My 5 FAV furniture updates

I'm currently working on one major furniture refinishing project... Two collapsible director chairs I bought for $3/each a few years ago. Holy smokers - they're turning out to be a labour of love. Scraping and scraping AND scraping paint off takes time, patience and muscles but once I stain the wood you'll see how worth it all this work is!

As I've been tolling away on the director chairs, I've been thinking about how much I miss reloving dated, discarded, forgotten furniture. Over the years, there have been countless furniture updates - chairs from the Share Shed at the dump, dressers from the Gibsons Recycling Depot, amazing thrift store scores and freebies from friends and coworkers. So here are my favourite furniture transformations. The best part is some may be labours of love but in other cases you don't need a huge investment of time, money or know how... All you need is a bit of mojo and inspiration.

Furniture update 1: A free cabinet from a coworker

A few years ago, one of my coworkers donated this cabinet. He even dropped it off. It was a dresser in process. So I got to finish this baby off and after it was done there was no way it was going anywhere. I love how it ended up!

The cabinet had the potential to be a signature piece in my home. First up - rethinking the drawer pulls! Big clunky wood pulls really weren't gonna work. So my free cabinet soon turned into a $100 investment.

Here's the finished piece - I sanded then stained the wood. Then had a craft date with my Dad drilling holes for the new brass pulls. These pulls were so worth the $100 investment. The completed dresser is stunning! And is the perfect happy home for my stash of fabric.

Furniture update 2: An office chair from the dump

I picked up this $1 office chair from the Sechelt dump's Share Shed years ago. I miss the Share Shed! So many a chair was rescued and updated from the Sechelt dump. Those were the days!

The bones of the chair were in good shape. The upholstery was in definite disrepair... And very dated.

Luckily I had found some super funky fabric at the thrift store I was saving for the right project. This was that project... I sanded and stained the wood then reupholstered it. Wow! It's a beauty! This was a dream update - pretty straight-forward, low budget investment with high budget results. Home decor on the cheap rocks!

I love this fabric!! The chair and fabric really were meant for each other.

Furniture update 3: Another $1 chair from the Share Shed

This chair was meant for me... It looks awful but it's still one of my most cherished pieces. And to think I refinished it in one afternoon. Sanded down the shellac, stained it then an easy peasy reupholstery job. Love this $1 find from the Sechelt dump's Share Shed.

Here's the completed update... I love how the wood grain shines through once the layers of shellac have been removed. It's sturdy, elegant and has a teeny tiny bit of funk. It maybe cost $5-10 in total for the chair, fabric, etc. Not bad at all!

Furniture update 4: A free teak chair goes from drab to super FAB

Nothing's better than scoring a free find with good bones. This teak chair was donated to me by a friend. It sat in my parents' house for awhile before I started on it. Refinishing the wood was simple - a bit of sanding and a bit of tung oil did the trick. I then tried reupholstering it with some grey ultra suede I had on hand. Brutal... The back rest nearly drove me over the edge. After mucking around for hours and finishing off the upholstery what happened?! I tore the suede. Eh gad... Back to the drawing board!

I ended up investing in new fabric. I found these at Fabricland - a beautiful patterned fabric with a solid teal fabric. I thought the patterned fabric would be too much for the whole chair so bought the plain fabric. Teal and teak - such an awesome combo!

What a transformation... Boring beige to a chair that is nothing close to boring. This chair is a stand out in any home. So glad the ultra suede didn't work out!

Furniture update 5: A thrift store teak coffee table

I bought this for $15... I was so thrilled I walked it from the Salvation Army at Third and Lonsdale to my office at 14th and Lonsdale. I have no doubt people were thinking I was crazy but the table is pretty light. I then invested an hour of light sanding then oiling... Best $15 I've spent on furniture!

So here's to the dated, torn, forgotten furniture left in disrepair... May there be enough of us DIY-ers, upcyclers, makers and just plain ole crazy crafty peeps to bring them back to their glory. Or even beyond.