Easy DIY Ideas: Entry Furnishing Flips

Create an eye-catching entry by embellishing well-worn or thrift shop furnishings with paint, hardware and fabric.

Chest of drawers before painting

Keep an eye out for furniture with nice lines and in good overall condition. There’s nothing wrong with this bland and boxy chest of drawers that can’t be helped with new paint and hardware.

Painted chest of drawers

The bold zigzag on the crisp white background eases the squareness of the dresser. Metallic hoop drawer pulls contrast nicely with the geometrics. Here’s how to get the look.

What You’ll Need

  • Chest of drawers
  • Screwdriver
  • Olympic One latex paint in white and dark blue
  • Paintbrush
  • Yardstick
  • Pencil
  • Painter’s tape
  • Drawer pulls

Remove drawers and knobs and paint drawers in white. Let dry. Paint chest in dark blue and let dry.

Lay middle drawer face up and use the yardstick to mark a series of diagonal lines the width of the stick across the drawer front. Place the top and bottom drawers in place and, starting at the end points of the pencil lines on the middle drawer, draw lines on the top and bottom drawers at an opposing angle to the middle drawer. These lines will help to act as a guide to keep your lines even when you start taping.

Starting from the left side, place painter’s tape along the edge of the first line and another piece of tape parallel to the line ½ inch away. Continue to apply tape at ½-inch intervals across the drawer fronts. When all drawers are taped, line them up to check that your ½-inch interval lines meet; adjust as needed.

Detail of zigzag pattern on painted chest

Using the dark blue paint, fill in the ½-inch areas between tape strips. Let dry and apply a second coat if needed. Remove the tape when the paint is still slightly tacky. When paint is totally dry (overnight is best), use a damp rag to remove any visible pencil marks.

Insert new drawer pulls into existing holes and screw into place. Replace drawers in chest.

Old brass lamp base

A brass-colored lamp base mimics the traditional style of a Victorian-era oil lamp. Painted a bright hue and teamed with a fabric-covered shade, it can be transformed into a light source fit for a queen. It’s easy to find lamps like this at thrift shops and tag sales. Giving it a new finish is the work of a few hours.

Painted lamp base

What You’ll Need

  • Old brass lamp
  • Painter’s tape
  • Drop cloth
  • Spray paint (we used Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Multi-Purpose Spray Paint in Berry Pink)

Using painter’s tape, mask off the neck and socket at the top of the lamp and the cord at the bottom (seal most of the cord inside a plastic bag and tape the neck of the bag and cord at the exit point). Set the lamp on a drop cloth in a well-ventilated area.
Lightly spray several thin coats of paint on unmasked areas of the lamp. Let dry completely.

Remove tape, add a harp if necessary and top with a lampshade and finial.

Floral fabric covered lampshade

The floral-print shade brings together all of the room’s cool blue and warm rosy tones. A few simple steps will take a plain shade from drab to dramatic.

Materials for lampshade

What You’ll Need

  • Kraft paper
  • Lampshade
  • Pencil, ruler
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Spray adhesive
  • Hinged clothespins

Lay out a large sheet of kraft paper and place the lampshade on top, seam side down. Take a pencil and, making an X at the beginning of the line, trace along the bottom edge of the shade while rolling it across the paper. When you get back to the seam, mark an X and then keep rolling for about an inch or so while tracing. This extra allowance will be the seam. Repeat these steps with the top of the shade. Use a ruler to draw a straight line from the top line’s X to the bottom line’s X and repeat on the other side. The resulting template should be shaped like an elongated U.

Cut out the pattern leaving at least a ½-inch allowance at both top and bottom to wrap over the edges onto the inside of the lampshade. Wrap the pattern around the lampshade to make sure it fits, then trace the shape onto the wrong side of the fabric and cut it out.

Spray adhesive onto the fabric. Carefully roll fabric over the lampshade, smoothing out any wrinkles. Fold the extra allowance back onto itself to form a seam, spray with extra adhesive and apply to the shade.

Using the adhesive, spray the top and bottom allowances and fold down over the shade to the inside. Make some small cuts every inch or so to make folding easier. Secure with clothespins while adhesive dries.

Wallpapered entry

Give your remade furnishings a suitable backdrop with graphic wallpaper. We opted for Urban Chic Street Art Wallpaper (#RK4425) from York Wallcoverings. Top the chest with a circular mirror (ours is from Target) and balance the visual weight of the chest with a substantial and comfy chair like this navy velvet seat from World Market. The result? A jazzy welcome for anyone who comes through your door.

Photography by Chris Hennessey


© Caruth Studio

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  1. Cathi Spick

    Very pretty! Sets the mood for a happy hime! Great inspiration!

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