get creative with craigslist

I LOVE Craigslist. We've sold Christmas decorations, bought a microwave & a juicer, discovered neat community events and found things like this great little rocking chair. I love that there are sections for free stuff, bartering and small business ads. If you're patient, you can almost always find what you're looking for, even on a tight budget. 

When I was on the hunt for a new piece of furniture, money was tight. We had just moved in, were both paying for school, bought a truck, a snow blower, a leaf blower and countless "little things" for the house that ended up being one monstrous credit card bill. Dave is very good about not trying to stifle my creativity when the mood strikes me, but with all that debt looming over us, I knew that I needed to be mature about house decor vs. groceries. 

I started to poke around on Craiglist, armed with determination to not settle for anything less that a good bargain. How about an antique $20 rocking chair in good shape with carved details?
$20 Craigslist steal.
I already got some flak for painting this, but I just didn't like the color of wood. All of our trim, floors and woodwork is a dark reddish brown. I felt like it would have been significantly more work to stain than it would be to paint, and I was looking for something bright and cheery.

So I sanded it all down with a light grit sandpaper, "just to get the gloss off" as my Dad always reminds me. It wasn't too bad. Then I wiped all the dust off with a damp rag, and got to work with one of these:
Confused? Yes, it's a candle. Just any old ordinary candle you might have laying around, works WONDERS to create a natural-looking distressed piece. All I did was lightly rub it over the edges and corners of the chair, just enough to deposit some of the wax. I focused more on spots where the chair would naturally chip, such as the edges of the arms and legs. Then, without further ado, I painted right over it with Behr (primer and paint in one). Once it dried, I just went back with a small chisel/fingernails and scraped off the edges and areas where I had put the wax. I also used a tiny screwdriver to scrape the paint out of some of the carvings to make it pop. It was super easy and came out looking perfectly shabby-chic! It's still one of my favorite furniture makeovers.
After light wax distressing and paint.