Guest article by Caroline Smith on Frugal Tips to Breathe New Life into Old Furniture
There’s nothing wrong with wanting different furniture for your home, but for many people trying to live on a limited budget, buying new may not always be an option. Throwing the old pieces into a landfill is not environmentally friendly either. What if your older furniture could be given new life? That would give your home a new look, save you money, and help the planet. Here are several DIY ideas to improve the look or change the style of old furniture.
Just like the walls of a house, a new coat of paint or an accessory can completely change the appearance of a table, chair, dresser or bookcase. When painting or refinishing, make sure to look for water-based products and those containing few volatile organic compounds.
Paint – This may be the most dramatic way to improve a piece of wooden furniture but it is also fairly easy and inexpensive. It may require stripping off the old paint, taking proper precautions against possible lead exposure. Then pick the new color and apply it to the piece. Be creative. For instance, you could paint drawers or shelves a different color to the base, or use stencilling to add patterns.
Refinish – Similar to painting furniture, refinishing doesn’t change the color of the furniture but makes the wood look new again.
Change the hardware – Replacing the drawer pulls or door handles on wooden furniture is a simple but effective way to alter its style. There are loads of different styles of hardware to choose from, so whether you prefer a traditional country cottage look or something more contemporary, you should be able to find a look that appeals to you.
Put something over it – Simply adding a table cloth or a runner will provide a different look. Even better, these can be changed frequently at a much cheaper price than swapping out new pieces of furniture.
Couches and Chairs
Changing the furniture used to relax in can be easy also. Rather than get rid of it and spend lots of money buying new pieces, consider some ways to make those older ones look new again.
Slipcovers –These coverings are formed to fit right over couches or chairs and come in various fabrics and colors. Not only will sofa covers change the appearance of seats, they can help protect them from pets and spills, too. Also, when it comes time to clean them, they can be removed and thrown right into the washing machine.
Reupholster – For furniture that is going to be used in a child’s room or a recreation room, using fabric found at craft stores to reupholster an old-fashioned easy chair will provide a very unique look at a reasonable price.
Sometimes a piece of furniture just may not be salvageable, even if painted or covered. Even then, it’s not necessary to throw it out. Find a new way to use it, which could still save money. For instance, older end tables with drawers may not be right for the living room anymore, but they can be moved out to a garage and used as storage for small items. The drawers of old dressers can be used for storage under a bed or in a closet.
Finding a way to extend the life of furniture in your home is good not just for the pocketbook, it’s also good for the planet. In addition, it will give a unique and individual look to your home that won’t be found anywhere else.
This is an article from guest contributor Caroline Smith, who loves to find creative ways to save money and decorate her home in a unique way. She has a site that sells a range of slipcovers for chairs, which are useful for extending the life of old furniture.