When searching for furniture these days, it’s basically a crime to buy everything new when you can get better quality furniture very cheaply or even for free by hunting around salvage yards, vintage stores or internet marketplaces.
Never disregard a piece of furniture you’ve found because it’s the wrong color or looks a little unloved. With a bit of elbow grease and a lick of paint, you can restore its former glory and have a unique piece for your home.
Here are some ideas to get you started on your home décor salvage hunt!
- How to Repaint Wooden Furniture
Got some beat up old chairs, a weathered wardrobe or a scrappy coffee table? Get it all polished up in no time by following these simple steps:
- If it’s already painted, scrape off old cracked paint with a scraper, being careful not to gouge the wood
- Sand smooth with a sander or by hand with sandpaper
- Make sure you get in all the crevices (which will need to be done by hand)
- Evenly coat the piece with a priming spray. Go for a white spray if you plan to paint it a light color, or darker spray for going underneath dark colors
- Grab your brush and start painting with your desired color once the primer is dry (leave for 24 hours to be sure)
- Apply a second coat. Ensure there are no drips and the priming color is not showing through
- Spray with a clear coat for a layer of sheen, again waiting 24 hours to allow paint to dry
- Enjoy your new furniture!
- How to Re-Upholster Soft Furnishings
If you have a chair or a sofa with worn and frayed upholstery, it can be saved! Go fabric hunting to find your perfect material then get to work re-upholstering to give it a new lease of life.
- Remove old fabric from the bottom-up: you will need to turn a sofa upside-down to do this
- Cut your new fabric with careful measurements, leaving extra room for attaching seams
- Sew the material together ensuring all measurements are correct
- Attach material to the furniture: you’ll need a heavy-duty staple gun, available online or from hardware stores (follow the link to find a guide to buying the best staple gun)
- Ensure you are pulling material taut as you attach it
- Once all is attached, step back and admire your work!
- Repurpose Old Wooden Posts
Once you’ve treated and painted them by following the steps in item 1, old wooden porch or stair posts can be used for a variety of things: use them as legs for a new table or desk or attach hooks and feet to use as a coat rail. Use your imagination!
- Make a Bench Table
Old benches can make lovely side tables or even small children’s desks. Follow the wood treatment steps in item 1 and enjoy a unique side table for your lounge, kitchen or bedroom. For a children’s desk, paint it a bright color and decorate with a matching lamp and chair.
- Eclectic Dining Set
Dining chairs are expensive to buy new, and thrift stores are full of them. The only problem is that they rarely come in sets – you’d be extremely lucky to find a whole set of 4 or more chairs. Your best bet is to find as many as you want that are the same height and repaint or upholster them in the same color and fabric to create your own eclectic dining situation. Paint your table to match and you’ve got a whole new shabby chic dining set.
- Upcycled Lamps
Practically any hollow object can be turned into a lamp if you wire it up, and some of the best objects for this purpose is large old glass bottles. Create a distinctive lamp for your home by installing wiring from an old lamp into the bottle, then salvaging a beautiful light shade to go on top.
Author: Ellie Wiseman