9 Fast Furniture Fixes You Can Do Yourself

You don’t need years of experience or weeks of effort to restore timeworn tables, chairs, and dressers to their former glory. Read on for 9 furniture updates you can DIY in a flash to boost the beauty, comfort, and durability of your most prized pieces.

  1. Polish It to Perfection

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    Fix Wood Scratches With Walnuts

    Removing unsightly scratches from wood furniture is not as hard as you think. In fact, here's an almost effortless fix that can put a fresh face on an aging exterior. Erase marks by running a piece of walnut along the scratched surface. Follow up with a homemade furniture polish to lend your old furnishings a lustrous like-new finish.


    Related: Reinvent Your Furniture with 9 Colorful DIYs

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  2. Make Contact

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    Add Contact Paper to Furniture

    If your favorite furnishings have endured more serious abuse that has left them with water marks, spills, or stains, try this covert cover-up. Choose a plain or patterned contact paper, then adhere it to desks, shelves, end tables, or any other surface that needs a refresh. The double-duty self-stick paper will not only conceal surface blemishes, but also protect the piece from future wear and tear.


    Related: 20 Insanely Easy Ways to Build Your Own Furniture

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  3. Upgrade the Hardware

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    Change Furniture Knobs and Pulls

    It's amazing how a few new pieces of hardware can revamp your furniture. With so many options to consider, from conventional to unusual, the potential for reinvention is almost limitless. Try swapping out the old hardware for something a little different and see how the bargain bling can transform plain pieces into awe-inspiring accents.


    Related: Editors' Picks: 8 Favorite Etsy Stores for One-of-a-Kind Furniture

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  4. Freshen Up the Fabric

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    Paint a Wingback Chair

    Give a forgotten wingback chair a modern makeover with—a can of paint? Yes, you really can paint upholstery; the secret is to mix your paint with fabric medium, then sand the stiff fibers once the fabric has dried. Gradually brush on the paint, blending it into the fabric and allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. When you're done, paint the legs to bring them up to date with the chair's fresh new look.


    Related: 9 Things You Never Thought to Paint But Should

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  5. Give It a Leg Up

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    Add Hairpin Legs

    Salvage a dowdy dresser or charmless chair by adding a new set of legs. You can DIY your own from wooden spindles or wooden block, or purchase a set of hairpin legs to give your old furniture a more modern air. Then, simply attach the legs to the base of the furniture and enjoy your like-new piece.


    Related: 8 Sneaky Ways to Furnish Your Home for Less

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  6. Reupholster It

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    Reupholster a Chair

    If your dated dining chairs are taking a backseat to the rest of the room, recover their glamour by replacing their cushions. Reupholstering a chair cushion involves simply removing it from the chair, stapling down new fabric, and then cutting away the excess fabric from the bottom of the seat before reattaching the cushion. The result is a chic and comfortable seat that brings much more to the table.


    Related: 11 Types of Furniture That Are Going Extinct

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  7. Dress It in Fabric

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    Decoupage Furniture with Fabric

    Don’t have any chair cushions to reupholster? Your scrap fabric can still be put to good use in your next furniture makeover. Cover a tired-looking nightstand or dresser with linen, burlap, or lace to soften its look and conceal signs of age with whimsical colors or striking patterns.


    Related: The 15 Best Cheap Furniture Makeovers We've Ever Seen

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  8. Style It with Stencils

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    Stencil Coffee Table

    You can transform a hand-me-down piece of furniture into a homey focal point merely by personalizing it. Stencil coffee tables, dressers, end tables, and more with designs ranging from painted monograms to graceful flourishes. The effect is as elegant to behold as it is easy to accomplish.


    Related: 16 New Things You Can Do with Old Furniture

    etsy.com via royaldesignstencils

  9. Pair It with Pillows

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    Add Pillows to the Couch

    If you have only seconds to spare, there's no furniture upgrade faster and easier than this: Fluff a few pillows and throw them onto a sofa or armchair in need of TLC. Mix a mélange of colors and choose pillows that contrast with the upholstery, or toss a few accent pillows on a dour and dated armchair to add playful personality.


    Related: Sofa, So Good: 10 Creative Ways to Revive a Tired Old Couch

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  10. See the House of the Week

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    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!