Are you looking to upgrade your furniture? Consider these DIY options to transform your current furniture before you hit the shops and showrooms for your next purchase. It’s easy, helps reduce your carbon footprint and saves you some money. We have some great tips to help you get a head start in restoring some old furniture to make it look new again.

Read on for some inspiration for your next weekend project.

Do your inspection

Wooden furniture lasts a long time, but you must check for damage from moisture, wear and tear or infestation. Before you step out to buy the supplies you need for your furniture restoration project, inspect the furniture for:

Woodworms: Look for holes in the wooden furniture and thoroughly inspect to rule out any woodworm activity. They can be sneaky, so make sure you get a look all around the furniture, both inside and outside. Good lighting is a must for a thorough inspection.

Structural damage: Check for cracks, loose joints or physical damage to ensure the furniture is still in good condition and can be used safely. Make sure there’s no water damage, mould or any other nasty surprises hiding in the item.

Give it a good clean: Depending on its condition, the item may only need a good dusting or might need a more thorough cleaning. Once you are happy with the condition of your furniture, it is time to get busy.


4 DIY hacks to upcycle old furniture

Change the hardware fixtures 

Consider changing the handles and knobs on the furniture for a quick and easy upgrade. Walk into your nearest hardware store, and you will find a wide variety of modern and vintage fixtures you can buy.

You might not get an exact fit with your new fixtures, but that’s okay. You might need to drill new holes to fit them. In which case, use a wood filler in the holes left by the old ones before painting or staining for a good finishing.


Tape any hardware fixtures to avoid stray paint or stains from getting on them. Use a solvent or varnish stripper to neutralise the surface and remove any traces of old polish or varnish. You will need to apply the solvent, leave it for about 30 minutes, and then rub the surface to remove the coating. You may need to repeat this step if the protective layer is thick and doesn’t come off the first time.

Once you have neutralised the surface, let it dry for 24 hours before sanding it. Once you have finished sanding, fix the cracks, dents and holes with a wood filler, sand it again to level the surface and give it a wipe. Well done, you have prepped the surface! It is now time to bring it to life.

Repainting is a quick and easy method to transform your old furniture, whether wood, metal, plastic or laminate. You don’t need too many tools to give your furniture a pop of colour. Once you have prepped the surface, you need to prime it and paint it in your favourite colour. Check out our range of colours for inspiration. Read How to paint wood furniture to get a download of what tools you need, how much time you will take, and some DIY tips.

You can skip the primer if you’re using the high-quality, quick-drying acrylic enamel White Knight Squirts paint. The White Knight Squirts come in a range of colours and is a combination of paint and primer.

Once the paint dries, you are ready to put the fixtures back on.

Re-stain wood furniture 

Wood furniture is the easiest to make over and fix. You will need to prep the surface, the same as when repainting furniture and and if the furniture is for interior use prime using a interior tintable primer. Applying stain is relatively easy, and it dries quickly. For the latest stain colours, check out Johnstone’s interior/exterior clear trend colours  and our range of durable interior stains.

Repurpose furniture into something else

If you are more skilled and creative with wood, you can upcycle your furniture and transform it into something completely different. For example, you could transform an old buffet into a bookshelf or an old piano into a home office desk.

What to make over metal furniture? Check out Metal Chair Makeover with Rust Guard and Transform an Outdoor Table with Rust Guard for some inspiration.

The possibilities of how you can transform your furniture are only limited by your imagination and skills. A few quick fixes like can make the piece look brand new. Now all that is left to do is sit back and enjoy the renewed interiors of your home.