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Garage Sale Challenge Mark and Chad

Garage Sale Challenge: Thrifting adventures from 0 to 60!

Shawn versus LaceyKayte versus Keely. We’ve had quite the intense faceoffs so far in the Garage Sale Challenge, but it’s not over just yet. Rounding out the competition we have a pair of handy (and really creative) fellas.
Buckle up, because we’re going from 0 to 60 in this blog post!
(And we mean that literally. One contestant visited zero sales, and the other hit up over 60!)
We kicked things off by chatting with Mark Strayer, principal designer, who found a good quality piece of furniture for his master bedroom home addition from miles away. Did we mention he never left home?
Garage Sale Challenge Mark’s side table before
The Moroccan detail of this side table inspired Mark to give it a try
(and a few coats of paint) for his master bedroom home addition.
Sauder Editor: How did you manage to hunt down this unique piece?
Mark Strayer: It’s funny because I never actually stepped foot out of my house for this. Everything happened via text, and I made my decision based on a picture message!
SE: What? You must be joking.
MS: Nope, not at all! My sister-in-law was running a garage sale to raise money for veterans and spotted this side table. As soon as she sent me a photo of the table, I knew it was just right for our master bedroom home addition. The side table has hints of Moroccan design, and I’m liking all things Moroccan right now — architecture, tile, you name it. The table was only $10, and I figured it was a solid piece because of the turned legs. I didn’t even have to go pick it up — my wife helped me out with that.
SE: Looks like you decided to paint it. How’d you go about doing that?
MS: I started by cleaning the side table with some alcohol, which works well for a simple job because it’s mild, grease-cutting and evaporates quickly. Then, I did two coats of paint primer, and trust me, I definitely needed two to cover the dark original color. I let it dry for an hour between the coats of primer, and waited three hours before applying the gray paint (called “String”), which I found as part of Pantone’s new color palette.
SE: So you spent the same amount of time to find this as it took to send a couple of texts. But we have to know. How much did you spend in total on your side table creation?
MS: The side table only cost $10, and the primer and paint cost $35, so my total came in just under budget at $45.  Overall, this was just what we needed in our new master bedroom home addition. It matches our neutral décor and fits perfectly between our elegant “his and hers” upholstered chairs. If you ask me, a warm cup of coffee and a good book will look excellent on it.
Our second competitor is Chad Shirey, an art director whose mantra may as well be “go big or go home!” That’s just what he did by visiting 60 stops before finding the perfect pieces for his antique tin wall-hanging masterpiece!
Garage Sale Challenge Chad’s tin-roof artwork before
Chad has an eye for turning trash into treasure with his tin-roof vintage frame find.
Sauder Editor: How did you end up finding your piece for the challenge?
Chad Shirey: I shopped the world’s longest yard sale — the 127 Corridor Sale. It is 690 miles long and stretches from Addison, Michigan, all the way to Gadsden, Alabama. We stopped at more than 60 places in our thrifting adventure, and it was quite the experience. I managed to score a bunch of great deals, including a spray gun for custom painting and my pieces for the challenge. I wanted to find or create a decorative piece of artwork that would fit with my eclectic-transitional, casual-comfort-style home office (or my “junk room,” as my wife sometimes calls it).
SE: How did you come up with the idea for this piece?
CS: It just sort of came together organically. Lucky for me, my wife has learned to trust my creativity (or craziness!) and just goes with the flow, but I did catch her giving me a questioning look while I was rummaging through a pile of tin roof pieces. They were all so unique — dating back to the early 1900s, most were about 2 feet square and had sharp edges. After talking with the seller, I learned they’d been taken from an old hardware store in Montpelier, Ohio. When I found this tin piece, I knew I had something cool to work with.
SE: Many of our competitors have taken a whole piece and made it their own. You, on the other hand, decided to combine a couple of good finds into something entirely new. What else did you need for your project?
CS: Well, the tin roof piece alone wasn’t going to cut it, so the next item on my list was an antique frame. I had almost given up hope of finding the right frame when I stumbled across this antique mirror from an old apothecary. I hated to tear it apart, but it was perfect for my project. I had to “resize” the frame slightly by cutting a few inches off so it fit the tin roof piece, but it worked out great in the end.
SE: It’s clear you had a vision for this piece from the start. Tell us about some of the personalization you did to customize your creation.
CS: Knowing that this piece of artwork was going in my home office, it had to match with the antiqued white finish of the other furniture. The original paint on the frame was ancient, but I didn’t want to completely strip the paint because I wanted to maintain the antique recoated look. So instead, I experimented with various hues of white spray paint and tried different techniques to get the finish just right. I used a mix of light and heavy coats of paint and a rag for distressing and wiping some coats away until I finally got a result I was happy with. To add even more “Chad” to this piece, I decided to incorporate some abstract metalwork formed like vines and leaves to personalize it even more. The end product looked pretty much how I imagined it!
SE: So how much did you spend?
CS: I am a pro negotiator! I offered the seller of the tin roof pieces $8, and the man with the apothecary mirror was willing to take $20. After purchasing several cans of Krylon spray paint for refinishing the frame and using some scrap metal I had around the house, my total was $47. The best part? My wife likes it!
So now you get to decide: Will the moment’s-notice purchase or the miles-long thrifting adventure take home a win this week? Cast your vote in the comments!
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