3 Ways to Repurpose Old Furniture

If you want to give your furniture a revamp, a makeover, or just make it more trendy, take a look at these three ways to repurpose old furniture.



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Ready to replace your old furniture with something fresh and new? Before you hit the furniture shops, you should know that with a little creativity and not a lot of money, you can transform tired furniture into pieces you will love and enjoy for years to come. It’s called 'repurposing' and it’s great for the environment and your bank account. So if you’re ready for some inexpensive ideas to improve an apartment or home, sit back in that comfy old chair with the wobbly leg and take a look at these three ways to repurpose old furniture





1. Colourization

While applying a fresh coat of paint to a piece of furniture may not seem like repurposing, the reality is that everything depends on the finish.

For example, take a small dark bookcase that may have been right at home in grandfather’s den, give it a coat of bright and cheerful paint, and watch it transform into a playful place for kids to stash their toys.


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By the same token, giving a distressed vintage look to an otherwise boring dresser qualifies it for a new place of prominence in a living room or bedroom. When selecting paints to colourize your furniture, be sure to choose water-based, chalk or milk paints, as they have little to none of the potentially harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are found in petroleum-based paints. And you don’t always have to use paint, either.


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An old steel filing cabinet decorated with paint and wallpaper will make a nice new addition to your home office.


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2. Alteration

In the true spirit of “repurposing”, pieces of furniture can be altered, modified, and adapted to serve entirely different functions. The key is to look at what you have with a different perspective. Use your imagination and look at furniture, not for what it is, but for what it could become.


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Alteration can be as simple as turning an old wooden door on its side and using it as a one-of-a-kind headboard for your bed. Or, it can be a bit more complicated, such as sawing a four-legged table in half and repainting it to create a two or three-legged side table or console for the entryway.

If you find yourself lacking ideas and furniture, you can surf the Internet for examples of altered pieces that you like, and then take a trip to the local thrift or second-hand furniture store to buy the piece you need inexpensively.







Through the magic of repurposing, stepladders become nightstands, old wooden shutters become wall organizers, antique bookcases become bars, and old trunks or stacked suitcases become bedside tables. The beauty of altering furniture and other items is that you are not limited by your imagination or your budget.


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Add small personal touches to add character and charm to your painted furniture.



3. Personalization

We’ve all been to houses where the furnishings seemed to fit the occupants perfectly. The furniture in your home or apartment can make the same statement when you give it that personal touch. If you have a green thumb, and an old neglected dresser with a stained or scratched top, try decoupaging the colourful fronts of paper seed packets to give the dresser a cosy country feel and unique style that compliments you.


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Other items great for decoupaging furniture are old maps, postcards, sheet music, vintage or reproduction sports cards—pretty much anything that lies flat and makes a complementary statement about you or another member of your family. If you have artistic tendencies, try doing a simple painted design or decorative stencil on a side table or dresser. The goal with personalization is to do something with the furniture that makes it yours.

Try these repurposing tips and you’ll not only have fun and save money, but you will experience the satisfying feeling that comes from taking old pieces of furniture that have seen better days and making them fresh and new again.




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