Fresh Starts: 20 Ways to Give New Life to Old Furniture

Fresh Starts: 20 Ways to Give New Life to Old Furniture

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Tess Wilson
Jan 1, 2018
(Image credit: Anna Spaller)

If you're giving yourself a fresh start for 2018—new haircut, workout routine, healthy habits—give your furniture a New Year's refresh with these 20 tutorials that will restore, revitalize, or totally redo your favorite wood, metal, leather, vinyl, marble, and upholstered pieces.

Wood

(Image credit: June Bhongjan)

Strip It

How To Strip and Refinish Wood Furniture

If you find yourself in possession of a piece that has potential, but its wood is buried under layers of paint, bring out its natural beauty and let it shine.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Polish It

How To Polish Wood Furniture

Restore the finish of beloved wood pieces with a good polishing. This post includes instructions for polishing furniture that just needs a refresh as well as pieces that need a deeper conditioning preceded by a light stripping.

(Image credit: Sophie Timothy)

Oil It

How To Oil Your Wooden Furniture

Prevent drying and cracking by regularly applying a coat of the delightfully named Feed-N-Wax wood conditioner.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Paint It: Wood

How To Paint Furniture for a Professional-Looking Finish

Want painted wood furniture with an absolutely perfect silky-smooth finish? Follow every step of this tutorial to the letter and your final product will look fabulously professional.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Paint It & Distress It

How To Give Furniture a Distressed Painted Finish

But sometimes you don't want your furniture to have a perfect silky-smooth finish! Follow these thorough instructions for a charmingly distressed look.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Stain It

How to Stain Wood & Give New Life to Old Furniture

Stain can seem a bit mysterious and intimidating, but it is an incredible substance for achieving subtle and sophisticated results.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Adorn It

How To Upgrade Drawer Knobs, Pulls, and Handles

This post covers everything to keep in mind when it's time to upgrade your hardware and even includes instructions for going from a knob to a handle (or vice versa).

Leather & Vinyl

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Clean It: Leather

How To Clean Leather Furniture

The secret ingredients behind clean leather furniture are lemon juice and cream of tartar.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Condition It

How To Condition Leather Furniture

In the same amount of time it takes to complete a 10-step skincare regime, you can moisturize and revitalize your leather furniture.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Plump It

Sofa Solutions: How to Plump Up an Old, Saggy Sofa for Under $30

This is one of the smartest tutorials with the most bang for your bucks. Check out the before and after photos—the sofa goes from looking saggy-baggy to luxuriously plump.

(Image credit: Katie Steuernagle)

Paint It: Leather

DIY Project Test Lab Results: We Painted a Leather Sofa and Here's What Happened

For just $13.50, this sofa went from the wrong color to the perfect shade of brown, and the feel of the painted surface is indistinguishable from that of the original leather.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Spray Paint It: Vinyl

How To Spray Paint Vinyl Upholstery

Vinyl spray paint is a marvelous invention! I found the perfect dining room chairs for a song—well, perfect except for the fact that the seats were a muddy beige vinyl. Now they've been spray painted black and they look like high-quality black leather.

Upholstery

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Clean It: Upholstery

How To Clean a Sofa

No matter what other measures you're taking to refresh your sofa, cleaning it thoroughly is the place to start. Ideally, this job would be tackled every three months, but it's never too late to start. A vacuum with lots of attachments is the best tool for the job.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Clean It: Velvet

How To Clean Velvet Upholstery

Velvet requires a little extra care, so clean it carefully with a refreshing mix of lemon juice and baking soda.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Defuzz It

Shave It & Save It: How To Give Your Upholstered Furniture a Second Life

For just $12.99, you can give your upholstered furniture—and sweaters, and so on—a new life. Give them a quick shave and they'll look polished and fresh.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Reupholster It

How To Reupholster A Seat Pad

Replace worn out and/or unattractive fabric—or add cushioning and comfort to a hard wooden seat—with this easy tutorial.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Cover It

How To Make Super Quick & Easy Drawstring Seat Covers to Update Outdoor Furniture

Will warm weather into existence by tackling this project now. The drawstring nature of the covers make it easy to swap them out when they get worn—or you get sick of them.

Metal

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

De-Rust It

5 Tried & True Methods For Removing Rust

Before doing anything else to metal furniture, you'll want to remove as much rust as possible; one of these five methods will be perfect for your project.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

Spray Paint It: Metal

How To Spray Paint Metal Furniture

When in doubt: spray paint it! There's nothing more satisfying than giving an old, battered metal piece a shiny new coat of paint with a perfect finish.

Marble

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Clean It: Marble

How To Remove Stains From Marble Surfaces

If you're lucky enough to own a marble-topped table—or if you find a marble piece at a thrift store that's cheap because of stains—help it look its best with this hydrogen peroxide and ammonia treatment.

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