Garage sales are a fabulous way to stretch home decorating dollars. Savvy do-it-yourselfers know how to use garage sale finds to create a unique look that makes their home feel fresh and new. Even vintage items can be updated and/or restored with innovative ideas. This approach to interior decorating is not only cost-effective, it is also fun.
1 - Stripping Things Down
One way to make old furniture feel new is to strip it down and add a new finish. This process is best completed with the use of a specially formatted stripping product. Since the chemicals in the products are very strong, using rubber gloves and a mask is recommended.
The stripper is painted on the furniture and left for a set amount of time. As the stripper works, the old furniture finish will begin to bubble up. When the time is up, a putty knife can be used to scrape away the mess. After the stripper is completely removed and the furniture is dry, a new finish can be applied.
2 - New Hardware
One of the easiest ways to update garage sale furniture is to add new hardware. Old or missing knobs and handles can be replaced with modern versions that bring outdated pieces of furniture up-to-date.
Pulls, handles, and knobs are available in porcelain and glass, as well as in various types of metal finishes such as pewter, brass and chrome, brushed nickel, and copper.
Changing furniture hardware can make a huge difference in the overall appearance of a piece. This is especially true if the hardware is worn, missing, or rusted. Replacing the pieces with versions that replicate the originals can give an older furniture piece a look of elegance.
3 - Decoupage
Decoupage is a simple way to liven up an old table or other furniture item. This is a decorative technique that uses cut-out artwork designs. These designs can be from a magazine, a calendar, wrapping paper, a map, or from just about any type of printed paper.
The designs are glued onto the flat or smooth surface, such as the top of a trunk or a tabletop, and then the entire surface is varnished with three to four coats of varnish or decoupage. A coat of acrylic sealant is added as a final coat for a lasting shine and durable seal.
4 - Paint
Just as paint can be used to freshen up the walls of a home, it can also be used to make a piece of furniture feel fresh.
A garage sale is an ideal place to find odd kitchen and dining chairs. One idea is to paint the chairs the same color and use them as a set. This creates a unique eclectic decorating style.
Another idea is to use paint to make a piece of furniture really stand out. For instance, a bookshelf or a curio cabinet could be painted a bright color to add interest to a space.
5 - Stencils
Wooden furniture can be stenciled; this is a great way to spruce up garage sale finds. The process is relatively easy. All that is needed is spray paint, a stencil, and a sealer. Stencils can be used to decorate just about any surface of the furniture.
People that shop garage sales are usually very creative individuals. They enjoy shopping for bargains, and they know how to make good use of the treasures they find.
What about you, how do you update the furniture you buy at garage sales?
Debbie Allen is a freelance writer who frequently shares information about reputation management from sites like Reputation.com.
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