Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries
Serving Greater Cincinnati

Clever Ways to Transform Thrift Store Furniture

Are you in the market for some new furniture? If you’re looking for stylish, budget-friendly furniture, there’s no better place to shop than a local thrift store, like Ohio Valley Goodwill! There you can find low-cost, gently-used pieces that may need just a little love to fit your home décor. With a little creativity, you can quickly and easily transform any piece of secondhand furniture into something brand new for your home.

Are you looking for some inspiration to give new life to gently-used furniture? Here are a few clever ideas to give thrift store furniture a makeover and spruce up every room in your home:

Wood coffee table from Ohio Valley Goodwill

Wood coffee table from Ohio Valley Goodwill

For the living room: Decoupage coffee table

Coffee tables make great accent pieces in any living room. But these small tables can be surprisingly expensive when purchased brand new from most retail stores. Never fear: you can often find used coffee tables or end tables in good condition at your local Ohio Valley Goodwill store! Even if you come across a table with a few scratches or imperfections, you can give it a stylish makeover with a technique known as decoupage. Decoupage is simply the act of gluing paper or paper materials over a surface, and it works particularly well on wooden furniture. Just take any paper ““ it could be a vintage map, pages from a book, scrapbook paper, or even wrapping paper ““ and measure it over your table. Then, brush a thick layer of decoupage varnish (such as Mod Podge) over the surface of the table and lay the paper over it, using a foam paint roller to smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles. Let it dry, then add a few more coats of decoupage varnish over the paper. Once this is dry, finish it with a clear top coat to seal everything in. In the end, you’ll have a completely one-of-a-kind piece to liven up your living room!

Brown Office chair from Ohio Valley Goodwill

Brown Office chair from Ohio Valley Goodwill

For the office: Reupholstered office chair

Who says desk chairs have to be boring? Make your office space your happy place by reupholstering an office chair from Goodwill! Typical office chairs come in plain colors like gray or black, but you can transform these dull chairs with some fabric and spray paint! First, remove the seat and backrest from the chair. If the base and wheels of the chair are in a color that doesn’t match your fabric, cover them with a few coats of spray paint. Now, it’s time to tackle the seat and backrest. Remove the old fabric and cushion from the chair by taking out the staples. Then, cover the old cushion (or use a new foam cushion) with your new fabric and staple it in place using a staple gun. Reassemble the chair, and you’ve got a stylish new addition to your home office!


Red Armoire from Ohio Valley Goodwill

Red armoire from Ohio Valley Goodwill

For the kids’ room: Dry eraser drawers

You may have heard of chalkboard paint, but did you know there’s also dry erase paint? It’s true! With this fun paint, you can easily transform any furniture surface into a dry erase board. This is a perfect project for kids who love to draw on your furniture already! We suggest using a secondhand set of dresser drawers or vanity set found at a thrift store like Goodwill. Remove the screws and handles from the drawers, and give them a light sanding with sandpaper. Then, use a spray paint primer to get the drawers ready for the dry erase paint. Once your drawers are covered with one to two coats of dry erase paint, let them dry and put the hardware back on. Then, get your dry erase markers and have fun decorating!

At Goodwill, we’re all about transformation ““  and we don’t just mean DIY projects! Every day, transformations take place at Goodwill. We transform your donations into inventory in our retail stores. Then, when these items are purchased, they’re transformed into job training and employment services for individuals with disabilities and local veterans. And when people get to learn, grow, and build skills with help from Goodwill, they have the opportunity to transform their lives through the power of work!

If you’re ready to try some of these furniture transformation projects, your first stop is Ohio Valley Goodwill to find the furniture pieces you want to refurbish. We recommend shopping often and checking several stores because  furniture tends to sell quickly!

Find your nearest Ohio Valley Goodwill retail store and check out our featured store promotions to plan your next shopping trip. As always, thank you for shopping at Goodwill! And remember to share your Goodwill finds with us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter ““ we’d love to repost!