7 Fast And Easy Ways to Refresh Your Furniture

Dina Cheney
Written by Dina Cheney
Updated February 10, 2022
Woman decorating couch
Photo: fizkes / iStock / Getty Images

Here’s how to give your old pieces new life

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

Maybe your coffee table’s scratched or your cat ruined the upholstery on your couch. Or maybe your bed frame’s just dark and dated. Before splurging on new furniture, try reviving what you have; these easy fixes might be all you need to save your furniture and give it a whole new look.

1. Accessorize

Distract from faded furniture with vibrant throw pillows, throws, and tablecloths. If you jazz up a couch with three large pillows plus a cozy blanket, for instance, you’ll cover up most of its surface.   

2. Add a Slipcover

Another budget-friendly fix is to purchase an inexpensive slipcover for your upholstered furniture, like the sofa and armchairs. Consider buying two and switching them up seasonally—it’ll keep your space totally trendy.

3. Reupholster

If you love the structure of your upholstered furniture but want to replace the fabric, enlist a local reupholstering specialist. The average cost to reupholster furniture is between $370 to $1,100, so it’s pricier than accessorizing or buying a slipcover. But this method will completely transform your sofas or chairs and make them look brand new.

4. Paint or Stain

Woman staining furniture
Photo: sturti / iStock / Getty Images

If you dislike the color or finish of your metal, wicker, or wood furniture, apply paint or a wood stain. First, sand and clean (for expensive pieces, it might be worth removing the existing surface with a paint stripper). Then all you need to do is apply the new finish. 

For the easiest application (especially on items with lots of nooks and crannies), go with spray paint. For an antique look, try chalk paint and a finishing wax. To add a design, use a stencil. If you’d rather not DIY, take your furniture to a local furniture painter or refinisher near you.

5. Cover With Contact Paper

Add glamour or color to your furniture by covering it with peel-and-stick contact paper or wallpaper. This is an easy way to turn your laminate countertops into stylish faux-marble or back your bookshelf with a stylish print. 

6. Add Nailhead Trim

To give an upholstered chair, ottoman, headboard, or couch a more finished look, apply nailhead trim to its arms, sides, or back. All you’ll need for this project is nailhead trim, a rubber mallet, ruler, spacer, and pen. With the mallet, tap each nailhead into the furniture. To make this even simpler, use a nailhead spacer tool, available at craft or sewing supply stores.

7. Amp Up the Hardware

Furniture in bedroom
Photo: New Africa / Adobe Stock

Sometimes addressing the little details makes the biggest difference. If your furniture hardware is outdated, damaged, or just makes you cringe, swap it out. Replace your drawer pulls, handles, or knobs with sleek, modern versions (you can’t go wrong with a brushed or oiled brass finish). Or, take the DIY route and spray paint your existing knobs a new color to make them pop.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.