Before and after: Restoring vintage furniture and antiques

They just don't make 'em like they used to. Habitat ReStores are chock full of vintage furniture gems and antiques that are often much more interesting and sturdy than the budget options you might find at chain stores. With a little imagination and paint, you can breathe new life into any previously-owned piece, and it will last you for years. Check out these six examples of fabulous, "like-new" projects.


Vintage dresser

Old dressers were built to last! You can easily extend the life of a scuffed-up dresser by sanding down the scratches and applying a thick paint, like chalk paint. The use of stencils here looks fabulous and is easy to do.

Vintage dresser restoration

Photo credit: Old dresser via Jennifer Drake


Reupholstered chair

An older chair with outdated or faded fabric can easily be updated with a little paint and upholstery. All you need to refresh the fabric is a staple gun.

Reupholstered chair before and after

Photo credit: Reupholstered chair via Jamie Ueda


Antique dresser

Antique pieces have some of the most interesting shapes and features. You needn't pass one over just because of surface blemishes! Here is another fun idea for thick, chalk-based paint. You, too, can create consistent stripes by marking out our sections with painter's tape.

Antique dresser project

Photo credit: Antique dresser via Shanna Gilbert


Decoupage table

We found these gems for just $20! She transformed them into mini pieces of art with a fresh coat of paint and a little decoupage using scrapbook paper. You can mix up different colors of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to get the exact color you need to match the rest of your decor or your grand vision!

Decoupage table

Photo credit: Decoupage tables via Nancy Christopher


Antique end tables

Painting over scuffed and damaged wood allows the original features and details to really shine through. Did you notice the handsome lines on the legs and trim on the drawers in the before photo? The crisp white paint really makes them pop!

Antique end tables

Photo credit: Antique end tables via Carrier Reeder


Child's dresser & bookshelf

Children's furniture is the perfect item to source from the thrift store. You can paint over absolutely any imperfection with enough coats of paint, and it's ripe for opportunity to use fun, bright colors! As an added bonus, it's definitely easier to repaint the furniture rather than the whole room when they start to crave the "big kid" look.

Child's dresser and bookshelf

Photo credit: Child’s dresser & bookshelf via Shanna Gilbert


You can create any look you wish with old furniture and a little paint. Consider it your blank canvas! You can learn all the best tips and tricks for spray-painting absolutely any kind of furniture from this handy guide on Hometalk or by following @Diana_at_Work.




adriana ferreira wrote:

stunning that is all i can say!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

annie wrote:

annie sloan chalk paints

wow, my love with your project and I am very happy with the photo on your blog


suzanna Ramirez wrote:

Do you have any dressers in stock

Emily Grimm wrote:

Hi Suzanna, each ReStore has a wide selection of donations - often including dressers!  It is best to check with your local ReStore here.

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