5 Ways to Dress Up Worn-Out Furniture & Cabinetry

Gorgeous Antique French Restauration 3 Drawer Commode wPaw Feet 500x397 5 Ways to Dress Up Worn Out Furniture & Cabinetry

This stunning chest is from Antiques on Old Plank Road. It sells for just above 19K

Classic Brass sells a wonderful Lion cup pull guaranteed to upgrade that special chest or cabinetry you are planning on making over. Classic Brass sells these stunning Lion pulls for $15.89 each, making them a stunning investment to that special family heirloom piece.

Furniture ages just like everything else...and like with most other things, you don't notice the small changes that happen to your furniture until one day, a few years (or maybe even a decade or more) down the line, you stop and say, "When did the table get so old-looking?" Or maybe someone comes over and says, "Wow, your kitchen is so retro!" and you realize that you haven't changed or even updated your cabinetry since you bought the house...before your just-graduated-from-college daughter was born.

Obviously you love your furniture -- you wouldn't have kept it for so long if you didn't -- but loving your furniture doesn't mean you can't update it or dress it up a little. What's more, you can make your updates and do your dressing up for very little cost (which should be a relief since it's doubtful you've got a Steve Wynn-sized bank account to fund these projects).

Here are a few cost-effective ways to do just that.

1. Clean it Up

When was the last time you gave that kitchen table or dresser a really thorough cleaning and polishing? It's amazing how much time you can "erase" with a really good scrubbing and a layer of polish. Sometimes that's all you have to do to help your furniture look brand new again!

2. Put on New Hardware

Putting on new hardware is a great way to dress up old cabinetry and furniture. For example, maybe instead of having handles on the dresser drawers, you can put pulls on instead. New hardware can completely change (and update) the look of a piece and costs way less than buying a whole new item.

3. Refinish It

Sand off the old layers of varnish and finish, and then put on something new. Maybe this time you can choose a lighter stain than last time (if you're trying to keep the original look of the wood). Or maybe you'll go darker.

Refinishing your furniture helps get rid of layers of gunk and grime. It can also remove dings and scratches that might have dampened the appearance of the piece. While it won't often make the piece look brand new, it can help it look re-energized.

4. Paint

As someone who is undoubtedly into the purity of his or her furniture, the idea of painting over the current finish, stain, or varnish probably turns your stomach. Before you hurl, though, know that Shabby Chic is very "in" right now (and has been for a while). You don't have to paint the furniture a garish color if you don't want to. In fact, one of the best things you can do is paint it white. A coat of white paint helps it keep its integrity while also updating its look.

5. Reupholster It

The simple fact of the matter is that over time, fabric (in spite of your good intentions and good care) starts to rot. Cushions (even with minimal pressure) lose their strength. Reupholstering the seat, sofa, or stool helps maintain its beauty and structural integrity. You can even find antique-looking fabrics fairly cheaply online. Even better -- upholstery is something you can easily do yourself, which saves you even more money!

Whatever you choose to do, know this: Updating is not the same as replacing. You can keep the same furniture for decades if you treat it well and give it a facelift now and then!

Erin Steiner is a full-time freelance writer and web content creator.

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