No matter how you’ve acquired a piece of old furniture or other used decorative items
--a family piece, great yard sale finds, or online--there is almost always a way to update it to fit into your decor!  Here are a few tips and idea links for making your new old treasure sparkle! 


  • Before you buy any used item, inspect it as well as you can for broken/missing parts or loose hardware.  With the exception that you’re certain you can repair it yourself; it might be better left for someone else with experience. 

  • Laminated pieces that are in bad condition will never repair well.  Not only that, but laminate furniture is usually not made of solid wood underneath and won’t have a lot of life left in them unless they’re in perfect condition.   

  • Cleaning is probably the first thing you’ll need to do. The Creek Line Home blog has some great solutions for cleaning thoroughly, as well as removing odors.  

  • Does your piece need a little work?  Unless you love the look of distressed furniture, you will want to repair cracks, rings and replace missing wood.   

  • Cushioned dining chairs are easily made over by removing the seat and covering the cushion with new fabric. (If the foam is very worn, you may need to replace that.) Pull it tightly and attach with a staple gun.  Painting the chair is easier without the cushion, but if you’re keeping the original finish, just re-attach the seat. 

  • Decoupage is another way to bring an old wooden piece back to life.  Choose practically any kind of paper, and using a decoupage medium, cover the whole thing, or, like Miss Mustard Seed, just highlight certain parts, while leaving the rest painted. 

  • Don’t pass up a good lamp! Many can be painted and outfitted with a new shade and serve you for years.  If the electrical parts are fried, lamp kits are available in-home stores and online. 

  • Spray paint is perfect for hard-to paint items such as candlesticks and decorative items, metal furniture pieces, and wicker furniture.   

  • Chalk paint has become a popular choice for DIY furniture makeover enthusiasts, but there is a bit of prep work in spite of it being an “easy” way to paint. 

  • Outdated art can even be made new again!  These ideas are amazing, and you’ll have what looks like commissioned pieces for just a few dollars and a little work. 


However, you decided to upgrade a piece, you will be getting exactly what you want for your home at a fraction of the cost of buying new.  Go online and look for ideas, and when you see an old and worn piece, you’ll be ready to give it new life! 


Courtesy of New Castle County DE Realtors Tucker Robbins and Carol Arnott Robbins.   


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