The 11 Best Upcycled Furniture Redos We’ve Ever Seen

published May 3, 2021
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Before: scuffed-up thrifted wood shelf with four sections
Credit: Robin Harper

Finding the perfect decor for your home can be a long, tricky process — but one way to find decor that fits your budget, space, and your personal design style is to make it yourself. It may sound intimidating, but if you start with a solid base, then you’re halfway there. Scouting secondhand sources like thrift stores, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, buy-nothing groups, or even the curb can net you some true diamonds in the rough that need just a little TLC to reach their true potential.

Need inspiration? Take a look at the work of these intrepid DIYers. With a little care, time, and sweat equity, they were able to rescue old furniture and make the perfect pieces for their homes. Here, the 11 best furniture upcycles we’ve ever seen.

1. A Living Room Gets a Big Style Boost with $40 Used Kitchen Cabinets

You’d never guess that these built-ins are actually refurbished kitchen cabinets purchased from Facebook Marketplace for only $40. DIYer Tara painted them white and added to-the-ceiling shelving on top to create her perfect-fit built-ins.

Credit: Shelley Nall
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2. A $13 Craigslist Cabinet Gets a Gloriously Simple Make-Under

This $13 Craigslist record cabinet is unrecognizable after DIYer Shelley got her hands on it. For this glow-up, Shelley removed the stickers, power sanded it to remove the black paint, and added tapered legs for a mid-century vibe.

Credit: Robin Harper
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3. A Thrift Store Display Shelf Becomes a Design Piece for $180

Cane webbing is popping up all over these days, and DIYer Robin put her own spin on it in redoing this thrift store display shelf. She made her own Shaker-style doors with pine pieces and cane, plus added cool hardware — and did it all for just $180.

4. This Trendy $130 Redo Turns a Dull Dresser into a Showpiece

DIYer Melissa transformed her old dresser with a trendy fluted look on its doors. Melissa cut beaded trim boards from the hardware store to fit the size of each drawer front and attached them using wood glue and clamps. Add a new paint job and hardware, and this dresser’s far from basic.

5. A Luxe $300 Redo Transforms These Cheap Cube Shelves

Cube shelving is functional, but not always particularly attractive. DIYer Jordan gave her set a grown-up makeover by transforming it into a rattan console to envy. She painted the shelf matte black, made the door frames herself, and added legs. Her shoes are stored inside (and below), and her bags reside on top.

6. A Traditional Sideboard Gets a Modern Makeover for Just $180

This dated sideboard now has a mid-century look thanks to a deep blue paint job and (much-needed) new pulls. Plus, get this: DIYer Melissa filled in the grooves on the doors herself for an updated flat-front look that didn’t require buying new. Stunning!

7. A Destined-for-the-Dump Vintage Hutch Gets a Respectful Refresh

This hutch still has plenty of vintage charm, but now is more functional and easy on the eyes. DIYer Sharnene sanded off the paint of this once throw-away piece, added new pulls, and cut off the bottom of the hutch so that there would be enough drawers to fill it. Finally, she painted it dark gray. The final result is something truly special.

8. A $48 Redo Breathes New Life into a Piece of Childhood Furniture

Once upon a time, this cabinet was found on the curb, spiffed up, and then used to furnish DIYer Emma’s childhood bedroom. Now she’s upcycled it again with a new coat of paint (Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy) and wallpaper to line the shelves, all for just $48.

9. A Dated Desk Is Transformed into a Functional Kitchen Island

You read that right: This kitchen island used to be a desk. DIYer Christina found the desk on Facebook Marketplace and knew she could make something else out of it. She removed the desktop and then connected the two sides with a solid base at the bottom of the island that she trimmed with molding. She finally added a wood top, green paint, and new drawer pulls, and voila — you’d never guess this island had a previous life as a desk.

Credit: Katrina Taboas
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10. A $25 Damaged Dresser Gets a Redo with Million-Dollar Style

This vintage dresser found on OfferUp for just $25 was brought back to its glory days with some fresh taupe paint and the addition of floral drawer liners. Those aren’t new pulls, either — instead, DIYer Katrina polished up the old ones to reveal their original shine.

11. The Magic of Paint Gives This ’80s Dining Set a Fresh New Vibe

A hand-me-down dining set looks straight out of 2021 thanks to a fresh mix of paint and stain (black paint on the base, matte chocolate wood stain on the top). Along with some new chairs, the old table now has a new modern farmhouse look.