14 Clever Repurposed Furniture & Small Furniture Refresh Ideas

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Square feature photo showing four out of ten repurposed furniture ideas. These are photo snippets of DIY furniture in different stages before and after. There is a photo with a red metal lid and pipe legs, a finished patriotic table made from a large rusty red tin with white stars on it, a thrift store table being painted gray and white and a round wood hat box.

Clever repurposed furniture to inspire your next furniture flip!

I love making furniture out of things that most people would toss in the trash. I don’t always know what I’ll do with some of my ‘freebies’ and crazy thrift store finds but if I’m inspired by something I bring it home.

I’ve learned to trust my intuition which has paid off in a few clever repurposed furniture ideas.

I should note that I’ve sold many of these pieces in my antique store booth. Small tables and cabinets go quickly so I’m always looking for small furniture pieces to upcycle.

I hope the tips and ideas below inspire you to get creative with furniture flips!

1. Red Industrial Console Table

This is one of my favorite upcycles! I found this narrow red toolbox lid tucked away in the garage after we bought our house and I decided to use it as a tabletop. It took a little time to find the right industrial pipe legs for it but I love how it came out.

Parts used to make a red industrial console table including metal pipe legs and a red lid from a large machinist toolbox.
Before

To avoid drilling holes into the red enamel top, we secured a piece of wood underneath the lid (bolted at the sides where there were already holes) and attached the pipe legs to the wood.

Photo of a red industrial console table with pipe leg. This table was made with a red narrow toolbox lid. The table has plants and books on it with a photo above it.
Red Industrial Console Table

2. Ladder Transformed into a Stand with Drawers

The idea for this ladder makeover was an upcycle I saw on the tv show Flea Market Flip (Season 11, Episode 13 if you’re curious).

Small two step old wood ladder and scrap wood shown. These were the materials used to make a ladder stand with drawers to as a furniture piece in an entryway or fill up with plants on a patio.
Before

All of the materials used to make this cute little storage shelf were things that I already had, the ladder, the drawer pulls and even the scrapwood used to make removable, sliding drawers.

Finished ladder stand made from an old small wood ladder. The green drawers were made from scrap wood. Here I'm using it in a room filled with flowers, a candle stick, books and a vase.
Ladder Stand

3. Thrift Store Table with Refinished Top

I love it when I find a piece of furniture that needs just a little work. That was the case with this beautiful table. The top was marked up with what looked like burn marks. To fix it I just sanded and stained the top and left the rest with the original ivory finish (looks gray in the photo but the piece was all ivory)!

Thrift store table was perfect. All hard wood but the top was marked up. This table is shown here in the thrift store.

After a fresh coat of stain to the top and a coat of polyurethane, it was as good as new!

Photo of a finished ivory table set against a living room wall with a painting above, books and a pot of greenery with a basket of books underneath. The top was the only thing that needed refinishing so I decided to sand down and apply a dark stain to the top.
Thrift Store Table With Refinished Stained Top

4. Luggage Rack Table

I find old luggage racks at the flea market regularly and they make great table bases.

Here I drilled four holes (one in each corner) and attached a salvaged wood drawer for the top with long screws and a hex screw on the end.

You could use anything for a tabletop, in the past I’ve used wood picture frames and trays. I’m using this little table as a display in my antique booth but you could certainly make tables like this for your bedroom or living room.

Small table made from an old wood drawer and a dark wood luggage rack for the base. This table is filled with fall items and the table will be used as a display table in my antique store booth but you can make a similar table for home.
Luggage Rack Table

5. Paris Side Table

Turn a hat box into a small table with storage.

When I saw this large wooden hat box at the antique store I knew it had potential. After cleaning it up, I painted it with white chalk paint and added hairpin legs to transform it into a chic little side table.

Photo of an unfinished round wooden hatbox that inspired a furniture upcycle and was used to make a Paris inspired side table.
Before
Vertical photo of a white hat box table with hair pin legs with lid slightly open to see storage inside. Top has an Antiquites Paris stencil.
Paris Hat Box Side Table

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6. Mini Metal Locker

I bought this locker from the thrift store for $5. I’m not sure where it came from but it looked like it was pulled out of an abandoned hospital! I almost passed it by but the pipe legs were unique so I decided to take it home and give it a refresh.

Before photo of a small metal cabinet with two shelves. It had been painted a bright blue on the inside and a light celery green out the outside. I bought this cabinet to upcycle and sell in my antique store booth.
Before

I liked the original bold blue on the inside so I decided to spray paint the whole thing a new bright color –Gloss Lagoon from Rust-Oleum.

Mini locker upcycled with lagoon blue spray paint and a bright white round knob handle added.

For contrast, I lined the shelves with patterned removable wallpaper from Dollar Tree and added a new vintage white ceramic knob. This simple little cabinet is the perfect size for a kids’ room or to use as an end table in a small space!

Mini locker upcycled with lagoon blue spray paint and shelf paper shown with the locker open.
Finished Mini Locker

7. Window Table

Old windows are perfect for making everything from suncatchers to tables. To read more about this table and get more ideas on what to do with old windows, check out my post –> 6 Creative DIY Projects to Repurpose Old Windows.

Photo of a window upcycled into a side table, painted a light blue with glass gems glued underneath the panes for a colorful flower design.
Old Window Turned Into A Table

8. Pool Noodle Ottoman

Don’t throw out those pool noodles! Recycle them into a fun ottoman for the living room or a child’s playroom. To read more, check out the full post –> How to Make a Pool Noodle Ottoman.

Pool noodles cut and taped together to make a pool noodle ottoman.
Before
Finished pool noodle pouf (ottoman) shown with books on top and in a room setting.
Pool Noodle Ottoman

9. Patriotic Pedestal Table

I couldn’t pass up this rusty old tin! And, I had the perfect pedestal base to perch it on (left over from another upcycle project). To prevent further rust I coated the tin with polyurethane. Then I secured it to the pedestal base with wood screws along with an added square of plywood for extra support!

Red large tin with white stars used to make a pedestal table. The bottom pedestal a navy blue.
Patriotic Pedestal Table

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10. Racing Stripe Side Table Makeover

Add pizazz to a boring table by adding a simple racing strip!

I bought this mid-century modern phone table to upcycle and sell in my booth. To appeal to most buyers I decided to paint the table with light gray chalk paint and add a racing stripe in white using painter’s tape.

Shown painting a racing stripe on the top of a mid-century old telephone table using green painter's tape to define the stripes.
Before
Photo of a mid-century modern side table with storage underneath for magazines and spindle legs painted with a light gray chalk paint and three white racing stripes down the center. In a room with a red director's chair and a stack of books with a puzzle cube on top.
After

11. Folding Curio Stand Makeover

This vintage folding curio stand was tucked away in an antique store. It was wobbly and dated but I loved that it folded up.

I decided to paint it with Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint in Kudzu green and later I buffed in a little Dixie Belle Best Dang Wax in Brown. To finish, I lightly sanded the high points for a more weathered look.

Before photo of a wood three-tier curio stands that folds and has round bases to sit knick-knacks or plants on.
Before
Finished 3-tier curio stand painted a soft antique green chalk paint with a brown antiquing wax finish. In a room with white shear curtains behind it with plants and a wicker basket on the stand.
After

12. Vintage Side Table With Natural Wood Drawer

Add a pop of color and interest to a dated furniture piece by leaving some natural wood tones.

Here I sanded down this vintage side table, removed some of the veneer, and decided to leave the drawer its natural wood color.

This little table had quite a bit of damage and several layers of paint. It took lots of sanding to get this piece to the point where I could even repaint it!

Before photo of a white painted side table. This table has beautiful carved details but needed a makeover to strip away several layers of paint and stain. It also got a refresh with a new pull.
Before
Shown is a black side table that has been upcycled. This 1920s table has beautiful carved details. I left the drawer the natural wood but painted the rest a warm black. Then I sanded away some of the black to show the wood tones underneath to better blend with the drawer. I gave the drawer a round pull handle in a neutral tone. The table also has a small rounded shelf underneath that is staged with a vintage stack of neutral color books. A round wicker planter with succulent sits on top of this tall vintage side table.
Refreshed Vintage Side Table With Natural Wood Drawer

13. Vintage Cottage Tea Table

I found this dainty tea table at the thrift store for $10 to refinish and sell in my antique booth ahead of Spring.

I got right to work filling spots in with wood putty and found a pretty oval tray to go with it. The original table probably had a glass top but the tray was my cost-effective solution to replace it!

Before photo of a thrift brown oval table picked up at the thrift store. It has ornate curved legs with floral and leaf carvings. The top center is an deep carved out oval with a flower pattern. There is a side view of the brown stained table and below that is a top down view of the worn table top. This table needed TLC as there were missing carved areas to fill and scratches to the original stained finish.
Before photo from the side and top down.

The table and matching tray were painted with Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint in Kudzu green and this piece will be heading to my booth soon!

Photo of an oval green table with organic carved legs and a center floral carving. This is an after photo and the table has been giving a coat of Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint in Kudzu green along with a matching oval tray with vintage metal handles. The table has a cottage feel as some of the green was lightly sanded in spots to let the original brown finish show through in raised areas.
Finished Cottage Tea Table

14. Scrap Wood Media Shelf and Side Table

Last but not least are these rustic furniture pieces. My hubby made me a media table and a side table using 2 x 4s and scrap wallboards that were left over after we renovated our 4-season room. We couldn’t bear to throw all of that wood away!

Finish scrap wood media shelf with two shelves and matching side table made with wall boards after a room renovation. The boards are alternating green with stained dark brown boards.

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Vertical feature photo showing four out of ten repurposed furniture ideas. These are photo snippets of DIY furniture in different stages before and after. There is a photo with a red metal lid and pipe legs, a finished patriotic table made from a large rusty red tin with white stars on it, a thrift store table being painted gray and white and a round wood hat box. Please pin this image to your Pinterest DIY boards to come back to this post later!

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