NuVista Homes - Blog

16 DIY Projects to Revamp Old Furniture

Posted on Aug 15, 2017 by Earl Raatz

16 DIY Projects to Revamp Old Furniture Varnish imageYou don't have to throw away old furniture just because it's getting a little scuffed. With the right tools, including a powerful imagination, you can completely transform these pieces for your home!

1. Top-Down Desk

If you aren't using every drawer in an old dresser, consider converting it into a top-down desk. The top drawer can be taken out and laid flat so that it becomes a desktop, and you'll still have storage space in the bottom drawers for things like books, office supplies, and computer equipment. 

This piece could be used to manage household documents like mail when placed somewhere such as your entryway

2. Decoupaged TV Cart

You can make any old surface seem like new again when you cover it with stylized paper cut-outs and gold leaf accents. This is called decoupage, and it will hide imperfections while showcasing your personal sense of style. Here's a tutorial for a TV cart makeover, but you can decoupage just about anything.

16 DIY Projects to Revamp Old Furniture Coffee Table image3. Spray-Painted Coffee Tables

All it takes is a can of spray paint to completely rejuvenate the look of a metal coffee table. You can technically use any colour you like, but if your table has aluminium or steel elements, gold spray paint will emphasize these materials and add a pop of interest to your living room design.

4. "Fake Plank" Nightstand

If you have access to a circular saw, you can fake a "plank" look on your dressers and nightstands by cutting just a few centimetres into the wood and then painting over it. The final product will have a rustic aesthetic without any of the usual distressing techniques.

5. Textured Dresser

You can change the entire look and feel of an old piece of furniture by adding a little texture. One such example is the burlap dresser that takes an everyday IKEA creation and attaches burlap panels to the drawer exteriors, but there are many others out there as well. You can experiment with all kinds of fabrics, layers and tactile experiences.

16 DIY Projects to Revamp Old Furniture Book Shelf image6. Tropical Bookshelf

Take your books on a journey when you stack them in a coastal bookshelf. The biggest task will be painting the shelves in blues, whites, and yellows to give them a proper beach feeling, but once that's out of the way, you can have lots of fun decorating their outer walls with glued-on seashells and sunbursts.

7. Milk-Painted Pieces 

Milk paint is a natural, non-toxic alternative to traditional paint. It tends to "bleed" when applied to furniture, but many artists and designers quite like that effect. If you're one of them, consider re-purposing an old piece into a milk paint dresser or wardrobe.

8. Painted Upholstery Chair

Were you aware that you can paint upholstery? It needs to be done carefully, but the end result is amazing. You can take even an old, ugly chair and reinvent it as something stylish and elegant by painting its velvet upholstery until it looks like new.

16 DIY Projects to Revamp Old Furniture Retro Sidboard image9. Retro Sideboard

If you're a child of the '60s or '70s, you'll love the retro sideboard that you can create out of any shelving unit. The trick is to use brass when choosing what kind of door knockers to install on the exterior. Their old-fashioned glimmer will pull the whole look together.

10. Chinese-Inspired Chair

Everyone has that one chair with the uncomfortable back, but you don't have to live with it anymore if you re-form and re-position the rods in an oriental style. Throw on a pretty pastel cushion to bring to mind Chinese gardens and tea ceremonies.

11. Faux Marble Table

Rescue a dinged-up table by covering it with faux marble contact paper. Not only will it look sleek and trendy, but if you cover the paper with a glass pane or some other kind of protective material, it can also function as a normal table for eating, drinking, working, and socializing.

12. Refurbished Stool

Chairs are often thrown away as soon as they start to peel or crack. Who wants to sit on a pokey seat, right? But what you may not realize is these chairs are still entirely usable if you refurbish them. You just have to scrape off their damaged veneer to expose the flawless wood underneath.

13. Suitcase Dresser

Are you a travel bug? Bring that wanderlust into your home by creating a one-of-a-kind dresser that will naturally draw every eye in the room. This DIY project uses a few supplies, like leather straps, to give drawers that "old suitcase" look. 

14. Rebuttoned Headboard

The ideal headboard is a glamorous masterpiece that proudly sits at the head of your bed frame. But what if your headboard has fraying upholstery or damaged wood? 

A little revarnishing and rebuttoning and you'll bring life back to the grand master bedroom accessory it used to be.

15. Painted Silhouette

Another painting hack involves doing a "washover" for soft, streaky images painted on white backgrounds. It can be utilized on any surface with any image, but it's especially nice with ghostly silhouettes such as this nautical piece which could be beautifully incorporated into your bathroom design.

16. Closed-Door Shelving System

Shelving systems are good for homes with lots of knick-knacks to display, but they don't offer much in terms of private storage. Not unless you hack it, of course. 

closed-door shelving unit makes cubbies out of formerly open shelving spaces, so it's wonderful for discreet, multi-layer organization for more functionality at home.

These are just a few ways to bring new life to old furniture. Your sense of creativity is even more important than hammers and paint swatches, so let your imagination fly!

Click here to subscribe to our Home & Lifestyle newsletter!

Photo credits: varnish
Click here to subscribe to our Home & Lifestyle newsletter!

Get our blog articles sent to your inbox

Click here to get your free guide today!

Latest Posts