How to restore thrifted furniture

Clothing trends are not the only things that change, like seasons. Furniture does too. Many times people toss those unwanted pieces of furniture out. The Environment Protection Agency reports that 9.69 million tons of furniture and furnishings are tossed in landfills. There they can spend years until they decompose. 

One solution to reducing furniture waste is donating and buying from one of the many used furniture stores Omaha locations. Furniture can be upcycled and given new life to help save the environment. In today’s blog post, we want to give you tips on how to restore old furniture that you might have found at a thrift store or have hidden in your garage. 


Everything you buy impacts the planet in some way or another, and furniture is no exception. Did you know that there is such a thing as “fast furniture”? This term is used to describe the fast production of furniture in different styles quickly and inexpensively - the process is similar to how brands like Zara and Forever 21 produce clothes.

Fast furniture is causing people to buy these inexpensive pieces of furniture and tossing them out after they go out of style or relocate. It is less expensive to toss those pieces of furniture than pay to have it moved. Although most furniture is made of wood, it takes years to decompose in a landfill. For example, a wooden chair can take 13 years to decompose. It takes longer if it is painted and causes more harm to the environment because of the chemicals in the paint. 

One way to reduce furniture waste is by donating it to thrift stores where they can be recycled or resold. This gives people an opportunity to buy the old furniture and repurpose it. People can restore the furniture to its old beauty with a little TLC.



Whether you found a beautiful armchair or coffee table at your favorite used furniture stores Omaha, you should probably clean it first. You want to remove everything off the surface to uncover the true condition of the furniture. For cleaning furniture with fabric, use a wet cloth with a cleaning solution or use an upholstery cleaner. When cleaning wooden furniture, use water and soap to remove dirt or debris. 


Before you start repainting or removing fabrics, you want to get an idea of what you want your furniture to look like. Take time to research for furniture inspiration, what materials to use and what is the best process. You can draw inspiration from Pinterest, Instagram or even Facebook Marketplace


Now that you know what you want that piece of furniture to look like, it is time to start the repair. Many times when you buy a piece of furniture, it can have scratches or missing parts. For wooden furniture with scratches, you can fill in the scratches with wood fill from your local hardware store. This will help smooth out the surface of your wooden furniture to make it look more cohesive when repainting it. 


Next, it is time to refinish your old furniture. To get a new coat of paint to stick, you want to remove the existing finish. Removing old finishes can be done with a combination of chemical strippers and sanding. Then, stain the wooden surface to your liking. If you want to change the look of your fabric furniture, you can replace the fabric. It is a good idea to replace the foam during this process if it has lost its firmness. 


At Thrift World, you can find some of the best selections of used furniture to add to your home. If you are not looking to shop, you can always donate your unwanted furniture to us. We can make getting rid of your furniture easier with our at-home donation pickups. Schedule your pickup here. 

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