Making do with trash furniture

by Jessie K on June 5, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat do you do with trash furniture? It’s a question I keep asking myself as I slowly attempt to makeover my house. Take this little metal side table. I literally found a pair of them in my backyard, remnants from the previous owners that they forgot to take with them when they moved out. They’re not the greatest tables, nor are they terrifying either, so I opted to make do with them rather than spend time and money looking for “better” ones.  I spray painted the suckers, in other words. That blah flesh color had to go.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI opted to spray paint them a bright, cheerful green — I want the front porch to look as warm and welcoming as possible — but right before I started, I got a wild hair to paint stripes on them. I figured, it’s a trash table…if it looks terrible, I can always paint them again.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI covered both the tops in Frog Tape….then peeled off every other strip to make stripes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI borrowed one of Jake’s levels to make sure my tape stripes were more or less straight.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen I used an X-acto knife to make sure the ends of the tape neatly tucked into the edges of the table. I didn’t want a raggy look.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI spray painted the bottom first, making sure to mask off the underside of the glass.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI spray painted on about two coats. Once the bottom was completely dry, I flipped it over and spray painted the tops, giving it two or three coats. The whole process took several hours.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALooks decent, right? I was really happy how it came out. The spray paint went on really nice and smooth with no globbiness.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe’ve been using the tables out on the front porch for several weeks now and while I like them, I think I’ve decided the bold, graphic stripes don’t really work with the wicker. It’s a clashing of two worlds — like Addidas having tea with a frilly Victorian boot. But I can’t justify throwing out the wicker either because it’s still perfectly functional. It was handed down to us by Jake’s Grandmom several years ago. See? It goes back to my trash furniture dilemma — do you toss it and spend money on newer, better stuff that’s more to your taste or keep using it and maybe try to restyle it to give it a fresh look?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThankfully, the wicker is on it’s last legs. We’ve recently noticed the seat part of the loveseat is separating from the back. And I’m definitely not going to spend money to have it fixed. Oh well! Looks like I have no choice but to get new patio furniture one of these days. Gee, that really stinks ;).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut my frugal nature requires me to keep using it until the love seat breaks or the end of summer, whichever comes first, when hopefully I can score a more modern furniture set on clearance sale. Mama loves a bargain.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Amber June 5, 2014 at 4:16 pm


You could spray paint the old wicker furniture until you find a patio set you like. My wicker was like yours,totally on its last leg. A couple cans of turquoises spray paint later I had given it a little face lift. It added color to my porch and bought me a little time before I invested in a new patio set.

sarah June 6, 2014 at 10:40 am


thats a plan! also maybe even cut out the wicker bottom and replace with strong fabric to weave yourself add cushion weave again over top

Ydubby June 5, 2014 at 11:03 pm


They are still usable. I’d perhaps reinforce the ripping wicker with duct tape and maybe drape an old quilt/ floral bedspread/ blanket/rag rug/serape or whatever you have around or can find in a thrift store and some pillows. It doesn’t have to match. It could be adorable. I love old wicker.

Kelly June 6, 2014 at 7:37 pm


Outdoor wicker furniture is crazy expensive! I’d try and save it if I could. It’s awesome looking. I also like those tables! Extremely practical and probably well made. Way better than the junk they make these days.

SMum June 7, 2014 at 12:07 am


Ya, I live with some trash furniture. Like you, I just can’t stand the thought of paying for new stuff when it’s still useable. Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!

Sam December 18, 2015 at 11:31 am


you can fix some of the wicker by using the cheap wicker paper plate holders. you wet them, unravel the basket and use it replace wicker in various place ie legs and arms

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