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5 ingenious ways to upgrade your furniture on a budget


Before you throw out that old piece of furniture, try bringing it back to life with these great DIY ideas.

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From clothes and cars to the furniture in our home, we are always looking for ways and opportunities to upgrade our lives. This constant need for upgrades can take quite a toll on our pockets especially when it comes to sprucing up our home.

You may argue that despite the cost, it takes less effort to buy ready-made furniture. But when you’re down to your last RM500 in the bank, spending a day getting your hands dirty will start sounding pretty appealing to even a lazy man like me.

The thing about DIY upgrades is that it doesn’t always involve taking furniture apart and putting it back together differently. The simplest upgrades can make the biggest difference. So, instead of trading your current furniture for brand new ones here are five ways you can breathe new life into them.

Spray paint anything and everything

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First off, the best thing about spray painting is that it can be used on different types of surfaces such as wood, metal, resin, plastic and wicker.

It is much more affordable than the old school hand painting method and less time consuming, as you can cover the base of your furniture more efficiently and provide a more even coverage as compared to brushstrokes.

You can easily add a pop of colour to your dining area by spraying the backrest of your chair blue or turning all the knobs and handles of the cabinets gold. Since it dries quickly, spray painting is less messy as compared to the old school hand painting, as it eliminates the chances of paint splattering all over your house.

Add trim to curtains

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Now curtains certainly don’t belong in the furniture category per se, but it plays a supporting role in adding character in your home.

Ever wonder why the more intricate curtains are priced higher than the simple ones? Simply because those additional details make a big difference in either complementing or breaking the ambience of your home.

It’s as easy as adding on a ribbon to your simple or plain curtain to make it “POP”. Alternatively, you can also try using fringes to add more personality to your plain curtain.

Apply patterned paper

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Patterned paper to furniture is like wallpaper to walls – it is perfect for hiding flaws and defects without costing too much time and money. My motto when it comes to furniture: “If it is not broken, it’s not worth throwing” and “if it’s stable, it’s still reliable”.

So if you need a fast and easy fix, just head over to your local DIY shop and you can easily find them in various designs and colours. You’d be surprised how much a simple patterned paper can do to elevate the look of your old furniture.

You can check out some of these furniture upcycling ideas using patterned paper here for some inspiration.

Reupholster it

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Everyone has a favourite couch to lounge on. The one you personally love to become a potato on after a long, hard day at work and on the weekends? After years of service, it has probably already run its course and you’re probably considering discarding it. STOP! Instead of binning that couch, try reupholstering it. Yes, it may be more time consuming, but it will save you a ton of money and you will have a couch that is one of a kind.

Make sure to get quality upholstering fabric. Although you can use any type of fabric, it will not be as sturdy or thick to last you for many more years to come. And if you are planning to change the legs of your couch, be sure to replace all four so that it will not be imbalanced.

Cover it with mirrors

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There are many dos and don’ts when it comes to mirrors, but let’s save that for another day. Personally, I like placing mirrors in a small room as it creates depth. As for using it to upcycle your furniture, a good option would be an acrylic mirror. It may not be as pretty as glass, but it’s considerably cheaper and easier to work with. Although you have to be cautious when working with them as unlike glass, it can be easily damaged.

If you prefer working with glass mirrors, I highly recommend measuring it half an inch smaller than the surface you are sticking it on so that the edges do not overlap, and place your order at your local glass shop rather than trying to DIY a mirror as it would be tedious. Check out some of these ideas on furniture upcycling using mirrors for some inspiration.

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