Old To New – Revamping Your Old Furnishings

Ever thought of revamping your old furnishings? Buying new furniture is an expensive proposition for many people. While it might be a nice thought to be able to go out and buy new furniture whenever you want, it isn’t always an option.

However, you can breathe new life into your old furnishings with relative ease, and without spending a fortune in the process. Depending on how deep into the process you go, you could change the look of a single piece or the feeling of an entire room for less than one new quality piece of furniture would cost you.

Try a New Coat of Paint

If you have pieces of wood furniture, putting a new coat of paint on them can make them look brand new – probably for less than $50 per piece. The process of painting a piece of wood furniture can be a little scary at first, but it really isn’t third hard.

  • Start by sanding the original piece of furniture down. Start with heavy grade sandpaper before moving to something finer for the final bit.
  • Cover the piece of furniture with a coat of primer if the wood is different colors. You can skip this step if you’re planning to paint the furniture a dark color like brown or black.
  • Paint the furniture evenly with a roller. Allow the paint to dry completely before applying a second coat if necessary.
  • Seal the paint once it has dried with a layer of polyurethane. It will help keep the paint from becoming quickly scratched and damaged through regular use. You can choose flat polyurethane or glossy polyurethane depending on what you think will work best with the rest of your décor.

It should be noted that some paint companies make paint designed to go right over the top of a manufacturer’s coat of paint. These can be very effective for pieces made of other materials that can’t be sanded down like high-density MDF, but generally aren’t necessary for real wood pieces, and the results often aren’t as good.

Revamping Old Furnishings

Image Courtesy of Flickr

Put a Glass Top on It

One of the simplest things you can do with an old table, desk, dresser or nightstand to make it look like a new piece is to simply clean it up and put a glass top on it. Glass tops can be cut to the right size for very little money, and they can add an elegant look to your room while helping to cover up the minor imperfections of an old piece. 

Glass tops that have to be cut with rounded corners or edges tend to cost a little more, and beveled tops generally cost a little more than that. However, the price of a piece of glass is still very low when compared with buying a new piece of furniture.

If you’re covering a table or desk, look for a thicker piece of glass. It will look better and will stand up better to regular use. Nightstands, coffee tables and small pieces will generally allow you to get away with a thinner piece of glass.

Have it Reupholstered 

Pieces of furniture that are upholstered like sofas, lounge chairs and dining chairs don’t have to be discarded or given away if the fabric gets damaged. In most cases, reupholstering a piece of furniture will considerably more affordable than buying a new piece, and best of all, the piece will look practically brand new anyway. 

Unless you have years of experience, you probably shouldn’t try and reupholster your old furnishings. While you can find your own fabric, you’ll want to get a qualified upholsterer in your area to let you know how much you’ll really need to get the job done. The amount of fabric you need can be relatively deceiving, especially if patterns need to be railroaded to give the appropriate look.


New upholstery can give new life to worn vintage pieces like this mid-century chair. Image Courtesy of Flickr

Painting your furniture, putting a glass top on old pieces and reupholstering soft pieces are all effective ways to make old furniture look new without breaking the bank. However, these are only a few ideas.

When it comes to revamping your space, the important part is to be creative and do what matches your style and home. Using what you have may take a little bit of work on your part, but you’ll save a lot of money in the long run with your old furnishings.

Marcela De Vivo

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from the Los Angeles area. Her writing covers everything from marketing, technology, health, and home improvement.

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