How To Upcycle Old Furniture for a Fresh Start in the New Year - Home & Texture
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How To Upcycle Old Furniture for a Fresh Start in the New Year

New year, new furniture. Here's how to breathe new life into old furniture pieces to make them look just like new.

January 18, 2024 at 8:37 AM PST

The New Year is the perfect opportunity to start fresh, and renovating your home is a fantastic way to do so. But rather than discarding your old furniture, you can upcycle it instead. Upcycling not only saves you a lot of money on buying brand-new furniture, but it adds character to your space, too. And if you’re big on sustainability, upcycling is a fantastic eco-friendly choice on top of that.

How To Upcycle Old Furniture For a Fresh Start in the New Year

By turning boring, old pieces into modern and contemporary ones, you have the ability to craft a home environment that is uniquely yours. So to start the new year on the right foot, here are 10 ways to upcycle old furniture:

1. Start planning.

Before you start the upcycling process, take a quick look at the condition of your furniture. Try to envision the final result, making notes of every repair that needs fixing. Then, come up with a plan that outlines the changes you need to make — i.e. a fresh coat of paint, new hardware, or an entire structural overhaul.

Photo credit: Morsa Images

2. Paint and refinish.

An easy way to transform your old furniture is by painting or refinishing it. You can pick a paint color that matches your existing decor, then sand the surface to achieve a sleek and smooth finish. Or, to spice things up, try distressing or layering your paint for a rustic, antique appearance.

3. Add decoupage.

Decoupage is a popular design technique that involves using a special adhesive to attach decorative paper or fabric to the surface of your furniture. From vintage maps to botanical prints,  you can add a lot of personality to your furniture with this quick and easy fix.

4. Upgrade hardware.

Upgrading your old hardware is an often overlooked yet powerful way to transform your aesthetic. Plus, it’s super easy to do. Simply replace old handles, knobs, or pulls with more modern, fashionable alternatives. You can even try mixing and matching your hardware to achieve a more unique result.

Photo credit: Milko

5. Try multi-functional repurposing.

Converting your old furniture into new furniture can breathe new life into your living space. So try to think outside the box when repurposing your furniture. For example, you can turn a used dresser into a swanky vanity for your bathroom. Or if you have an old bookshelf, try reimagining it as a hip, modern bar cart.

6. Whitewash and distress.

If you have a rustic or farmhouse aesthetic, whitewashing or distressing your furniture not only complements but highlights the rest of your decor. To try it, simply brush a thin coat of paint onto your furniture, then sand the area down a bit until the natural wood or previous paint layers start to show. The result is a weathered yet captivating finish that adds personality.

7. Make a mosaic masterpiece.

For a unique pop of color, try your hand at creating a mosaic finish for your end table, desk, or kitchen island. Materials such as broken tiles and glass are perfect for turning a plain tabletop into a sophisticated masterpiece. This not only introduces an artistic vibe to your space but adds a fresh, new perspective to underappreciated pieces.

8. Utilize chalkboard paint.

Chalkboard paint is a super versatile way to upcycle old furniture. Plus, it can add function to your space — i.e. labeling pantry shelves, using tabletops as calendars, etc. Even better, you can find a wide selection of chalkboard paint designed for a variety of surfaces and purposes so you can tap into your creative side to create something great.


From minor tweaks to major overhauls— these are the insights that add style and comfort to your home.



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