The Ultimate Checklist of Things You Can Do to Make Your Furniture Better

The Ultimate Checklist of Things You Can Do to Make Your Furniture Better

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Adrienne Breaux
Jun 24, 2015

There are a lot of reasons why you might want to make the furniture you have better. Perhaps you’re not super excited about it anymore but you don't have the means to replace it. (Or you don't want to replace it because it has special meaning.) Maybe you want to unify an eclectic mix of pieces you've collected throughout the years. Before you toss out a furniture piece you have, walk it through this checklist to see if there's something that can be done to make it fit into your home a bit better.

Clean it

You just wouldn't believe what a good cleaning can do to a sad, over-used piece of furniture. From dust and grime, to spiderwebs to stains and more, maybe you're not feeling your furniture piece anymore because it's looking old and used up. Consider doing a thorough cleaning before you make any major decisions. Simply do a little research on your furniture piece's material so you know the best tricks, tools and cleaners to use. And then step back and see if it still needs work.

(Image credit: June Bhongjan)

Fix it

Very related to cleaning is the act of fixing. Whether you've got a wood piece with chips, water marks and scratches to upholstery that has tears or loose cushions or seams, just like a good cleaning can let a little sunshine into a furniture piece's life, fixing it up can also breathe fresh new air into it.

Move it

A change in perspective can do wonders. If you've been disliking a furniture piece in your home, it may only need a new location. New surroundings can uplift a piece you're bored with, as well as fit its function better (and perhaps even create a new function for it). Before you toss out an old-favorite furniture piece, see if there's a new home in your home for it.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Refinish it

You may have done a little finish work in step two of evaluating whether a furniture piece is on its last leg in your home, but this is the step where you decide if it doesn't just need a finish fix-up, but whether it needs a new finish entirely. From choosing a different color stain to some of the finish tricks you can use like gold-leafing and cerusing, there are a world of options out there that give a piece a new lease on life.

Paint it

How's this different than a simple refinish? Well in this post, we're considering giving a new finish to a piece as the act of uniformly covering a furniture piece in one new finish. But there are a lot — some might say an infinite — amount of ways you can add pattern, graphics and color accents to a piece. Perhaps a furniture piece you have just needs a little painted-on fun? (Yes, we recognize the above piece is all one color, but it's a bold one!)

(Image credit: A Place of My Taste)

Transform it

This should be your last resort, as many of these changes could be permanent, but if there's a furniture piece you're just not quite ready to depart with yet but still isn't working for you, try physically altering it. Saw off old legs or replace current legs with new ones. Pull doors off. Replace pulls, knobs and handles. Cut in half. Disassemble entirely to assemble into something new. Really step back to see your furniture piece not as a whole object, but as a mix of parts — different parts you can shift and rearrange to make something else entirely.

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