How to refresh old furniture on a budget


One weekend I stumbled upon this room divider while at a church Garage Sale.

Room Divider 2015 by
Room Divider 2015 by

I was not “in love” with the style: a puke green wooden border with some kind of rosy-beige fabric. To cap it all off, the trim on the inner panel between the wood border and the fabric panel was this weird totally dated pearly-pinky hue that was just *bleah*

It needed an update.

Supplies I used:

  • One pair of needle nose pliers
  • a staple gun
  • material cut to size
  • 8mm staples
  • Rustoleum Charcoal paint
  • Medium sized painting brush
  • Small sized painting brush
  1. Step One: removing the undesired trim. This was pretty easy, as the trim was secured with what looked like hot glue in a thin to medium bead
    around each panel. A firm tug easily allowed it all to come off cleanly.

    Step One
    Step One
  2. Step two: (Not so) gently pulling apart the existing fabric from the wooden border. I started off from the top of each section of the divider by pulling out staples with my needle nose pliers. Once I got a good section opened up, I found that it was easier to just tug on the fabric and pull the remaining staples out that way. I was careful not to tug too hard so that the fabric ripped, but it was a pretty sturdy Jacquard so it held true for the most part.IMG_0016 - Copy

    Step 2
    Step 2
  3. Once I had my bare divider sections, I laid the entire thing on the floor to begin prepping for the big paint job. A light bit of sanding here and there, was needed, but the wooden border was not in bad shape: it was just the colour that I couldn’t stand!IMG_0020 - Copy
  4. Step four: Painting can be a troublesome task for some- and I used to dislike it the most when performing refreshes and updating things around my home. By learning a few tips and tricks over the years, I have been able to greatly improve my painting, and avoid my all too common disappointments at my finished products. One of the tricks I learned was to paint doors, and anything flat that involves panels in this order:IMG_0021 - Copy
    I used Rustoleum brand Charcoal paint. It’s available at Home Depot in the paint section, and is pretty affordable at around $30. That may seem like a high price, but due to the viscosity of the paint, the quart size goes quite a long way.
    chalk rustolem

    IMG_0022 - Copy
    All Quarters painted first!

    IMG_0023 - Copy
    Following quarters up with borders around the right and left sides.
  5. Step five: Using the old fabric as a guide for the new; I ironed the material to make sure it was perfectly pressed and flat. Once ironed, attached the new fabric on the divider with 8mm staples and my trusty staple gun.
    Rawr! Love the prints.

    **Note I still need to visit the fabric store to select the new trim. Updates coming soon!

And of course the candid photo of the newly created piece as it will be in its natural habitat..



I needed 9.5meters of low pile carpet trim, and I was able to find that in a 1/4 inch width quite easily at the fabric store for about $2.60 per meter.

Finished Room Divider with Border.
Finished Room Divider with Border.

The border makes the divider look “finished” and professional. I call this DIY a true success!




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