Easy and Quick Side Table makeovers for last minute House Guests

Dumpster Diving Diaries, Furniture and Cabinetry Redouxs, Furniture Makeovers, Le Junque, Tutorials

Two Free Dumpster Tables that Got an Easy Makeover

Recently my husband and I became empty-nesters! This has left us with some empty bedrooms. And plenty of space to have a dedicated guest room! We invited out-of-town friends (last-minute ask) to stay with us recently when they were in town for a wedding. Dilemma…I did not have any furniture that was guest-ready in this room. It had, as extra bedrooms sometimes become, the dumping ground for random things. I did remember I had TWO side tables that would be perfect as Nightstands for this room in my junk stash in the garage.

How to Clean and Prep a Side Table and ready for Painting

These are the tables I started with. Dirty, gross, and not too pretty to look at. I started by giving each of them a thorough cleaning with my go-to cleaning product. Humble Suds 100% natural concentrated cleaning solution. I put just a half bottle in one of my Continuous Spray Misters. One spray literally cuts through layers of dirt and grease and there is no need to rinse before painting as you would with TSP or any other detergent.

Once they were clean, I taped off the glass on the table with a glass front with my favorite Frog Tape. I have been painting furniture for years (over 20 now to be exact….) and Frog Tape is hands down and head and shoulders above all the other painter’s tape on the market.

Time to Paint the Two Tables with DIY Clay & Chalk Paint!

I decided on DIY One Step Paint in Haint Blue. I love the Fresh Minty Blue color and I knew it would be perfect for a relaxing guest room.

Since DIY Paint is highly pigmented and extremely durable, there was no need to sand or prime. The finish on the bigger table was previously painted with high gloss latex paint. I wasn’t worried, I knew the paint would go on easily and stay on. And since there was a built-in Top coat, I knew this project would be completed in no time.

How to Get the Best Results when Painting Furniture

I always say less is more. Especially when it comes to DIY Paint. The one mistake I see my students and customers often doing is putting down way too much paint. DIY Paint is super pigmented, you really will use way less DIY Paint than any other similar brand. Just like when painting your fingernails, 2 thin coats are going to look much better and be more durable than 1 -2 really thick coats. You will have far fewer brush marks this way too.

I created this short YouTube video to show exactly how to use the paint and my insider tips for keeping your paint cans clean.

Adding some embellishments to the Side Tables

The Tables painted were SO much better than the state I found them in, but the room they were going in has a very utilitarian bed frame and it’s just blah black metal. I needed to find a way to tie it all together. Whenever I need to add some extra detail to a project, I always turn to my favorite embellishments from IOD. Transfers, Stamps, and Moulds. I used the floral part of the Desperado transfer. If you can do a rub-on a tattoo, you can put a transfer on.

The End of the End Tables Project

I was so happy to get these two projects wrapped up so fast. I had both tables prepped and painted and in our new guest room within half a day. It was that easy! I am happy to report our guests loved their stay with us, and there was a comfortable place to put their phones, books, etc on either side of the bed. And the best part? This makeover was practically free! If I had gone out to buy two new or even nicely used side tables, I would have easily spent $150 for two used ones or far more for new ones. Now I have 2/3 of a can of paint left because I needed so little and a beautiful transfer with lots of more uses for more projects. I couldn’t be happier with the Tables Makeover!

I hope I inspired you to makeover your furniture or keep your eyes out for a project you can do! Please let me know what you thought and any questions you may have about your furniture makeovers.


  1. Jan

    I love how they turned out. I really like the transfer on the drawer of the shorter table, but I see you also did transfers on the inside of the taller table with the glass in the door so you can see them. Very pretty. It’s hard for me to wrap my brain around not having to sand and prime before painting furniture, but the proof is in the pudding and I know you know your stuff. I have an old TV cart from like the early 1970s that I spray painted a pretty yellow in 2016. I was using it in my gazebo and it didn’t hold up well to rain that would blow in. I’ve been meaning to sand it down and repaint it and wheel it into and out of the garage when I have guests because it’s a great “tray” surface to have for snacks. I’ll look into the DIY Paint. Now if only they could invent a paint that actually paints itself on wherever you need it…

  2. Kaessa

    These are really pretty!! Very thoughtful of you doing last-minute projects to make your guest comfortable, what an extremely kind gesture! Job well done and as always keep up the good work:)

    • GTC

      Thank you so much Kaessa! It really was a joy to be able to create a relaxing space for them, then to enjoy their company after being apart for the last two-plus years. Thank you for the sweet compliment, I truly appreciate you taking the time.

      • Kaessa

        Absolutely! You are most welcome!!
        I think it’s interesting that the joy you received from the ability to do this for them resonated to your guest and onto us (your audience) and even perhaps beyond, depending on us employing what we gather from your post…

        That’s nothing short of amazing and I’m grateful to have been a part of the chain!!! Thank YOU for taking the time to share, I really enjoyed it:)


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