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Goodwill Find into a Good Find

Making an $8 Goodwill treasure into the perfect computer stool

I am all about a bargain. I will shop a sale rack like nobody’s business; sometimes it pans out, and you find the perfect piece and other times you just walk away empty handed. This week, I feel I logged this find in the win column.

I recently converted a 1990’s TV entertainment system into a modern farmhouse computer station. Using a regular chair seemed to work at first, but if I worked several hours in front of the computer (not unheard of at all), I found the angle bothered my neck as well as my arms. So I did my normal search on Offer Up to see if there was a counter height stool for sale. There were. But they were also out of my (albeit stingy) price range. So I back-burnered that for a bit.

This weekend, I was out and about and stopped at the Goodwill store. This isn’t my favorite go to for new projects, but sometimes you can find a good piece of furniture. (If not, I go to the book section and pick up a few hardbacks. Can’t have too many books, right?) From about halfway through the store, a light shone down from heaven directly onto the most beautiful piece of furniture: a wooden counter height barstool. <angels singing> I promise no one was hurt in my race through the store to get it.

It was almost perfect. All the legs were there, all the crossbars were intact, no missing rungs on the back of the chair. The legs were a bit wobbly, but I knew that could be fixed by tightening the screws or worst case, if the screw hole was stripped, re-drilling a second hole. It was a dark brown stained wood (not my favorite) and had quite a few scratches on the legs and seat, but nothing too severe. All doable.

Price: eight dollars! My guardian angel was not drunk that day!

I took this beauty home, and the transformation was quick, easy, and one of the most economical flips I have ever done.

I was able to turn this around in under one day, mostly because I had everything on hand from previous inventory or expenses runs. For instance, as I’ve mentioned before, I love a good bargain. And my local Lowes store has a great deal on “used” paint, or paint that someone else had the store mix up but then changed their mind. (Lowes’ return policy on paint is crazy. I haven’t taken advantage of it, but if you don’t like the paint color you ask them to mix for you, you can return it.) So every time I am in Lowes, I always check out the returned paint section to see if any colors catch my eye. A returned gallon of paint is usually around $9 or $10 versus a normal cost of $28-$35, depending on the brand. In this instance, I had grabbed a gallon of eggshell that closely resembled the main color on my 1990’s TV Entertainment system redesign.

So I’m still into this for under $10 because I won’t use the entire gallon on this small project.

What else do I need?

I know I’ll be sitting on this for long periods of time, so a cushioned seat would be a good idea. There was leftover cushion sponge from my last project, Refreshed Tradition, and there is a drawerful of fabric remnants that I’ve collected over the years. So...check!

Let’s get to work and flip this thing!

While my latest passion is stripping and sanding wood projects down to the grain, I decided to just do a paint over. Anytime you’re painting over already stained or painted items, it is recommended that you do a “scuff” sand which is a light sand over the entire area so that the paint has something to “grab” on to and secure itself to the surface. I took the 3M 80 grit sandpaper (designated as the remover grit) and lightly sanded the whole chair, including the legs on all sides.

After wiping the chair free of all sanded particles, I set up my painting area. For this project, my spray painter would be faster and more efficient than brush painting. To use the spray painter, I laid plastic down on the floor of the garage and over my work table, making a semi tent to paint within. Laying the chair on it’s back, I started painting the bottom of the chair first, then the outside of the legs, the seat, then the front of the seat back. Working this way lessens the chance of nicking the paint on the outside while you’re trying to paint the inside, so you’re working from the inside out vs outside in.

The paint adhered to the chair very well, and I could have gotten away with one coat, but because it was so quick with the sprayer, I did two coats. Then the chair was set upright so I could get the back of the chair slats and the back legs on that side. I pointed the spray nozzle at a downward angle while doing that so minimal spray would go through the slats onto the chair seat which was already done. Any paint that did get on the chair seat was just brushed into the seat with a dry brush.

Easy peasy.

Once the chair was completely dry, I measured the cushion sponge to the chair seat and cut it, then sprayed glue to the bottom and placed it on the chair seat. The material chosen to cover the cushion was measured, leaving approximately an inch on each side so it would cover the cushion, over the sides, and have enough to staple into the seat itself. Trim was then hot glued around the edge of the cushion on top of the material edge, for a clean finish.

Here’s the final view at my computer station. I’ve tested it for several hours and have had no strain on my neck or arms as the angle is perfect.

All in cost:

Chair $8.00

Paint 1/10 of $9 $0.90

Material $1.00

Trim $0.98

Total $9.98

No way I would have found this on OfferUp, Ebay, or FaceBook Marketplace for that amount!

One satisfied bargain hunter here!


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