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Thursday, 25 November 2010

Frugal Furniture Makeover Tips - New Looks for Less: Guest Post

When my grandparents recently moved, an entire house full of furniture came along too. Like any good movers, they arrived, unpacked, and then promptly decided they wanted all new furniture. We listed many pieces for sale online, but one TV cabinet really caught my eye. It was a light wood and had horrible glass panes with dated brass d├ęcor running through them, and shiny brassy knobs. What I saw was a modern black painted cabinet, with shiny new panes of glass and pewter knobs. After a trip to the hardware store and my DIY project, it was nearly unrecognizable. With some elbow grease and a little imagination, try the tips below to begin your own furniture transformations:

Replacing Hardware

When making over a piece of recycled furniture, one of the easiest ways to transform it is to simply replace the hardware. Changing dated, scratched and damaged handles and knobs will bring new life into your table or cabinet and can completely change the style. Replacing hardware is unbelievably inexpensive in the world of DIY when making over one piece of furniture. Pewter knobs, brushed steel handles, and even custom mosaics are available. The limit of imagination is simply your hardware store’s selection and your budget. For more unique handles and knobs, try searching online.

Using Slipcovers

Aside from a dining set, sofas and loveseats are one of the most expensive pieces of furniture. They are also one of the most often given as a hand me down, from friends, family, and even grandma. The new-to-you-set may be the wrong color and print, but don’t let it deter you from making the most out of it. Instead, use sofa covers to cover the overbearing florals or out-of-date pastels. They are easy to put over existing furniture, and affordable. Many modern fabrics like micro suede and cotton duck are available.

Staining Furniture

When staining wood furniture, it’s important to take the time to prepare the wood, as the finish is only as good as the preparation work that’s been put into it. The entire process involves sanding, staining, and sealing. Furniture should be bleached if the surface has stains, rings, or water spots. After this step is completed, move on to sanding. Always work with the grain, because going against will result in permanent scratches. Sand the entire piece of furniture with a sanding block, brush off or wipe the wood down, and move to staining and sealing, following the directions on the tin. A piece of furniture can go from casually discarded to coveted with a good wood stain, so choose carefully, especially if you’re trying to blend it in with other pieces in the room.

Reusing and recycling furniture doesn’t have to be hard, and can save you hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars. Use your imagination and use these tips to refinish your old pieces, giving them a custom look and a brand new feel for just a few dollars.

This article has been contributed by Caroline Smith, who has written guest posts for many blog and runs a website all about furniture covers. Caroline takes pride in her thriftiness and loves working on frugal projects to create unique items for her house.

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