Tips for refurbishing old furniture to create unique pieces


Thinking of giving your home a new look but don’t have the budget to splash out on expensive furnishings? Giving your old furniture a ‘face-lift’ is a great way to create unique, modern pieces which will transform the look of a room, or even an entire home.

Refurbishing old pieces is a great way to cut costs when redecorating and also can provide a creative outlet and put a stop to the chew-up and spit-out consumer attitude adopted by our society. If you don’t have any old pieces which are suitable for refurbishing, buying pre-loved furniture from online auctions sites such as Quicksales, which is perfect for refurbishing will also be a cheaper option than buying brand new furniture.

Admittedly, taking on a furniture refurbishing project is easier said than done. For one thing, you’ll need to have a clear idea of what you want your new home to look like before starting on the project. Trawl the internet and look through home design magazines for inspiration. Write down all your decorating ideas and clippings in a scrap book – this will make it easier to see the bigger picture on what look you’ll be going for.

You’ll then need to set a budget. Doing it DIY will definitely be cheaper than buying new furniture but you’ll also need to be realistic as you may need the help of a professional or two. Remember to have the discipline to stick to your budget and refrain from buying items that you can live without.

The next step is to look through your old pieces and buy the necessary materials to update their looks. There are many ways to refurbish an old piece of furniture: sand and revarnish an old wooden table, reupholster a sofa, repaint a dining set or restore an antique. You can also borrow or purchase some stencils to use on your furnishings. Stencilling is a great way to add a simple design to table tops or cabinets, turning these old pieces into a work of art!

Keeping safe is important when undertaking your refurb projects. Ensure you inspect cabinets, tables, beds, etc. for any protruding nails or splinters before handling them. You may also need to use protective glasses and a mask when painting, sanding or, if you’re game, welding! Long sleeves should also be worn to protect your skin from harmful chemicals or other hazardous materials.

If you’re a novice with no trade skills or DIY experience, a great way to start would be to look for how-to manuals. These are available in abundance online, from book shops and even your local library should have a few lying around. A great online resource is the Tips for Refurbishing Used Furniture for Dummies.

Lastly, before embarking on a project of refurbishing old furniture, you’ll need to think about the time which could be involved. If it’s a simple refurb on a couple of items, it shouldn’t take that long, but other items could take a few weeks or even months depending on how much spare time you have to designate to the project. The last thing you want to do is throw in the towel on a refurbishing project half way through due to time constraints or deadlines. It may sound more laborious than visiting your favourite furniture store, but just think how good it will feel to have created your own, unique pieces, with little or no cash outlay at all – a project well worth finishing.


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