Thursday, May 31, 2012

Our Super Frugal Bedroom Makeover

Ok, this is embarrassing to share this picture, but I cannot believe that Nathan and I lived with our room looking like this for several years. Unfortunately I didn't take more "before" pictures, this is just one I happened to have on our camera. In this picture you can't see the cheap Walmart end tables we got with our wedding gift card money for $15 each. In the back is the dresser we bought for $20 from a person whose mother had just died. We had never owned a "bed", and just slept on a very comfy, expensive Tempur-pedic mattress. I don't know why we bought a goldish bed in a bag from Bed Bath & Beyond either, since I hate gold. This room has so many things wrong with it, but we have had it for way too long. Anyway, Nathan made the mistake one day after we had had a garage sale, that we should sell our bedroom furniture. I told him that we didn't have the thousands of dollars we would need to get a nice set so why would we get rid of what we have? But his comment got the wheels in my head turning and my Craigslist search started...

I wanted to find furniture that was within our little town/city so we didn't have to travel far. I found an ad that didn't have any pictures, just said that it was a queen sized cherry sleigh bed and two nightstands for $175 obo. I emailed the person for pictures and saw that it was a pretty nice set for a steal of a deal. When I went to pick them up, I asked her if she would take $120 since I had that in cash from selling stuff at our garage sale, and she did say "obo". She said "sure" and so I got a bed and two heavy duty nightstands for an even better steal!
 Here is the can see that it is in pretty good shape, but I wasn't a fan of the cherry and wanted a more "espresso" look. Thanks to Pinterest I discovered General Finishes Java Gel Stain! I could turn any color wood, in pretty much any condition, into a beautiful dark, rich piece of wood for very little money and with very little effort! Scroll down to see the progress...

 Here are the few scratches that came on the bed...
 All you have to do when working with gel stain is to lightly sand the finish of your piece of furniture (see the nightstand above (with the hardware removed)). I used a 320 grit sandpaper, which is very soft and non-abrasive. You then wipe off the sanding and it is ready for the stain. I also wanted to go from pulls to knobs ,and so I used wood filler and filled in the two holes the hardware left behind.
 Above and below are the parts to the dresser (after sanding), I accumulated about a week or two after the bed and nightstands (you can see 2 of the drawers in the back with 1 coat of the gel stain applied). I ended up finding the dresser on craigslist, from the same seller, who had listed the dresser also for $175 obo. I emailed her telling her I was the same person who bought her other pieces and would love to take her dresser off of her hands, but could only pay $50 for it. She said "sure" and I went back and got the last item I was needing! I was going to replace the pulls on the dresser too, but their width from screw to screw was 3.5" which is super hard to find anywhere other than online, and the new pulls started at $7 each. I wasn't about to pay that times 12 (the number of pulls to replace) so I went the spray paint route and just redid the look of the hardware thanks to Rustoleum. (That is a story in itself...I tried out so many different types of Rustoleum and was disappointed with the look or quality of many of them. I ended up going with the hammered look, which included the primer as well, and that achieved a decent look that wasn't going to chip off. Thanks to Walmart and Home Depot for continuously letting me exchange used spray paint cans).
 The gel stain was $19.99 a quart, and I bought one can of java, and one can of clear top coat, thus spending $40. You apply both gels with a sock on your hand, and wipe it on. After each application I let it dry overnight, and did two coats of each = 4 days process. The longest part to the transformation was re-doing the hardware on the dresser because I kept buying paint that I wasn't happy with and thus had to exchange and re-do. If that had worked right from the start, it would have been one day's time for the hardware. 

So to break down the cost of the furniture, I got a queen sleigh bed, two night stands and a dresser for $170. The paint materials were $40 for the stain, $7 for the spray paint and primer, $3 for sandpaper, and $8 for 4 new knobs for the night stands = $228 for an entire bedroom set that looks brand new! Plus, I have half of the cans of paint left so I could do a whole second bedroom with my supplies that are left over!

Doesn't our room look so much better?! I am so happy with it. As you can see, I also replaced our lamps, bedding, and little accessories. Let me break down the costs of those too so that it gives all of you who have been living with your bedroom set that you hate but don't replace because: "nobody else ever sees it" and "we don't have enough money" :)

2 Lamps from Home Goods (shades included): $60
Bedding (comforter and pillow shams from Target): $49 (supposed to be $99 but I got the manager to give it to me for less, long awesome story)
2 King pillows (to fit in shams): $20
3 Decorative pillows (Target): $30
Frame (above the bed, from Hobby Lobby): $22 (picture inside was something I made for Nathan for our anniversary using heart cutouts from our photographs...100 pictures from Snap Fish for $5)

On the dresser:
Blue vase (Home Goods): $30
White wood sticks (Home Goods): $7
White wood frame: $6
Green frame: $6 (both frames also from Home Goods)

Everything else I pulled from other rooms or our storage.

Let me say this too...I had sold $140 at a garage sale, $50 from our previous bedroom furniture, and plan on selling more of our old decor. But that makes $190 in earnings from our old stuff. The total spent on our new decor is: $235, which added to the furniture is $463. $463 - $190 =  $273 on an entirely new bedroom!

Now all I need is some window treatments and a rug for under the bed, but those can wait since I am perfectly content with the way things are now. I hope this can encourage any of you to sell the stuff you have always hated, start searching on craigslist for someone who is desperate to get rid of their old stuff too, and score some great deals on a new room that you love.


Folsom 2nd Ward Activity Days said...

you go glen coco

Stacey said...

Holy smokes Mimi! Is it bad that I didn't think it looked bad before? I'm glad you've never seen the state of our bedroom. Just to give you a hint, Madilyn did the wall decor. Your makeover looks awesome. I'm impressed.

holtkamp said...

wow mimi! that looks awesome! we also have just been sleeping with a matress/box spring the past six years because i've always thought getting an actual bed would be way too expensive...but i see it can work! :) good job! - jen

Unknown said...

Wow! A great job. I would have never thought to do any thing like that.

Unknown said...

Wow! A great job. I would have never thought to do any thing like that.

Aaron and Emily said...

Your room looks SO awesome! I can't believe you did it for so cheap. It seriously looks like a MUCH more expensive bedroom. Great job, Mimi.

Holly said...

Looks great Mimi! You'd never guess it cost so little. Impressive!

Becca said...

Okay we don't have a real bed either. And neither does Adelyn. And I hate the finish on Barett's crib. So you have definitely inspired me!!! It looks so awesome.

jamielady said...

Fabulous!! Love all the pretty colors!