How to refresh your furniture

Painting, reupholstering and accessorizing are ways to freshen up your old furniture.
Painting, reupholstering and accessorizing are ways to freshen up your old furniture. .

Whether your furniture is outdated or you like changing your decor regularly, refreshing your current pieces or a garage sale find is a great way to get an updated look. Here are ways to do it.

▪ Paint it: One of the easiest ways to update a piece is to paint it. Painted furniture isn’t limited to wood — you can paint metal, wicker and even upholstery. Personalize any piece to match your style: Add a funky design or go with a classic antiqued look.

Your furniture will determine the paint you use:

Wood stains are an ever-popular choice and come in a variety of hues, from cherry red to dark espresso.

Spray paint is a great option for furniture with details or lots of curves. You can choose various colors and finishes, including matte, satin or metallic. It also works for various materials, such as metal, wicker or wood.

Chalk paint is increasingly popular, requires very little prep work and — with a finishing wax — can give furniture a nice antique look. True to its name, it provides a matte, chalky finish.

Latex, available at many hardware stores, lets you choose a vibrant color or a specific shade and offers a variety of finishes, from a shiny satin to a flat matte.

Acrylic, available at craft stores, works for many different pieces, making it an almost universal option.

Fabric medium, when mixed with an acrylic or latex paint, can be used to paint upholstered furniture.

▪ Slipcovers: This is a simple, fast way to refresh any furniture. You can switch colors and patterns for the season, or simply choose a new neutral color to hide an outdated floral or plaid piece.

You can make your own slipcovers to match your home’s decor and furniture’s specifications, or buy one that ties on, snaps on or has an elastic band.

▪ Reupholster it: This is a bit more expensive than painting, but it’s much cheaper than buying a new chair or couch. By reupholstering that ugly wingback chair, you can choose the fabric you want, add some updated elements like tufting or nail-head trim and make sure you have the exact look you want.

▪ Accessorize: Some old furniture just needs a bit of a touch-up to give it a fresh look. You could swap old handles and pulls for updated pieces, paint outdated gold handles and hinges, add a nail head trim to the arms or backs of chairs and couches, or buy or re-cover pillows and cushions to accent couches and chairs.