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Refurbishing your Old Furniture

Refurbishing your Old Furniture

 We all have that one chair, it has scrapes on its legs, a wear spot on the seat, and maybe a chip in the arm from all the times you have jostled it from place to place.  You love your chair regardless of its condition, but its aesthetic is dated and worn. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a piece of furniture that anyone can buy, take some advice from Ida York Design Group. Go forth with confidence and start refurbishing your old furniture.

1. Changing the Color

Furniture is a long-term investment necessary to crafting a stylized home that is comfortable and unique to you. Your style will evolve over time and it’s important that your furniture is able to withstand these changes. Changing the color of any piece of furniture is an easy way to start the refurbishing process. It will require you to get a little dirty and have a workspace with good ventilation or work outdoors. Remove existing hardware and upholstered pieces before you start painting to avoid damage. Your first step is to lightly sand the areas you wish to paint. A sandpaper with a grit of 100 should work well for this job. The abrasion allows the paint to properly adhere to the new surface. For your safety sand in well-ventilated areas. Paint particles contain hazardous dust that should be avoided. Your next step is to clean all the dust and debris from the affected area. If this step is not done your new paint will get dust and dirt in it, preventing a clean finish.

Before New Paint Photo Credit: Britney Schreck

2. Choosing a paint

Two types of paint primarily used on furniture are oil-based paint and latex based paint. Latex based paint with a clear coat of water-based polyurethane is best for repainting furniture that has been refinished before. This paint dries faster than oil-based paint, protects the surface, and is easier to change in five years when you’re ready to refresh your space again. An important note, oil-based polyurethane tends to yellow with time. Water-based polyurethane will continuously stay clear. Oil Based paints are great for raw wood. Oil-based paint soaks into raw wood which takes longer to dry. This creates a more durable finish that hides chips and scratches easier. Whatever paint you chose, refer to the manufacturer’s suggestions on dry time to ensure the best finish possible.



After New Paint Photo Credit: Britney Schreck





3. Recover the Seat

Taking accurate and thorough measurements is the best way to achieve a beautiful and successful refurbished chair. Your seat height must include ny new foam added to your chair. Buy six to twelve inches extra of fabric to attach underneath the cushion base. Grab a friend and a heavy-duty stapler for this next step, your project will go faster and be more enjoyable. Working together, pull the fabric tight across the surface it’s being adhered to and staple it to the base of the cushion. Your furniture is on its way to looking brand new in no time.

Chair Upholstery Example
Semper Style Chair Upholstery Process



4. Using Decoupage

Exercises all your creative muscles and try something new to refurbish your old furniture. Decoupage is the process of gluing paper to a surface with Mod Podge, letting it dry, and putting a durable clear coat over the top. The options for paper are virtually limitless, any scrapbooking paper, wrapping paper, napkins, tissue paper, or even birthday cards are just a few of the possibilities. The first step with decoupage is to sand and clean the wood surface you want to cover. Next, cut the paper to the correct size and apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the surface of your furniture. Stick the paper in place and use your hand to firmly smooth it out. After the Mod Podge has dried, apply two more thin coats to the top of the paper. The final step is to apply a thin coat of Minwax water-based polyurethane to add longevity and durability to your project.

My Desired Home Decoupage Dresser



Oak Furniture Blog Decoupage Dresser


Photo Credit: Britney Schreck

5. Changing out the Hardware

Celebrating the original finishes on your favorite piece of furniture is a great way to preserve its history and original character. Changing out the drawer pulls or knobs is a low-risk change that allows you to return any hardware you don’t use or like. This can drastically change the look of any drawer or door from traditional to modern or contemporary to rustic through size, color, and aesthetic.

Dresser with Rustic Pulls
Dresser with Modern Pulls


Salvaged Inspirations Sewing Table


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Thanks for taking the time to learn a little about refurbishing furniture from us, stay tuned for more design tips, tricks, and info about all the awesome things happening at Ida York Design Group. If you have a topic you would like to learn more about email and we are happy to consider it.