3R’s for your furniture: Repurpose, reuse and refinish

By , on September 3, 2013

Are you enticed to buy a new piece of furniture every time you see new prints and patterns on magazines and websites?

Better rethink this decision, because there are better uses for your hard-earned money.

What you can do: repurpose, reuse and refinish.

refinished cabinet


Pieces of furniture should move. If you were a furniture, you wouldn’t want to get stuck in one place forever, right? It smacks of boring.

Weather changes, the light moves, some days it is brighter than others. If spring is in the air, you would want your chairs to be near your window so you can get a closer look at budding flowers.

Or it could be that time has flown and that corner cabinet that previously held books, and then diapers, can be repurposed to hold kitchen wares now that your babies have grown.

Chairs and stools can also be tables and hold books and that little flowerpot or your teakettle. Some things that absolutely have to be inside can also be moved outside in summer. What’s outside can also go in, like that patio table that would look great at the corner. You can almost see yourself opening your letters there.

refinished dressers


A bit of creativity and resourcefulness will allow you to reuse your pieces of furniture.

Take your outdated couch. You can sass it up by using a colorful slipcover and newly-sewn cases for your throw pillows. If you feel up to it, you can even sew in a bit of bows, a pattern, or non-precious gems for that bling appeal.

Your dining room chairs can also have some work up. All you need is new fabric (think colorful, or stripes, or do you want your kitchen to have that blue and white porcelain china look?). You also need a staple gun or a glue gun or small nails.

Missing cabinet doors? Not a problem. An elegant fabric or wallpaper (think Japanese paper) can serve as a cover to hide (yet not completely) what’s inside. You can also use a tension rod and curtains.

If you have a tall table that you are already bored with, you can also cut the legs to turn it to a coffee table or a card table or a table for the kids.

Running out of bookshelves? See those drawers? Take them out of the chest, add a bit of color or stain them,  prop them up (or not) and voila, you have instant bookshelves.

white paint furniture


Expensive good quality wood furniture lasts forever but along the way, they would lose their lustre and their appeal. But a little refinishing, from time to time, would solve all that. Don’t be afraid to sandpaper and get the stain closest to it. If you make a mistake, sand away again.

A coat of paint can change pieces of furniture and rooms. With the paint selection and instructions on the internet these days, it’s one of those easy DIY. Gone are the days when you would need to call the professional painter.

A room that’s too dark? The best way is to paint one of the larger walls with a lighter color. Yes, just one wall will do.

If you prefer a rustic feel for some of your pieces of furniture, mahogany paint color is the way to go. Stripping may also do the trick.

If you have pieces of furniture that don’t have the same finish or wood color, solve the problem by painting them with the same color, or change the colors further (just stick to the color’s opposite in the color wheel). You will be glad that you did.

The artist in me cries out for design. – Robert Frost