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Ways to Give New Life to Old Furniture

Don’t kick your old items to the curb! Break out the paint and prepare to give these pieces a second chance with these ways to give new life to old furniture.

All items have a set lifespan, including household furniture. Just because your furniture has undergone a bit of wear and tear, however, it doesn’t mean you need to kick it to the curb. There are plenty of ways to bring your antique or outdated items back to life with just a bit of elbow grease and DIY know-how. Repurposing old furniture is not only an economical decision, but it’s also an eco-friendly one. Recycling and refurbishing old items rather than simply replacing them reduces the waste that is placed into landfills each year. In a win-win scenario; you’ll save money and the earth at the same time. This guide explores several simple ways to give new life to old furniture to help you reinvent your home on a budget.

A little paint goes a long way

There’s no better way to give new life to old furniture than with a fresh coat of paint. A little paint can actually go a very long way by turning outdated items into trendsetting pieces in the blink of an eye. This is a great way to add a pop of color to your space or create a grounding element through the use of neutral tones.

Painting your furniture can also help a space appear more cohesive as a whole. Furniture items that use the same basic wood colors will be more recognizable as a complete set, rather than a combination of disjointed items. If you’d like to freshen up your furniture but still want to maintain the original item’s rustic feel, consider painting it with milk paint. This type of paint gives furniture a slightly weathered look which can be great for achieving a farmhouse or pastoral interior décor style.

Play with patterns

If solid colors aren’t quite your thing, try experimenting with patterns instead. Incorporating different patterns into your furniture’s design is a great way to make a statement and break up any monotony in your home’s interior design. By using wallpaper, press on decals, or contact paper, you can create some truly stunning designs on an otherwise unremarkable piece of furniture. Consider covering the front of a dresser’s drawers with patterned paper and lacquering over it with a clear finish.

Likewise, you can incorporate a patterned element into the inside of storage shelves to add depth. If you’d really like to flex your creative muscles, you can even paint your own freehand designs on your furniture to create a truly one of a kind piece.

Freshen up the fabric 

Comfort is key when it comes to refinishing furniture; in fact, fabric choice can play a big part in this. Replacing the fabric on an old piece of furniture will help bring it back to the 21st century and make it a usable item in your home once again. Fabric is also a great way to incorporate different patterns, colors, and textures into your home’s design. Spruce up the refurbished piece with some plush pillows and throw blanket; before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to a well-designed home.


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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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