Today I'd like to talk to you about those out-of-date pieces that work, but don't really look right. They're out of date, or just slightly wrong. I own a few of those pieces myself and over time I have learned a few tips to help reimagine a piece. This not only helps you save money quickly by allowing you to buy those ugly inexpensive pieces, but it also helps repurpose something. So, How To Make Outdated Furniture Fit Your Style? Let's see.
First of all, I'd just like to say that these projects are the ones that really bring fulfillment to me. I like to call them unfortunate because that's what they are. Like time has passed them by and they've been forgotten a little, or a lot. Some of them don't need much. But what can we do?
How do we update old in the quickest way possible?
I feel like this is a given. Like, I'm fairly certain this doesn't need to be on this list, but it does. The power of paint is radical. My favorite paint is chalk paint. I make my own just using plaster of Paris, but there are other ways. Some other favorites are Mineral & Milk. All of them have pros and cons, but no matter which one you pick, they can fix outdated furniture in a snap.
I love chalk paint mostly because of its drying time, by the time you finish a piece it's dry enough to go back in for a second coat. If you want a second coat. There are many pieces where a single coat was exactly what I wanted because I was going for a more cottage appearance with heavy distressing.
If you want an example of amazing Milk Paint you can't really get any better than Miss Mustard Seed. Honestly, she is a shining example of everything paint. From furniture with murals on it to chippy milk-painted pieces, to murals on walls, or her paintings on canvas. Paint is magic.
What is easier than paint? What is the quickest way to fix outdated furniture?
#2 New Hardware
Ladies and gentlemen I give you one of my favorite things to shop for and one of the main reasons I end up in a single aisle wringing my hands together over the sheer ocean of choices at Hobby Lobby. Please tell me I'm not alone in this.
In fact, Sarah from She Holds Dearly has a whole blog post about painting an antique piece of furniture here (I don't normally applaud that, honestly, because I love a solid antique to stay natural). And she purchased the perfect pair of glass teardrop pulls that spoke to my soul. So, naturally, I had to use them on my own cabinet refresh. (Coming soon)
I have a romantic relationship with all these vintage glass. I also love vintage brass.
It's one of the easiest ways to refresh an outdated furniture piece seems obvious, but it isn't.
#3 Add or Remove something.
This might sound vague, but you know those pieces of furniture that have features that date them? Like unnecessary carved finials that stick out like a sore thumb. If you take a hack saw to them and remove them, sand them down, and streamline the piece 9/10 it will completely look like a brand new piece of furniture.
Sometimes they have carvings actually in the drawer fronts or cabinet doors and if you simply fill them in with Bondo, sand it smooth, and spray the area with Shellac before you paint it and it disappears like nothing was there. Minimal effort, minimal cost, maximum results.
Some might like them, maybe even think they're charming. But if you removed them you could change the visual look enough to not date it.
Drawer fronts can be completely changed by adding small wood pieces, fabric, caning, or even wooden decals. You could even add feet or legs to a piece to completely update it and change the entire appearance.
Here is one example where fabric or paper was adhered to a few drawers to give it a completely different look. The words that come to mind are charming and cottage.
This was the best example of minimal time and cost to completely change the look of a piece of furniture. When I came across this on my Instagram feed I was thrilled.
And here is another from the same genius DIYer.
So, in this instance she took two completely separate pieces of furniture, added a marble top and combined them. It's gorgeous, simplistic, and cohesive.
You can also add doors, carvings, & wood-burning designs. You could sand down any piece of wood furniture and add a different stain if you want to keep part of it stained and part of it painted.
There are so many options that are easy, cheap, or free to change something to fit your style.
Here is one last example, because I thought it was simple and I'm not sure I would of thought of doing it! A plain bookshelf turned vintage farmhouse feel by simply adding a few pieces of wood!
So, how do I decide what to do with any piece of furniture I have?
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you're deciding.
What is the material?
First, you need to know what the material is, this will decide ultimately what you can do and how easy it will be to update. I would recommend only purchasing furniture you know is solid wood because it is the easiest furniture to work with. But there are many mid-century modern pieces that have a top that is like Formica and would need to be painted or removed and replaced with something else, like a solid wood top which could then be stained or whitewashed.
What is your budget?
Some things will be cheap depending on what kind of tools or resources you have on hand. If you have to purchase tools or all the supplies this will really tell you what your options even are.
What is your style and inspiration?
I would recommend going onto Pinterest or Instagram and searching for an inspirational piece or several pieces. Look at styles and decide what direction you want to go in the room this piece will be living in. Also, knowing where a piece will live will tell you about coloring decisions should you paint it.
Now, get out there and grab a piece of outdated furniture and make it into your dream!
I hope I've given you inspiration to take on something that can be a little scary. Don't be afraid to put your mark and make your home represent who you are.
Thanks for stopping by!