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Whether your furniture is outdated or you like changing your decor regularly, refreshing your current furniture or a garage-sale find is a great way to get an updated look.

Painting furniture

One of the easiest ways to update a piece is to paint it. Painted furniture isn’t limited to wood; you can update metal, wicker, even upholstery. Your furniture will determine the paint you use:

Stain. Wood stains are an ever-popular choice and come in a variety of hues, from cherry red to dark espresso.

Spray paint. A great option for furniture with details or lots of curves. You can choose various colors and finishes, including matte, satin or metallic. Works for various materials, such as metal, wicker or wood.

Chalk paint. Very little prep work is required, and with a finishing wax, it gives furniture a nice antique look with a matte, chalky finish.

Latex. Latex paints offer a variety of finishes, from a shiny satin to a flat matte.

Acrylic. Available at craft stores, works for many different pieces.

Fabric medium. Mixed with an acrylic or latex paint for painting upholstered furniture.


Slipcovers are a simple, fast way to refresh any furniture. You can switch colors and patterns for the season, or choose a new neutral color to hide an outdated floral or plaid. You can try to make your own slipcover to match your decor and furniture’s specifications. Otherwise, you can buy one that ties or snaps on, or has an elastic band.


By reupholstering that ugly wingback chair, you can choose the fabric you want, add some updated elements like tufting or nailhead trim and make sure you have the exact look you want.

Accessorize furniture

You could swap old handles and pulls for updated pieces, paint outdated gold handles and hinges, add a nailhead trim to the arms or backs of chairs and couches, or re-cover pillows and cushions on couches and chairs, or buy new ones.

Emily Simpson is a reporter for Angie’s List.