Amanda Forrest’s Wallet-Friendly Furniture Facelift

Designer Amanda Forrest gave a curbside-find coffee table a super-chic update. Here’s how to lift the look for your own DIY furniture makeover!

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Amanda Forrest, designerPhoto: Courtesy Amanda Forrest

Amanda Forrest: Makeover Maven

There's nothing like the thrill of the hunt for an upcycling aficionado. You know the type. They're the ones on the prowl every summer Saturday at the crack of dawn, coffee in hand, ready to scour the yard sale circuit for a bargain that could look like a million bucks-with a little bit of elbow grease.

At the end of the day, of course, the different between one man's junk and another man's treasure is the ability to see the potential in a piece of secondhand furniture. The upcycler can imagine what a dated chair could look like with fresh new upholstery; and is willing to forgive a hideous piece of paint-by-numbers art for its pretty frame.

Seeing that potential is a talent that comes naturally to Canadian designer Amanda Forrest. In her role as design expert on CTV's The Marilyn Denis Show, Forrest regularly upcycles secondhand finds, working her makeover magic on items that would otherwise be kicked to the curb.

Recently, Forrest was challenged by 1-800-GOT-JUNK to salvage an oh-so-seventies coffee table that was destined for the scrapyard. Here's the jaw-dropping before-and-after transformation... And the secret to how she pulled it off!

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Dated looking hexagonal coffee tablePhoto: Courtesy 1-800-GOT-JUNK

Coffee Table Makeover: BEFORE

Most people wouldn't think twice about tossing this tacky hexagonal coffee table. Between the chipped wood veneer and garish medallion motif, it was showing every one of its 40-odd years. Leave it to designer Amanda Forrest to bring it screaming into the 21st century!

Check out the stunning transformation in the next slide...

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Coffee table makeover: AFTERPhoto: Courtesy 1-800-GOT-JUNK

Coffee Table Makeover: ...AFTER!

Armed with little more than a few cans of spraypaint and a decent printer, Forrest gave the table a new lease on life. Once dated and dingy, it's now a one-of-a-kind statement piece that's perfectly suited for a super-chic sitting room-and totally in-keeping with Forrest's uber-glam aesthetic.

Check out Forrest's step-by-step instructions for her furniture facelift in the next slide.

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Pink and orange marbled patternPhoto: Courtesy 1-800-GOT-JUNK

Do-It-Yourself Coffee Table Makeover Instructions

Step 1: Remove the table base (or legs) and sand down all component pieces. Clean each piece thoroughly with trisodium phosphate (TSP) to remove any grease or oil stains (as well as any residual debris from sanding) and allow to dry.

Step 2: Give the table base (or legs) a coat of white spray paint. Choose a well-ventilated area that's sheltered from the wind. (Spray paint is a magnet for dirt, dust and any other airborne particles!) Keep in mind that several light coats of spray paint give better coverage than one or two heavy coats. Follow the spray paint manufacturer's instructions regarding drying time in between coats.

Step 3: Spray paint the tabletop metallic gold. (Keep in mind the spray painting tips in the previous step.)

Step 4: Source a large-scale, high-resolution image of a pattern online. (Make sure it speaks to your sense of style and colour palette!) Print the image on multiple pieces of 8.5" by 11" self-adhesive label paper, using your printer's "poster" settings. Trim the edges of the label paper, and peel and stick carefully across the tabletop.

Step 5: Using a gold Sharpie marker, add metallic accents to the patterned paper that's now applied across the tabletop. Apply a crisp border around the edges of the piece with gold-coloured Washi tape.

Step 6: Seal the tabletop design with an epoxy resin or sealing product. Ta-da!

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Pink marble swirled tabletop Photo: Courtesy 1-800-GOT-JUNK

A Furniture Makeover for a Worthy Cause

Forrest's ultra-glam new coffee table was auctioned off at the annual Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation's Yard Sale for the Cure event, hosted by 1-800-GOT-JUNK.

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