20 Ways To Make Old Furniture Look Fancy


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Cover a formica table surface with a roll of marble-print contact paper for a luxe look on the cheap.


Promising review: “I love this product! I used it to re-cover an old Formica picnic table at my house, and what a difference! It was easy to use (even for one person) and looks beautiful. It looks like real marble and added a gorgeous touch to my patio.” —Meagan W.

Get two 15.9″x6.5′ rolls of the shown contact paper from Amazon for $16.88.


And the same goes for much smaller tables for a fab makeover that screams “I SPENT MORE THAN $15 ON THIS!!!”


Feeling pretty ambitious? Flex your painting skills with some floral stencils for something that looks (and really, is) totally custom! Swap out the drawer pulls and then you’re set in style.


Get some similar floral stencils from Michaels for $7.39 and a 10-pack of the pictured glass drawer knobs from Amazon for $8.99.


Add some fanciful drawer pulls like these antique-style keys for a low-effort, high-impact makeover.


Transform a no-frills IKEA STOCKHOLM sideboard into something that looks like it cost you a couple months’ of your mortgage thanks to some well-placed brass strips.

Kristi Murphy

Check out the full tutorial for this project on Kristi Murphy here.

Get five brass strips like the ones used in this project from Hobbylinc for $8.69.


Coat some curbside finds with gloss spray paint for a high-end look that’ll more or less be compliment bait.

Organize & Decorate Everything


Revive the look of a dinged-up dresser with some scratch cover that’ll make it look brand spanking new like you just bought it right off the showroom floor.


Promising review: “This product is amazing! A friend gifted me a five-drawer dresser about two weeks ago. It was definitely scratched and dinged up, but the drawers worked great and did I mention that the dresser was completely free? I thought about going through the hassle of refinishing it, but I’m pretty lazy lol. So, I looked around for a quick fix and found this product. Boy, am I glad I did! I’m not even sure HOW it works, other than pure sorcery. I’ve attached pics (or at least tried to) so you can seen the magic for your self. This bottle was $8.17, the new drawer pulls were $16/pack of 10, and the whole ‘updating process’ took me about an hour/hour and a half. DEFINITELY worth it!

I ended up using about a tablespoon of this product on my whole dresser. When I started the process, I thought: ‘I don’t care if I use this whole bottle to make this thing look better.’ But nope — turns out, a little goes a looooooong way!” —Ashley Thiessen

Get the scratch cover from Amazon for $4.82 and five similar drawer pulls for $24.99+ (available in two sizes).


Use that same scratch cover to revive any worn wood surface on tables (as seen here), doors, kitchen cabinets, floors, really most anything! Plus, a small bottle goes a looooong way.


Promising review: “I am not a Big Project person. My sister would have stripped, sanded, stained, and varnished this old table. I was able to do this in my living room. I cleaned the surface with soap and water, wiped, let dry, and proceeded. The original style was ‘distressed’ and nearly 20 years of careless kids and husband, spilt beverages, and puppy claws had added authenticity. Our newly remodeled living space made distressed look just plain beat up. My goal was to achieve a neutral finish; you simply wouldn’t notice it. The photos are before, after application but before wiping, and after wiping showing my application tools. No mess, no fuss can’t beat it for a quick fix.” —S. Ackermann


Coat a sideboard in a deep hue of chalk paint to make elaborate drawer pulls POP.


Promising review: “I paint lots of furniture and have tried many kids of chalk paint. This is by far my favorite so far.. I love the consistency and coverage. No bad smells and easy to distress. Will be ordering more colors!” —Jason Hollback

Get the chalk paint starter kit used for this project from Amazon for $84.99 (available in a range of colors).

Pssst, lots of reviewers say this chalk paint is easier to work with than pricier brands.


Or go back to (really fancy) basics by transforming an old china cabinet with white chalk paint.


Promising review: “I’ve never been a thrift find person but…..I went for it and found this beautiful china cabinet. I saw the vision of how I wanted it to look. Here is the before and after it was a bright turquoise color. I recreated such a beautiful piece it looks so great! I used two cans because trying to cover up turquoise was a small challenge but the chalk paint goes on so much better than regular paint. Now I want to chalk paint everything LOL #chalkpaint” —Keya Williams


And in case you’re not on this white-furniture bandwagon just yet, take a gander at this corner hutch that looks so much nicer with a fresh paint job that matches the room’s trim.


Yep, done with the same chalk paint as above ^.

Promising review: “I painted a pair of oak corner hutches in linen white. The big size of the can is great. My only complaint is that it required multiple coats and not as a good coverage as other brands I have used. I had to finish with another brand but now I need to buy another of each to get the same color for the pair. I did not distress it.” —Lragone78


And if neutral furniture just isn’t your thing, make over that end table with some bold chalk paint for a stunning after.


You guessed it, this was accomplished with that same chalk paint kit!

Promising review: “Since discovering Renaissance chalk paints in Amazon, I’ve ordered multiple colors for my hobby of refinishing furniture for the old farmhouse my hubby and I are renovating. Every color I’ve used is beautiful and goes on smooth and covers in two coats or less. One quart of Old Linen stretched through our dining room table, four chairs, a bench, and our coffee table; two coats apiece. I’ve done a dresser in Black Indigo and an accent table in Vermilion Red. I also use both the clear and dark wax to finish my pieces and I love them too! I can’t recommend these paints enough.” —Christie Myers


Revamp some worn-looking patio furniture with some hammered metal paint for significantly less than shopping around for a new outdoor dining set.


Promising review: “My metal patio furniture was quite faded…decided to try this, in brown, before tossing the set and buying new — very happy I did ! I was worried I would not be able to do a good job on it, but this hammered paint went on easily, covered very well. I put one coat on, then touched up a few days later only because I missed some areas. I was so thrilled with the outcome, that I decided to do all of the four chairs, two chaises, and two small tables. There is still paint left in the one quart can I bought, perhaps I will do the swing set too 🙂

Here is a pic of one faded chair (approximately 8 years old) and a finished one. While others didn’t think the color was what they thought it would be, I would have to say, in my opinion, it did turn out a very nice bronze-like finish. I used foam paint brushes and wore gloves, as the paint was difficult to wash off. Regular paint brush did not work well at all, stick with the cheap foam ones!” —Sophie from Boston

Get this hammered paint from Amazon for $12.98+ (available in eight colors).


Mask an unsightly crate (and give your pup some privacy) with a dog crate cover.


Get this cover from Amazon for $19.99 (available in five sizes and three patterns).


Swap plain furniture legs for some interesting pegs for some creative detail work.

Pretty Pegs

Get four of these legs from Pretty Pegs for $76 (costs vary by size, color, and type of furniture).


Opt for some hairpin legs on an old coffee or side table if your design tastes lean a little more industrial.


Get four of these 16-inch legs from Amazon for $34.95 (available in five lengths and two finishes).


Dress up that water stain on your dining table that won’t quit with a charming burlap table runner because people will just assume that you’re always ready to entertain.


Get this runner from Amazon for $17.99+ (available in 7 sizes, and 10 color combos).


Deck out the corners on a dresser with some artful brackets.

amazon.com, Amazon

Promising review: “Easy accent to a plain dresser. Turns it into a statement piece. Love it!” —DeidreB.

Get a four-pack of these brackets from Amazon for $7.99 (available in two finishes).


Reupholster old dining chairs (or new, disparate finds) for a chic look that’ll give the impression people pay you the big bucks to decorate their homes.

You thinking about all your furniture makeover projects:

Universal Media Studios

Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Looking for more stuff to help make your house a home? Check out the best places to buy inexpensive furniture online, the best places to buy couches online, cute home decor you’ll wish you knew about sooner, or check out all of our home content for even more great ideas.

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