How to Give Tired-Looking Furniture a Facelift
Everyone likes to have a fresh, comfortable, interesting, and aesthetically pleasing home. But it’s not always financially viable to replace pieces that are starting to show their years with grubby finishes and peeling paintwork. And for the fashion-conscious among us, it can be difficult to keep up with the frequent changes in the trends of interior design.
So if you’ve got a tired-looking table in need of a facelift, a sad sofa that desperately needs some TLC, or a wardrobe that’s bringing down the whole room, read on: here are four great ways to transform furniture from old and boring to bright and beautiful.
- Surface touches
A furniture facelift doesn’t always need to be extreme, expensive, or time-consuming. Sometimes all it takes is a touch of style here and there to completely change the appearance of a piece.
For sofas, wash removable covers if you have them, or brush and sponge off stains and grubby patches on fixed fabrics. Spice things up with some new and vibrant cushions, or add a bold throw to complement the colours of your décor.
Giving hard furniture like tables, chairs and wardrobes a good scrub can make the world of difference. Place fresh flowers in a striking vase or add an attention-grabbing feature ornament to turn a mundane object into a pedestal for an interesting piece of art.
Decoupage is the gluing of paper or fabric pieces onto a surface, followed by layers of varnish to give a distinctive and attractive look. It can transform any hard surface from aged and grubby to interesting and fresh.
You can get creative with the materials you use to decorate: try newspaper cuttings, sheet music, printed flowers, illustrations from old books, wrapping paper, wallpaper, fabrics, or tissue paper. Use them to embellish and enhance flowerpots, table tops, chair-backs, chests of drawers, wardrobes, lamps, or even floors and walls.
Prepare the surface by filling holes and sanding, followed by priming or refinishing if necessary. Cut out your decoupage material and stick to the surface with specialist glue, or standard white glue if your budget is tight. Leave to dry and then add at least five, and up to thirty, layers of spray lacquer (again, specialised decoupage lacquer is best).
- New hardware
Many pieces of furniture can be given a new lease of life by changing or adding handles, knobs, feet, brackets, hinges, or clasps. Keep a lookout at boot sales and in charity shops for interesting or antique sets, or even individual, mismatched ones for a quirky look. Alternatively, buy a matching new set for a modern, sleek and stylish effect that will change the aspect of an outdated piece and tie it in with both contemporary trends and your interior décor.
- A lick of paint
Painting or repainting an old piece of furniture is one of the cheapest and most impactful ways of giving a fresh look and feel. Start by removing any hardware, filling in any dings or grooves, then sanding the surface; you don’t need to remove the existing finish, but you need to roughen the surface to give the new paint something to adhere to.
For a completely smooth finish, use spray paint, holding the can upright and at a uniform distance from the surface you’re spraying. Do at least two coats for even coverage.
For a more rustic or textured look, use a paintbrush to paint the piece of furniture, taking care to apply the paint evenly. Allow it dry and then add a second coat. Protect the finish with water-based lacquer, polyurethane or a thin coat of clear paste wax for durability.
For a statement piece to perk-up a drab or dull room, use stencils to create patterns, shapes or stripes, or use two contrasting or complementary paint colours to add interest.
From the simple and stylish to the more complex and involve, use these techniques to rejuvenate your existing furniture without shelling out for new pieces, transforming your house from drab to delightful without draining your bank balance.