Creating New Furniture from Old
Drive through any neighborhood on a warm Saturday morning, and you will often see used and battered furniture available for just a few dollars. The owners may just be tired of the furniture or purchased a new piece they liked better. You can get some great finds on the lawns in your neighborhood and for just a few dollars; you can give a second life to that piece of furniture with some paint and a piece of your favorite fabric. To add a designer touch to your project, a piece of fabric can create a unique piece all your own. Get idea about your bit that matches the wall paper is a great way to tie the new furniture into the existing décor.
Any piece of furniture can be made new with a bit of work. Prepare the piece for priming, then lightly sand the inside and outside of the cabinets with 100 grit sand paper. Wipe all sanded surfaces with a damp rag to remove all the sanded particles. Fill any cracks or holes with stainable wood filler available at the home improvement store and let the filler dry thoroughly. Then sand and wipe down the filled areas to make sure they match the rest of the wood.
Once all sanded and filled, brush on a thin coat of primer and then let it dry. Most primer will dry quickly and will lose its sticky feel in just a few hours. An oil based primer creates a more durable finish but it can be harder to clean up afterwards. You can use a latex primer if you prefer.
If the furniture you have selected has drawers, remove the drawers and sand and prime those at this time. Let them dry completely. If you are working on a book shelf, remove each shelf if possible and sand and prime each shelf as well. Don’t forget to prep the back of the furniture too. Once the primer step is complete, decide what areas will be painted and what areas you want to cover with fabric. You do not need to paint the surfaces you will be covering with fabric. Paint the appropriate areas and let them dry completely.
To add your fabric touch, cut a piece of fabric large enough to cover the top of the furniture and wrap around the edges. To prepare the fabric for application, iron fusible web onto the wrong side of the fabric. When cool, remove the webbing paper liners. Next iron the fabric directly onto the wood surface. Pull the fabric tight and smooth; use glue to affix the fabric to the underside of the top panel. Snip any excess fabric from the corners and reinforce the edges with fabric glue to prevent fraying.
Repeat the same steps for each shelf you want to cover and any drawer fronts. By adding fabric to the top of a cabinet and adding the same fabric to the front of a lower drawer, the fabric will pull the piece together and add a personal touch to your refinished find. Next, add new decorative drawer pulls to the drawer, matching the fabric and the style of the room where you will be using the furniture.
Fabric is a wonderful designer trick. A new piece of fabric can dramatically change the look of a couch or chair, fabric on the walls can hide small cracks, holes or flaking plaster and fabric on wood can give designer flair to any piece of cabinetry or end table. Next time you are thinking you need a new look, look to fabrics? The ideas are endless.