24 DIY Furniture Projects to Personalize Your Home on a Budget

diy black teal dresser floral wallpaper
Photo: Jason Donnelly

Give old or boring items a new look with these furniture projects. Fresh colors and clever redesigns turn tired bookcases, chairs, dressers, cabinets, and more into stunning showpieces. Use these DIY furniture projects to personalize your furnishings with polish.

01 of 24

Side Table Makeover

sage green cabinet hutch pink velvet chair artwork
Carson Downing

This DIY furniture project started with a low-slung side table that cost only $12. We added legs and a shelving unit for height and a more modern look. Secure the sides of the shelving unit to the cabinet using L brackets before priming and painting in your color of choice.

02 of 24

Bar Cabinet Furniture Project

cornflower blue painted chest of drawers artwork chair
Carson Downing

With the addition of squared-off metal legs, an inlaid cement-tile top, and a coat of blue paint, this thrifted bar cabinet became a stylish serving station. Its short stature wasn't a problem—it was easy to add legs to make it the perfect height. Clean, contemporary touches like Lucite door hardware update the piece's paneled doors. The cement tile offers an on-trend sunburst pattern and inspiration for the azure hue.

03 of 24

Chalk-Painted Hutch

black chalk finish hutch
Adam Albright

Chalk-finish paint and wallpaper adhered behind the shelves update this wood hutch. Leaving some areas unpainted and keeping the original hardware preserve the traditional look, but the new matte black finish and pop of pattern inside make a modern statement. Requiring no priming or sanding, chalk-style paint is a no-fuss solution for DIY furniture projects.

04 of 24

DIY Cane Side Table

coffee table with caned sides next to couch
Blaine Moats

Update a simple side table with a touch of caning for an on-trend accent. With the table base disassembled, cut pieces of caning material slightly smaller than the outer measurements of the frame. Staple the material to the edge and assemble the table, sandwiching the material between the base and the tabletop.

05 of 24

Colorful Dresser Update

diy black teal dresser floral wallpaper
Jason Donnelly

Peel-and-stick wallpaper in a vibrant floral pattern updates the drawers on this basic dresser. A coat of black paint gives the frame a cohesive look, while a teal hue makes the upper drawers pop. New gold hardware completes the DIY furniture makeover with modern flair.

06 of 24

DIY Bookcase Makeover

bar bookshelves angled shelving
Jason Donnelly

Transform a basic bookcase into a convenient cocktail-making and serving station.

To create angled shelves:

  1. Make nonparallel 45-degree miter cuts on the short ends of a shelf. Angle the shelf inside the bookcase, securing one end to a horizontal shelf and the other to the side.
  2. Repeat this process with shorter shelf sections to create additional cubbies.
  3. Outfit the unit with stemware holders and adhesive cork shelf liners to boost function.
07 of 24

Gold-Leaf Furniture Makeover

2 tables golden base black tops
Adam Albright

Emphasize a favorite part of a furniture piece with gold leaf. Here, metallic gold highlights these small tables' leggy, geometric bases. Be sure to clean and sand the surface before you apply metal leaf; porous surfaces might also need sealing. Because sheets of metal leaf are very thin and tear easily, consider wearing smooth cotton gloves.

08 of 24

Painted Desk Project

Red desk gray sitting ottoman
Michael Partenio

Previously sporting a beat-up finish, this desk was in desperate need of a furniture makeover. Glossy red paint and new hardware elevated the piece with a shiny new look. With the addition of a mirror and storage for jewelry, the desk now serves as a pretty vanity area.

09 of 24

Updated Storage Console

blue painted console table
Edmund Barr

This storage console previously housed an old-timey television. Blogger Beckie Farrant of Infarrantly Creative removed the workings of a vintage console TV cabinet for this furniture project before painting and glazing the frame. Open shelves now provide handy storage for an entryway or living area.

10 of 24

Kitchen Entertainment Center

blue entertainment center kitchen storage
Blaine Moats

The once ubiquitous entertainment center has fallen out of favor in our era of flat-screen TVs, making these units prime candidates for DIY furniture projects. Removing the door of this former entertainment center created easy-access storage for kitchen essentials. Pegboard turns the open back of the TV shelf into hanging storage.

To create wine storage, 4-inch PVC pipe cut to length and painted was adhered to the former VCR shelf with construction adhesive. A bright blue paint job provides a striking finish.

11 of 24

DIY Desk

repurposed dresser white desk map poster above
Karla Conrad

Blogger Diane Henkler of In My Own Style turned a simple dresser into a clever desk with a drop-down front. Painting the interior blue and attaching false drawer fronts with vintage-style pulls to the bottom drawers gives the piece a unique look. Caster wheels provide easy mobility as needed.

12 of 24

DIY Inlay Table

black white painted table
Ray Kachatorian

Stenciled designs recreate the look of an expensive bone inlay table in this DIY furniture makeover. A laminate top that had been kicked to the curb was rescued and restored with a stencil kit ($40, Cutting Edge Stencils) and new legs. "I did it in an afternoon," says Los Angeles designer Kim Myles. "It shows the beauty and power of stencils." A sponge roller, rather than a stencil brush, sped up the process of applying bone-color acrylic paint over the black painted top.

13 of 24

Changing Table Redo

repurposed white changing table
Scott Little

Once used as a changing table, this dresser was ready for a new purpose and finish. Creamy white paint, which matches the closet doors of the room in which it resides, lightens the look of the bulky piece. Inexpensive new knobs and metallic dotted details complete the makeover.

14 of 24

DIY Pet Bed

dog bed repurposed chair
Steven McDonald

With a few extra pieces of lumber, an old chair becomes a DIY pet bed:

  1. Dismantle the chair, cutting the chair back and legs away from the seat.
  2. Build a frame of inexpensive pine and plywood to the size you need for the bed, adding a lip to hold the cushion in place.
  3. Use wood glue and screws to attach the chair back as the headboard and the legs as the footboard.
  4. Finish by painting everything a unifying color and adding a comfy, washable pet bed or cushion.
15 of 24

Painted Furniture Project

stencil painting drop leaf table black chair
Adam Albright

The honey-hue finish on this table needed a style makeover. A soft gray stain gives the piece a more contemporary feel. A stenciled design with lighter gray paint adds pretty detail to the top.

16 of 24

DIY Nightstand Makeover

This midcentury-modern nightstand had a great shape but lacked polish. An easy furniture painting project added just the right amount of color and personality. Watch and see how a simple paint makeover updated this piece for the 21st century.

17 of 24

Antique Finish Dresser

distressed dresser mirror above
Adam Albright

The simple white finish of this dresser begged to be reimagined. Milk paint and an antique finishing glaze give the dresser a throwback feel. Vintage-inspired dresser pulls complete the antique look.

18 of 24

Colorful Chair Makeover

yellow painted wicker arm chair
Adam Albright

With an interesting shape and stylish design, this chair just needed a quick fix to take it to the next level. Painting just the vertical spindles gets a custom look without the hefty price tag.

To recreate this DIY furniture project, tape off the parts of the chair you want to leave unpainted. Apply interior/exterior latex primer, let dry, and then apply latex paint in your color of choice. For tight detail work, use a 1/2-inch flat detail brush.

19 of 24

DIY Bathroom Storage

white teal bathroom storage red accents
Jay Wilde

This cabinet was destined to store more than just knickknacks and china. With a new back and fresh paint, it provides stylish storage in the bathroom. The shelves are perfect for stashing frequently used items and stacks of folded towels, while drawers hide other necessities that are accessed less often.

20 of 24

Hutch Makeover

painted wood hutch with white china
Jay Wilde

With a formal profile and a dinged-up finish, this hutch was begging for a modern revamp. Pale khaki paint and white hardware launch this old-fashioned hutch into modern-day style. Wallpaper along the back provides a pop of color.

21 of 24

DIY Entryway Storage

painted accessory hutch show storage
Jay Wilde

With six drawers and a closed cabinet, this generously proportioned hutch had tons of storage potential but lacked style. Removing the cabinet door and installing custom shoe racks transform the piece into a clever entryway storage solution. New knobs and paint give it a cohesive look, while freshly installed hooks house a collection of scarves on the side.

22 of 24

Upholstered Chair Makeover

Gilded frame mirror above red chair red high heals
Gordon Beall

A beautiful shape was hiding behind this chair's worn finish and worn-out upholstery. Bright red paint shows off the chair's shapely silhouette, while new upholstery in black and white fabric ups the fun factor. When looking for your own diamonds-in-the-rough for a DIY furniture project, look for sturdy and well-constructed pieces. Paint and new fabric work wonders, but a shoddy structure is less easily remedied.

23 of 24

DIY Office Storage

repurposed end table office storage
Greg Scheidemann

Turn an end table into a go-anywhere office with a few simple modifications. Choose a table the width of a standard hanging file (about 15 inches wide) and then sand, prime, and paint it. Screw metal strips to the sides to accommodate hanging files. Use a jigsaw to cut holes in the top for glasses or small storage buckets, and attach casters to the legs.

24 of 24

Painted Nightstand Project

Upholstered headboard bedroom decorative lamp
Gordon Beall

Boxy and somewhat dull but with a pretty brass handle, this nightstand was a prime candidate for a makeover. Fresh white paint remedied the dull brown finish, but a geometric design in gold paint took the nightstand to the next level. Use a ruler and a pencil to stencil on a design, and then use painter's tape to mark it off before you paint.

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