How to Make Old Furniture Seem New - Inside Interior Crowd

How to Make Old Furniture Seem New

Carly Zinderman for InteriorCrowd
by Carly Zinderman for InteriorCrowd
October 21, 2015

If you spend any amount of time on Pinterest or Instagram, you’re probably continually amazed by the creativity out there when it comes to making old furniture new again. While it can help to scope out yard sales, thrift stores and even craigslist for old furniture that just needs a little TLC and creativity to make it sparkle, it doesn’t necessarily take a major search to find the perfect piece. Sometimes you get tired of a piece of furniture, but there’s nothing really wrong with it. It could just be an old hand-me-down that has lost its luster. Rather than scrapping your current furniture and finding a new old piece to revive, take a look at the stuff you already have. A few tweaks and you just might find you have a new piece that you absolutely love.

Paint it


Painting has long been a standby for redoing old furniture and making it new. While it may conjure up visions of shabby-chic for you, painting old furniture has come a long way. Depending on the type of paint and color you choose, painted furniture can actually fit into a variety of home décor schemes, from bohemian eclectic to modern. Better yet, you can often repaint it. So if an old dresser no longer works in your new master bedroom, consider repainting it and placing it in a kids’ room. You may even find a new place for it as a credenza in a hallway or storage in a dining room.

Varnish/Revarnish It


If you have an old piece that just screams a décor era that you’re not a fan of, it may just need a new shade of varnish. Maybe you have dark, cherry antiques and a light wood piece from another decade. The piece may fit well spatially speaking, but the wrong shade just gives it away. Revarnish it in a darker shade and no one need know that the wood doesn’t match your other pieces.

Paper it


Have you ever seen something that looks to be intricately painted with a pattern and wanted to do it? Chances are that it’s not actually painted; it’s covered with paper. Using wallpaper or engineering print, or even decals, you can cover drawers with a print for an exciting visual without the difficult of having a steady hand, patience, and other skills necessary for detailed paint and pattern work.

Replace parts


Sometimes all it takes to make something old seem new is replacing a few parts. Swap out old drawer pulls for something more updated, like these colorful geode knobs from Anthropologie, and you may find that you suddenly love your old piece again. You can also opt to eliminate the pulls and hardware altogether in favor of sliders, if you prefer a more minimal approach.

The same idea can apply to other parts of a piece. If you have a bar cart that is on wheels, trying swapping them out for new wheels or taking them off altogether for a bar that stays in place. Couches, some desks, console tables and dressers and other pieces that have legs can all be swapped out or eliminated for a fresh vibe.

Restyle it


Not everyone has the time, money or inclination to make even tiny changes. If this is the case, then try something super simple, like restyling. Maybe your couch fits the room, but not the décor. If you don’t want to shop for a new couch or reupholster, then try restyling. New pillows and blankets can freshen up the look of an old couch (our designers are currently loving these funky Mongolian Lamb Pillows from West Elm). You can even try tucking a blanket around the seat cushions or part of the couch to help pep it up a bit.

If you don’t know where to start with your old furniture, or if you are looking for more ideas, sign up with InteriorCrowd for a professional viewpoint. Our designers can help you find awesome professional resources for updating and refurnishing furniture if you’re nervous to do it yourself!

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About author
Carly Zinderman for InteriorCrowd
Carly Zinderman for InteriorCrowd

Carly Zinderman is a freelance writer from Los Angeles. She enjoys writing on a variety of subjects including food, travel, beauty, fashion and home decor. When she is not writing, she is constantly rearranging her furniture and seeking interior design inspiration.

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