Marilyn is a seasoned professional who contributes to a wide variety of respected print and online publishers with a focus on interior design and décor, home improvement, DIY, crafts, and other lifestyle topics. She has authored and edited numerous books on various aspects of architecture, design, and money-saving ideas.
Is your creative spirit just waiting to rip a leg off a table or paint over every inch of a chair’s upholstery? If so, you have the refurbishing bug. That’s a good thing because you can resurrect an item ready for the landfill and bring it back to life.
The possibilities of refurbished furniture ideas are endless, but if you need a little extra inspiration to get the ball rolling, we’ve got you covered. Here we’ve gathered together a few before-and-after images to show you how far you can take a broken-down piece of furniture with just a single can of paint, a yard of fabric, or even a few sheets of gold leaf to bring back the magic hidden in its bones.
Chances are most people would simply walk by this old and forlorn metal drawer. One visionary upcycler took the drawer, sanded it, painted it, and made a simple wood base and legs. All put together, this new midcentury modern side table, found on HomeTalk, now looks like a rare and pricey find from a vintage store.
Reverse-engineered refurbished furniture ideas are just as fun because instead of rebuilding, you’re actually deconstructing a piece of furniture. If you have a piece of furniture that really has seen better days, there’s still a way to keep a slice of its past. Grab the legs, hack them off, and turn them into a set of candlesticks. On this set of candlesticks spotted on HomeTalk, glass candle plates for gorilla-glued onto repainted legs.
Fabric paint seems too good to be true, but it can create some of the best refurbished furniture ideas. Though it seems too good to be true, it’s formulated to rejuvenate stained and faded upholstery, even outdoor fabric. A can of outdoor Rust-Oleum fabric paint can bring it back to life. This project from Jennifer Decorates shows the impact fabric spay paint can have on a cushion you might otherwise toss out.
How many times have you passed over an old thrift store end table because you didn’t want to strip and refinish its badly marred surface? Next time you’re in a second-hand store or at a yard sale, keep this lovely chalk paint idea from Plaid in mind. This project has a bit of an unexpected twist with blue paint over a moss green base coat, then given a wax coating for durability. The moss green undercoat lets you paint over even the darkest toned wood table with this cheerful sky blue color.
Silver paint gives even the most old-fashioned piece of furniture a new life. Here, a severely out-of-date side cabinet looks like it could now sit in the finest, most elegant dining rooms with its new finish from Plaid called Folk Art Silver. A subtle walnut tint was applied as a distressing touch, and new crystal hardware finishes it off with a sparkle.
Refurbished furniture ideas also use fabric to create new from old. For example, a well-fitting lampshade is hard to find. If you have a lamp you still love, but the shade needs some TLC, grab an old sweater from your donation bin, and bring a little Scandinavian cozy hygge style into your home with a sweater lampshade. This unexpected project found on HomeTalk is simply a cut, fit, and glue project that rejuvenates a lamp and adds some snuggle into your home.
If you have in storage any chipboard round tables with three legs that you’d drape with a tablecloth—get them out of hiding and freshen them up with paint, minus the fabric. Furniture stenciling is the perfect way to bring a table back to life. Paint the top or entire piece a base color and choose your stencil. This table from Oh Oh Deco actually made from scratch, is minimally stenciled while letting some of the natural wood shine through.
This elegant dresser, from One Girl in Pink, with elaborate stenciling is one of the most beautifully refurbished furniture ideas we’ve seen. It was a salvaged dud that was refurbished for sale in an antique furniture store. Luckily, the artist who transformed this dresser let us in on her secrets, from her light distressing technique to the paints she used.
If the refurbishing bug has bitten you, you’re in luck thanks to Ikea’s Furniture Sell Back Program. Head to the As Is section where you’ll find plenty of second-hand Ikea goods that you can take home and redo, refinish, revive, or rejuvenate any way you’d like. To whet your appetite, take a look at what you can do with a simple Ikea SKRUVSTA chair with some fabric.
No need to redo your cabinets when all you have to do is touch them up with gold. A little gold leaf goes a long way in this kitchen found on Addicted2Decorating. The homeowner simply added some gold leaf into the inside edge of the routed panel. It’s a look that works well with dark or even antique white cabinets. Working with gold leaf is tricky, but with patience and some tricks of the trade, this kitchen now has a hint of glamour.