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    How to repurpose old furniture with style

    Published on 14 January 2015, Wednesday, 5:15 AM

    Looking for a funky and fresh approach to decorating your home? Repurposed furniture is making a major comeback and a revamped antique piece can be just as desirable as expensive designer furniture.

    What kind of furniture to use?

    Refinishing old furniture to give your home character and colour is an easy and affordable way to step into the world of home decor. But what kind of furniture is appropriate for restoration or refinishing?

    Firstly, there is the French provincial type look. Pick out older pieces with extravagant curves or interesting handles. If you find a piece that isn't in good condition it won't have much value as an antique, so you could pick it up at a cheap price. Don't worry about minor cosmetic flaws, because with a sander and a paint brush you'll soon fix all of that.

    The industrial and post-modern look can be achieved by using practical pieces for decorative purposes - deconstructing furniture into it's most basic elements.

    Old wooden ladders with scaffolding planks set across them like trestles can make ideal desks or even bookshelves. A stack of vintage suitcases can make an interesting visual statement, as well as a storage solution and even a side table. You get the idea - there are many things in antique stores and op shops that can be used to make your home a chic and stylish pad.

    How to repurpose?

    One of the easiest ways to repurpose is to simply take an existing piece of furniture and refinish it. For example, with the French provincial style mentioned before - removing the paint or varnish from an old chest of drawers and painting it a crisp white or cool blue can add a unique look to your hallway. 

    After painting the piece of furniture, for an antique look, take a sander to some raised edges and give the piece a light scuffing to make it look worn. Use a triangular sander to get into tight corners. Varnish over the top to protect the exposed wood and paint.

    Distressed or antique looks can also be achieved by only applying paint roughly, or applying a secondary colour over the top and wiping it away before it dries.

    Tables can be used to great effect with this kind of style. Instead of doing the whole table, you can leave the legs or original varnished wood, and only sand and paint the top for an eclectic look - or even try the reverse.

    If you're trying to make a tabletop out of industrial or natural looking items like driftwood, railway sleepers or a wine barrel, get a piece of glass cut to the shape you like to incorporate a modern feature as well as provide a smooth surface. This will also protect your table base from any stains or spills.

    Nathan Mills portrait image
    Nathan Mills
    Nathan is a seasoned Kennards Hire team member passionate about empowering DIYers in their projects. He loves everything DIY and brings together years of equipment and project experience to help customers get the right tools for their next job.