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.