Furniture restoration is an art form that has become increasingly popular, as the wave of eco friendly living has grown. The motivation behind it is to prevent spending money unnecessarily and produce less waste by revamping a piece of existing furniture that you either have at home or can be picked up cheaply at a junk store.
27 Furniture Restoration Designs To Inspire Your Own Projects
Restoration is a fun DIY project that you can tackle at home with supplies from a hardware or craft store. The techniques can range from a lick of paint to some fun upholstery or simple decoupage; whatever floats your boat, you can make it happen. Even a mere sanding to remove the thick layer of outdated, highly polished varnish can bring a piece into the 21st century in one foul swoop. Old furniture also comes with the added bonus of being crafted into beautiful shapes made of solid materials that puts fast fashion plywood pieces to shame, all they need is a little love and care to bring out the distinctly vintage style and make it relevant to contemporary times.
So if you want to flex your DIY muscles in an eco friendly way here are:
1. Antique Writing Desk
This gorgeous little writing desk has been sanded down and revamped using a weathered painting style in a limited colour palette that exudes shabby chic. A similar treatment has been used to transform the timber frame of the matching chair with a newly upholstered seat in a colourful patchwork pattern. The vintage design has been upgraded even further by placing them outdoors on a patio, a completely unexpected location for a writing desk.
2. Decoupaged Vintage Chair
This renovation has taken advantage of this beautifully shaped vintage chair that you can pick up at an antique shop or thrift store. The swirling design has been updated using some simple floral wrapping paper that has been carefully decoupaged over the wooden carvings, imbuing them with a new life. The chair’s seat has been reupholstered in a quirky colourful fabric that clashes with the floral frame to create an eclectic aesthetic.
3. Tinted Decoupage Newspaper Print
This Baroque style curved bedside table would, in its time, usually be found stained and thickly varnished and gilded in a very lofty style. The rotund shape is equally as beautiful when brought down to earth with a cheap DIYed makeover with some everyday newspaper clippings decoupaged over the surface. The newsprint has been painted with a thin sepia stain and paired with the original gold handles and little gold feet to finish off this iconic little piece.
4. Eclectic Kitchen Stool
This simple little timber stool has been made into something fun and jazzy with some cheap DIY materials that you can get from the craft store. Some 70s style patterned wrapping paper has been decoupaged crawling up the legs in a different manner on each leg to keep the look eclectic. The rest of the chair has been painted a bright colour that is eye catching and beautiful to finish off this startlingly simple revamp.
5. Sea Themed Stencils
This old school chunky chest of drawers on slim legs has been painted a bright royal blue with a white tabletop that proves that even a large piece of furniture can be easy to DIY cheaply. The chest has been given a nautical makeover using seaside themed stencils that you can make yourself or buy from a craft store. The large scale decals have been painted across over the entire surface even across the face of the drawers to break up the blue and create a piece that feels completely unique.
6. Colour Washed Kitchen Dresser
This beautiful vintage style dresser with glass doors may seem like a daunting DIY project but this effect can, in fact, be achieved simply by sanding off any stain or varnish and colour washing it a pastel blue on the outside and white wash the interior. The resulting summery effect provides you with a rustic location to store your crockery and kitchen linen. The most attractive dishware have been displayed in the top shelves that are exposed by the windows so your every day dishware can double as interior decor.
7. Quirky Patchwork Matching Decor
This cute little mismatched bedside table and mirror have been decoupaged with a patchwork of pattern across the whole surface to create a matching set. This is an excellent example of how you can take two pieces of unrelated old furniture and transform them yourself at home for relatively cheap.
8. Colour Washed Old Dresser
This antique dresser renovation is the perfect execution of making something austere into something rustic and new. In restoring this antique dresser the original details and mouldings have been taken into account and heightened with a simple teal colour wash. The top of the drawers has been left in its original varnished timber state to contrast with the brightness below. This painting technique relies on the uneven opacity to highlight the intricate carvings and vintage clawed feet that make this dresser so elegant. The revived look has been signed off by a series of clear faceted handles.
9. Embroidered Antique Chair
If sewing is a skill you pride yourself on this style of renovation is right up your alley. The timber frame has been simply sanded down and sealed with a thin, matte treatment to update and revive the rich carvings. The real showstopper however is the artfully hand embroidered flowers that have single handedly transformed the beige upholstery into something bright and beautiful.
10. Revamped Four Poster Bed
Even an artisanal timber creation such as this gorgeous vintage four-poster bed can be tackled with some restoration skills to create a piece that feels far less heavy with lathed posts and a carved headboard. The whole structure has been lovingly sanded down and transformed into a piece of contemporary furniture with a few layers of dusty turquoise paint. This technique is doable by even the most beginner DIY enthusiast with the most basic of materials that lets you get some significant bang for your buck.
11. Powder Blue Transformed Dresser
This dresser is a massive piece of antique furniture with highly detailed carvings and lathed details running up each side. A piece like this, in its original finish, could make a room feel dark and dated, however since the shape itself is beautiful it can, through a simple layer of paint, be brought into the now using a solid statement colour. The bright powder blue has been accessorized with navy blue handles to distinguish each drawer and decorate the bright surface.
12. Intricate Painted Stencils
Any piece of furniture, as illustrated by these two pieces, can be revamped at home yourself with just some acrylic paint and some stencils. Stencils can be used in a variety of different ways on totally different scales. The stool is an example of how to adorn a bright colour with one statement stencil while the chest uses a rich intricate design across the entire surface in pale on pale shades for a more detailed effect.
13. Little Patchwork Armchair
This horseshoe shaped armchair is a very austere style usually upholstered in white or beige found in fancy homes. It might be your first instinct to get rid of a chair like this if you have a more relaxed style but there is another way. Through a patchwork of scrap of material leftover from other projects this armchair has been transformed into an eye catching piece that is quirky and bohemian. Using scrap material and an unwanted chair makes this design ecofriendly and low waste on every level.
14. Painted And Polished Chest Of Drawers
In a similar style to example 8 this chest of drawers has left its surface in its original finish and colour washed the rest in a deep dusty teal. The paint effect brings out the subtle carvings around each drawer front and dainty little lathed legs to put the vintage details on display. The original handles have been have been retained to add a little antique detail to finish the design off. The unusual oblong mirror on some rounded legs sits on the surface that has been restored in the same way as the drawers to they display together in perfect synchronicity.
15. Oversized Hand Painted Hibiscus
If you really want to put your artistic skills to the test this hand painted three-dimensional mural could be your next project. This vintage dresser has been sanded, white washed and then painted over with an over sized, brightly coloured hibiscus flower with leaves. The flower has been placed in a way so it runs over three of the surfaces. This painting is a dramatic way to make this traditional and slightly dated chest into a eye catching piece that is 100% unique to you and your home.
16. Simple White Wash
This spacious chest of drawers is a vintage piece that can look very heavy and dark when finished in the way that is expected of the time; a dark and high shine finish. But this is a problem that can be easily remedied to home with some relatively cheap materials. A simple layer of white wash manages to make this piece feel light and contemporary while putting the beautiful twisted columns on either end on display. Add some little, silver handles and this is a whole new piece of furniture.
17. Manipulating Colour And Texture
This stand out little chair has been renovated by manipulating both colour and texture to create an amalgamation that is new and eclectic. The deep rusted orange of the leather seat, armrests and backrest have been pleasing juxtaposed with dusty teal paint timber frame to create a piece that you can help but take a second look at. The teal paintwork does a great job of highlighting the intricate details of the chair carvings. The upholstered embroidered back rest brings an element of rich texture and pattern that can even be hand embroidered if you have the skill. Silver connections holding the upholstery taught are a small but impactful detail within the myriad of colour.
18. A Blue Wash Of Colour
This is another instance where colour washing, this time in a vivid blue, has been used to make this chest of drawers contemporary. The unit has been painted to resemble a three-dimensional watercolor that amplifies the beautiful shape of the original piece. This paint style highlights every roughed up edge that produces a rustic shabby chic style that revels in the imperfections the piece has gained over years of use. The look is finished off with plain, round wooden handles.
19. White Wash And Patchworks
Day beds are pieces of furniture that aren’t so common nowadays, which makes them the perfect piece to renovate to create a totally unique piece. The timber frame has been white washed to fit in with this white loft with its white, pitched ceiling. The soft furnishings, however, are the exact opposite. The quilt and cushions have been sewed out of a patchwork of fabrics that clash beautifully with one another and act as a source of bold colour in a variety of textures and pattern. The combination of surroundings and pattern produces a loft that is shabby chic and comforting.
20. Technicolour Writing Desk
This restored pair have used colour boldly to make the traditional space something new. The writing desk has been painted a bright teal, which seems to be a very popular colour when it comes to restoration, and roughed up a little to keep it looking a little worn that speaks to the pieces history. The chair that has been painted a solid fuschia looks great alongside one another especially when paired with the lime green retro wallpaper behind it.
21. Reupholstered and Repainted Vintage Chair
As we’ve seen in many previous example the wooden frame of this vintage chair has been sanded down and painted a bright colour with a more matte finish that shows off the intricate mouldings, The armrests, backrest and seat have all been reupholstered in this dramatic floral print that is quirky and beautiful, especially when combined with the pastel blue. This restoration is a great motivation to play with colour and have fun with pattern all at once.
22. Restored Piano With Matching Stool
Restoration not only reserved for furniture, it can reach out to musical instruments too. This compact little piano is expected to be finished in either a shining inky black or a highly polished timber. By using a matte red finish that is really unusual in any instruments makes it stand out as something totally unique. The traditional little stool has been painted to match and upholstered in a stylized floral print to make this pair even more quirky and fun.
23. Powder Blue Piano
Like the piano above this beautiful stand up piano has been painted to look far more contemporary and beautiful. The design of the piano itself is really intricately carved, which the dusty blue hue emphasizes and celebrates it where its original dark finish would hide it. The matching stool has been topped by a white surface with a collage of words that pertain to the music being played by the person perched upon it.
24. Teal Colour Washed Chest Of Drawers
This chest of drawers features a whole collection of contemporary furniture restoration staples. The blue colour washed hue allows the wood grain comes through unevenly across the surfaces and highlights the subtle carved details of the framework. The expected new round handles float against the chest that is the sole pop of colour within the neutral space
25. Large Scaled Painted Stencils
In a similar technique to example 12 a bright colour and white stencil has been used to update this elegant set of drawers on a quartet of little lathed legs. The large scale patterned stencil has been limited to the front of the drawers alone to so the rest of the structure provides a frame for it. Clear plastic handles that are faceted like diamonds have been chosen carefully so that they don’t interrupt the gorgeous pattern across the surface.
26. Monochromatic Checked Chest Of Drawers
This out of the box bedroom dresser has been refurbished with a graphic black and white checked design that encompasses the entire piece of furniture. Delicate little handles have been painted to disappear into the pattern work to maintain the monolithic quality to the art piece. All on its own the piece brings pattern into a neutral space without adding any additional colour to interrupt the minimal space.
27. Square, Patchwork Armchair
Using the same technique as example 13 this old school armchair has been transformed into everybody’s favorite spot in the living room. Although the pattern and colours are all different each piece of fabric is the same dimensions, which brings some cohesion into this clashing patchwork design. If you like being eco friendly where you can this design can be executed using scraps left over fabric that makes this upcycled design even less wasteful. In one foul swoop you can give ths chair and the fabric a new chance at life.
As you can see, restoring furniture is an incredibly varied past time that can result in pieces that are outstandingly beautiful from humble beginnings. White washing and colour washing are a trend that is very much in vogue right now that simply changes up the surface texture of a piece to bring out its original beauty in a new way. And lets not forget the benefit to your mental health when you manage to give a sad, forgotten piece of furniture a new lease on life.
So the next time you are in the market for a new piece of furniture why not save your money and see if you have a piece that you can breath new life into with your own two hands.