Trash to Treasure: Reviving Old Furniture

Trash to Treasure: Reviving Old Furniture

Many of us have old furniture lurking in our homes. That wood buffet that belonged to your great-great-great grandmother. Those floral print dinning room chairs from your mother that you keep around because you can’t afford a better (less frightening) set. That scraped up dresser from your college dorm days. Whoever you are, chances are, you’ve got some old pieces of furniture that you’re either stuck with or can’t bare to part with; well rest assured that there are easy and inexpensive things you can do to take a piece of furniture from trash to treasure.

Get painting! Even if you like the current color of that old piece of furniture, try a fresh coat of paint to completely revitalize it. If you’re feeling a little more daring try a bright, bold color that will really make the piece pop. Instead of an accent wall have an accent piece of furniture; this is an especially good solution in apartments and dorms where you aren’t allowed to paint the walls. If you’re on a tight budget, visit the clearance section of your local hardware store – you’ll typically fine some cans of paint there. There’s nothing wrong with this paint; usually it’s on sale because it didn’t match the customer’s exact color specifications.

Add new hardware. Adding new handles or knobs to a piece of furniture can change it’s whole appearance. Head to your local home improvement store where you’re sure to find a wide variety of sizes, styles, and colors. In addition to that type of hardware, you may also consider adding casters (wheels) to furniture. Some pieces of furniture (ex. file cabinets) usually come with casters but a lot of people don’t initially add them when building the furniture. Adding casters won’t necessarily make the piece of furniture look better, but it will make it mobile and probably more convenient for you. Here’s a guide on how to measure caster stems to make sure you get the appropriate casters.

Consider new uses for old furniture. The furniture in your home doesn’t just need to look good – it needs to be useful. Try to think outside the box to come up with new ways you can use an old piece of furniture. For instance, take an old dresser and use it as an entryway table. You can use the drawers as storage for, well, anything – table clothes, extra dish towels, envelopes, stamps, or etc. Another example is using a wine rack in the bathroom. Rolled up towels will fit perfectly in place of wine bottles.

Accessorize, accessorize, and oh yeah, accessorize! Sometimes, its expensive or simply impractical to change a piece of furniture. For instance, if you don’t like your couch having it re-upholstered may cost you as much as a new couch. In situations like that it’s time to accessorize. Use fun pillows, colorful throws, or perhaps even a slip cover to makeover the furniture’s appearance. If the piece of furniture is a dinning room table chair or a similar piece sometimes you can remove part of the chair, remove the fabric already in place (if there is any), wrap it with a more attractive fabric, staple the fabric underneath to hold it in place, and then reattach it to the chair. If you decide to go that route, just make sure you’ll be able to put the chair back together again before you get started.

Do nothing. Okay, that probably sounds crazy, but remember that distressed furniture is a style all on its own. All those nicks, scrapes, and scratches just add to the character of that old piece of furniture. If you decide to leave the piece as is, display it proudly with an attitude of “Oh, you thought that was an old, worn out piece of furniture? No way, it’s supposed to be like that. You pay extra for distressed.”

If you find yourself with some old furniture, don’t sweat it. Old furniture doesn’t have to be kicked to the curb in order to have a showroom worthy home. In fact, there are many easy and relatively inexpensive things you can that will leave your old furniture as good as new.

1 Comment

  1. one
    Comment by Hacketts Pipeline: Sep 24, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    I think furniture that looks a bit old and worn can sometimes look better than brand new furniture anyway. Old furniture looks vintage!

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