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Recycled Furniture | Thrift Store Finds Recycled

Updated on March 28, 2013

Recycled Furniture Has Character

I just love repurposed and recycled furniture and home décor. For me, there is just something magical about reusing thrift store finds (a piece of furniture or décor) and turning it into something totally different from the original intent or just breathing new life into it.

It's a bit creative and a lot of fun. I have just finished one of my favorite projects so far and wanted to share that and a few other before and afters. Maybe you'll be inspired to find an unwanted and/or unloved piece of furniture or décor and give it a new life.

Image Credit: DecoratingforEvents/Mandee

Instead of ending up in a landfill to deteriorate over years, consider buying vintage, antique or used thrift store finds and redoing them to use in your home.

Be Eco Friendly!

Recycled Furniture | Project: End Tables

This recycle project was about a year in the making. Not because it took that long to do the actual task but because we moved and it ended up at the bottom of the priority list. I just completed it and am very pleased with the outcome.

These two end tables are referred to as "step" style end tables since they emulate a stair step up with two surfaces. They are from the late 60's or 70's and needed some TLC. In their previous life they had been chewed on by a dog, had some water damage and normal wear and tear from daily use and moving them around.

The lines were attractive to me so I bought them with the idea to recycle and make them gorgeous again but with a nod to their age. I decided to distress them a bit and play up some of the damage while still protecting the surface for future use.

You can read how I did this and see all the photos here: Re-do Step End Tables | Ugly to Gorgeous

Here's a sneak peak:

recycle furniture thrift store finds
recycle furniture thrift store finds

Reference for Paint Finishes for Recycled Furniture - Make a Thrift Store Find Beautiful Again

Need some ideas for how to change up your thrift store find? Try this book that includes step-by-step instructions for using paint to change up furniture and your home. This how-to book will guide you through

Prepping the Surface for Recycling Furniture

I love Zinsser products. Specifically their primers and deglossers. To me, the deglosser works a lot better than trying to sand. Sanding can end up uneven and takes a lot of elbow grease, not to mention making a mess creating a fine dust. The deglosser preps the surface to receive primer beautifully.

The primer is oil based but the spray can is very easy to work with. The finish is a perfect base for your favorite paint and the top coat doesn't have to be oil based. I usually use an acrylic because of the easy clean up. I have found this primer is perfect for furniture recycling and use it all the time!

A Few More Recycled Furniture Projects

Thrift Store Finds

Here, you can see a plant stand, old record cabinet and a pub style table and chairs that I recycled. The styles vary but the fun of choosing what each piece will eventually look like and the actual process itself makes it all the more fun!

Your Turn!

Have you ever refinished, repurposed or recycled furniture?

See results

Items I Use When Recycling Furniture

Quality Counts

Make sure you are using good quality supplies when recycling your furniture. You may be tempted to use cheaper but the finish and lasting look of the piece will be compromised.

Don't sacrifice your time and effort by using inferior quality supplies.

I use Purdy Paint Brushes - when recycling furniture

I like to use a paint brush that I can use over and over again. That makes it an investment. Purdy paint brushes work best for me. They are a quality product that gives terrific results on furniture. Less brush strokes and even paint distribution. An angle brush allows you to get into the cracks and crevices of furniture better, too.

The old saying, " You get what you pay for" definitely applies to your recycling supplies.

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Thank you for stopping by!

Do Come Back and See Me Again!

~ DecoratingforEvents ~

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What's your favorite piece of recycled furniture?

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    • BuckHawkcenter profile image


      5 years ago

      Your before and after pictures gave me some more inspiration for repurposing an old table I have. Little touches can make such a big difference when recycling furniture. Thanks for the ideas.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I've recycled an old table which I'm still using after so many years. Very interesting and useful lens...Blessed...:)

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 

      5 years ago

      Impressive as to how good these remakes look. It is quite tempting to give it a try.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      5 years ago from United States

      We should have a recycled furniture party! I love watching old furniture be brought back to life! Blessed!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I've 'recycled' old furniture a number of times and, always loved the final result. I've even re-done one kids' dresser (paint and decor-wise) 3X (one color/design for each child as needed...LOL).

    • InfusionArt LM profile image

      InfusionArt LM 

      5 years ago

      I love recycling furniture, so much fun!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Love this! We have a problem of never finishing projects, but there's not a reason in the world I couldn't do some furniture recycling with the information you've provided. Feeling inspired this morning!

    • ComfortsOfHome profile image


      5 years ago

      Rescuing a battered old table or chair from the landfill and giving it a new lease on life is a lot of fun - I have a Victorian "fainting couch" that only needed the stripping of 5 coats of paint and some new upholstery to be a real showpiece!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      5 years ago from Canada

      Some old pieces of furniture are best left vintage but there are many that can be turned into delightful and very uniquely individual pieces. I have done a few pieces and given them away.

    • profile image

      Dianeyp LM 

      5 years ago

      I absolutely love upcycling thrift store finds. I painted a mural on a 10 dollar old beat up coffee table then turned around and sold it. Great lens!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Now this really makes my juices flow. It has been years since I have redone any furniture. I would always have several projects going at one time all in different stages. That was when I had space to work and could work on larger pieces. I may just have to try my hand at smaller pieces to get back in the flow again.

    • DecoratingEvents profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @LisaAuch1: Isn't it a blast? I just love it and yes, I agree, very addicting!

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      5 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I love shopping in thrift stores. I used to do it all the time, but I never made changes in what I bought, or at least I can't remember making any. I'm not very crafty.

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 

      5 years ago from Scotland

      We recently move dinto a bigger house, this meant we needed some more furniture, we visited second hand stores and have became additcted to seeing what we can get and refurbish, from headboards, to floorboards and at a fraction of the cost!

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image


      5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      It is fun to find and refurbish furniture treasures!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      5 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Years ago I recycled bedroom furniture. A lot of work but a lot of fun too.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      5 years ago from United States

      I always feel so creative when I recycle a piece of furniture. I love to paint and stencil tables or dressers that would otherwise be discarded as junk.


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