Tired of living with the same old furniture? Or are you dying to bring salvaged pieces back to life? Then try these super-fun DIY ideas!

Old chest of drawers

It doesn’t take a fat wallet or a limitless credit line to decorate a home to look luxe. Revitalize a castoff chest of drawers like this one (seriously, it was about to fall apart).

Painted and glazed chest of drawers

With a little effort and a few supplies it will grace your entry with a glam space to drop your keys or mail and charge your phone.

Glazed chest of drawers

Three-dimensional paintable wallpaper is a high-impact, low-cost option for salvaging damaged surfaces. Metallic paint and a translucent dark glaze top it for instant allure. Rubbing a dark glaze over the dresser’s surface accentuates the paper’s outlines. Here’s how it’s done.

What You’ll Need

  • Secondhand chest of drawers
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Water-based wood sealer
  • Assorted paintbrushes: sponge and trim
  • Craft knife
  • Measuring tape
  • Paintable wallpaper: Anaglypta Deco Paradiso
  • Water-based decoupage medium
  • Metallic paint: Modern Masters Warm Silver
  • DecoArt Americana acrylic paint: Dark Umber
  • Glaze medium: Modern Masters
  • Soft, lint-free cloths
  • Water-based varnish
  • Drawer knobs

Remove existing hardware from drawers. Sand all surfaces and wipe away dust with tack cloth. Apply sealer with sponge brush; let dry. Lightly sand again and wipe clean.

Using a craft knife, cut a piece of wallpaper to fit the top surface of chest.
Line up drawers in a row from top to bottom. If there are spacers (the area between drawers) on the case of the chest, separate drawers in the lineup to reflect the width of the spacers. This will ensure a matched pattern on each drawer. Measure and cut wallpaper pieces to fit each drawer front, matching the pattern.

Measure and cut wallpaper for each end of the chest.

Painted chest of drawers

Working on one area at a time, apply decoupage medium to chest surface and on the back of corresponding wallpaper piece. Position wallpaper on the wet surface and gently rub the paper surface to ensure good adhesion. Brush generous coat of decoupage medium on wallpaper; let dry.

When all wallpaper pieces are dry, use a trim brush to base-coat entire chest with Warm Silver. Apply a second coat if needed for complete coverage; let dry.

To antique the chest, mix Dark Umber with an equal amount of glaze medium; thin with a small amount of water. Wipe with soft cloth. Let dry.

Apply varnish according to manufacturer’s instructions. Let dry.
Install knobs.

Fluted knob

Neo-Victorian fluted knobs replace missing pulls and continue the interplay of light and dark.

Matisse painting in gilded frame

Top your refreshed furniture with an eye-catching work of art that complements the richness of your paint treatment.

Vase with rubber bands

A metallic border imparts opulence to an unpretentious vase. Simply wrap wide rubber bands around the top third of the vase, overlapping and varying the slant of the bands. Cover the area below the bands with painter’s tape.

Painted flower vase

Using a foam brush, apply two coats of FolkArt metallic acrylic paint in 14K Gold. When dry, remove the bands and tape. Finish with a clear sealer.

Painted ceramic jar

Create an artful accent in under an hour! Use a black paint pen (ours was specially formulated to use on ceramics) to add geometric designs below the neck around the body of a small ceramic vase. Set the paint by curing it in your oven: Place your decorated ceramic piece or pieces in a single layer in a cool oven, close the door and turn the oven on to 375°F. When the oven has heated up completely, start the timer for 40 minutes. After that time, turn off the oven and allow the items to cool completely inside before removing them from the oven.

Painted belly basket

A seagrass belly basket goes from plain to patterned when you create contrast with two saturated hues of red and charcoal.

Painted belly basket detail

All you need is matte-finish craft paint, a narrow brush and painter’s tape to outline shapes.

Entry chest of drawers

Fresh textures, colors and patterning give new life to old furniture and accents for a knockout look at your front door. Refined gold elements mixed with rustic basketry weave a dramatic tableau that greets you and your visitors with a glamorous welcome.

Photography by Chris Hennessey

© Caruth Studio