What do you call an out-of-the-blue text from my brother-in-law featuring a mysterious picture of a banged-up boho cabinet sitting at the curb?

You call it … The Best Mother’s Day Present EVER!

I was a little surprised when he sent me the picture—and even more surprised when he agreed to haul it home for me—but, hey, All Things New Again is a family business so everybody pays attention when there’s something good on the curb!

(And it was Mother’s Day, after all. It was nice of him to get me something!)

“You may not want it,” he said when I came to get it. “It’s pretty messed up.”

He was right. (I hate it when he’s right!) The cabinet looked like somebody dropped it down the stairs. A big chunk of the door was missing. Ugly particle-board was poking out. The top had weird bubbles on it.

I would never admit this to my brother-in-law … but I was afraid it might be too messed up for me to do anything with it and it would end up on the curb in front of my house.

However, I’m always up for a good challenge—and it was super-sweet of him to get this for me—so I took it home to think about how-in-the-world could I make this pretty again.

I decided there was no use trying to repair the damage on this piece. Instead, I would Saltwash-the-heck-out-of-it.

From Banged-Up Boho to Coastal Cool

Saltwash is a powder made with real sea salt. You mix it into your base coat of paint and pounce it on to create wonderful layered texture on your piece. It is a great tool for camouflaging damage.

I chose a few different shades of beachy blues and greens because I wanted a subtle variation of colors showing through the white top coat. I just mixed Saltwash into each color, then applied all of the colors at the same time with the same paintbrush, overlapping in some places to create new colors.

Once the Saltwash layer is completely dry, paint your top color over everything. After you distress the piece, the Saltwash’ed texture and colors show through with an authentic weather-beaten look like your furniture has been happily sitting outside by the seashore for a few summers.

To finish my cabinet, I removed the door, painted the interior turquoise and added a new top from reclaimed wood to cover up those weird bubbles.

Here’s my finished project—
from banged-up boho to coastal cool!

The piece has such a cool coastal vibe to it now, I decided to use it in my sunroom to store a big stack of colorful beach towels. If you are out back swimming in the pool, you can just grab a towel on your way inside.

And if you are out and about in your neighborhood and come across any furniture on the curb, text me! I’m so happy my brother-in-law did.

Thank you, Adam!

<3 Courtney

All Things New Again is a family-owned furniture and paint boutique located in Leesburg, Virginia (about an hour or so west of Washington, D.C.). We make old furniture beautiful again—and we can teach YOU how to do it too. We offer furniture painting classes every month jam-packed with tips and techniques to help you paint like a pro! Click here for details.

14 thoughts on “A Coastal Makeover for a Curbside Find

  1. Oh Courtney, what a beautful coastal piece you’ve created. I’m finding the Saltwash product to be so amazing. But the most interesting thing is that in the hands of different people, each piece is totally unique. Your end table is just this special. Love the colors so much. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Friday’s Furniture Fix. Susie from The Chelsea Project

    1. Thank you so much, Susie! I love this little piece…that he found it for me and that I was able to make it pretty again. Saltwash works wonders! I agree—everybody has a different look, but everything looks beautiful. So much fun! ~Courtney

    1. Thank you Linda! It’s just the perfect little thing for beach towels. Keeps them neat and tidy when we aren’t using them. 🙂

  2. You are soooooo right about the best Mother’s day pressie ever Courtney. She’s a beaut and you did a stunning job celebrate all that uniqueness. I’ve been dying to try Saltwash but it’s not available here in S Africa.

    1. Thank you Michelle! I like that “celebrate all that uniqueness”!! 🙂

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