Re-use Old Furniture

Do you have that one hideous item of old or antique furniture that you just cannot bring yourself to throw away, be it out of sentiment or simply fear of offending a friend or relative?

Alternatively, you may have very functional household movables, that are just not pretty to look at, but you couldn’t imagine life without. Perhaps you’re just bored of your old furnishings and want to revamp them, or you don’t want to spend a fortune on new, more decorative or elaborate appliances.

The good news is you don’t need to. Furniture is so easy to customize, and on a shoestring budget, at that. All it takes is a trip to the hardware store, a couple of pounds, a dose of creativity and some good old manual labour.

Ready to get your hands dirty? Good.

First and foremost, you need to ensure you have a suitable area for your project. This is going to get messy. Ideally, you have a garage or shed to work in, or you can take it outside. If you’re going to be working indoors and don’t want to risk any damages inside the home, do yourself a favour and put down some plastic wrap, trash bags, newspapers or anything really that you can toss onto your workspace floor or table. Trust us, it’s going to make cleaning up later a lot more painless.

Now that you’ve prepared your workspace, it’s up to you what you want to achieve. If the furniture is varnished or painted, you might want to consider sanding it down first. This will pay off in the long run, as the finish will not only be more even, but is also much less likely to chip and wear off over time.

If you’re not going to sand, you’re still going to have to scrub. You need to make sure that the piece is clean and dusted; otherwise it’s going to be a nightmare to paint or varnish.


Now it’s up to you how you want to proceed. You might want to carve, embellish, spray, stick, cover or paint. Again, this is wholly up to you and your vision, time and dexterity. Most importantly be realistic about your skill and patience levels. The web is full of suggestions and tutorials, so don’t worry if you get stuck.

Art Attack

The most basic thing you can do to completely revamp an old chest, wardrobe, cabinet or door is simply to change the knobs or handles. For chairs or sofas a simple re-upholstering and switching out of pillows will do the trick.

If you want to infuse a new spirit into the bedroom, attack the headboard, or repurpose an old shelf, plank of wood, or even picture frame to make one. Simpler yet, grab an old curtain, carpet or wallpaper roll and create a feature wall. Doesn’t a creative family photo frame headboard sound cool?

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