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15 Upcycled Furniture Ideas That Turn Trash Into Treasure


By Caroline Picard, GOOD HOUSEKEEPING

Look no further than the neighborhood garage sale or your favorite budget furniture store (hello, IKEA!) to find the basis for a seriously upscale-looking piece. With a little paint, sandpaper, and some rolled-up sleeves, these DIY home decor projects turn humble "befores" to enviable "afters."


BEFORE: Boring Bookcase


We snagged this 1960s Bennington bookcase on Craigslist via Forgotten Furniture for just $50.


AFTER: Haute Hutch


A quick wallpaper-and-paint makeover can fit any decor style. For a fun and feminine look, we picked pink accessories, gray pain, and Hygge & West Nethercote wallpaper (left). Traditional blue paint and striped paper lends itself to nautical vibes (right).


BEFORE: Busted Armchair


Transform a flea-market find with leftover black paint and fun new upholstery.


AFTER: Statement Seating


Save cash by painting the wood frame yourself, then taking it for a pro upholstery job. We picked Black Dalmatian Dots by Bliss Design Studio on Spoonflower for this piece, a spot-on print whether you style it with graphic, colorful extras (left) or girly, glam accessories (right).


BEFORE: Shabby Window


A little elbow grease takes this plain-Jane pane to the next level.


AFTER: Message Board


Start by removing leftover chipped paint using medium-grit sandpaper until you’ve uncovered original wood. Wipe off excess dust and clean the panes, then brush on black chalkboard paint. Let the coats "cure" according to package directions before decorating with cute messages. Attach coat hooks for extra utility.


BEFORE: Dusty Shutters


Pick up a matching set and remove any peeling paint to create a cute sideboard with a little personality.


AFTER: Cute Cabinet


Lay out your shutters to determine the size of your cabinet. Measure the width and depth for the cabinet top, bottom, interior shelf, and backing. At the hardware store, have four pieces of medium-density fiberboard cut to fit. Then assemble and attach bun feet and knobs. Don't forget to paint it your favorite color!


BEFORE: Blah Bench


Talk about a score. We stumbled on this $15 tufted bench at a garage sale.


AFTER: Entryway Perch


Fresh white paint and a flowery fabric from Minted gave this piece a cheery update.


BEFORE: Ladder and Scrap Wood


Pick up two ladders, a 4-foot wooden rod, and two wooden planks (one about 4 ½ feet, one 4¾ feet). 


AFTER: Clothing Rack


Getting dressed will be a breeze when your go-to layers and favorite accessories stay on an easy-access rack. To make, paint the planks, rod, and ladder. Attach each plank to the bottom two sets of rungs using a drill and screws. Be sure to set the lowest shelf forward to make room for tall boots. At the top of the ladder, center two pipe brackets on each top rung and attach with screws. Slide top rod through.


BEFORE: Wood Crate


HOUSEWORKS

amazon.com

$12.58


Start with a plain wooden design, then paint the inside or leave it bare and simple.


AFTER: Simple Storage


This inexpensive storage unit that can be tailored to fit any space, like a pyramid in the mudroom or a low horizontal design behind a sofa or beneath a TV. Even better, this project doesn't require a single power tool to construct! Stack and restack the crates until you find the right configuration. Then fasten the sides of the adjoining crates with large binder clips (measure the crate thickness first to ensure a snug fit). Avoid stashing heavy things like appliances near the top so the crates won’t topple.


BEFORE: Reclaimed Wood Quarter Pallet


Crates & Pallet

homedepot.com

$10.98


You can find square pallets for a bargain at your local home improvement store.


AFTER: Patio Table


Brush on exterior paint and attach metal casters and you've got a sturdy, movable coffee table for your backyard hangout.


BEFORE: RAST 3-Drawer Chest


IKEA

ikea.com

$39.99


This inexpensive pine chest from IKEA is practically begging for a makeover.


AFTER: Campaign Dresser


Recreate the classic design by painting on two to three coats of a bold, high-gloss hue (we love vibrant orange!), then attaching gold or brass corner hardware and pulls.


AFTER: Mid-Century Desk


Stain the fronts of two dressers and paint the frames white. Once dry, attach the hardware and pair with a painted plywood plank for an oversize desk with plenty of room to get things done.


BEFORE: CountyLine Oval Galvanized Stock Tank


tractorsupply.com

$94.99


Flip a large galvanized tub - this one is 2 feet wide, 4 feet long, and 2 feet high - over and you're halfway to a cozy nook.


AFTER: Dog Bed


Your family mascot gets his own "room" with this DIY. First drill holes to outline an entrance, and then use a Dremel to cut an opening. Sand down edges and add rope trim. Fit the top with a slab of reclaimed wood.


BEFORE: Flip-Top Dresser


If stained wood isn't your style, get ready for a splash of color.


AFTER: Glam Vanity


For dressed-up drawers, paint the fronts in a run of color. Use shades on the same swatch for no-fail color coordination and ask for sample cans - you'll have plenty for the project and save money over full gallons.


BEFORE: Window Frame


Next time you spy ho-hum panes at a tag sale, get ready for a fun Saturday project.


AFTER: Entryway Organizer


Sand away blemishes, then use painter's tape to give the frame a fresh coat of color. Paint one square with chalkboard paint and cover another with adhesive-backed cork roll. Then add a shelf, hooks, and a few decorative details to create a tidy drop zone by the side door.


BEFORE: HEMNES 3-Drawer Chest


IKEA

ikea.com

$179.00


A flea market dresser works well (just add a coat of semigloss paint), or buy a basic style, like this one from IKEA.


AFTER: Kitchen Cart


A few easy add-ons (think casters and towel bars) are all it takes to turn a chest of drawers into a bonus storage and dinner-prep space. Replace the pulls with leather belts for an added stylish touch.


BEFORE: 5-Section Coat Locker


AmazonBasics

amazon.com

$299.99


If you find yourself without a coat closet or adequate shoe storage, it's worth taking a trip back to school.


AFTER: Chic Mudroom Storage


Cubbies dressed up with cute colors, storage baskets, and a few decorative accents help corral clutter by establishing a designated zone for each family member.

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U.S. Daily News: 15 Upcycled Furniture Ideas That Turn Trash Into Treasure
15 Upcycled Furniture Ideas That Turn Trash Into Treasure
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