10 tips to make your cheap furniture last longer


Finding cheap furniture can feel like searching for a legendary lost treasure, especially if you’re on a tight budget and just getting started with your first apartment or home. Regardless of price and materials, however, there are ways to maintain the longevity of any bargain-priced piece of furniture. All it takes is creativity and a few things, such as hardware and paint, according to Refind Design.

Likewise, if you’re not looking to change the finish or any other major aspect of a piece of furniture, it will still last a long time after performing a few minor maintenance tasks, such as tightening screws or polishing the wood or metal. Plus, even something as simple as using throw pillows or periodically replacing sofa cushions can add years to any family room ensemble. Or, if you have end tables that don’t quite match the rest of your den’s design, a coat of paint or textured wallpaper on the tabletop can transform its style. Keep reading for more ideas to extend the life of your furniture.

1. Replace knobs and handles

Are you missing hardware on your cabinets or drawers? Before you pull this chest out on the sidewalk to pick it up, consider replacing broken or missing hardware. Changing knobs or handles adds to the wow factor of any room’s decor. Also try strategic button shifting for an original touch.

2. Avoid overdoing rehabilitation

There is a reason behind the cheap prices of certain pieces of furniture. It may look solid, but that doesn’t mean it’s solid pine. So you can proceed gently with any sanding if you are refinishing. Likewise, if you’re dealing with a pre-made part, avoid taking it apart and rebuilding it, even if you’ve recorded the instructions.

3. Keep minor repair materials handy

Because knocks, scratches and dents do happen, have a steady supply of wood putty or epoxy sticks on hand. Better yet, try to find fillers that closely match the color of your furniture, or keep a small container of paint or stain handy.

4. Finish or reupholster

If the dents and scratches on your coffee table need more than just patching, try refinishing the surface with paint or stain. Likewise, if your favorite seat is worn out or Fido has chewed on it one too many times, you can try reupholstering it. Both patches can add more years to your furniture.

5. Polish and shine

Whether it’s a wood veneer, leatherette upholstery, or metallic finish, a little polishing can breathe new life into dull, worn pieces. For wood, brighten the surface with polish or oil. As for metal, just use white vinegar to remove the tarnish.

6. Add or remove rooms

Not sure about keeping a unit on shelf? So maybe removing a shelf or two makes sense. Likewise, if you have a TV cabinet with damaged cabinet doors, remove the doors but retain the storage space. You can also remove the table tops and add a repurposed door.

7. Track Repairs

Like any other home furnishings you invest in, second-hand items require some attention. Periodically, you can tighten the legs of chairs and tables to make sure the hinges don’t come loose. For sofas and loveseats, you may need to add a quarter-inch piece of hardboard under the sinking cushions.

8. Switch up your style

If you can’t completely redo a piece, there’s always the option of aging it. Or, for previously painted furniture, use chalk paint to give it an antique look. By changing the style of your furniture, you can keep it longer while enhancing the decor of the room.

9. Incorporate seasonal accessories

From a comfy chair to the entire living room, add (literally) another layer of protection using throws or slipcovers that coordinate with the seasons and holidays. For dining chairs, you can always change upholstery while protecting them from wear and tear.

10. Go for whimsical touches

Finally, another idea is to take one of these tips and add a unique twist. For example, include bright hues with slipcovers and pillows. As with any table or shelf, try using stencils to add eye-catching designs. It all works when you incorporate different colors, designs, and accessories to extend the lifespan and overall sustenance of various pieces of furniture.

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