I have found that life is better if, sometimes, you just wander into a charity furniture store, pick something cheap but solid, buy it, strip it, paint it then love it forever after. Just me?
And finally…my favourite so far:
You need to pick solid wood furniture otherwise the finish will be poor, but the furniture paint nowadays make this almost foolproof. The paint is around £10 a pot but you don’t need primer or varnish (waxing them afterwards is a good idea as it protects and leaves a matt finish) but as you can see, I used the same paint (from the same pots) for all of these projects.
The satisfaction of creating your own, unique pieces of furniture is great, but so is supporting charities and being all frugal about it too.