How to Make Thrifted Furniture Look New

Whether you are moving out, changing apartments in college, or looking to update your home environment, you might feel overwhelmed with how expensive and difficult it is to find the perfect furniture. The best way to get exactly what you want is to create it. This doesn’t mean you need to be a licensed contractor or anything. You can start with a thrifted find from Salvation Army, a yard sale, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace and transform it. Budget furniture sometimes looks cheap, so here are so easy ways to reinvent an old piece.

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Changing the Knobs

One of the easiest ways to give an old dresser or cabinet new life is to simply change the knobs. Knobs can be bought at your local Lowe’s home store, or you can find really unique ones on Etsy or Anthropologie for cheaper than a whole new dresser. Plus, all you really need is a screwdriver which will take you under an hour to complete this project.

Spray Paint

Did you know you can spray paint almost everything? They even make spray paint for cushions which is super convenient. Sometimes thrifted furniture only looks cheap because of the finish it has on it or scratches which can easily be covered up by paint. Of course you can use a normal paint brush or stains, but spray paint is a lazy gal’s friend.


Reupholstering furniture can look completely scary, but it depends on the piece. I once bought a green leather bench, and all I had to do was stretch new fabric over the top. When it comes to full couches, there is a DIY YouTube video for everything, but I recommend starting small. For large chairs or couches you can often purchase slip covers that are fitted and nobody will ever know that it’s just a cover.

Change Their Use

A super simple way of transforming thrifted furniture is to use it for something other than it’s intended use. Take that dresser with the weird dimensions and make it a TV stand instead. Take those old baskets or drawers and make them into planters. Throw the kitchen bench into the hallway to make it an entry way table. Think outside the box. Everything has multiple uses — you might just need to move it around or attach it to the wall.


Maybe your couch looks sort of boring, but that doesn’t mean you need to go out and purchase a whole new one. It might mean you need to accessorize more. Save money on the big pieces by adding beautiful new throw pillows, blankets, and rugs. Save money when it comes to the basics like tables and chairs, and accessorize with small personal touches.

Furnishing a whole space can feel scary so do your research, make a Pinterest board, and have a vision. Once you have a vision it is so easy to start with the larger staple pieces and transform them with a coat of paint, new fabric, or accessories.

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