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7 ideas to make your old furniture look great again

7 ideas to make your old furniture look great again

If it ever crossed your mind to upgrade your old furniture and bring it back to life, check out our 7 ideas to make your old furniture look great again. Everyone has a piece of furniture that doesn't seem to fit in any room. Before taking it to the trash, look for some inspirational ideas on how you can change it or restore it.

Either it's that you've had enough of your old furniture, you hate its look, or you want to save money, we will give you enough DIY projects to help you create a statement piece.

There are numerous ways to make your old furniture great, but still, there are some things you need to consider when choosing to do this. Decide what you think needs a freshen up, and ask yourself some of the questions:

  • Is the colour that bothers you? Is it too dark or too bright?
  • Is it the furniture hardware that needs updating?
  • Do you want to update your furniture from the inside or outside?
  • Does your old furniture has scratches or some missing pieces?
  • Do you want to remove a door or some of the trims?

By answering these questions, you can decide on whether starting a DIY project is the right thing to do or, you can simply throw pillows on your sofa. Take a look at our 'How to upcycle second-hand furniture'.

Once you have a clear thought, give your old furniture a new life. Updating your furniture is now easy with our simple and creative ideas:

#1. Strip Old Painted Finishes

Save your money with this task and upgrade your piece of furniture to another level. Firstly, you need to move your chair, cabinet, desk, table, drawer, dresser, or another home decor to an outdoor location. Then brush on the stripper. Immediately after, the paint will bubble up.

To remove the old painting furniture, use a scraper. Then spray or use a coat of mineral spirits to clear away all the traces of the stripper and extra debris.

Helpful tools:

Safety goggles, scrapers, brushes, chemical-resistant gloves, chemical strippers, paint.

#2. Clean Stain from Your Chairs, Dresser or Tables

Sometimes staining your old furniture will look like a better option than painting it. This way, you will reach its fresh woody appearance.

Start with stripping the wood. Use sandpaper to sand lightly your piece and then clean or vacuum the dust away. To get a more evenly finish, make sure to apply few coats of wood conditioner.

The next step is to use a soft cloth to rub on the wood stain. Apply a coat of polyurethane for a shiner look.

Helpful tools:

wood conditioner, sandpaper, polyurethane varnish, cloth, gloves.

#3. Add a Fresh Coat of Spray Paint

It might be the easiest solution and, nothing really beats a coat of spray paint. You can embrace your unique style by choosing your favourite paint colour.

Even if you want to spray for outdoor or indoor furniture, you will find special formulas for both. They will turn your furniture into your favourite pieces.

Start with cleaning your piece ( dining room table, dining chairs, drawers, or old dresser) and scrub off the dust or trash. Before starting the spray painting process, let your furniture dry completely. Use rubber gloves and a painter's mask for your safety.

Try to make this process outdoor on a drop cloth, and then begin the spraying process. Keep your strokes as equal as possible and without any drips.

For a traditional look, use a fresh coat of semigloss paint. The white chalk paint is easier to work with as well.

Helpful tools:

gloves, painter's mask, spray paint for indoor or outdoor furniture, cloth, chalk paint, or white paint.

#4. Re-Cover Dining Chairs with a New Cushion

Re-covering a seat cushion is a simple project. Choose from diverse cushions, from decorative French style, floral, farmhouse, vintage to a dreamy style.

How can you do this? You need to get rid of the fabric from your old chair. You can simply remove it by unscrewing the seat cushion.

Do not discard it! Use the old cushion as a template for your new fabric.

If you think that the foam has stains or is very warn, you should replace it, as well. Cover the seat with your modern fabric and attach it using a staple gun. The final step is to screw back the seating.

Helpful tools:

new fabric, foam, staple gun.

#5. Refinishing Furniture

Rather than choosing to strip your furniture, opt for a refinish. It might sound like a complex process, but we will offer great tips for cleaning, repairing, and restoring finishes.

Begin with wiping on mineral spirits. By doing so, you will see how your furniture will look like in the end. If you decide to go with refinishing your piece, clean the surface and apply an oil-based wipe-on finish on the side table and end table.

Cleaning up properly your piece of furniture is an essential task in any restoring project. You can use dish soap and water in equal proportions. Gently scrub the surface, then rinse and dry! Fix the white ring with petroleum jelly, and try not to touch it overnight.

If there is any scrape paint, you will have to remove it without damaging the finish. Consider these tricks when scrapping the paint:

  • use masking tape for your blade and bend it so that it becomes curved;
  • hold the blade perpendicular to the surface;
  • remove small and thin layers of paint at once;

After following these DIY tasks, there is a slight chance that you will discover missing or chipped wood. You don't have to panic. Fix it by applying the epoxy.

Choose a tube-shaped epoxy. You can slice it off with a blade and apply it to your furniture within 10 minutes. Create a flat surface. After the epoxy has completely hardened, stain the repair.

Simple steps on how to use epoxy:

  • shape the epoxy with your finger;
  • use water to prevent it from sticking;

Now it's time to restore the colour. For this, you need a gel stain. It won't cover the defects, but it will hide the scratches and keep your furniture in good shape and good condition. For you to end refinishing your furniture, apply multiple coats of wipe-on finish or clear wax.

Helpful tools:

painter's tape, blade, dish soap, epoxy, wipe-on finish, mineral spirits.

#6. Go For Milk Paint

What is milk paint, you ask? Milk paint is the most natural type of paint sold on the market. It contains milk, and it comes in a powder form. All you have to do is to mix it for yourself. Milk Paint is non-toxic and has an incredible range of colours. It's perfect for both finished and unfinished wood surfaces.

Milk paint produces a mottled texture. You can achieve a 'chippy' distressed look, so it's no surprise that it is commonly used for vintage appearances. Transform your chair frame, dresser, drawer, or tables within minutes.

Helpful tools:

a bucket, a stick, cloth, and brush.

#7. Use Furniture Transfers or Decals

Furniture Transfers

If you are a huge fan of colourful, vibrant, or leopard prints, a simple way of making your furniture great again is using furniture transfers. They come in a roll and are easy to apply. You can add the transfer anywhere you like and change the aspect of your old furniture and room beyond recognition.

Decals

Decals are printed images on a varnished paper base. For you to apply a decal, you have to soak it in warm water. The paper will loosen. Then smooth the decal onto the surface of the furniture you want to redecorate. The backing paper needs to be peeled off immediately after.

Quick-Fix Tips to Make Your Vintage Furniture Look Modern

Replace the legs of your furniture

Adding new legs to your chairs, coffee table, drawer, dresser, console table, or sofa will bring a fancy look to your house. It is an easy task, especially if they screw on. The only thing you'll have to do is to find yourself some amazing legs and replace the old ones.

Update the Hardware

Replacing the hardware of your furniture or doors will transform your room and home in minutes. Before going to the hardware store and buy your new hardware, check the inside dimension between the two screws. You can free your mind and choose any colour or material you like. Feel free to visit our 'What door hardware is in style? Here are the latest trends' article to find out more.

Add Clear Wax

If you like to keep things simple and natural, strip the paint off and add two coats of wax. It will bring your furniture to its oldest days.

The wax protects the wood and shows off its incredible colour. You can either choose a dark wax or a white painted wax.

Use Contact Paper

The contact paper can be used for a shelf or drawer liner. Some use it as laptop skins and protective book covers or school projects.

Ensure you read the '6 key steps to restoring old furniture' and learn everything about safety and the working process.

Choose New Cabinet Knobs

You can find here a large selection of cabinet knobs.

FAQ

How do You Make Old Furniture Look New Again?

Please take off the brass hardware and replace it with a darker one instead. Then rub down all the wood with a product called Restore & Finish. It won't cost you more and will make your furniture look new again. Definitely way cheaper than buying an item of new furniture.

 

How do You Make Vintage Furniture Look Modern?

Vintage-inspired furniture has always been trendy, and it's simple to incorporate it into your contemporary decor. You might be tempted to paint your vintage furniture, but striping and sanding the existing stain should be enough to create a modern statement piece. Refinish it after with a fresh coat of stain.

 

How Do You Spruce Up Wood Furniture?

Here is what you need to spruce up wood furniture:

  • Murphy's Oil Soap
  • Howard Orange Oil (or other orange oil furniture polish)
  • Grade #0000 Steel Wool
  • Soft Rags

Start with mixing the oil soap with water. Wash your item with a soft rag dampened in the mixture. Try not to wet your rag too much. You don't want to have extra water on the furniture. Continue this process until there is no grime left on your rag.

Rub the furniture with the #0000 steel wool in the direction of the grain. Wash again with water and oil soap.

Add orange oil for furniture polish on a dry cloth and rub all the surface. Then rub the surface with a clean cloth. Your wood furniture should be looking bright and shiny now.

 

Conclusion

Choosing our ideas to transform your furniture and make it great again can be a cost-effective way of changing the aspect of your room and space. You can always choose the less expensive alternatives and create the illusion that your furniture is brand new.

No matter the way you choose how to update your furniture, make it a fun process. Do you want to go for refinishing furniture? Or maybe throw pillows on the sofa? Any idea is a good idea, no matter how simple it is.

If your piece of furniture is in good shape and reconditioning seems like a difficult task for you, organise a garage sale or try car boot sales. One man's trash is another man's treasure. Or it can be a perfect gift for one of your friends.

Hopefully, this article will prove that it pays off to look around for bargains and discover the treasure behind them.