Furniture Facelift on a Budget

If you’re in the market for furniture you may be stunned by sticker shock of new pieces that don’t boast the quality of furniture made in days gone by. A quick stroll through your local thrift or consignment shop might yield plenty of well-made furniture, but it’s likely that it’s dated or not quite your style. But there are some thrifty ways to add quality pieces to your home by giving this old furniture a new look.

  1. Solid wood furniture comes in a variety of finishes that may or may not be suited to your tastes. Depending on the decade in which it was made, the wood might be stained dark, giving it a heavy appearance. Or it might be yellowed with age. Keep in mind that solid wood furniture can be sanded and re-stained, giving the piece an entirely different look.
  2. Some purists might consider it sacrilege, but painting old wood furniture is the fastest way to modernize its look. You can paint it to match your existing pieces or opt to go with an accent color that will provide a burst of color to your space.
  3. Change the hardware. From knobs on desks and end tables, to drawer pulls on old dressers, hardware can totally change the appearance of a piece. Have fun and experiment with a mix of modern and vintage hardware.
  4. Take it off. If you find a quality armoire or sideboard, consider removing some or all of the doors to allow for open storage. This immediately lightens the appearance of the piece and gives it a different look. Fill any screw holes with wood putty and lightly sand them before painting or staining.
  5. Embrace imperfections. Old wood furniture will no doubt have its share of dings and scrapes. While you should consider repairing any major damages, keep in mind that your vintage piece has seen decades of use. These time-worn details give the piece character and make it unique.