7 tricks to give tired-looking furniture a spring facelift

Spring is in the air and I always feel the need to have a good declutter, and give the home a fresh facelift. If you’re like me, with an endless list of ideas yet thrifty on the purse, you can still make your old furnishings look brand new without having to throw anything out.

If your favourite armchair has seen better days  – and you’re not quite ready to part with it, all you need is a bit of creativity and some TLC. I’ve been inspired by some creative ideas I’ve seen on Pinterest, and have tried and tested most of them. Some have turned out fabulous  (others not so much!), but from wood-staining to stone tiling, here are some of my simple tips to give your space a facelift!

Get your brush on

It’s amazing what a coat of paint can do. But while it all looks so quick and easy (so I thought), wood staining or repainting needs a LOT of patience and time. So don’t think you can just go in with your paintbrush and be done in minutes – the prep work can take much longer.

If you want to repaint wood, make sure you wipe and sand down to ensure a smooth surface –if it’s been lacquered (the slick and glossy layer), it may take longer as you’ll need a special remover before sanding.

Luckily our old table wasn’t lacquered so the sanding was pretty straightforward (pic below) but I did realise the importance of having a smooth surface while painting!

Don’t panic if the first coat of wood stain looks nothing like it says on the tin. I did three or four coats to get it to the right colour. With all the different types of paint (spray, chalk, etc) available – you can easily update wooden floors, doors and even kitchen cabinets.

Cover it up 

If you have sofas or chairs that are ‘oldies but goodies’, don’t be in a hurry to take them to the dump. You can get your battered furnishings upholstered to another fabric or style – which will still work out cheaper than buying new.

Upholstering can do the trick (pixabay.com)
Source: Pixabay.com

If you can’t be bothered with hassle (that’s me!) you can just buy removable slip on covers. They come in various sizes or you can order custom made ones. The benefit about slip on covers is you can throw them in the washing machine, and change the designs whenever you want!

In the frame

If you have stunning photographs collecting dust or tucked away somewhere on your computer, why not enlarge and frame them? Beautiful pictures on walls often look striking set in a nice frame, and draws the eye to it.

Don’t hide your photography

It could be anything from a framed painting or graphic to a favourite vinyl cover. A gallery style of framed images does wonders to a plain and boring wall.

Bring the outdoors in

Now I know this isn’t exactly upcycling, but decorating with natural elements and greenery really brightens up a space. I love the idea of using tropical plants and  palms like the chusan as decor features. If your space isn’t large enough for giant palms, you can get a few miniature plants to liven up a shelf or mantel.

The grand monaco hotel lobby in Venice is just that (1)
A tropical rainforest inside the charming hotel lobby we visited in Venice
Source: Pixabay.com

Refresh cushion covers

Unless your cushions have had all the plump flattened out, there’s no need to throw them away. If you want a bold makeover, you can just buy cushion covers separately.

There are plenty of vibrant styles and prints available to suit your room-style, as well as bed throws.


Vibrant cushion covers can give a lift                  Source: Pixabay.com

By adding contrasting patterns or colour to your soft furnishings, this can do well to refresh a room.

It’s handled

Changing old cabinet handles, drawer pulls or door knobs can update furnishings. We usually see them as functional things, but handles can be nice decorative accents. Whether you want vintage or contemporary, there are plenty in the shops to choose from.

Door handles are nice features

On the tiles

My latest obsession is stone and glass mosaic tiles as it’s very versatile. It’s not just for the bathroom or kitchen, tiles can be used to decorate almost anything. If you have a plain mirror, frame or featureless coffee table, stone or glass tiles can make striking borders and really make a statement.

Inspiration- stronggym.co
Inspiration from stronggym.co

All you need is wood glue and tiling grout or if it’s a simple job, you can buy self-adhesive tiles that just stick on, without the mess!

There are plenty of tutorials online if you get stuck for ideas. The main thing is you don’t have to break the bank to still get the wow factor.

What other  makeover ideas  have impressed you?

Cynthia Thompson

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