Repurposing 101: Transforming a $5 Find

Look at what can be done with a neglected piece of furniture that was potentially headed to the landfill.

While out at a Flea Market last week I stumbled upon a well neglected furniture piece namely an old vanity. I thought to myself should I get involved with this headache or leave it behind, I knew if I didn't it was probably headed to the landfill, not an option in my book. 

It had issues and needed plenty of work which included a missing mirror, a severed mirror frame, graffiti, a missing a knob, paint and refinishing.  

I knew the piece had potential but what could I do with it?  Would it end up in the graveyard of other future projects I have. 

I decided to buy it and take a chance on it with the hopes that its rebirth would see its way to a potential customer who believes in second use and wants a unique piece to call their own. 

By the way the piece cost me $5 at the market, not the deciding factor on whether I take on a project its the "fix it time" I like to call it that does.  When one takes on a repurposing project time should be your number one concern, if you don't make the time it will sit and eventually get tossed into the garbage at a later date and defeat the whole purpose. 

Since it is my business to fix and repurpose things and I hate to see good potential pieces go to waste I thought this would be a good piece to use on my 101 exercise. 

First thing whenever you get a piece make sure the construction is intact and solid. Yes this piece was a bit broken but the bones were still together. I decided to pull off the broken parts and reattach them once again to its frame.

The new improved vanity will have no mirror. With so many other mirror options these days one could simply hang one on the wall instead. After pulling off the parts that were left from the mirror I glued them back together and used some wood filler to fill the gaps once it dried. I sanded and painted the frame and myself couldn't tell it had been broken. I painted it white and used chalkboard paint to cover the graffiti. Now a functional piece to use again and again. 

The original broken mirror was tri-fold so I removed the two ends (still in working order).  I decided to attach them to each other, so the two pieces now becomes one and it stands on its own.  I also painted this piece and distressed it.  I figured it could be used on a dresser or sofa table to add interest to whatever you put in front of it.  

The final piece to the puzzle was the original vanity I ended up adding a backing to the back area and painted the piece in two colors white and grey. I found some matching knobs in my shop (Restore & Rework) and attached them to the drawers as well. 

The finished painted product is now in three pieces, a chalkboard, desk mirror, and desk. 

It did take me a few hours to repurpose the original piece into three and about 6 days to think about what I wanted to do with it but look at the results, awesome, functional and ready for sale. 

Have you ever made such a purchase on a neglected piece with good intentions to do something with?  If so get it out of the garage or backyard and take a photo and send it to me so I can give you some inspiration or at least give you some ideas. 

Good luck and thanks for reading. 

- Cisco

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