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Furniture Makeovers That Will Make You Love Those Old Pieces Again

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Turn your old furniture into something beautiful with these creative DIY furniture makeovers that will totally transform how they look.

12 ways to update old furniture so you love it again

If you’re like me, you have acquired some furniture over the years that you used to like but it’s not your style anymore.

Or maybe you never really liked that much to begin with.

Or you’ve had it for years, and you’re just tired of it.

It’s still in good condition and is really functional, so you hate to get rid of it…but it bothers you every time you walk by it.

Since one of my die-hard decorating principles is to only live with what you love, I believe it’s your live-in-a-home-you-love duty to do something about it!

Rather than throw it out and spend more money to buy something new, doing a makeover on these old furniture pieces is a great way to give them a new lease on life. And create something you love.

These are a few of my favorite ways to do old furniture makeovers.

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1 | Reupholster A Chair

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Painting and re-upholstering chairs is my first way of updating an old piece of furniture.

Christy from Confessions of a Serial DIYer transformed a really ugly old chair into a black and white French Provincial beauty.

You can hardly tell its the same chair!

Check out her post to get the step-by-step instructions.

2 | Paint Your Upholstery

Reupholstering can be a lot of work and not everyone wants to put in that much effort to update a chair.

Another option that takes a lot less work, is painting your upholstery with chalk paint!

I have never been brave enough to actually try this, but Nancy at Artsy Chicks Rule did. And the results are stunning! 

She even talks about how well it held up if you read the comments, so be sure to head over to her site to find out all the details.

3 | Upholster an Armoire

Before and after furniture makeover of an upholstered armoire

Speaking of upholstery…it’s not just for chairs and sofas. I even used it on an armoire.

In my dining area, I have an old TV armoire that provides a ton of storage.

It’s a great place to store the cushions for my patio furniture that’s right outside the door. And I have a lot of patio furniture so I really need that storage!

But the old armoire just didn’t go with my decor. So I decided it needed a furniture makeover.

Painting it black and using some sparkly upholstery tacks to hang some fabric on the doors definitely upgraded its appearance.

The dining room with the new upholstered armoire
The dining room with the new upholstered armoire

I made sure it would fit in with my room decor by using the same fabric on the armoire as my dining room backdrop.

You can find the tutorial for upholstering an armoire here.

4 | Add Gold Trim To Old Chairs

Gold trimmed chairs

If you don’t mind the fabric on the chairs, then you might just need to paint the wood to make them look better.

DIY gold trim on chairs

My mother updated some of her old chairs by painting them white and and then making the details stand out by adding some gold.

You can find how to paint gold trimmed chairs here.

6 | Gold Leaf a Bar

Black and gold bar cabinet

I used gold to makeover one of my old pieces of furniture, too.

I really love the functionality of this bar. It folds up so it doesn’t take up much room when you’re not using it. It also has a lot of storage space, and opens up to provide a perfect serving area for parties. But I didn’t love the way it looked.

Before and after furniture makeover of a bar cabinet

Painting it with black lacquer and adding gold leaf to the front really changed the look.

Now it totally goes with my Eclectic Deco Glam decor!

You can find out how to do this gold leaf bar makeover here.

6. Upgrade An Old Wood Table With Urban Metal Paint

Table painted with Urban Metal paint
Table painted with Urban Metal paint

Using metallic paint to cover an ugly piece of furniture is one of my favorite furniture makeovers.

This table used to be one of those dark mahogany laminate pieces that were very popular in the 90’s…not so much now…

Painting it with a metallic sheen is an easy way to make it look more modern.

This technique combines a couple of different metallic colors to really add depth to the finish.

You can find the urban metal table tutorial here.

7 | Wrap Shelves In Aluminum

Shelves wrapped in aluminum flashing

While the last furniture makeover might not have been transforming your table into a metal one, this one actually does.

If you have some plain wood boards or old melamine shelves and want to totally change their look, wrap them in aluminum flashing.

It is an inexpensive way to make them look totally different.

DIY shelf with aluminum flashing and crystal upholstery tacks

Because the aluminum is water resistant and doesn’t rust, I decided to use them in my bathroom.

Of course, because I like everything to be little extra, I added some sparkly upholstery tacks around the edge on this version of the project.

Find the metal shelf tutorial here.

8 | Upcycle A Shelf To A Filing Cabinet

DIY Industrial filing cabinet on wheels

This DIY furniture makeover does the opposite…turns an old shelf into something more useful.

I had half of an old closet organizer shelf hanging around in the garage for the longest time.

When I was redoing my den and needed a place for my files that looked good with the new decor, I finally put that shelf to good use, by converting them to an industrial glam filing cabinet.

It was a really inexpensive way to add some function to my office.

Click here to see my industrial glam filing cabinet tutorial.

9 | Paint A Pattern

Lori from Vintage Charm Restored really outdid herself with this princess-inspired dresser makeover for her daughter.

She painted an old chest with a diamond pattern, zebra stripes and some gold trim.

And then added some glam knobs for the finishing touch.

I love it!  

10 | Use paint and metallic wax

white and gold tiered table in a blue and white room

This white and gold table started out as a functionality but not very pretty side table in my mother’s den.

When she updated the decor, she used some paint, metallic wax and nail head trim to update the table, too.

And now it’s beautiful!

Find the DIY side table tutorial here.

11 | Add Some Accessories

Before and after furniture makeover of a bedside table

When I was re-decorating my bedroom, I wanted to do something with my old bedside tables (more of that mahogany laminate).

Painting was a given.

But to make them a little more interesting, I also spray painted some short angle irons and screwed them onto the edges of the drawers.

It’s amazing how a small thing like that totally changes the look of the furniture!

See the bedside table makeover tutorial (and all of my furniture painting tips) HERE.

12 | Cover With Contact Paper

For those of you who don’t like to paint.

Or just want to have a surface that looks like stone.

Applying self-adhesive contact paper is a super simple project for flat surfaces (it doesn’t work so well if you have to go around curves).

To upgrade a little computer table in my office, I spray painted the legs gold and used some marble contact paper to make it look much better than the original cart.

It only takes a couple of hours to do.

See the faux marble cart tutorial HERE.

13 | Make An Outdoor Sofa From a Claw Foot Tub

This bathtub makeover is definitely the most creative project on the list…how awesome is this?

Ariean from One Krieger Chick decided to convert an old claw foot bathtub into an outdoor sofa.

It looks so cozy I can just imagine sitting here reading a magazine!

There you have it….my favorite furniture makeovers. Hopefully you’ve found some inspiration to do your own!

Other DIY Home Projects You Might Like

Have comments or questions about our old furniture makeovers? Tell us in the section below.

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12 old furniture makeovers

This post was originally published on May 14, 2020 but was updated with new content on July 29, 2022.

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  1. mary Jennings says:

    How do you change KITCHEN CABINET HARDWARE WHEN THE CURRENT hardware has long backplates. The cabinets have changed colors over the years so taking the backplates off leaves the different color wood showing

  2. I am aspiring to get an old claw foot to make a couch. Coolest idea in a long time. Waiting to get into my new house and all my things from storage. There are little tables my grandpa made I am going to paint and I have an old fashioned round table I had bought that I am trying to justify painting. A cabinet that needs freshened up. I had chalk painted my dining room table and chairs and they will have to be redone. I have learned much while waiting. Love your ideas.

    1. Hi Jody…I love that claw foot tub turned into a couch idea, too! Now I’m on the hunt to find an old claw foot… It sounds like you have a bunch of projects waiting for you! I think you’re going to be busy doing furniture makeovers for a while 🙂