How To: Repurpose, Reuse, Refinish Furniture

Pin It

It seems like as soon as the temperature starts to rise and the flowers begin to blossom my need to redecorate and rearrange my house shifts into high gear.

I feel the need to move the chairs closer to the windows.  I want everything to look lighter and brighter.  I find myself pouring over decorating magazines and websites, drooling over new prints and patterns.

Does this happen to you too?

Don’t rush out and buy a new piece of furniture just yet!

You can reuse, refinish and repurpose furniture you already have to give your rooms a new Spring look for almost nothing.

Keep in mind, some of these photos are of my real house…the one I live in with my three messy boys, a dog and a cat. And a husband who doesn’t do windows.

So, dismiss the dirty floors and dusty windowsills.  Remember…we’re talking furniture today.

Here are a few ideas on how to re-imagine the furniture you already own.

Re-Purpose It!

DSC_0615Photo by Eren Hays San Pedro

Don’t get stuck with the idea that a piece of furniture must stay in the same room forever, or with the same purpose or function.

The corner cabinet in the photo above previously held diapers and books in my boys’ nursery when they were little. And now it holds extra serving pieces and dishes in the dining room.

Small side tables work great in a master bathroom next to the tub. Chairs, side tables, stools, and benches can easily be moved from one room to another.

How about bringing the outside in? Or the inside out? You can give a kitchen a garden feel by bringing your patio table inside.

Photo by Eren Hays San Pedro

This little table used to sit beside our couch, but it now welcomes guests (with a coat of polyurethane) on the front porch between our vintage iron chairs.

Re-Use It!

  • If it is the clutter that is getting to you, try adding doors or shutters to your bookcases. Or use a tension rod and curtains to cover the mess. You’ll love the instant change.
  • Covering a sofa with a slipcover might be the easiest way to update your couch.
  • Dining room chairs are easily recovered with fabric and a staple gun or small nails.
  • Cut the legs off a taller table to make it a shorter coffee table or a play table for a playroom.
  • Add castors to a trunk or suitcase to make a rolling coffee table. Or add castors to a bedside table to make a small kitchen island.
  • Take drawers out of a chest and use them as shelves. Then, add a tension rod and curtains to the dresser for a different look.
  • Add fabric or wallpaper to the backs of bookshelves, or as curtains if cabinet doors are missing.

Re-Finish It!

DSC_0599Photo by Eren Hays San Pedro

Refinishing is much easier than you would ever think. Quality wood furniture is expensive, so if you have a good, solid piece of furniture it will save you money in the long run if you can find a way to make your piece work in a new way. The side table above was natural maple color and it would not have worked in the bedroom next to our mahogany bed. A fresh coat of white paint and it looks perfect in this space.

Paint Is My Best Friend

  • Almost everything looks better with a coat of white paint. If you feel like your room is looking a little too dark, consider painting one of the larger pieces a lighter color.
  • If you have mismatched pieces that don’t share the same finish or wood color, consider painting them all the same color for a more unified look.
  • I know all of the decorating magazines tell you to change out the hardware and knobs, but this really works. If the hardware on your kitchen cabinets or dresser drawers are making it feel a bit frumpy, change them out! You will be glad you did.
  • Just look at what one family did with their old media cabinet using a bit of paint and imagination.

Add a Little Age

If you love the look of Pottery Barn furniture, but not the prices, you can give your current furniture the same treatment for little to nothing.

I love furniture with a rustic feel. “Rustic” means that my 5 year old can run his hot wheels into the leg of our kitchen table to his heart’s content giving his mother a hear attack.

This is a great link on how to repaint furniture black with an aged look. (I’m sure it would work with white paint too). Or this one explains the techniques for using wax to get a worn look.

Strip It

I hate stripping furniture. I’ve only done it once. But it was worth it.

If you have mostly painted pieces, one natural wood table or buffet can keep your room from having that “matchy-matchy” look. And stripping furniture is a great alternative if you have a quality wood piece of furniture that you want to return to its original state.

This TLC tutorial should get you going.

Photo by Eren Hays San Pedro

Other Inspiration

Here are a few other links to get your creative juices flowing.

Have you repurposed a piece of furniture lately? Tell us about it! Or do you need some ideas on how to reuse an old item of furniture? We want to hear about that too!

Pin It


  1. According to my own exploration, millions of persons in the world receive the loans from different creditors. Thence, there’s a good chance to get a auto loan in any country.

  2. Great site!

    I’m recently green and loving it!!!


  3. I love this!

    I’m always trying to find ways to make furniture I already have, or great steals that I find going to sales, into useable pieces. Sometimes, things that are hideous before I perform a little magic on them, turn out to be what I get the best comments on!
    .-= Amanda G.’s last blog: Permission to Find Your Bliss =-.

    • Amanda…what piece of furniture has been your latest project? I’d love to know.
      .-= Eren’s last blog: Friday Favorites: Redecorating Edition =-.

      • About two years ago, my husband and I “inherited” a china hutch from the seventies that was HIDEOUS. (It had been passed around several times before it came to us.) It was very dark brown with gothic inspired carvings on the lower doors, tarnished brass pulls, and the top doors were glass with gold paint on the perimeter of the glass. It hid in the basement for about a year until I started hunting for a craft cabinet for my kids. As it was actually wood-not particle board covered with the wood grain inspired paper (though it looked like that), I sanded, painted, changed the hardware and knocked out the glass on the upper doors. On one side I replaced the glass with chalkboard painted wood and the other side is a fabric bulletin board. Now it sits in the family room, is used frequently and I spent nearly nothing to refurbish it!
        .-= Amanda G.’s last blog: Link Love :: The Mommyhood Edition =-.

  4. Oh so many ideas here! That link to the repurposed media center into a play kitchen is fabulous! Now, off I go to switch some things around… ;o)
    .-= Sarah @ Mum In Bloom’s last blog: Recipe: French Country Bread (Bread Machine) =-.

  5. what a fun post, Eren. Thanks for the inspiration!
    .-= Nicole aka Gidget’s last blog: food-related lovin’ =-.

  6. Thanks Nicole!
    .-= Eren’s last blog: Friday Favorites: Redecorating Edition =-.

  7. Thanks, Eren! You’ve inspired me to do the project that has been on my want-to-do list for several years… take our worn oak kitchen table and mis-matched chairs, and re-paint/distress it in an antique white. We’re moving in two months, and it would be so great to get this done so that the table is freshened up for moving into our new home.

    Love so many of these ideas! Especially the idea of adding a tension rod and curtain to a shelf that doesn’t have doors!
    .-= Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home’s last blog: Want to Win a Copy of Real Food on a Real Budget? =-.

  8. I love that word – “re-imagining”!

    As I read this, I am re-imagining a new location for a table that has been stored in a closet for the past couple of years! Thanks for the idea! :-)

  9. Pat, yay! Your table will be so happy to have a new home…happy re-imagining!
    .-= Eren’s last blog: Friday Favorites: Redecorating Edition =-.

  10. Eren, love all these great ideas! We have also shifted arm-chairs and tables from room to room as our family has grown and our lives have changed. I want to take a stab at recovering our dining room chairs (gulp!).

    One idea I wanted to throw out: you can buy unfinished table legs in various heights and styles online–we took a small white desk of mine (with an attached hutch filled with nooks for storing stationery) and put coffee-table sized legs on it–painted the legs to match–and voila, our daughter has a desk that grows with her. In a few years she will be ready for the end-table sized legs, and then we’ve saved the adult-sized desk legs for her teen years.

    Many tables have screws and plates these days that makes changing out table legs quick and easy~
    .-= Nancy’s last blog: Wetlands walk. =-.

  11. Nancy, what a wonderful idea…Love the idea of adding legs!
    .-= Eren’s last blog: In the Garden: Early Morning =-.

  12. These are some great ideas Eren, especially since I have gotten most of my furniture from relatives and yard sales. You can turn a $5.00 coffee table into your own creation with some paint, but because I have a young child who puts his hands on everything I can’t go the white paint route.
    Rebecca Mills´s latest post: Dead Head Cypress

  13. Definitely some great ideas on how to reuse existing furniture. A lot of people tend to get hung up on how a piece belongs in one place or room, when it could work much better in another. So try changing things up!

  14. Nice touch! if I see from the picture above, I assume that you are someone who is very creative. Good job my friend!
    Jimmy Ahyari´s latest post: Indonesia Furniture Handicraft Wholesale Marketplace

  15. It takes a lot of creativity to be able to pick up something old and turn it into a completely different piece of furniture, either in terms of style or in terms of utility, or even both. It also lets us save a lot of money, since we won’t need to buy anything new. These tips are very useful, I might do this myself more often!

  16. I love your website – I’m currently home full time and with 2 acres of unused land – I have a whole lot of opportunity here to get busy with!
    I have several barn windows and would love to turn one of the larger into a coffee table – any suggestions for how to keep the worn paint in tack and make it a “finished” surface?
    Thank you for all the lovely ideas!

  17. You made an EXCELLENT point when you said, “good, solid piece of furniture it will save you money in the long run”. Especially since over its life time you can repurpose it as needed. Consumers should always start with quality wood furniture – or even better – custom built wood furniture that will start out being the perfect piece for their homes. Then later repurpose as their needs and tastes change.
    Wood Furniture Maryland´s latest post: Custom Built Wood Furniture is Affordable

  18. Hello Eren,

    Thank you very for the wonderful post. It was really inspiring ideas. Great Job Eren! I had a great time visiting on you site.
    You might want to check this website too,

    Blinds For French Doors

  19. What a great post, I actually found it very thought provoking, you just never know sometimes when a golden nugget of information is going to land at your feet, thanks

  20. Thanks for all the ideas. It has definitely given me some inspiration!

  21. I have a question for you, Wonder Woman! I’ve got an oak filing cabinet that would be the perfect size for a media console but it has two big drawers, with 4 faux drawers. How would I re- all of the above -to this piece of furniture to make it actually have four drawers? Is that possible or am I dreaming a little too big?

  22. What a wonderful site. For years we have been saving beautiful, good-quality furniture from land fills. A little bit of repair and a coat of paint and you have a new treasure. Many of these pieces are very well made. In many instances the cost to purchase that piece, made today, in America, out of solid wood, (without staples) would be considerable. When we re-furbish older pieces we not only help the environment but we are getting good quality furniture!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  23. Thank you for this very inspirational post. This just sets all the right motivation I need to set up the same project. And you are right when you said paint is your best friend. It does all the magic!

  24. I have used the site to find this old roll top desk that I refinished and painted teal! Check it out maybe it will help you too!

  25. I only wish we had budget to do a similar thing with our Reproduction furniture.

  26. How can I repurpose a snow sled by making it into a pc. of furniture?

  27. I have a Pottery Barn desk with hutch that belonged to a girl who loved to paint her nails on it! It’s white and it’s shiny white, like a veneer, as opposed to painted wood. I was thinking about placing postcards, pictures, etc….and shellacking just the desktop that is so messed up. Would this work? It’s for my son’s room. I’ve never done anything like this, so any advice or suggestion would make me very happy!

  28. Thousands of Factory Audited China Suppliers, China Manufacturers, China Products are seeking Trusted Importers and Exporters on

  29. Find private tour guides in Barcelona

  30. Best Quality Magnetic Jewelry and Magnet Therapy Products – Over 1300 Items that are good for Health as well as Beauty – Free Worldwide Shipping.

  31. Buy $10 Replica Designer Sunglasses with 3-day FREE SHIPPING. At fashion-world4u you find Imitation ,Inspired ,MEN designer Sunglasses and Women Replica Sunglass at cheap discount price.

  32. Thousands of Factory Audited China Suppliers, China Manufacturers, China Products are seeking Trusted Importers and Exporters on

  33. Thousands of Factory Audited China Suppliers, China Manufacturers, China Products are seeking Trusted Importers and Exporters on

  34. LED Dimming – We specialize in providing high qualified air-fresher, ultraviolet, photocatalysis,AL, PC, Vehicles & Transport Equipment

  35. Hi

    Good stuff. It’s really works…….


  36. More 3W LED Bulb manufacturers, 3W LED Bulb makers, 3W LED Bulb suppliers,3W LED Bulb exporter & 3W LED Bulb factories seek qualified 3W LED Bulb purchasers ,3W LED Bulb global buyers & 3W LED Bulb agents on

  37. Find private tour guides in Prague

  38. Some time ago, I did need to buy a good house for my organization but I didn’t earn enough cash and could not order something. Thank God my mate suggested to try to take the loans at trustworthy bank. Therefore, I acted that and was satisfied with my bank loan.

  39. Wow! I am so glad I came across your blog this morning. It’s nice to run into people online that share the common love of re-finishing furniture and taking on challenging projects. I’d just like to compliment you on your creativity and style. Thanks again.

  40. This article very useful for me. There are lots of information about the reusing old furniture. These all the great idea. I like your idea, I think,
    The coolest thing about using this large piece of furniture for my “Bar-moiré” is that I can insert a beverage refrigerator underneath and still have the right side to store liquor and the drawer to store bottle openers, wine openers, and accessories.

  41. Instead of adding colour, think about taking it off. Whether you sand a piece of furniture to give it a shabby chic/worn look, or sand the colour off completely, this is an easy way to revamp existing furniture. If the object is wood, think about sanding off colour and then staining. If you’re sanding a metal object (chairs, filing cabinet), take the colour off completely and varnish with a clear protective paint – the modern look of raw metal looks fantastic.

  42. It’s really motivating to see others out there doing the same types of projects and re-furbs. I love seeing kindred spirits that enjoy crafting and most of all re-using items in inspirational new ways. Thanks so much for sharing!

  43. If you can write your own plugging than you might not have to read the hole thing but if you have problems like me than you need all the help you can get. Take care

  44. I understand this is a very useful post of furniture and I will add your site in my rss reader.

  45. der muskelaufbau ratgeber und muskeln definieren mit dem sixpack ernährungsplan zum download

  46. I appreciate the insightful post. Thanks.

  47. Last year, I was lost my some of furniture for a long time use.
    After read this post, I think I made a mistake to leave that item of my furniture.
    May I will not do that again.
    By reading like this information, may many people will be benefited to read this post to take steeps for their home item of furniture for use more time.
    Thanks for share…

  48. Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful! Moncler women bags pull a strong wave of fashion in winter coat in the world.Every year Moncler can refresh the trendy record. Moncler bags appears with much more surprise.women moncler with cheap and discount price are hot sale in our Moncler bags sale store.

  49. test und vergleich von billigen mountainbikes und testsieger sowie günstige mtb jetzt online kaufen im internet.

  50. Some great recycling tips there.


  1. [...] How To Repurpose, Reuse, Refinish Furniture [...]

  2. [...] from: 1. SimpleOrganic 2. TheUpsideofDownsizing 3 and 4. YoungHouseLove 5-8. [...]

  3. [...] ideas to repurpose furniture [...]

  4. [...] How To: Repurpose, Reuse, Refinish FurnitureApr 30, 2010 … a how-to post with great ideas for repurposing, re-using, and refinishing furniture in new and creative ways, so you can save money and use … [...]

  5. [...] room warm and welcomingSome Facts About Ottoman BenchesSolid Wood Extendable Table by Schulte DesignHow To: Repurpose, Reuse, Refinish Furniture function elcRot13(text){ return text.replace(/[a-zA-Z]/g, function(c){ return [...]

  6. [...] a Piece of Furniture Can Hide.Indoor Benches – They make any room warm and welcomingHow To: Repurpose, Reuse, Refinish Furniture function elcRot13(text){ return text.replace(/[a-zA-Z]/g, function(c){ return [...]

  7. [...] help get your wheels turning, check out this post on, which talks about updating and reusing [...]

  8. [...] chairs to find the right one for you. Article Source: Bean Bag Gaming Chairs For Kids and Teens By Mark Falco Bean bags are an ever popular piece of furni…improve them. If you thought that, you'd be wrong. High tech bean bags which double up as video [...]

  9. [...] Storage is also a big thing required so shelving, cupboards and draws may also be an essential.When setting up an office for your employees the first thing you need to lay down is the furniture, …ing on the floor with their computers or documents and this simply would not work. There are many [...]

  10. [...] the measurements in order to confirm that each item can fit specifically where you need it to go.It's quite easy to spruce up and create just about any bedroom in your home however on the subject o…> suits both the space and also the child’s requirements. The ideal furnishings is going to be [...]

  11. [...] List Price: $69.99 Your Amazon Price: $49.00 Little Tikes Easy Store Jr. Play Table with UmbrellaLittle Tikes Easy Store Jr. Play Table with Umbrella Sized right for younger childrenIndoor/outdoor …y Store Jr. Play Table with Umbrella"> Sized right for younger childrenIndoor/outdoor table [...]

  12. [...] @@ADSENSE@@.If you have old furniture hiding out in your garage or attic, you might have thought of simply throw…when they hear "refurbish," as they think this will take a lot of work, but it is actually not nearly as complicated as it might sound on the surface. [...]

  13. [...] information; information that may help make your next bathroom remodeling project a success. 665Are you tired of entering your bathroom each and every day, only to be disappointed with what you se…improve the overall appearance of your home. As nice as it is to have your bathroom remodeled, you [...]

  14. [...] up the enzymes in the urine and totally rids of the smell… GOOD LUCK!!!Powered by Yahoo! AnswersLaura asks…How to get smoke off furniture & displaying old family photos.?My husband's grandmo…ow to get smoke off furniture & displaying old family photos.?My husband's grandmother passed [...]

  15. [...] by Erie Construction. Follow Erie Construction on Twitter for more home improvement updates. People find coziness in the well-worn familiarity of old things. Even jeans are being sold pre-faded…ty of old things. Even jeans are being sold pre-faded and broken-in. Why not give your home that [...]

  16. [...] // Sharpening Your RelationshipMy Life With Crohn’s Disease – A Little Bit LongerOld Furniture- New FinishAirport Tycoon 3 : Download Game Full VersionHow To: Repurpose, Reuse, Refinish Furniture [...]

  17. [...] of Pintoy Junior Wooden Table : [wpramaprice asin="B0002VZ11U"] Pintoy Junior Wooden Table Pintoy Junior Chair (Pink) Wooden chair with a pink seatDelivered flat pa…ages/I/41JYESHXMQL._SL160_.jpg" />Pintoy Junior Wooden Table Pintoy Junior Chair (Pink) Wooden [...]

  18. [...] go online and discover exciting and excellent discounted perfumes and discount perfumes. Have fun! A house that clean, neat, and attractively decorated would surely attract the attention of potential…rchitectural features of your house. Keep reading to learn a few tips you can follow about having a [...]

  19. [...] Price: $11.99 Your Amazon Price: $6.95 Jobar International JB5658 total Furniture Repair System Jobar International JB5658 total Furniture Repair System Furniture repair systemHelps you restore sc…" alt="Jobar International JB5658 total Furniture Repair System" [...]

  20. [...] buy, or read details about Pansies in a Basket – Click Here Now for Pansies in a Basket () Pansies in a Basket Pansies in a Basket These Pansies in a Basket are a great addition to your pati…698236" title="Pansies in a Basket">Pansies in a Basket Pansies in a Basket These Pansies in a [...]

  21. [...] here for more chair design idea. Designed by Seyhan Ozdemir and Sefer Caglar for Autoban, Nest, unique seat that comes with shell al…air by Seyhan Ozdemir and Sefer Caglar" width="600" [...]

  22. [...] children furniture info and also testimonials. Much more Inexpensive Kids Furnishings Items Tanto Instructors Gadget Organizer, Main Shades cheap children furniture — click the picture benea…%3Dbestrouterinf-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB000067PTO" [...]

  23. [...] piece of furniture look exciting. You can paint wooden furniture, replace knobs or recover chairs. Simple Organic is a great blog for finding some ‘green’ advice on how to reuse things that you don’t longer [...]

  24. [...] Free Reports and More! Automatically Uploads into RealProspect 2010 software! Reim Complete Package Kitchen Table Profit System A complete system that gives you freedom of being able to spend All of …ge If You're A Real Estate Investor… Discover the Secrets of Powerful Direct Mail Marketing. Also [...]

  25. [...] With breathtaking panorama set in the heart of the Alps as pure spring water one can truly relax.From time to time, we find that nice outdoor weather inspires us to venture outside and enjoy the na…your eyes. The increase of professional advice, the quality of housing and work space, now offers [...]

  26. [...] adjustment is an adjustable stop behind the trigger to control the volume of fluid being sprayed. Guest post written by : David Crader Spray finishing equipment represents a major investment unless …g system consists of an air compressor with air lines or hoses, an air pressure regulator, a [...]

  27. [...] With a little tender loving care you can make it beautiful again or find a new use for it.  Here and here are some ideas to spark your [...]

  28. [...] How To: Repurpose, Reuse, Refinish Furniture | Simple HomemadeApr 30, 2010 … a how-to post with great ideas for repurposing, re-using, and refinishing furniture in new and creative ways, so you can save money and use … [...]

  29. [...] rub the leather conditioner into the nap of the leather gently until the entire surface is covered.If you have leather club furniture installed in your rooms, protecting it from wear and tear is esse…a monthly routine to make sure that your leather furniture stays looking fresh and healthy. A proper [...]

  30. [...] Pero si lo que falta es una mesa para poner: libros, llaves, lámparas o cosas personales podemos optar por apilar maletas a la altura que queramos. Fuente: SimpleHomeMade  [...]

  31. Haarausfall stoppen…

    How To: Repurpose, Reuse, Refinish Furniture…

  32. Displays a Winning Personality

    Great information it is definitely. My father has been awaiting for this information.

Share Your Thoughts


CommentLuv badge