Fresh Starts: 20 Ways to Give New Life to Old Furniture

If you’re giving yourself a fresh start for 2018—new haircut, workout routine, healthy habits—give your furniture a New Year’s refresh with these 20 tutorials that will restore, revitalize, or totally redo your favorite wood, metal, leather, vinyl, marble, and upholstered pieces.


Strip It

If you find yourself in possession of a piece that has potential, but its wood is buried under layers of paint, bring out its natural beauty and let it shine.

Polish It

Restore the finish of beloved wood pieces with a good polishing. This post includes instructions for polishing furniture that just needs a refresh as well as pieces that need a deeper conditioning preceded by a light stripping.

Oil It

Prevent drying and cracking by regularly applying a coat of the delightfully named Feed-N-Wax wood conditioner.

Paint It: Wood

Want painted wood furniture with an absolutely perfect silky-smooth finish? Follow every step of this tutorial to the letter and your final product will look fabulously professional.

Paint It & Distress It

But sometimes you don’t want your furniture to have a perfect silky-smooth finish! Follow these thorough instructions for a charmingly distressed look.

Stain It

Stain can seem a bit mysterious and intimidating, but it is an incredible substance for achieving subtle and sophisticated results.

Adorn It

This post covers everything to keep in mind when it’s time to upgrade your hardware and even includes instructions for going from a knob to a handle (or vice versa).

Leather & Vinyl

Clean It: Leather

The secret ingredients behind clean leather furniture are lemon juice and cream of tartar.

Condition It

In the same amount of time it takes to complete a 10-step skincare regime, you can moisturize and revitalize your leather furniture.

Plump It

This is one of the smartest tutorials with the most bang for your bucks. Check out the before and after photos—the sofa goes from looking saggy-baggy to luxuriously plump.

Paint It: Leather

For just $13.50, this sofa went from the wrong color to the perfect shade of brown, and the feel of the painted surface is indistinguishable from that of the original leather.

Spray Paint It: Vinyl

Vinyl spray paint is a marvelous invention! I found the perfect dining room chairs for a song—well, perfect except for the fact that the seats were a muddy beige vinyl. Now they’ve been spray painted black and they look like high-quality black leather.


Clean It: Upholstery

No matter what other measures you’re taking to refresh your sofa, cleaning it thoroughly is the place to start. Ideally, this job would be tackled every three months, but it’s never too late to start. A vacuum with lots of attachments is the best tool for the job.

Clean It: Velvet

Velvet requires a little extra care, so clean it carefully with a refreshing mix of lemon juice and baking soda.

Defuzz It

For just $12.99, you can give your upholstered furniture—and sweaters, and so on—a new life. Give them a quick shave and they’ll look polished and fresh.

Reupholster It

Replace worn out and/or unattractive fabric—or add cushioning and comfort to a hard wooden seat—with this easy tutorial.

Cover It

Will warm weather into existence by tackling this project now. The drawstring nature of the covers make it easy to swap them out when they get worn—or you get sick of them.


De-Rust It

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