3 Steps for Revamping Lackluster Furniture

Redesign a focal point with a fresh coat of paint.
Redesign a focal point with a fresh coat of paint.
Courtesy of Homemadesimple.com

We're all familiar with the old idiom, "One man's trash is another man's treasure." Well, that same wisdom applies to home décor. Seemingly outdated furniture is a fantastic low-price solution for your interior design needs. We'll show you how, with a little cleaning and paint, this "trash" will become the "treasure" of your home.

When most people look at a dirty, old piece of furniture, they see something ready for the garbage, when perhaps they should begin to see the possibilities. You can actually find furnishings and odds and ends that can become artistic canvases for as little as a dollar.

1. Redesign with New Purpose

Take this three-dollar box found at an antique store. While its original use maybe a mystery, its future prospects are limitless. As part of a floral or spring collection, it would be perfect for mail, rolled towels on the bathroom counter, or anything else you can imagine. With a bit of cleaning and paint, it becomes something usable-and beautiful.

2. Keep it Simple

The crate is one of the most popular pieces to restore because of its versatility. It can be used to store toys or shoes or even on its side as a bookcase. Instead of trying to mask what it is, embrace the innate beauty of its simplicity.

3. Choose your Muse

Remember that everyone's inner artist is not the same, so decorate within your artistic means. Sometimes the most basic touch ups to these pieces are the most meaningful. A little paint and some very simple decorations can go a long way.

A great source for ideas are children's books because their illustrations are often simple, yet effective. For additional inspiration though, look everywhere-a scrap of fabric, a swatch of wallpaper, books, magazines. Whatever catches your eye can be an source of creativity now-or later.


  1. Clean the item. Steel wool is good. Limit sanding if at all possible, since there's no way of knowing what type of paint was used before.
  2. Patch the holes, if necessary, with plastic wood or wood filler, similar to patching a plaster wall. Simply smooth it with your finger.
  3. Paint with an all-purpose primer. Follow label instructions.
  4. Paint as desired. Basic paint from the craft store works well.
  5. Decorate if desired. Use stamps, available at most craft stores, as a quick and easy way to add some fun to your project. Try practicing on a paper bag until you feel comfortable with your design or use dots made with a large brush. Stencils or freehand can also be used.
  6. Protect the item by spraying it with sprayable polyurethane, varnish, or sealer.