An upcycled Facebook marketplace freebie gets a new life as a chic side table

This is some next level bargain hunting

upcycled side unit
(Image credit: Natalie SJ)

The first lockdown saw us feverishly baking banana bread, doing a million Zoom quizzes and getting ourselves fit. This time around, we can't be bothered. 

However, taking on a DIY project is still one of the best ways to really cheer ourselves up. One savvy woman recently nabbed an old side unit for free on Facebook Marketplace and lovingly restored it with a fresh lick of paint. The result is a stylish piece of furniture that only cost her £13 in total.

Here's how she did it. 


side unit transformation

(Image credit: Natalie SJ)

Speaking to Real Homes, self-confessed bargain hunter Natalie explained how she completed the transformation.

'It costs £9 for the paint and £3.79 for the gold spray paint. I already had sanding paper at home, had cleaning supplies, tape, nails etc. I see a lot of posts on Facebook relating to DIY and I really wanted a piece of black furniture.'

Natalia also shared her top bargain hunting tip. 'I am always on Facebook Marketplace and I always look at the free section first.'

side unit transformation

(Image credit: Natalie SJ)

'I came across this one and I could see its potential straight away. I am on a budget as I am decorating my whole flat but I’m a massive bargain hunter anyway! One man's trash is another man's treasure.'

Natalie spray painted the handles and wheels and has really breathed new life into the Facebook Marketplace freebie. She is now using the side unit as a dressing table in her new home, styling it with a golden turtle ornament, a golden tray - very handy for holding trinkets - a mirror and vase of flowers.

side unit transformation

(Image credit: Natalie SJ)

We're loving the choice of black to give the piece a sleek makeover - and it's also highly functional with plenty of space to stash away makeup and hair products.

With Interior Design Masters kicking off on Tuesday, February 2, we'll no doubt be inspired to take on our own DIY projects, from reupholstering to making our own artwork. 

We all need a little more storage after a year of lockdowns, so keeping an eye out for a bargain chest of drawers could be the way to go. 


side unit transformation

(Image credit: Natalie SJ)

Natalie also shared some before-and-after shots on Facebook group B&M Bargains and More and the post received thousands of reactions and hundreds of comments from people praising her handiwork.

'That looks like it cost a fortune!' one said.

'What a brilliant job, it looks a totally different piece of furniture,' another wrote.

Facebook Marketplace really is a treasure trove.

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.