Refinishing Furniture Tips To Spark Your Imagination

In the 21st century, the phrase “everything old is new again” applies in many contexts, including interior design. There are plenty of references to older eras in the modern spaces we most admire. And sometimes too, we are discovering that with a little bit of love, many of the aging pieces of furniture we’ve got, or can find in a thrift store, can end up being important design focal points to our spaces. We can apply our creative impulses while saving a bit of money, too.

So to outline some of the finer points of refinishing furniture, guest writer Don Lewis is here to illuminate our path from furniture’s faded glory, to stylishness reborn!


dresser with multi-colored drawers

photo: clg20171

These days, more and more homeowners are looking for a way to modernize old furniture pieces, including cabinets, tables, chairs, and drawers. That’s because upgrading furniture allows them not only to save money, but also to make an eco-friendly statement. It’s also rewarding to have a piece that was designed by your own hands. Although refinishing furniture can be a daunting task for the first-timers; it doesn’t have to be with the right info. Here are some neat tips to help you get started on your dresser DIY project and turn it into a fun experience.

Restain and Repolish

Restaining your dresser and its drawers is one of the simplest things you can do to give this furniture piece a facelift. By simply using certain wood stain colors and care products, you can bring out the beauty of your dresser and prevent specific problems, such as fading and staining.

Some things you should know before restaining and repolishing your dresser include: always use a stain that’s close to the natural tone of the wood; remove the previous layer of stain/polish completely and sand out imperfections; follow directions exactly when applying the stain; choose a good-quality finish.


Repainting furniture is easier than restaining and repolishing it. With a good paint, you can easily turn a dull dresser into a splendid addition to your bedroom. A great fresh coat of paint can help you restore your furniture to its original luster.

Don’t be afraid to choose bold colors such as canary yellow, seafoam green, fuchsia, or tiger orange. Mixing color schemes such as a coral frame with peach drawers will also add flavor to your dressers. To take your dressers to the next level, grab some painting tape and create zebra stripes or zig-zag patterns.

Polka Dot multi-colored dresser

Photo:Lokate Sittig

Replace Drawer Fronts

If you don’t like the way the fronts of your dresser drawers look, you can replace them with new ones. For an interesting effect, choose drawer fronts that are darker or lighter than the dresser. This can help you create a truly beautiful and unique furniture piece.

If the replacement of drawer fronts is far too complicated for you, use wallpaper to cover them. Thanks to some innovative DIYers, gift wrapping paper is no longer just a Christmas item. You can use it to cover your dresser drawers and knobs to turn your dresser into a masterpiece.


Today, various drawer dividers are ready to help you take control of your messy dresser drawers. These products are available in different sizes to allow you to compartmentalize your drawers the way you want. Regardless of whether they’re made of wood, cardboard, metal, or plastic, the best dividers are the expandable ones because they usually fit into any drawer.


You can embellish your dresser by simply accessorizing its drawers. If the dresser is made of wood, use wooden ornaments to decorate its front.  After cutting out and applying these patterns on the drawer fronts, you can use two different wood finishes (one for the dresser and the other one for the patterns) to create a real work of art.

However, feel free to expand your options with vibrantly colored stencils, animal prints, and sports designs. Another great idea is to replace the old handles and hinges with new ones. Choose hinges and handles that reflect your individual style and interests. For example, if your favorite sport is baseball, add some miniature baseballs or bats as drawer handles. If you love to do ballet, then reflect that by adding some ballet slippers as handles or hinges.

purple and white dresser

Photo: Doug Farmer

Willpower and imagination

Revamping your dresser is a great way to give your bedroom an updated look and increase its functionality without the hassle and expense of replacing furniture. A really great aspect is that you can complete the aforementioned points yourself, even if you don’t have advanced carpentry knowledge. In fact, the only thing you really need to succeed is some willpower and a good imagination.


Thanks, Don!

Don is an aspiring creative writer and furniture restoration DIY enthusiast. He loves to research about new techniques to turn old furniture into aesthetically pleasing artistic pieces. In his spare time he also enjoys sketching, mastering the violin, and exploring art galleries. Art is his way of life.






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