5 Tips for Reusing Old Furniture

Home Maintenance / Friday, July 26th, 2019

It seems that everyone has at least one or two pieces of furniture that they’ve had for quite a long time. Maybe that piece of furniture gets tons of use, or perhaps it’s sitting in the corner of your room collecting dust. Common items include side tables, bookcases, desks, or chairs. Often we hold on to these items because they have sentimental value. They might have been pieces of childhood furniture, or perhaps inherited from grandparents. Whatever the case, below you can find some easy ideas on how to breathe new life into these items. 


This is the simplest thing that you can do to transform your old furniture. Chances are, if you’ve owned something for years, the paint is either chipped or it’s a very outdated colour. Don’t be afraid to take a paint brush to your item and apply a more modern colour, such as white, beige, or grey. You can also get creative with the texture as well. Some paints leave a matte and chalky finish, while others leave a sleek and glossy finish. Find some inspiration online and try to mimic it at home.

Repainting furniture works especially well with items such as dressers, chairs, and cabinets. Keep in mind that you may need to strip the furniture first depending on its material. Once this is finished, apply a couple coats of paint and be sure to cover all angles. Once you finish, you’ll no longer have a dated-looking piece of furniture, but rather have one that complements the rest of your modern living space.

Add New Fixtures

This is where you can get quite creative. Sometimes our items don’t need a layer of paint, but still require a bit of modernization. In this case, you can either add or replace existing features of your furniture. If you have a bookshelf, some cabinets, or a dresser, consider replacing the handles or knobs. Oftentimes, these elements are the most dated-looking component of the furniture. Replacing these features can work wonders on the look of your item. You can attach sleek silver fixtures, glass fixtures, or go really trendy with brass fixtures. The options are endless!

Perhaps you don’t have furniture that requires handles or knobs –that’s okay! If you have an old lamp, consider replacing the lamp shade for a trendier look. Alternatively, if you have an item with old cushioning, consider adding a more modern cover to the item. Both of these options are relatively simple, but will dramatically transform the look of the item. For other pieces of furniture with storage functionality, consider replacing the decorations on these items. This creates focal points that will spruce up the overall look. 


When thinking about old items, you probably imagine them serving the same purpose as they always have. However, these items don’t have to be limited to their intended function. Try brainstorming different uses for them. You might discover that a different function serves your space much better!

The options are truly endless when it comes to repurposing. If you have an old bookshelf, consider turning it into a storage unit for your mudroom or converting it into a storage-friendly bench. If you have a vintage-looking door, consider refurbishing it into a beautiful mirror. Some have even taken wooden items, such as chairs and ladders, and transformed them into planters or towel hangers. Browse the internet to find some inspiration for your old items!

Final Thoughts

Some of these ideas require a little more time, while others can be completed in only a couple of hours. These ideas are not only intended for those interested in enhancing their home, but can also be helpful for home sellers. If you’re in the process of putting homes for sale, this is a cheaper alternative to buying new, trendy furniture as you stage your home. Check out sold prices in Toronto to see how sellers have used furniture to effectively stage their home.

If you mix these ideas with your own creativity, then you’ll be sure to transform your old items into ones you love! What are you waiting for? 

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