4 Ways to Give Old Furniture New Life!

Friday, July 2nd, 2021 by Samantha Creadon

So, you have an old couch, dresser or another piece of furniture that might no longer be your style, or maybe it’s seen a bit too much “life” … Scratches, stains, and outdated style are no match for someone determined to keep something out of the landfill. There are countless ways to spruce up a piece of furniture to both save yourself money and save the environment. One simple wooden chair takes 13 years to decompose. A mattress takes anywhere between 80-120 years to decompose. So, in broad terms, furniture you toss out could take anywhere from 13 to 120 years to break down in a landfill. Your children’s children will be able to visit the mattress you tossed into the landfill.

The best way to avoid this is to donate your old furniture or repurpose the furniture you already have. Here are 4 easy ways anyone can update their furniture to give it new life.

Give it a fresh coat of paint

Paint is arguably the most common and effective way to freshen up some furniture. Nowadays, almost any surface can be painted and with such an array of colors and techniques, your furniture’s appearance can change as often as your style does. Special paints are made for painting metal, wicker, glass, plastic and even upholstery! Stain, standard paints and chalk paint are the most common for refinishing furniture, and while chalk paint can be more expensive- and also more difficult to work with- the finished look is *chef’s kiss* magnificent. Check out this video on how to give your older furniture some new color!

Slipcovers and reupholstery

Couches, armchairs, footstools and any other fabric or upholstered furniture can be a bit more difficult to update. Mainly because reupholstery is a much more complicated and difficult process than simply painting something. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible or “not worth it”. Reupholstering simple dining chairs and seat cushions is an easy project for any skill level, the fabric of your choosing and a staple gun are the only supplies you need! More complicated pieces, like couches and armchairs, may benefit from slipcovers. You can have slipcovers custom made for any piece of furniture for half the price of buying the same item new, you can buy slipcovers online, and even buy patterns to make your own! Slipcovers offer a way to create an entirely new look to something you’ve had for years, while also offering the convenience of simply tossing it into the washing machine when it needs to be cleaned. And similarly, you can pay to have furniture reupholstered, or you can tackle the project yourself! Endless options of pattern, color, and texture come with reupholstery projects- you’re practically creating custom furniture at a fraction of the cost. Check out these videos on easy reupholstery projects for seat cushions and armchairs! Not nearly as scary as they sound.

Easy updates to hardware

Probably the most simple and affordable update to old furniture is changing out the hardware. You can purchase new knobs and drawer pulls at just about any hardware, home improvement or craft store. For more unique or style-specific hardware, like anything else, the possibilities are endless online. If you like the current hardware, but maybe aren’t crazy about the color, a simple can of spray paint can fix that. You’d be surprised what new knobs can do for an old dresser.

Swap out the legs

Sometimes a simple update to the legs of an old piece of furniture can make all the difference. Replacing ornate legs with a simpler style can bring an outdated piece to life, or adding legs to a dresser that didn't previously have any can change it's entire look! Different material legs, like metal, are also an option. Going back to our first fix, even adding some color with a coat of paint is an excellent way to change up something old. If you think a piece, you have could benefit from new legs, go to Pinterest, look up “Adding legs to furniture” and let your creativity run wild. Like any good DIY-er, novice or expert, Pinterest is your best friend.


One of the most rewarding aspects of updating old furniture is getting to be creative and add your own style or flair to something. Go crazy with color, pattern, texture or a combination of the two and make something unique and you! Keeping furniture out of the landfill is crucial and updating is the perfect solution. Although, if you would rather pass your old furniture along to the next person.... you can always call The Junkluggers!



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