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May 21, 2020

Breathing New Life into Vintage Finds

Whether it was your great-grandmother’s dining room table or a garage sale item you knew you couldn’t live without, vintage furniture has a place in every home. Here are some ways to take something old and make it new.

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Give a Dated Desk New Life

Vintage Furniture

HGTV Magazine is a fantastic resource for home design inspiration. For example, in a recent issue, the magazine showed how to “bring a dated desk back to life” with paint, press and peel wallpaper, and some new hardware. First, hit your favorite flea market, friend’s garage or your neighborhood buy nothing list (an online resource where people give away things for free). When looking for a desk, focus on the size, shape, angles, and legs to pick the perfect one for your project. After cleaning the desk, sand it down and prime the areas you plan to paint. Following the wallpaper instructions, add it to the drawer faces. Once dry, add your hardware, and your project is complete. Read the detailed instructions.

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Makeover Tip: IKEA is a great resource for inexpensive knobs and pulls. Use pulls and knobs as a way to modernize vintage pieces. You may also consider updating the knobs on your existing furniture to give it an updated look.

Flip a Chandelier

Vintage Furniture Chandelier

There are plenty of brass chandeliers that are ready for a new look. The blog “Dear Lillie Studio” shows how spray paint and new light bulbs can create an entirely unique light fixture to match your home’s decor. When selecting a chandelier, make sure the electrical components still work. If you do find one that needs some work, a local electrician should be able to rewire it for a small charge.

Makeover Tip: By simply updating the light bulb style of an old chandelier, you can give it an updated look. Consider using Edison bulbs to update your light fixture. Here’s a chart from HomeElectrical to help you determine which bulbs could be used to edit your project chandelier.

Renew an Antique Chair

Vintage Furniture Antique Chair

Old dining room chairs offer many surprises. From their sturdy build to their one-of-a-kind hand-carved features, these vintage finds are great as an accent or desk chair. No matter the project, wiping down your flea market find then sanding it is a great first step. Then, the possibilities are endless. Removing the seat and taking off the original fabric will give you a baseline to work with. Reupholstering a chair with material from a craft store, a vintage remnant, or even a fabric napkin can give it a renewed look. Another option would be to paint the original fabric. Habitat for Humanity offers instructions on how to do this on their blog.

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Makeover Tip: Picking a fabric to reupholster a chair can be daunting. Once you see how modern material can give a chair new life, you may be inspired to give this project a try. Here are 28 before and after chair reupholstery projects from Homedit to get your creative juices flowing.

Spray Paint Is a Miracle Worker

Vintage Furniture Spray Paint

The term “vintage” is in the eye of the beholder. Maybe you have a vintage dresser in your garage or possibly a 10-year-old collection of chipped flower pots. Either way, spray paint can take anything old, regardless of age, and make it new again. Apartment Therapy takes things a step further and highlights unique items that could benefit from some sprucing up with spray paint. Take their lead and try painting items you’ve never considered.

Makeover Tip: Rustoleum spray paint offers more than flat colors for remodeling projects. Unique finishes and fun textures can amp up your makeovers. The Rustoleum website also includes a project catalog for additional crafty ideas.

The end goal is take something that hasn’t had some TLC and give it new life. Look around your home and consider items (maybe an old dining room table that has water marks or a beat up bedside table), visit flea markets, or keep an eye on online ads to find pieces you can makeover. These projects are inexpensive and can have a major impact in your home.

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