Build your own furniture from scratch or remake an old piece with these furniture project ideas.
Everything In This Slideshow
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Furniture projects don't get much simpler than this! With a little paint, you can dress up plain chair legs and get a "dip-dyed" look. Watch and see how it's done.
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Furniture Project: Nailed It
Think beyond paint for furniture makeovers. Add nailhead trim to flat surfaces. Instead of drilling or hammering nailheads, use a faux stand-in, such as metallic spray-painted round wood plugs. Use the trim to outline door panels or create designs.
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Furniture Project: Hutch Makeover
While a few coats of sophisticated gray paint spruced up this old hutch, the makeover went a step further by giving a little love to the interior. The back was lined with pretty patterned paper for an extra boost of style.
How to Paint Furniture
Give an old piece of furniture a lift with paint. Here's how to paint a piece of furniture to get the best results.
Furniture Project: Spray-Paint a Chair
Learn one of the basics of furniture projects: how to spray-paint a chair.
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Furniture Project: Pattern Placement
Instead of splashing pattern across an entire piece, reserve the motif for a particular section, such as the center drawers of a buffet. In addition to gaining pattern panache, this thrift store dresser was made new with a fresh coat of white paint on the frame and new dark walnut stain on the drawer fronts.
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Furniture Project: Coffee Table Spruce-Up
Contemporary color and pattern help offset this table's traditional lines. Clean and dry the surface, then sand with 400-grit sandpaper. Wipe with a tack cloth; prime and paint, letting dry between coats. For the sunburst design, start at the edge of the table and use painter's tape to tape off angles. Paint with oil-base enamel colors using a stencil brush; remove tape when dry. For a glossy sheen, spray on a lacquer top coat.
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Furniture Project: Painted Headboard
Two old doors from a salvage shop form the structure of this headboard, and a unique take on stenciling gives it personality. Instead of a stencil, we used a vintage plastic place mat with a die-cut design. To re-create this look, lightly sand the doors. Using a foam pouncer, apply pearlized acrylic crafts paint over the stencil, then use a smaller brush to fill in select areas with accent color.
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Furniture Project: Double Color
Why stick with just one paint color? The bowfront dresser's glossy blue frame stands in contrast with the white drawer fronts. Try mixing paint finishes, too. Even though the difference is slight, the shift from semigloss to gloss can create an even more customized look.
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Furniture Project: Pinned Down
Give a basic round table a unique angle with old-fashioned wood clothespins. Paint the table in your desired color and paint the clothespins the same color. To attach the clothespins, dab wood glue on the back of each clothespin and press against the table's edge. Then nail into place at its chubbiest part using a pneumatic pin nailer. For level pin alignment, place a 1/2-inch-thick board on the tabletop as a guide.
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Furniture Project: Trim a Chair
Return a traditional, yet tired chair to its former glory with nailhead trim and a bright fabric. Paint the chair. Cut an oval of fabric to fit the back. Staple into place and trim the excess. Hot-glue flat white trim around the edge to hide the staples. Cover the seat in a similar method. Finish the back and seat with nailhead trim from a bolt (available at fabric stores), which comes in a ribbon and is easier and quicker to work with than individual nailheads.
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Furniture Project: Build a Coffee Table
Create a coffee table from two retired kitchen cabinets. Place the cabinets side by side, screw together, and paint white. Cut a piece of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) to fit on top of the cabinets. Paint and coat the piece in polyurethane, then attach to the top of the cabinets. For the base, cut the number of MDF sheets to size and stack depending on the desired height for the table. Glue the sheets together. Face the base with veneer and screw to the bottom of the cabinet
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Furniture Project: Ombre Desk
Give a desk or dresser an ombre effect. Pick a paint strip in a color you love, and buy a can of paint for each drawer or tier of drawers. Use the lightest color on the strip for the top, the next darkest color (or colors, depending on how many drawers you have) for the middle section, and use the darkest color for the bottom drawer. Make sure to use colors in the order that they are displayed on the strip so you get a natural progression of color.
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Furniture Project: Stencil It On
The top of a small side table provides a
nonintimidating canvas to try your hand
at stenciling. The table flaunts an eye-catching center medallion from a large stencil that nearly covered the round top. Washed highlights of the table's wood grain under the stencil add texture and dimension. Use a two-tone design (we used tan and gray crafts paints in a semigloss finish for this table) that blend with the finish of the piece. Or for a big splash, use contrasting colors on a white-painted table.
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Furniture Project: Retrofit a Table
Even a dilapidated table can be revived with a bit of creativity and ingenuity. Shop for a table that is past its prime (this one was missing a leaf). You'll also need a 2x2-inch board, wood screws, a table saw, and a drill. Take off all of the hardware beneath the table (sliding mechanisms, etc.). Cut the table in half lengthwise with the saw. Cut the board to 1 inch less than the width of the table. Attach the board with screws to wall studs at a height flush with the underside of the table. Fasten the table to the board from underneath with wood screws.
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Furniture Project: Pretty Desk Chair
Pull up a playful perch next to your desk with this easy chair makeover. This once dull chair was pepped up with a fresh coat of paint (see final slide: how to spray-paint a chair) and a seat cover fashioned from a pillow cover. To upholster the seat, remove the seat and wrap both thicknesses of the cover around the seat and staple to the back. Be sure to center the motif and pull the fabric tight as you staple. Trim the excess fabric and screw the seat into the frame.
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Furniture Project: Utilty Table Made Beautiful
On first glance, you wouldn't know that this was a utilitarian table, commonly seen in schools.
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Furniture Project: Dining Room Buffet
This buffet doesn't take up much space, but it packs plenty of function as a place to serve drinks or snacks.