How to Upcycle Furniture: Ideas for Repurposing Furniture |

Find inspiration and learn new ways to upcycle old pieces of furniture that are no longer in use and upgrade the look of your home.

Are you tired of the same old look of your bedroom? Is your living room too boring for you? Or are your furniture due for an upgrade but on a tight budget?

A great way to makeover a room is by upcycling or repurposing old furniture. Rather than buying new furniture for your home, breathe new life into old furniture by transforming it for further use and giving it a new purpose.

With upcycling, old cabinets can become chairs or you can give a whole new look to a desk by simply adding a table runner or new piece of decor. Furniture makeovers are such a great way to make you fall in love with your home all over again.

Where can you get furniture for these makeover projects?

You can get them through buy-sell-trade groups on social media (e.g. Facebook Marketplace). Hand-me-downs from relatives can also be repurposed if they are old and in need of a new breath of life. You can also find materials for DIY home upcycling projects at thrift stores, salvage shops, garage sales, antique stores, or even in your own house.

So, how do you make old furniture look new?

These are some of the ways you can repurpose old furniture:

1. Reupholstering Old Furniture Pieces

If you’re eyeing your old sofa, you can simply reupholster it by changing its fabric or textile.

2. A Fresh Coat of Paint

If you plan to repurpose an old cabinet or dresser, you may start sanding it first before adding a fresh coat of paint on it. You can choose from any kind of paint you want or what’s best for the furniture you’re about to repurpose.

Chalk paint, spray paint, or any normal paint works just fine. You can even give it a different finish; gloss, semi-glossy, matte, or satin.

3. Add Fun Accessories

If you’re feeling artsy, you can hand-paint and draw designs on it. Invite your kids to take part in upcycling too, and let them add fun accessories to it like buttons, ropes, or other craft supplies you have on hand.

4. Attach New Hardware

If you want to add more flair to your newly repurposed furniture, you may also change out it's old hardware and even add wheels on it for easier mobility.

Don’t be scared to take apart a furniture piece. Let your creativity flow and use its different pieces and parts and put them together in a way that you can give it a new purpose in your homes.

5 Upcycling Furniture Projects that you can do at Home

These are several creative ways to repurpose any piece of furniture.

1. Turn an old mirror into a vanity

Save that antique mirror sitting in your storage room and cover it into a vanity. First, clean the old mirror and add a fresh coat of paint if it has its own frame. Attach the newly-repurposed mirror to an empty wall in your bedroom, then install floating shelves beneath it to make the perfect space-saving dressing table.


2. Turn an old ladder into a clothes/coat rack

Repurposing an old ladder into a coat rack might be too intimidating at first but it is a DIY project that you can complete in a couple of easy steps.


First, attach the ladder horizontally to a wall and make sure it is secured in place so it can bear the weight of your clothing items. The side or steps of the ladder can fit a few hangers to hang your coats and jackets, making it a handy item in your entryway for you, your family, and your guests.

3. Turn an old window frame into an entryway organizer

The next time you see sad-looking window panes abandoned on vacant lots in your subdivision or sitting at the back of a vintage store, you better get ready for a new DIY project.

Prep the window panes for a fresh coat of color by sanding away the blemishes. Paint one square with chalkboard paint and cover another with adhesive-backed cork board. Then add a shelf, hooks, and a few decorative details to create a mounted entryway organizer that works as a key holder and mail sorter.

4. Turn an old three-drawer chest into a kitchen cart

If you haven’t found the perfect dresser of your dreams, you can always upcycle an old dresser you found in a garage sale or buy a basic one from your local home improvement store.

Just add a coat of semigloss paint and add new hardware that would help elevate its simple look into something more of your style or aesthetic. A few easy add-ons could also turn it into bonus storage and dinner-prep space in your dining room area.

Three drawer chestKitchen Cart

5. Turn a reclaimed wood pallet into a patio table

Elevate your patio by making your own movable coffee table. You can easily find square pallets or reclaimed wood for a bargain at your local home improvement store or at wet markets.

First, sand away all the blemishes to avoid unwanted splinters in the future. Stack the reclaimed wood to your preferred height and attach them together with nails and wood glue. Brush on exterior paint or varnish and attach metal wheels to it and you’ve got a sturdy, movable coffee table for your new backyard hangout.