7 Tips for Improving the Look and Feel of Your Furniture

Have you recently looked around your home and sighed in dismay? Your furniture has gotten old; the finishing on your tables are peeling and flaking, and your sofa has a tear. You can’t afford to replace any of it, so now what?

Well, the easiest and cheapest route would be to revive your old furniture yourself. We have provided 7 great ways to improve the look and feel of your furniture.

Refinish it

Often, giving your old furniture a new look, is as simple as refinishing it.

The first thing you will need to do it strip the old finish. You will need a stripping formula and a stripping tool (or putty knife). The type of stripping formula, how much you apply and how long you leave it on, all depends on the amount of old finish left on the furniture. Apply more formula on the places where the finish looks thicker.

Stripping takes patience and care – you don’t want to damage your furniture. Once you’ve gotten most of the finishing off, apply a liquid stripper and use a brass-bristle brush to remove the last of it.

Once you have completed the stripping, you will need to sand the furniture and then clean it with a vacuum and tack cloth. This is important, as you can’t apply the new finish over a rough surface and saw dust.

Apply the new finish, remove excess stain and allow it to dry.

Repaint it

A splash of paint is known to easily give anything a new personality. If the furniture needs to be stripped first, follow the same process as above.

Ensure that the furniture is sanded and cleaned thoroughly. If you are repainting a table or chair, you will have to flip it over and paint the underside first. A round paintbrush is perfect for getting into the more detailed areas such as carvings.

Once the underside is completed, you can now flip it again and do the top. In this instance, use a flat paintbrush. Remember to always paint in one direction.

Once the paint has dried, you can now seal it with a clear sealer to preserve the paint.

Embroider it

Did you know that you can embroider your wooden furniture just as well as any sofa or pillow? It would take more planning and tools, but the completed project will be stunning.

To begin, you will need to measure or draw your pattern on the furniture. Then, drill your holes. Sand the furniture to remove any splints and rough edges caused by the drill.

Once you have your canvas, you can now begin creating your pattern.

For those who have never embroidered before, it may be best to start with a few sofa pillows first (or fabric-covered furniture). You will, of course, need an embroidery machine for beginners, to get you started. Since you are a beginner, you may need to first draw your desired pattern on the chosen item. You may also want to try a few practise embroideries before you get to your main project.

Remember, embroidery should be a fun activity, not a frustrating one.

Reupholster it

A great way to give your old sofas a new look, is to replace the upholstery. This sounds expensive, but it doesn’t have to be, and you can do it yourself quite easily.

You will need large swaths of your desired fabric as well as the necessary tools (sewing machine, upholstery needle and thread, staple gun, tacks if necessary, etc.) and any additional supplies you may want to add on (buttons, zippers, fabric piping, etc.).

To begin, carefully remove the current fabric. Go slow so as not to damage the sofa. Next, clean the furniture if necessary. Once you have measured and cut the fabric, sew it where needed.

Once you are satisfied with your fabric, staple it (or tack, if appropriate) to the sofa. Be sure to make the staples even, for a clean look. If you decided to add extra cotton batting to the sofa, you will need add this in before you staple the fabric onto the sofa.

Now, for the finishing touches. Add buttons, piping, design, or anything else that you would like. Once completed, give your new upholstery a once over to ensure that nothing is out of place. It is especially important to check your staples to ensure that they are not sticking out, waiting to prick someone.

Cover it

If you want to give your old, tacky table a new look, why not try covering it with marble contact paper? This will give your table a new and elegant look, and you could even use it on the skirting on your kitchen cupboards.

If you want a funkier look, you could use wallpaper on your table instead. Cover the top of the table with one type of paper (or fabric) and use a different one for the sides. Just be careful when choosing patterned paper, and be sure to match the colours, as you don’t want it to look tackier than before.

You could use wallpaper and fabric on your chairs as well. This is an easy and cheap why to give your old furniture a new personality.

Spray it

Yes, you can use spray paint too. It’s cheaper than ordinary paint and works just as well.

With wooden furniture, you may need to strip, sand and clean it first. Metal items, such as hardware, usually only need to be cleaned first. Spray paint works best on small things such as wicker baskets, chairs, light fixtures, etc.

When going for an elegant look in your home, gold or silver spray paint works best. Remember to seal it once it’s dry to ensure that it lasts.

Add some spice

For those who don’t have the time (or the inclination) to get all DIY, there are some easier hacks that can be just as effective in improving the look of your furniture.

Adding some throw pillows in bold or subdued tones (depends entirely on your current colour scheme), is a great way to enhance your sofa. Couple it with a stylish throw blanket over the back, and your sofa will have entirely new look.

If you’ve decided to paint (or spray paint) your chairs or tables, try using some painter’s tape before painting. You can apply the tape in any pattern you see fit, and the result will be amazing.

Another great use for spray paint? You know that patio sofa that is horribly stained and you’ve been meaning to reupholster? Spray paint will work wonderfully, and it’s a lot less effort. Just be sure to cover the sections that don’t need to be sprayed, especially if it has a wooden frame.


No matter what you decide to do, remember that you should match your revived furniture to your current interior design. Don’t allow the colours or patterns to clash and always be mindful of your safety. Wear protective gear when appropriate and don’t leave any staples, tacks or any other sharp objects lying around.

And, of course, have fun. Making your home look great should be an accomplishment, not a chore.