7 ways to instantly upgrade your furniture

With a little imagination you can give your latest furniture bargain a fresh, more stylish look for just a few dollars. Here's what you need to know to upgrade your tired furniture for less.

7 ways to instantly upgrade your furniture

1. Revamping wickerwork has never been easier

You can often pick up wicker pieces for next to nothing, and they look just as good in a bedroom as on the patio or in a sunroom.

  • You'll pay less if the seats are saggy — to tighten them, turn the chairs upside down, wet the underside with a damp sponge and leave for 24 hours to dry and shrink.
  • Give the wickerwork a new-look colour change by spraying with acrylic paint.

2. Replace your worn chair arms for less

  • If the arms of your sofa or upholstered chair are worn out, look for extra fabric on the underside to use for making arm caps.
  • If there is none, use the fabric from the underside of the seat cushions.

3. Quickly repair scratches on your wood

  • Rub small scratches with half a walnut kernel to restore the colour.
  • Repair deeper scratches by rubbing with a wax crayon of the same colour until the crack is filled. Then cover a small piece of wood with a soft rag and rub across the filled scratch to remove surface wax.
  • Buff with a soft cloth and the scratch should be almost invisible. Make white rings fade by rubbing them with toothpaste.

4. Simple cover-ups

Reupholstering a sofa is expensive — expect to pay at least $500, before the cost of fabric.

  • The easiest and cheapest way to disguise worn-out seating is to drape an attractive bedspread, throw or blanket over it.
  • If you need to buy fabric, your local fabric store will have ends of bolts at reduced prices.
  • Buy a washable fabric and remember — if you don't like the colour, you can always dye it.
  • For a more fitted look, use a staple gun to fix fabric to the underside of the sofa to stop it slipping off, or buy a ready-made slipcover.

5. Strengthen flimsy shelves

  • Screw battens under the back edges of shelves for extra support to prevent bowing.

6. Turn packaging into furniture

  • Throw an attractive piece of fabric over a plastic or wooden crate for an instant, no-cost coffee table.

7. Dealing with sticking drawers

  • If drawers are not sliding in and out smoothly, rub the runners with a candle, a bar of soap or petroleum jelly.
  • If they still stick, rub gently with fine-grade sandpaper and re-apply the wax or soap.

Upgrading your home doesn't need to cost an arm and a leg. With these tips, you can update your furniture at little cost. Get started today!

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