7 Ways to Give Old Furniture a Facelift

7 Ways to Give Old Furniture a Facelift

Freshen up an old file cabinet, bed, dresser, or table in a flash, for cheap!

By Lorraine Allen

When furniture starts showing age, the first thought most of us have is to toss it and buy something new. But almost any old piece of furniture, no matter how worn or drab-looking, can look better than new with a few simple fixes. Changing the whole look of a large piece, like a dresser, a bed, a coffee table, or dining table, can make an entire room look better, too -- an added bonus that makes the effort extra worthwhile. Here are some simple, creative ways to give your favorite old pieces a facelift on a dime.

1. For an immediate, drastic facelift, a coat of paint in a bold new color can cover up dings and nicks on file cabinets, beds, coffee tables, bookshelves, or dressers.

2. For an even more dramatic change in a hurry, buy two contrasting colors of paint, like blue and white, and use painter’s tape to create a pattern on the furniture, such as narrow or thick stripes, checkers, or a zig-zag. This fun project will add a seriously unique, personalized look.

3. For wooden furniture, a little elbow grease will help you sand off the existing worn finish so you can refinish the wood in a fresh new stain. If the furniture piece’s legs are loose or wobbly, take the time to reattach them firmly too, with new screws and support. The piece will feel brand new when you’re done.

More from P&G everyday: 7 Ways to Give Your House a Makeover in an Afternoon

4. Replace all knobs with new ones. You can find porcelain knobs, painted ones, shiny or mat metal ones in all shapes and sizes, to suit your taste. This quick fix can have a major effect on the look of any item with drawers or doors, like an armoire, a hutch, a dresser, or cabinet.

5. Using a stencil, spray-paint a pretty pattern over a fresh coat of base paint.


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6. Install tall wooden posts on each of the four corners of an old bed, and find a fabric you love to create a romantic canopy. An oversized sheet or large batik can be tied to each corner for a fast, dramatic change.

7. Replace the top of a table or dresser. Often, kitchen, bath, and home renovation stores sell the ends of stone and wooden slabs, including marble, at a huge discount. Measure your table or dresser top, and shop around for a cheap but beautiful match. Make sure the legs on your piece will be able to hold the extra weight, though. You can’t put a heavy stone top on thin, spindly legs, unless it’s for a small side table.

How have you given your furniture a facelift?

Lorraine Allen is a writer and mom to one spunky first-grader and one squirrel-obsessed dog. You can follow their delicious, allergy-friendly cooking adventures at FeedingLina.com.

Image ©iStock.com/XStudio3D

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