Furniture Makeovers: 10 Before & After Projects

As we focus in on furniture choices this June, it bears repeating that often the best "new" furniture solution is a rethink of the furniture you already own — no one can argue that keeping pieces out of landfill while giving them a second (or third) life isn't a worthwhile way to go. Sometimes a good refinish is all that is needed, but you may have a piece that is too far gone (or wasn't up to snuff to begin with) and in those cases, adding a coat of color can help; here are ten from our archives that are worth a peek.

• SHOWN ABOVE: Iris's Newly Colorful Credenza: Her trusty IKEA piece — formerly brown with glass doors — is now a colorful Knoll-inspired piece that not only hides things more successfully than the old credenza did but is a bright spot in her calm and neutral space.

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Beverley's Kitchen Island: After seeing your post on DIY kitchen islands a couple of months ago, I was inspired to forego an IKEA or other pre-made solution and make something that would be unique to us.

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Centsational Girl's Cabinet Transformation: Adding crown molding, priming the laminated surfaces, brightening with white paint, and coloring the interior with a small green paint sample from True Value transformed this standard shelving into something really special.

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Jason's Dramatic Table Overhaul: The table itself is an affordable little occasional table I bought at Target.com about three years ago. The table's finish hasn't aged very well — it chipped off on the legs and around the edges of the top, revealing an undercoat that's much lighter than the dark finish.

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Meg's Mid-Century Dresser Repainted: What you can't see is that this dresser was torn apart on top. It had gauges and scratches all over. It took a very coarse sandpaper and a thick coat of primer, but we were able to get it smooth.

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Johnny's Painted Dining Chairs: While perusing Craigslist earlier this year, I came across these handsome retro chairs. The set of four was sturdy and chic, but the chippy varnish was a mess. Our painted pine floor looks lovely, I thought, so why not paint these pine chairs too?

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Becki's Thrift Store Find Color Makeover: The paint color she used is Martha Stewart Milk Pail: a medium aqua blue that isn't too shocking. The finished result is such a great complement to her chocolate brown wall and white television stand, and has inspired me to find something in my own home to makeover with this pop of color.

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Lindsey's Rescued Kitchen Cart: I rescued this cart from an estate sale for 25 cents. And with the help of sand paper, spray paint and barkeeper's friend I refreshed it with a new color and shiny, polished legs again.

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Veronica's Dresser Turned Yellow Charmer: You know the drill. A roadside find that is just begging for a makeover, so you pull over, somehow manage to get it in the car and think to yourself--lucky find! That's exactly how Veronica came to acquire this dresser (but knew the messily applied grey enamel paint had to go).

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The Dresser and the Orange Bottle : We're no strangers to saving a great piece of furniture by giving it a little love which in turn gives it a longer life. One thing we've always struggled with however, is brush strokes. For the most part we like to use a foam roller to help out with that, but there's an easier way — and it comes in a magical little orange bottle.

List originally compiled as part of our year-end review: Best of 2010

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