7 Creative Ways to Give New Life to Old Furniture

7 Creative Ways to Give New Life to Old Furniture

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Nancy Mitchell
Oct 16, 2015
(Image credit: Scandinavian Chic)

I'm continually amazed by the things resourceful DIYers can do with old, down-on-their-luck pieces of furniture. If you're creative enough, that sad dresser moldering in the corner at the garage sale or junk shop could become the centerpiece of your living room. Here are seven ways to transform your thrift store finds — or just give a little new life to pieces you already have.

(Image credit: Brittany Makes)

1. Add or replace legs.
The credenza pictured above (from Brittany Makes) is just a humble old IKEA Besta, but with the addition of some midcentury-style legs (and new hardware) it looks like a million bucks. You can use new legs to elevate squatty pieces, or replace existing legs to add a little style.

(Image credit: Sarah M Dorsey Designs)

Although it might be a little more work, I couldn't help including this dresser from Sarah M Dorsey Designs. She painted a vintage piece and added new legs that she cut from a piece of 1x8 lumber. Doesn't it look fantastic?

(Image credit: A Beautiful Mess)

2. Add a little style with paper.
The drawer fronts of this dresser, spotted on A Beautiful Mess, were covered with an engineering print and then lacquered. (An engineering print is an inexpensive way to print out a photo you like on a large scale.) I could also see this working well with wallpaper.

(Image credit: Bolig)

3. Paint doors or drawers.
It's not necessary to paint the whole piece to add a little color, as this credenza, spotted on Bolig, proves.

(Image credit: Scandinavian Chic)

4. Paint the whole thing.
But sometimes painting a whole piece yields fantastic results. This can be especially nice when you're willing to commit to a really bold color, as seen on Scandinavian Chic.

(Image credit: West Elm)

5. Replace the hardware.
Sadly these agate drawer pulls from West Elm are no longer available, but they do prove that just switching out the hardware on a piece of furniture can have a huge impact. Anthropologie has a nice selection of hardware in all kinds of colors, finishes, and styles.

(Image credit: Martha Stewart)

6. Cut it in half.
Now we're starting to get really creative. If you need a smaller piece, like a nightstand or hall table, consider taking a bigger piece and chopping it in half, as seen on Martha Stewart.

(Image credit: Jess Watson)

7. Use it for something different entirely.
In Beth's charming 365 square foot home, there's a TV cabinet that's now serving as a bar. (The mirror added to the back is an especially nice touch.) We've featured a few projects where old side tables were turned into pet beds. And in this series of creative transformations, chairs became tables, a planter got new life as a chandelier, and and old headboard turned into a bench. The possibilities of that old piece of furniture are as limitless as your imagination — so go forth and create!

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