Furniture(Edited from AP) For many homeowners, spring has brought the itch for change but not the money to do much about it.

More and more homeowners are rolling up their sleeves and refurbishing tables, chairs and couches themselves, designers say.

”Frugality and practicality are still at the forefront of people’s minds right now, so updating and making the best of what you already have is a surefire way to save money and recycle,” said Rachael Liska, senior editor at Fresh Home magazine.

Furniture(Edited from AP) For many homeowners, spring has brought the itch for change but not the money to do much about it.

More and more homeowners are rolling up their sleeves and refurbishing tables, chairs and couches themselves, designers say.

”Frugality and practicality are still at the forefront of people’s minds right now, so updating and making the best of what you already have is a surefire way to save money and recycle,” said Rachael Liska, senior editor at Fresh Home magazine.

It may seem daunting, especially if you’re a do-it-yourself newbie, but starting small and taking your time can ease stress or anxiety.

”The way we sort of think of it here is you’re dressing your furniture on a level that everyone really is comfortable with,” said Danielle Claro, home editor at Real Simple magazine. ”Think about getting a haircut, jewelry or clothes for yourself. You don’t have to completely remake a piece. You get can a lot of bang for your buck, even if you’re not super handy.”

Have a clear idea of what you want to do before you dive in, Liska said.

”Look to magazines, bloggers and designers, or even artwork for inspiration,” she said. ”And be sure to have everything you need – all your supplies – on hand.”

PAINTING

Painting is by far the easiest way to spruce up an old piece of furniture.

A dull pine table can become a sleek modern piece with a coat or two of glossy black paint. Enamel paint is cheap, and spray paints now come in almost any color you can imagine, and adhere to just about any surface, said Cindy Thomas, editor and owner of Frugalsimplicity.com.

Claro suggested painting a mirror’s frame with a glossy color, or taking an old wooden Windsor chair and sanding it, priming it and coating it with a fresh spring color like orange or turquoise.

”That’s the kind of thing where if you have a white kitchen and you throw an orange chair in there it can revive the whole room,” she said.

But, Claro stressed, don’t paint a piece you love, and certainly not an antique.

STAINING/WAXING

Instead of painting, expert suggests stripping and waxing old furniture to bring out the wood’s beauty and color.

Stripping and staining is a bit more work, but is still a relatively inexpensive way to change things up while keeping the furniture’s original look.

You’ll likely need to remove the original finish with a paint and varnish remover first and sand out any imperfections. Then add the stain based on the package directions, and apply a coat of varnish to protect the surface, Thomas said.

EMBELLISHING/ACCESSORIZING

Painting and staining are tried-and-true techniques for updating furniture, but Liska says a fresher take is to try gilding, decoupaging, decal-ing, or embellishing old pieces with materials such as decorative nail heads, leather trim, cording and tassels.

At DIY Network, designers added a mod touch to an old brown dresser by decoupaging the drawers and sides with plaid wallpaper. Using pre-pasted wallpaper, they said, dip it in water, smooth it onto the drawers with a sponge and allow it to dry about four hours. Then apply a decoupage medium with a sponge brush to the drawer fronts, allow that to dry, and finish the project with a set of more refined pull knobs to give the piece a more elegant feel.

Changing out the hardware on a dresser or side table is one of the easiest ways to make it over.

Brass insects and other animal-shaped knobs are hot right now, as are clear and colored glass for a more vintage feel, Claro said.

”One thing with knobs: Buy several and try them all,” she said. ”Look at them in the context of the room before you make an investment and put time in. It makes a big difference.”
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Online:

http://freshhomeblog.com/fresh-home-magazine
http://www.realsimple.com
http://www.hgtv.com/secrets-from-a-stylist/show/index.html
http://www.frugalsimplicity.com

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