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13 Easy Upgrades That Will Make Your Old Furniture Look New

Turn your old furniture from drab to fab with these innovative ideas.

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Try Contact Paper or Fabric

Is your nightstand or side table in dire need of an upgrade? Contact paper or fabric can fix that in a jiff! The materials are offered in a wide range of colors and designs, allowing you to personalize almost any flat surface. Check out these 14 not-tacky ways to use contact paper.

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Family Handyman

Refinish Your Furniture (Without Stripping!)

That antique kitchen table and that well-loved stool could use a pick-me-up, don’t you think? You can refinish your furniture to look new again and fit with the times by cleaning, repairing and restoring old worn finishes without using messy chemical strippers. Here’s how to refinish furniture without messy, toxic stripping.

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drawer hardware tightening

Upgrade Your Hardware

While installing new cabinets and doors may be out of your budget, hardware is affordable and can make a major difference! Make your dated cabinets look a bit newer with some sleek new stainless steel knobs.

Here’s how to install cabinet hardware.

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paint furniture chairKristina Ratobilska/Getty Images

Paint Old Furniture

If the finish is dated or wear and tear has gotten the best of some of your furniture, a simple paint job will do! If you’re all about the farmhouse style, you’ll love an upgraded “lived in and loved” look with layers of patina and gray-toned white paint. Learn how to paint furniture in the farmhouse style.

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Add Cushions to Dining Chairs

Give your dining chairs a face lift by adding comfort and new style. These printed plush cushions feature geometric patterns and colors that will have people asking, “Did you get new chairs? They’re fun!”

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Add a Tablecloth

If your dining room table is looking a bit worse for wear these days, give it new life with a chic tablecloth. A bright color in an otherwise bland room will add character, while a white tablecloth will give your space a crisp, clean appearance. Try these 14 traditional-style home decor ideas that are still cool.

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Style with Stencils

If you love the look of your piece of furniture, and merely want to add a layer of intrigue, try stenciling. A small design can make a big change, allowing a tired piece of furniture to look new again. If you’d like to add stencils to a wall, you’ll find complete instructions here.

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Reupholster Dining ChairsFamily Handyman

Reupholster Your Chairs

Upholstery trends come and go, but a solid chair is forever. When the fabric rips, fades or is simply dated, you can reupholster! DIYers will save major bucks by doing the job themselves, and it only takes a couple of hours. Here’s everything you need to know about reupholstering a chair.

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Embellish Upholstered Pieces

If your furniture could use a touch of glam, go ahead and upgrade it quickly, easily and cheaply. Whether it’s your upholstered sofa or your bed’s padded headboard, you can purchase upholstery nails in your favorite finish and add them to your pieces for a whole new look.

Here are 15 home renovations that you can complete right now, that will add value to your home.

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Warm toned living room with accent pillowsKatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images

Add Throw Pillows

Sometimes flattened throw pillows can make the furniture they’re sitting on look tired. New throw pillows, on the other hand, can change everything. Use complementary colors, like yellow pillows on a blue couch.

Here are 20 inexpensive ways to make your home look more expensive.

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SprayGeo Martinez/Shutterstock

Spray Paint Almost Anything

Spray paint is an easy way to upgrade furniture without spending a lot of money or time. With proper surface preparation, you can apply a first-rate painted finish yourself. Here are 12 tips for perfect spray paint every time.

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mirror New Africa/shutterstock

Use Mirrors

If the finish of your old furniture is making a room feel outdated, cover it with inexpensive acrylic mirror material. Go to the hardware store and have it cut to size. If your dresser is looking drab, it’s the perfect opportunity for you to cover it in mirrors for a high-end look.

Check out these 15 ideas on how to make a small room look bigger.

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Use a Slipcover on Your Sofa

That beautiful sofa of yours may have seen better days, but if the structure and cushions are fine, why not cover up the fading, stained fabric with a fresh coverup? If you’re going for a lighter look, choose a cream slipcover. It may seem like a bold choice until you realize you can take it off and wash it! If your cats are ruining your sofa, check out this tip.

If you have a microfiber couch, it’s easy to clean yourself. Here’s how.

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Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer, currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty and scientific news. Follow her traveling adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected] and check out her website: