Getting hand-me-down furniture is a great way to keep good stuff out of landfills. But if your new-to-you pieces need a little refreshing, it can be hard to know where to start. Blogger Dinah Wulf of DIY Inspired explains how she “glammed up” a play table she received from a friend. You can adapt her simple steps to almost any furniture face-lift project.
One of my best friends gave me a Disney princess table set when she moved. I loved the shape of the chairs and the storage pocket in the center of the table; however, it was a little worn from use. I took on the table and chairs as a DIY project and glammed them up a bit — Hollywood Regency style. This project required priming and painting as well as adding seat cushions, a monogram, and a clear crystal knob.
This article contains affiliate links that help fund the Earth911 Recycling Directory, the most comprehensive in North America.
Step 1: Sand and prime
I used a light sandpaper to remove a few old stickers and then cleaned the surface. Even though the surface was already smooth, I decided to prime it first. Two coats of primer worked perfectly. (When priming, make sure the first coat is completely dry before you add the second.)
Step 2: Add paint — and protection
Next, I painted both chairs and the table with two coats of white paint. After the paint dried completely, I used painter’s tape to mark off my Hollywood Recency–style design on the table top.
Next, I painted my design and the storage cover blue. I also used the blue paint for the balls on the bottom of the table and chair legs. When the paint was completely dry, I used two coats of polyurethane to protect the furniture from its future encounters with crayons and markers!
Step 3: Add cushions
For the seat cushions, I used circular wooden plaques. I filled them with polyester fiber fill, covered them with fabric, and stapled the fabric to the wood on the bottom. In regard to cutting the fabric, I find that it’s best to keep some extra material (see the above photo) and trim it after you’ve finished attaching it.
I glued the seat cushions to the chair with extra-strength wood glue and added a self-adhesive monogram. I also added a few coats of decoupage medium to seal in the monograms. Finally, I reattached the storage pocket and added a knob to the lid.
I have had this table now for more than two years and it’s still in great shape. My daughter uses it every day. It’s definitely one of my favorite trash-to-treasure pieces.
Feature image: Dinah Wulf, DIY Inspired
Editor’s note: Originally published on February 4, 2014, this article was updated in April 2019.