A Slow Living Blog

Why I Will Never Be A Flea Market Flipper

Flea Market Flip

I had big plans. I found an old desk at a sale one Saturday afternoon. It was ugly, came with a wobble, heavy as hell and a major hassle to load in my van to take home.

But it had potential.

So I was excited, my head full of inspiration as I backed up to unload this beautiful beast to my waiting husband, who was quietly shaking his head in defeat…as he is known to do in these kinds of situations.

And I get the head shaking, I do. Here’s the desk in all its former glory… notice the broken tiled top? Nice, right?

Flea Market Find Before & After Pictures

I definitely had to prove I could make this thing look pretty again. 

The first step was taking off the tiles. I was hoping to somehow salvage the wood underneath but soon realized it would be much easier and more worth my time to replace the whole top altogether.

So while I brainstormed ideas for what to do, I got to work giving the rest of it a light sanding and enlisted my husband to fix the wobble, handy guy he is.

I then painted the inside of the drawers using a turquoise spray paint, I love adding a pop of colour in unexpected places.

Flea Market Flip

I used my own homemade batch of chalk paint for the exterior. You can see my recipe for chalk paint here.

I chose a dark charcoal colour and ended up giving it two coats, followed with a coat of varathane. Once it was dry, I took some sandpaper and lightly distressed the areas that normally wear over time.

Flea Market Flip

Now I was ready for the top. I had decided on some old boards we had around the shop. I really didn’t want to invest any more money than necessary. My husband cut the boards to the desired length while I sanded…and sanded…and sanded.

Once they were nailed on, I gave it a coat of stain to seal it. It’s a rustic top but I love it.

Flea Market Flip

It turned out better than I expected, just look at the before & after pictures. When it came time to post it online for sale, I just couldn’t do it. 

Procrastination led to keeping it… so much for my attempt at flipping.

Flea Market Flip (Before & After Pictures)

Cue flashback to husband quietly shaking his head in defeat…I feel like maybe he knew this was coming.

It’s almost like he knows me.

So now I’ve created another project for myself…finding a spot for this new treasure to call home.

For now it sits next to my bed as my nightstand. It’s a little too big for the space so I know it’s not its forever place but for now it works.

Flea Market Flip

Am I the only one who attempted the flea market flip and ended up keeping it? I’d love to hear your stories. Comment below or email me your before & after pictures of the favourite pieces you couldn’t let go of!

Pin the before & after pictures to save for later

Flea Market Flip Project Idea (Before & After Pictures)


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Any thoughts? I'd love to hear from you!