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5 Ways to Breathe New Life Into Old Furniture

5 Ways to Breathe New Life Into Old Furniture

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With the current economic climate and the rise of sites like Pinterest, there has been a move toward upcycling old furniture rather than buying expensive new pieces. Though frugality is the ultimate goal, DIY-ing gives you the chance to flex your creative muscles and make truly unique pieces for your home. There’s many ways to change the look of old furniture and not all of them require extensive building knowledge. A furniture re-paint or simply changing the hardware of a piece can instantly transform your furniture from drab to your beautiful new centerpiece. Here are five easy ways to bring your worn out furniture back to life.

Reupholstery

Man upholstering chair in his workshop, close up

Most people aren’t aware of the fact that a lot of furniture is built to be reupholstered. The structure of a good piece of furniture is often still good even though the fabric and cushions have begun to wear away. If you aren’t into DIY, there is always the option of having your furniture professionally upholstered, but it’s costly and tackling an upholstery project yourself isn’t as daunting as it seems. You don’t even need to be able to sew to upholster as there’s many no-sew tutorials out there. Here are a few DIY reupholstery tutorials to get you started:

Repainting

Repainting

One of the easiest ways to transform your furniture is by repainting it and chances are you already have most of the tools you’re going to need. Not only would a repaint be easy but it is also quick and could be done as a weekend project. Depending on the type of furniture and the finish it already has, you would need to take a few steps before you actually got to painting. You more than likely would have to sand of most of the old paint down or buy a good primer. Wood furniture isn’t the only type of furniture you can paint; there are paints for fabric, metal, and laminate. Before you’re ready to grab a paint brush, check out these tutorials:

Change the Hardware

Detail of an old knob turned wood - Old Tuscany furniture - Italy, 19th century

Changing the knobs, pulls, or handles on furniture is another quick and easy way to tailor the look of your furniture to your current tastes. There’s a wide variety of new hardware you can buy from knobs with a modern style to vintage pulls. You don’t have to worry about the size of your new handles matching up to the old ones as the holes can be filled with wood filler and new holes can be drilled. When you change the hardware you’re probably going to have to match the current paint or stain of the piece or re-do the finish completely. Though this might seem like a straightforward task, here are a few detailed tutorials to help you:

Re-stain Wood Furniture

hand painting wood boards with brush, closeup

Wood furniture tends to be pricey, but you can often find inexpensive pieces that are unfinished. Wood furniture is also one of the easiest types of furniture to makeover so fixing up a thrift find isn’t a problem. Staining an unfinished piece is relatively easy and straightforward; changing the stain of a piece is much harder. In order to re-stain something, you have to strip the old stain or paint off first. Learning how to re-stain isn’t hard with these tutorials as your guide:

Turn a Piece of Furniture into Something Completely Different

DIY workspace make with pallet. Computer blank on the desk

For those with more skills or just more patience, the ultimate upcycling technique involves turning a piece of furniture into something completely different. The possibilities of this kind of project are only limited by your imagination and the most humble piece of furniture can be transformed into a beautiful masterpiece. Some of the most common transformations involve taking old dressers and drawers and turning them into bookshelves or nightstands. More ambitious DIYers have turned things like pianos into bar stands or entertainment centers. Though this type of project requires more skills and tools, these tutorials are a good starting point for inspiration and instruction:

Giving old furniture a makeover can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. The possibilities of what you can do to transform your furniture are endless. So the next time, you’re thinking of tossing that old couch or table to the curb, just remember that a few quick fixes can make that piece brand new again.

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