Tips for Transforming Unloved Furniture

I think it’s probably quite clear to you by now that I’m a big fan of DIY! I love putting my own mark on my home decor, and one of my favourite ways to do this is by upcycling furniture.

With a few small changes you can easily breathe new life into pieces you already own or snag a bargain by turning that dusty, unwanted piece at the back of a second shop into something that turns heads. So, if this is something that appeals to you, read on, because today I want to share with you some simple ways that you can spruce up drab furniture and give it a style of your own!

Grey shelves with hairpin legs styled with a ukulele, a record player on top and some houseplants.
Once upon a time these shelves were nothing special, but after a two tone paint job and the addition of some hairpin legs they became one of my favourite pieces!


This isĀ such an easy and affordable option and it works for all manner of items!

Depending on the material you’re working with, you will need to pick the right paint. For example, chalk paint can be used for wooden furniture, whereas metals and plastics are best off spray painted.

Before you paint, make sure you sand the furniture down to take off any existing varnish or paint. Next, use a tack cloth to take off dust, ensuring a smooth finish.

Using the same colour scheme for more than one item of furniture is also great way to tie together mismatched pieces and give the illusion of a coordinated set.


If you’re looking to give new life to something wooden and you’re more of a fan of raw wood than painted, then this is an option for you! Although bear in mind that this can’t be used for laminate wood.

Clean off and sand down your piece of furniture and give it a coat with a stain of your choice from your local hardware shop. Simple! For protection and for a more polished look you might also want to finish the piece with a coat of clear wax or varnish afterwards.


For drawers and cupboards it’s amazing what a difference new handles can make. They’re so easy to pick up from your local hardware shop and they really can transform a piece! You can opt for a simple and classic update or you can have some fun and pick something quirky!


From simply re-covering the seat cushion of a dining chair, right the way through to reupholstering an entire sofa, this is another option that can completely change the look of a piece of furniture.

For those of you looking for a thrifty option, why not take a look online for tutorials that show you how to do DIY upholstery with nothing but your chosen fabric and a staple gun. Alternatively, you can take trickier or larger items to a professional to have them recovered. This isn’t necessarily a cheaper option, but it’s great if you want to give an item a personal touch and sometimes it can still work out cheaper than buying an item new.


This is another option for those of you who enjoy a bit of a DIY project! It’s a great way to update pieces that could benefit from a bit of extra height, or that already have legs, but ones that look a bit outdated. Take a look online or at your local hardware shop to see what options are out there.

Personally, I love a good set of hairpin legs. They’re great for adding a mid-century or industrial look to a piece of furniture and they come in a wide range of lengths, from super short right up to dining table height, making them an extremely versatile option. They’re also very affordable and easy to attach with a drill and a few screws.


Sometimes existing pieces of furniture can be transformed with a simple switcheroo. Take a look at an item you’re not sure about and picture it in a different space. Perhaps it would fit better in a different part of the room, or in a different room altogether.


I hope these tips have given you a good starting point for your own upcycling projects. Remember, though, the most important thing is to be creative! Draw inspiration from decor pieces you like and think about ways to incorporate the styles you love!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *