7 Surprising (and Easy-to-Find) Materials to Help You Transform Your Furniture

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Are you eyeing your first-ever furniture flip project, but feeling intimidated about the process and wondering where to start? Make your way through our starter pack. This content was created independently by our editorial team and generously underwritten by the Toyota Corolla Cross.

Interested in turning a boring piece of furniture into something spectacular?

I asked popular DIYers to help create a list of unexpected — but easy-to-find — supplies and tools to help you become a successful furniture flipper. What they’ve come up with can be incorporated into every room of your home and, as an added bonus, they’ve also shared which project types to try them on. Oh, and these seven suggestions aren’t just worthwhile; they’re also budget-friendly. The cheapest one is about $2, and can make a piece look much more expensive than that.  

Now all you have to do is get to work — but once you see this list, that won’t be hard to convince you to do. 

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Leather String

Christina Clericuzio (@Flipdaddie), who specializes in showing her Instagram and TikTok followers how to “flip furniture and make it cute,” recommends using leather string to transform simple handles. Simply wrap the string around the piece and secure it with hot glue. “It helps to give a piece of furniture a fun, boho look,” she says.

This premium quality European leather option starts at less than $2 per yard on Etsy and would look great against a natural stain or a bolder color. 

Old English Scratch Cover 

When Sarah Small, aka The Wicker Goddess, brings vintage furniture back to life, she likes to have a few essentials on hand, like this classic: Old English Scratch Cover. “This stuff is magic,” she says. “No need to be a DIY or furniture refinishing expert to use this stuff.”

Small recommends pouring a small amount on a soft towel and then gently wiping it on any scratched wood or rattan surface, like this dining set she recently revived. “It almost instantly blends the scratches and helps make your piece look 100 times better,” she says.

And if that doesn’t sound good enough, you should also know that it costs around $5.

Credit: Niny2405/Shutterstock

Rattan Placemats 

Another way to create a new treasure from what some might consider trash is to pick up some inexpensive rattan placemats. Clericuzio replaced the chicken wire on a basic cabinet with rattan-like placemats she found at HomeGoods for a quick and easy transformation. You could also use them beneath a glass-covered console or coffee table for a texture-adding project that uses zero tools. 

Felt Furniture Pads 

Small says her second favorite material to use for furniture flips is felt furniture pads. “I’ve only recently discovered how helpful these can be,” she says. “I’m wondering how I lived so long without them.” 

When you’re constantly moving furniture around, sliding it on floors, and styling it in new spaces, these easy-to-install furniture pads can make all the difference. “They stick on and peel off easily if you change your mind,” she says, adding that she recently added them to a restored dining set and “loves the smooth feel they give the bottom of the chairs.” 

You can find a 100-plus-piece pack of felt furniture pads in a variety of sizes on Amazon for under $10.

Credit: Lyuba Burakova/Stocksy

A Wine Glass Rack

Clericuzio says she’s found another simple way to transform a forgotten piece of furniture into something more fun: adding a gold wine glass rack, like this one, to an old hutch or cabinet. For around $20, you can quickly create storage and make a statement at your next cocktail party. 

Osmo UV-Protection Oil

UK-based DIYer Sameera Stern-Gillet recently used Osmo UV-Protection Oil, a clear wood protector, as part of a project that gave an old IKEA table a new look and purpose as a study nook for her son. “The oil gives it a lovely finish and also protection against stains from a 9-year-old,” she says. “A little goes a long way.” If you want to highlight the natural grain or shade of a wood project, consider this oil for indoor and outdoor furniture.

Credit: Helin Loik-Tomson/Getty Images

A Fabric Shaver

Last, but certainly not least, Small says you need a basic fabric shaver to help worn fabric feel fresh again. “We’ve used them on our sweaters for years, but have you ever taken one to the seat of your couch or the back of a chair?” she asks. “User-friendly, affordable, and hey, you might already have one!” She used one on an old green sofa and says it made the fabric instantly feel smooth. You can find options under $15 from stores like Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, or The Container Store.