Rather than discarding dated furnishings, breathe new life into … through creative DIY makeovers. With some paint, stain or upholstery love, tired pieces regain their charm and become stylish home accents. With these simple techniques, you can turn tired hand-me-downs into treasures.

    Painting Wood Furniture

    A fresh coat of paint camouflages scratches and years of wear on wood furniture.

    • Sand surfaces smooth, then wipe away dust.
    • For a smooth finish, apply primer followed by 2-3 coats of paint, sanding lightly between each coat.
    • For texture, try faux finishes like dry brushing, glazing or stenciling on top of paint.

    Staining Wood

    Stain revitalizes natural wood grain without hiding flaws like dings.

    • Sand wood well, then clean off residue before staining.
    • Wipe on a coat of stain with the grain, then wipe off excess.
    • Apply a protective topcoat of polyurethane or wax for a rich transformation.


    Reupholstering is affordable upholstery DIY.

    • Remove old fabric and padding, cleaning frames thoroughly.
    • Staple or tack new fabric tautly in place.
    • Re-stuff with fresh foam or fiber, securing edges.


    New knobs, pulls or feet update looks without effort.

    • Source vintage-style hardware at thrift shops or flea markets.
    • Consider metallic finishes, unique shapes or mixed materials.

    With some simple fixes, you can update old pieces to feel fresh again. Furniture makeovers save money while reducing landfill waste – and the results will make you smile.