DIY Furniture Ideas: 12 of Our Most Inspiring, Unrecognizable Before & Afters

published Sep 7, 2014
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(Image credit: Rita Killilea)

A coat of paint can make any piece of furniture feel like new, but how about the folks who are able to make a piece of furniture look completely like something else? These twelve before and afters are impressive not just in skill and final result, but because an original item was made entirely unrecognizable. Look at something you already have in your home in a new light — a terrific furniture transformation idea might get sparked after seeing how these fabulous final results first started their furniture life!

(Image credit: Diane Hicks)

This might look like a fabulous card catalog cabinet now, but it started life as a bland beige dresser. Before & After: From Beige Dresser to Faux Card Catalog Bookcase.

(Image credit: Dena Stormer)

Tall, airy and bold, it’s hard to believe this potent cabinet first started as a heavy, low, white dresser. Before & After: A Vintage Dresser Goes From White to Wow!

(Image credit: Christina Katos)

It’s a fabulous and functional banquette for a dining room now, but this furniture piece spent most of its life before as a not-that-attractive, bulky entertainment center! Before & After: From TV Armoire to Built-in Banquette Bench.

(Image credit: The Painted Hive)

These may look like worldly, well-worn, well-made antique cabinets, but this pair was once a cheap pair of three-drawer cabinets! Before & After: 2 Contemporary Cabinets Age Considerably…Overnight.

(Image credit: Catherine Henderson)

This modern metallic lamp looks great on a table now, but before it was an outdated light fixture hanging from a ceiling! Before & After: An Outdated 80s Chandelier Turns into a Trendy, Geometric Lamp.

(Image credit: Instructables)

This sharp modern daybed perfect for compact spaces started its life as a product from an IKEA! Before & After: IKEA Futon Graduates From College.

(Image credit: Instructables)

A shipping pallet’s never looked so good, now made into a stylish modern coffee table. Before & After: Recycled Pallet Pops With New Purpose.

(Image credit: Kata Szentgyorgyi)

This cute and sleek bar cart doesn’t much resemble the boring, plain pine IKEA side table it started out as. Before & After: A Plain Pine IKEA Table Turns into a Bold Bar Cart.

(Image credit: Kristie Berky )

This handy DIY setup for storage in the kitchen of this apartment is airy and bright now, but started as a really heavy, outdated piece of furniture. Before & After: A Boring and Brown Dresser Turns Cool and Clever.

(Image credit: Luann Mitchell )

Full of pattern and sass now, it’d be hard to believe this bold furniture piece was once a sad, deteriorating, old legless stereo cabinet. Before & After: From Stale Stereo to Sassy Sideboard.

(Image credit: Clare Fauke)

This handy piece of furniture — a hidden cabinet for recycling and trash — once looked like one scary piece of furniture on the side of the road. Before & After: An Amazing & Cheery Up-Cycled Recycling Center.

(Image credit: Rita Killilea)

One of my favorite transformations. An old, plain built-in cabinet with zero personality gets transformed into a stunning and sophisticated corner! Before & After: Rita’s Really (Really!) Amazing Closet Transformation.