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Popular in Decorating

Fabulous Furniture Makeovers

Uncover the hidden charm of a cast-off piece with a bit of creative thinking and elbow grease.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Versatile Armoire

      Oversize armoires like this were designed to house bulky tube TVs. Even though flat screens are now the norm, these roomy pieces can still be in play.

    • Versatile Armoire

      Installing shelves added loads of storage to the former TV compartment. Fresh paint and a few style updates, including new hardware, provided a fresh face.

      Go to the next slide for the full how-to.

    • Armoire Step-by-Step

      Get the inside scoop on how we transformed this old armoire.

    • Repurpose a Table for Your Bath

      A bedside table isn't just for the bedroom. Go to the next slide to see what it can do in your bathroom.

    • Repurpose a Table for Your Bath

      In just a few simple steps, an old table can become a custom vanity at a fraction of the cost. First, sand the table to give it a smooth finish. To make room for the plumbing pipes, remove the drawer box and reattach the front panel of the drawer with a quality wood adhesive. For storage, you can add a shelf near the bottom of the vanity. Then paint the table. For a streak-free finish, use spray paint. To provide a waterproof surface around the sink, top the vanity with a piece of granite. (This one was free from a local stone company’s scrap pile.) After the drilled granite is placed on the table, drill through the tabletop  to accommodate plumbing pipes. A vessel sink with a single lever faucet is a perfect fit for this compact space.

    • Paint Upholstery

      You can transform dull upholstery fabric with the right kind of paint. Watch and learn the trick.

    • Add a Reflection

      A fresh coat of white paint and new hardware brought the hutch up-to-date, but a mercury glass treatment on the glass doors launches the refreshed hutch into one-of-a-kind territory. To create the look, spray the back of the glass with mirror spray paint (we used Krylon Looking Glass) according to the instructions on the paint can; we used five coats. Let dry. In a spray bottle, create a 1:1 vinegar and water mix and spray the painted surface with the mixture. Blot with a rag to remove small patches of paint. Respray with one coat of the mirror paint.

      Go to the next slide to learn how to paint furniture.

    • Reupholster a Chair

      How often do you see these chairs at flea markets, thrift stores, and secondhand shops? They have a great shape and sturdy construction but unsightly or worn-out upholstery. Fortunately, chairs like this one can be redeemed with a reupholstery job.

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      Reupholster a Chair

      Fun, fresh fabric gives this chair a renewed appearance. Reupholstering a chair involves some work, but the results are rewarding.

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      Revive an Institutional Table

      You've seen them at schools, conference centers, and libraries. Bring one of these institutional tables home and transform it into something a little more cozy.

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      Revive an Institutional Table

      Paint and leg covers, carved from medium-density fiberboard (MDF), gave this table character.

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      Refresh with Pattern

      Scratches and scuffs left this sideboard looking a little forelorn, but a vision to revive the piece with pattern turned it into a showpiece.

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      Refresh with Pattern

      Turquoise paint lightened the look of the sideboard, while glass pulls give it a vintage-meets-modern look. A herringbone pattern, drawn with a white paint pen on the doors, solidifies the sideboard's chic status.

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      Timeless Meets Trendy

      When the classics, such as this dining room chair, look a little stuffy for your taste, fresh finishes can help bring them into your style sphere.

      Shop more dining chairs!
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      Timeless Meets Trendy

      Bright yellow paint on the wood frame offers a modern, fun look to the chair, while a crocheted chevron-pattern seat cover masks the old velvet upholstery. The seat was removed and the cover was stretched over it and stapled into place, then simply reinstalled.

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      Tired to Revived Hutch

      The shabby condition of this hutch is no match for a savvy makeover starring molding.

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      Tired to Revived Hutch

      Layers of molding along the top and bottom add presence to the simple cabinet, as does bold sky blue paint. Rope molding outlines the doors, and the panels are accented with pretty medallions. The embellishments were rubbed with a decorating glaze to give the color depth.

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      Furnish an Entry

      This diamond-in-the-rough chest had a ripped top and rusty casters, but a seating area and plenty of storage space beneath the hinged lid made it perfect for an entryway.

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      Furnish an Entry

      Primer, two coats of white paint, a simple cushion, and new casters complete the exterior overhaul. For functional art above, paint an old frame to match the chest, insert a wallpaper sample, and secure branches with heavy-duty glue to create a hat rack.

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      Renew an Old Cart

      A dated tea cart was serviceable, but not much to look at.

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      Renew an Old Cart

      Sand, prime, and paint the cart to make it new again. When dry, use a pencil to sketch a simple design on the cart. Cut scrapbooking paper into small pieces, then use decoupage glue to secure the pieces over the design. Cover the finished motif with two more coats of decoupage glue.

    • Furniture Facelift
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      Video: DIY Nightstand

      Give an old nighstand a facelift with a fresh texture

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      Slipcover a Tired Ottoman

      This hand-me-down footstool had all the charm of a 1970s rec room. Colorful fabric and furniture feet give the ottoman a new life.

      Shop ottomans under $100!
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      Slipcover a Tired Ottoman

      Revamp a dull ottoman with a fun cover. Cut a circle of fabric for the top and a strip of fabric for the drop (remember to add seam allowances). Stitch covered piping along the top seam of the drop and a gathered ruffle along the bottom. Add five pockets made from contrasting fabric, inserting elastic into the top hem. Slip the cover over the ottoman. Screw painted legs to the bottom of the ottoman.

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      Rescue a Beat-Up Dresser

      Nondescript, used, and abused, this dresser was languishing in a thrift store at a rock-bottom price.

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      Rescue a Beat-Up Dresser

      Give the furniture a dose of character and contemporary styling with paint. Coat the top in a fun color that contrasts with the rest of the piece and add some painted furniture feet. Embellish the drawer fronts with pretty stencils. Remove the small damaged drawers in favor of small lined and labeled baskets. Create shadow boxes from the small drawers, line them with patterned paper, and hang on the wall.

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      Refurbish a Chair

      This past-its-prime chair had a scarred finish, dated detail, and lackluster fabric.

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      Refurbish a Chair

      Fresh paint and fabric give new life to the old chair. Remove fabric, cut away the decorative top, sand, prime, and paint the chair. When dry, add batting to increase loft and recover with updated fabric. Stencil a monogram on the chair back with fabric paint.

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      Freshen Up a Bookcase

      Basic and bland, this boring bookcase was functional but hid its potential.

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      Freshen Up a Bookcase

      Make your bookcase more useful with a drop-down desk and out-of-sight storage. Cut doors to size from Medium Density Fiberboard, then prime and paint the bookcase and doors. When dry, install the bottom door panel with French hinges and add the drop-down panel using hinges and chains. Finish the doors with a new knob and pull.

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      Salvage a Media Cart

      Unattractive TV carts like this one are cheap thrift shop regulars.

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      Salvage a Media Cart

      To turn an old castoff into a charming bedside table, start by removing the casters and replacing them with new wooden furniture feet. Prime and paint the cart. Remove the doors and decoupage the fronts with decorative paper. Cut a new back for the cart from í-inch plywood and decoupage it with coordinating paper. Add new knobs to the doors and reinstall.

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      Repurpose TV Trays

      Dated TV trays -- must-haves in family rooms of the 60s and 70s -- are a dime a dozen at tag sales and thrift stores. The uninspiring printed motifs have little to offer for today's interiors.

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      Repurpose TV Trays

      Reimagine these former workhorses as modern artwork with trendy silhouettes. After priming and painting the trays to match your decor, print a decorative pattern onto magnetic paper using an ink-jet printer. Trace interesting shapes onto the magnetic paper, cut them out with scissors, and place the designs on the metal trays.

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      Remake Your Bed

      A cast-off bed had a decorative silhouette but the finish was dreary and damaged.

      Shop our favorite bedroom furniture now!
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      Remake Your Bed

      The bed becomes a charming settee when parts are reassembled. Cut the footboard in half vertically to form arms for the settee. Cut a piece of MDF for the seat and a piece for a front rail. Assemble all pieces with wood screws and glue. Sand, prime, and paint the settee. When dry, add nailhead trim. For a cushion, wrap a foam pad cut to size with batting and a throw. Or sew the throw into a cover for a more structured look.

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      Convert an Old Vanity

      Deep drawers and charming ornamentation distinguish this vanity, but the finish and form are too dark and dated.

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      Convert an Old Vanity

      Color and pattern transform the old vanity into a petite desk perfect for a small room. Remove the mirror, sand, prime, and paint the vanity. When dry, cover the drawer fronts and knobs with pretty papers using decoupage glue.

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      Make Over a Side Table

      This retro table had a nice shape but a not-so-nice finish.

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      Make Over a Side Table

      With a little paint and fabric, a new character emerges. Prime the table and paint it white. When dry, cut fabric to fit the tabletop plus extra to fold underneath. Set fabric in place and use decoupage medium to adhere it to the surface, smoothing with your fingers to remove air bubbles. Apply several coats of decoupage medium, letting dry between coats. When dry, wrap fabric under table and staple to secure.

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      Enliven a Ho-Hum Table

      This table had possibilities, but it was too country for a contemporary interior.

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      Enliven a Ho-Hum Table

      A simple redo gives the country style a modern edge. Remove the table legs and make a paper pattern for new simple legs. Cut the legs from MDF and attach to the top with screws. Paint the coffee table and, when dry, add an adhesive decal to the top for a flirty finish.

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      Dress Up a Side Chair

      An ugly-duckling cane-back chair, separated from its original set, has little potential as is.

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      Dress Up a Side Chair

      Bring out the chair's inner beauty with a spray of brightly colored paint. Stitch a cheery patterned cushion from two napkins or a tea towel. Embellish the back of the chair with fabric flowers and leaves stitched in place with yarn.

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      Next Slideshow Drab-to-Fab DIY Furniture Projects

      Drab-to-Fab DIY Furniture Projects

      Have old, boring furniture sitting around? Not anymore. Thanks to these fab makeovers, your tired dressers, hutches, chairs, and nightstands are just a project away from a new lease on life.
      Begin Slideshow »

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