought she could have children. God is giving her and hubby this child as she has never used any birth control, nor used medical assistance to become pregnant. What a miracle! Thanks for sharing your fabulous ideas with everyone. I get excited everytime my inbox tells me you have shared with us again, YAY!

    • Larissa says

      Oh, how wonderful!! What a blessing to have such a gift bestowed. Prayers for all.

  44. Mechele McDaniel Rose says

    That corner cabinet is adorable.

  45. Yoneri Munoz says

    Hi Larissa I love the little farm style bench you did in milk paint. It’s adorable! The wood aisle at Goodwill is also my favorite. I have the same style bench but in larger full size I would paint with those awesome brushes. I have the chalk paint and I’m ready to go! Just need your brushes, LOL!

  46. Melissa says

    Love your projects. The chest is my favorite. I have lots to paint so praying I win. Thanks for doing giveaway.

  47. Janet Kynerd says

    Always joy your posts – especially like the hot glue additions to the corner cabinet. We are doing some remodeling and could sure use some good paint brushes.

  48. Sarah Trible says

    I love the goose corner cabinet. It’s hard to believe you can make such beautiful accents using hot glue. I will be giving that a try for sure. Do you have to use a specific type of paint? Anyway, if I won the brushes, I’d first paint the desk my mom used as a child.

    • Larissa says

      Crazy, isn’t it? So fun to get crafty, especially with the brushes. I use basic latex, chalk, etc.

  49. Melissa Storms says

    My very favorite is your repurposed changing table potting bench and I have been keeping my eye out for a decent shape changing table. I also collected a bunch of palettes to make the compost bin. I actually want to make 2.

    • Larissa says

      So awesome to hear! Thank you and hope you find one. πŸ˜€

  50. Sandra says

    I love the small box. I have a few things waiting to be done. A desk, nightstand and 2 dressers. The brushes would be wonderful to have.

  51. Mary Kaiser says

    I love how your items turned out! I have a dough bowl with the same goose painted in it, wasn’t sure what to do with it until you inspired me. I will have to sand it off and repaint it. Thanks for the ideas.

  52. Maryann Smith says

    I love the box. It would be great to stencil on.

  53. Jenny Peickert says

    If i won the brushes, i would use them on my projects from the thrift store too because I enjoy finding treasures & making them fit in my decor by painting them. I am loving your recent upcycles & how u see the beauty in discarded items from others…Blessings.jenny

  54. Paula Roveda says

    The green stool is so nice because the green is subtle. Oh rats, I love them all.

  55. Sharon Cavanaugh says

    I love the box for the same reasons you do, the hardware and the joinery! I have 4 tables that I want to paint and am so happy to have found your blog. I tried stripping a butterfly table years ago and had a terrible time. You have given me direction and motivation to try again! I would use the brushes to do these small end tables. They are all vintage family pieces.

  56. Charlene says

    WOW !!! You’ve done it again!
    I have quite a few projects to get done, but alas, my lack of brushes & $$ make it difficult.

  57. Donna Gonzalez says

    I just love little wooden stools. Yours is so cute!

  58. Teresa Lee says

    I go straight for the wood and rust at the thrift stores. Seeing your creations makes life so much fun.

  59. Cheryl B. says

    Sad for the goose.but wow love tge details out of the molds..tge chest needs to come to me….

  60. eileen says

    I love all these cute projects but I think the little stool is my favorite!
    I would make over two kitchen chairs I bought for $1.50 each that have been sitting in my way since May waiting for me to find some inspiration!

  61. Patty Soriano says

    Larissa, I am in LUST with that gorgeous wooden box! It reminds me of a bible box I found at a flea market many years ago. Painted brown, I discovered a gorgeous oak with dovetail corners after we stripped off the paint. I would love to have your brushes, and I hope one day to win one of your giveaways. Not sure right now what will be painted first, there is so much to do ! Probably a table, maybe some chairs. Thank you for the chance!

    • Larissa says

      I hear ya! If I had a need for it that chest would be staying here with me! I have too many non-needs already, as you can imagine. hee hee hee.

  62. Deb says

    You inspire me, thank you!

  63. Meghan Seyller says

    I think the stool is my fav I like the layering of colors.

  64. Kaycee says

    Really love this corner cabinet Larissa!

  65. Anita says

    My fav is the box. Over 30 years ago I discovered a large wood box in a storage room at a school where I was teaching at that time. It was being used to hold old football equipment. I asked my principal if I could have it, and he said why do you want that? I got the treasure home, had it refinished, and it is now in our home storing our Christmas decorations.

    • Larissa says

      How cool is that? Sounds like a wonderful piece with a story to tell.

  66. Colleen Bean says

    Sure could use that triangle brush! I like the trunk!

  67. Tracy says

    I am blown away with the hot glue trick. You are so creative.

  68. Jessie says

    I like the trunk best (probably because I could use one!) and I’d finish a bookshelf project I have going on with the brushes.

  69. Marie says

    All three makeovers are fabulous, Larissa and they are pinned. But you had me at the molds and hot glue gun, what? These are going to rock my world!

  70. Theresa Crawford says

    My favorite of the makeovers is the little corner cabinet, and not just because I’m seriously excited by the revelation of what you can do with a mold + hot glue gun!
    As for the first thing I’d paint with my new brushes? That’d be my mother’s sewing machine cover. Great old midcentury machine, but the cover has been battered to… very bad places… and back over the last half century!

  71. Amy Ramsey says

    I lovr all of yoyr makeovers but yhe one I love the most was the wicker rocking chair. I ha e so many projects waiting to be painted. I have a dresser in my front entry that needs some tlc and i was thinking of painting it with white milk paint and leaving yhe top natural or stained..

  72. Tracy Ann says

    My favorite is the chest, it’s just beautiful! I’m most impressed with the hot glue molded details. Hot glue? who knew! If I won I’d use the brushes on a small chest of drawers sitting in the basement.

  73. Peggy Zamboni says

    I love the corner cupboard! I have an adorable side table with drop-down sides I bought at a flea market I’d like to paint with my new brushes.

    • Larissa says

      Love those kinds of tables as they can go most anywhere. Fun!

  74. Kelly Youngblood says

    Your energy is boundless, Larissa. I like all three projects for different reasons — the stool for its simplicity and usefulness; the chest for its workmanship and hardware; and the corner cabinet for the unique treatment you gave it with the molds. I would love to try the Zibra brushes for a variety of different projects as you always rave about them and I consider you to be a master craftsperson,

    • Larissa says

      You are such a sweet soul and made my day. Thank you for the love!

  75. Steven says

    Just amazing decor idea. As a DIY’er, I wanna thanks to you that I have got some new idea. I will follow all of your makeovers idea and make a unique decor. Thanks again

  76. Renate says

    Wait a second….you used hot glue in your molds? And then painted them??? Life changing!!! LOL!! Thank you for sharing!

    • Larissa says

      hahahaha!! Yes, it works wonders! Thanks for the giggle.

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