Green painted wood drawer dresser against painted white brick
Painting an old piece of furniture can be a great way to give it a new lease on life. (Alexandra Gorn, Unsplash)

New furniture and accessories can enhance the décor of any room in your home. Unfortunately, they can easily cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars. 

Instead of purchasing new, why not upcycle the things you already have? You can transform a garage-sale chandelier into the centerpiece of your dining room – or turn a piece of furniture that’s been stored in the attic into something truly spectacular. 

You only need some paint and a little imagination to redecorate your home on a “real-world budget.”

Here are a few decorating ideas.

Painted oak-style cupboard or cabinet
With a little love and patience, an old piece of furniture can be transformed into something new! (AnnekeDeBlok, Getty Images)

1. Refinish and Recycle Old Furniture

Home trends come and go, but giving chairs, tables, bookshelves, and other furniture a new finish is an easy way to keep them stylish for years to come.

Painting a piece of wood furniture can be a great way to add a pop of color to a room or to give a piece of furniture a whole new look.

When choosing a color, also consider if you want the piece to have a glossy, satin or matte finish.

Before you paint, be sure to do the proper prep work. This includes thoroughly cleaning the piece, removing any old finish, repairing any damage with wood putty and sanding it.

After painting, add new hardware like knobs or pulls to really give the piece a new look.

Painted vintage lamps with decorative shades
Whether you have an old lamp that needs a refresh or a new one that you want to make your own, a fresh coat of paint can give it a new lease on life. (photology2000, Canva)

2. Light Up Your Life with Color

Painting lamps and chandeliers, and refinishing those outdated contractor-grade brass fixtures, is a great way to add a touch of the unexpected to any room without spending a small fortune.

Try textured metallic spray paint on your existing lamps or lighting fixtures to transform a bland, out-of-date room into a stylish, contemporary space. Multicolor textured and metallic finishes add depth and elegance to any project inside — and outside — your home.

Another option is to use a bold paint color to update an existing light fixture, such as a pendant or chandelier.

This can be done by first removing the light bulbs, then cleaning the fixture and sanding any rough or uneven surfaces. Next, apply a coat of primer, followed by the desired color of paint.

For a glossy finish, you can apply a clear coat or sealer once the paint is dry.

View of a retro white chair and a gold-painted top round side table
Painting the top of a table is a simple and effective way to add visual interest to home decor. (Kara Eads, Unsplash)

3. Liven Up Interiors with Accent Pieces

Colorful shelves, storage pieces, baskets, vases and other accent pieces are a great way to add energy and interest to any room.

A simple way to add some color is to paint the top of a table. Whether you have an old table that needs a refresh or a new piece that you want to make your own, a fresh coat of paint can give it a new look.

Choose a bold and contrasting color for the table’s base, this will create a striking visual effect and make the table the focal point of the room. A bright red or blue tabletop on a natural wood base, for example, would add a pop of color and bring a modern touch to a space.

Another option is to paint the top of the table with a pattern or design. This could be as simple as a geometric design or as elaborate as a mural or landscape. This will add a unique and personalized touch to the table and can also be a conversation starter when you have guests over.

Remember: When working with paint, use a paint that is suitable for the surface you’re working with, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.

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Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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