Six ways to relove your old furniture | the ReFab Diaries
If you live in the northern hemisphere, then it's the time of year when you're aching to throw open windows, pack away blankets and refresh, well, everything! You've been stuck indoors with your stuff for months and you're tired of it. Maybe you're even ready to donate half of it and throw the other half into a dumpster somewhere. Today's message is... don't. There are other, less wasteful ways to refresh tired old spaces. Here are six great tips from today's guest blogger Kacey Bradley, of The Drifter Collective!

A well-loved piece of furniture will make its status known over time. Frayed fabric, scratched wood or deflated cushions prove you’ve gotten a lot out of a piece of décor. But don’t let wear-and-tear lead you to believe you have to move on to new furniture to keep your home looking stylish and well maintained. Instead, you can add love back into your furniture and have it looking better than ever! Here are six tips to spruce up almost every piece you might have:

1. Firm Up a Flat Sofa or Paint a dull one

Once upon a time, your sofa provided just the right amount of cushion when you sat down, napped or tucked in for a full-on Netflix binge. Nowadays, you can barely stand to take a seat because there’s no bounce left to keep you cozy. Rather than kick your well-loved sofa to the curb, you can give your piece a little bit of love and re-fluff it in no time. Start by examining the furniture to make sure it’s the cushions that have flattened or if you need to fortify its frame. In the case of the former, you can merely re-stuff the pillows with the same material used initially. Adding batting or a second layer of upholstery-grade foam is all it might take.

As for the frame itself, repairing or replacing broken parts of a wood frame will give you the seated support you need. You can grab a pair of pliers and reshape any bent couch springs, too. And if the fabric has faded or is more stained than not, consider painting it.

2. Buff Wood Furniture

Even though wood furniture can last for generations, dullness makes it show its age. So, get your arm muscles ready to rub down surfaces and restore shine.

Properly caring for your wood furniture can be as simple as dusting it regularly, but yours may need a little more love than that. Place a little bit of wax in the middle of a cloth, kneading until it’s spread across the cloth's surface. Then, spread it over the surface of your wood in a circular pattern. A second layer can be applied if needed. With wax on top, grab another cloth or lambswool and get to buffing. If you need help to gauge the strength and pressure of the process, you can rent a buffing machine to do the job for you.

3. Replace Outdated Accents

It might not be the look or feel of the furniture itself that's bringing you down, but the room that’s surrounding it. So take a cold, hard look at your décor and decide if you can revamp the rest of the room to breathe new life into your furniture.

You might just need a new layer of paint on your walls to bring a pop of color or a layer of contrast. Your accessories could also be to blame: a colorful area rug can make a neutral sofa pop, while brightly colored books and knickknacks could do the same for built-in bookshelves. Pull back curtains for additional natural light to spotlight the work you’ve done and voila: your furniture looks brand new thanks to all the updates happening around it.

4. Refinish Metallic Pieces

Whether indoors or part of outdoor living spaces, metal furniture quickly loses its luster if allowed to rust. Again, the recycling bin isn’t your only option: you can brush and scrape away the oxidized stuff before priming and repainting your furniture. With that weekend to-do finished, you’ll have wholly revamped your deck, or den, with a little bit of elbow grease. Of course, if you love living outdoors, you might just need to invest in really good, long-lasting patio furniture. Check out this great guide at

5. Remove Fabric Stains and Scents

Even if you fabric furniture is still comfy, it might have lost its looks. Many upholstered pieces get stains or soak up ambient scents, which could become a one-way ticket to the landfill. Of course, you could try your hand at removing them before removing your furniture from your home. You don’t need powerful, chemical-laden products to get this done, either. Just sprinkle your entire sofa or chair with baking soda and let it sit for a few hours. Then vacuum it— and any unwanted odors — away with the appliance’s brush attachment. A homemade combination of dishwashing liquid, vinegar, baking soda and warm water can be used to remove stains on your furniture, as well as on other fabric or carpeted surfaces.

6. Upgrade Bargains and Basics

Decorating on a budget often limits you to shopping at big-box, thrift and resale stores. As such, your home may have a cookie-cutter feel that makes it hard to achieve the coziness and personality you'd like. A quick fix to that problem is to customize your basic furniture so that it feels like your own. There are multiple ways to do so: you can apply a painted stencil pattern to a plain piece of furniture, or add tufts, buttons (or even doilies!) to an average old couch. These tiny additions will bestow just enough character onto an otherwise bargain piece of furniture so that you want to keep it around for years to come.

Feel the (re)Love
Any of these six methods are sure to breathe new life into your furniture and your home! Try one and see for yourself just how much love you’ll have for your space once again.

Kacey Bradley is the lifestyle and travel blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she frequently writes for sites like US Travel News, Thought Catalog, Style Me Pretty, and more! Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!

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  1. Sounds very inspiring! I've got one more idea for the case when you love your old shabby furniture and don't want to part with it or when a set of new outdoor furniture is just not in the budget. You can simply put new beautiful covers on your old furniture. It's much cheaper, and nowadays there are plenty of shops offering furniture covers to any taste.


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