Thursday, November 10, 2011

I see a free thing and I want to paint it red...

This summer, while on the bus on the way to meet a friend, I passed a pile of furniture and housewares out in front of a house with a "FREE STUFF" sign. How could I possibly resist? When I met my pal Jodi, I mentioned the pile and she was immediately all in... have I mentioned that I have the best friends?! She drove us back post-haste, and was rewarded with an unusual blue handmade blown glass vase-type thingy. And I manhandled this beast into the back of her convertible:

This long cabinet is solid wood and I thought, when I saw a glimpse of it from a moving bus, that it had really cool scroll work on the front. Well, the door is actually kinda plastic-y, with a finish that makes it look like the rest of the wood... but hey, scavengers can't be choosers! 

I had originally been thinking that I might refinish it with Megan for her place, but when she determined that she didn't have room for it, I found a way to fit it into my space. I had some immediate ideas -- I wanted a glossy, slick colourful finish to play off of the outdated design -- but it stayed on my covered patio for a month or two, until Megan happened to offer a can of red paint that she no longer needed. The cupboard pull was simply revived with some black spray paint I had leftover from a past project. My fab new red cabinet works really well in my living room, which already had some red accents, and the entire project cost me $0!

Inspired? Here are a couple of places you can look for free goods in your area:
(These can also be interesting to peruse just for fun, since people post really strange things...) - click on 'Free' under 'For Sale' - click on the 'Free Stuff' link

Do you know another great place to find free stuff, or have a tale of an awesome free find? Please share in the comments!


  1. Try your local Freecycle Group. I've belonged to our group for years and have gotten and given some awesome articles. Just be safe, as you are going to pick up from stranger's homes. Take a friend or meet in a neutral place. Enjoy!

  2. From the other side these sites are great ways to get rid of crap too; you'd be amazed what people will come pick up from you! Old magazines? Gone! Two-hundred empty cd cases? Someone picked them up within half an hour. And it saves them from the landfill.

  3. After my recent visit, I can confirm that the table looks great in your living room. Good job, Sarah--with a little help from your friends!!


  4. Nice work Sarah... love it!