How To Refresh Your Old Furniture

a woman sprays an antique bench end in her workshop

When your furniture starts to look a little rickety, you may have the urge to pitch it and buy something new, but sometimes the furniture can be salvaged. Replacing old hardware with drawer pulls and knobs or even a fresh coat of paint could be all you need to make your vintage piece look good as new. There are many simple DIY updates to refresh your old furniture.

Prepare Furniture

The first thing you will want to do with your old chest or dresser is remove all of the drawers and make a note on the back indicating where the drawers go. The drawers always fit best into the slot they came out of. Once you have done this, remove the drawer pulls or knobs with a screwdriver.

Prepare for the New Hardware

Select the new knobs you would like for your drawers. If you are not using pulls, then you will need to drill a new hole in the center of the drawers for the new knobs. If you need two holes for new pulls, you will want to measure and mark for two new holes.

Next, you’ll want to cover the old holes with painters’ tape to keep the wood filler from getting into the drawer. Choose a good wood filler to fill the old screw hole. Make sure to overfill a bit because wood filler shrinks as it dries.


Once the filler dries, you’ll want to sand it with 100 grit sandpaper. You can sand by hand or with a power sander. Repeat the fill and sand process until the filler is perfectly in line with the drawer.

Time to Paint

The filler holes should not be noticeable under the paint if the job is done right. Make sure you choose specialty furniture and cabinet paint in the color you want. This paint is typically thicker than other paints with an eggshell sheen. Use a foam roller or brush to apply the paint.

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New Hardware

Whichever hardware you chose, screw in the new knobs or pull to the newly painted furniture.

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