The Complete Guide to Refurbishing Found Furntire: Part 4

We've come to the end of the line. You now know where to go to get inspiration for your projects, the basic  tools you’ll need to get started, and some of the most popular methods for creating something fresh and turning old junk into distinctive treasure. Here are our last four tips for turning your uninspired auction buys into one of a kind products that will help you to maximize your profit!


distressed dresser

Distressing furniture is my favorite restoration method. It is the process of aging or weathering an item to give it an older appearance through sanding, denting, and scraping off the finish of an item. Popular techniques include the wood being hammered softer, or dimpled, bleached, pickled, stained or repainted with crackling paints and varnishes, so don’t forget to come prepared to the party with everything you’ll need to get the job done.  New layers of paint can be watered down before they are applied to allow the wood and other layers to show through or to look more like white washing. Layers of paint or varnishes can be sponged on to create an uneven pattern. After any new paint or layers are applied, the corners and features can be painted slightly lighter or sanded down as desired to appear worn. Steel wool can be treated with vinegar to create an acid oxide, then brushed across a stripped and sanded surface of the piece to create a vintage stain effect. The  end result is a piece that sells like hotcakes with the shabby chic crowd. So don’t get distressed if you find furniture with cosmetic problems because you can easily use these to your advantage! See what I did there? I made a funny.



Repurposing items is another popular way to give new life to something. Why? Because with enough thought and follow through almost anything, and I do mean anything, can be repurposed into a functional piece with everday use. Before you start throwing out anything from a locker, do some online legwork to see what other DIY enthusiasts have come up with.



Reupholstering is another favorite project among the DIY crowd. This is the process of adding padding, strings, webbing and fabric to furniture.  Furniture would normally include chairs, sofas and loveseats, and other types of seating. It may be necessary to reupholster an item you’ve won in a storage unit depending on its condition or you can add upholstery to items that weren’t previously covered in fabric. For example, my very favorite way to use upholstery is to create upholstered headboards.  Upholstered headboards have been around since ancient Egypt, with the design styles changing enormously through the years.  More modern headboards offer clean lines and comfort. Tufted headboards are my favorite way to use this design feature. This adds fabric covered buttons sewn tightly into the headboard already covered in fabric.



Stenciling has long been a popular DIY staple. Stencils are a great, inexpensive way to get the most out of an old item that needs a minor face lift. Stencils are typically plastic, metal, or paper  cut outs. You can’t walk into a craft store without tripping over unlimited variants. So choose several options to give yourself a selection to choose from. Then you’ll want to decide exactly how you plan to pattern the design on your object to create maximum interest from your customer. Once you've done this you’re ready to apply your stencil by placing it against your piece of furniture and using aerosol paint, or traditional paint to create the final design.

What Are You Waiting For?

Now that you have all this information, we know you'll be completing projects in no time. Connect with us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+ and send us pictures of your DIY designs!

Image Credits:

Distressed Dresser:

Repurposed Furniture:

Upholstered headboard:

Stenciled Clock:



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