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10 Fun Furniture Makeovers

All it takes is a little imagination and a few products and tools anyone can master to transform flea-market finds and unfinished wood pieces into personal treasures

Bookcase Turned Into Breakfront

Add diagonal inserts to an unfinished wood bookcase, and suddenly it becomes a dining room breakfront or bar. Next, apply a one-step stain and finish, such as Minwax® PolyShades® in Bombay Mahogany (shown here), and you've got a showpiece to be proud of.

It's easier than you think. Start by sanding the wood with 120-grit paper, then move to 220-grit. Use a pre-stain wood conditioner to ensure the stain applies evenly. Apply PolyShades® with a natural bristle brush, working in the direction of the grain.

Read on to see more furniture rehabs that will help you see your old things in a brand new light.

Easy Entertainment Center

An old dresser sandwiched between matching bookshelves can give you the look of a ready-made ensemble at a fraction of the cost. The secret: Tying them together with a rich finish gives the impression of a single unit. Shown here: maple wood pieces stained in Minwax® PolyShades® in Walnut.

Architectural Column Wall Unit

A trio of prefab porch columns joined together with simple shelving can add a stately look—and impressive display space—to any room. These unfinished oak columns were pretreated with Minwax® Water Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner. Then, a coat of Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain in Hunter Green was followed by Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish in a semi-gloss sheen.

Hanging Photo Gallery

Give your family photos—or fine art—the gallery treatment with a striking full-wall display. This one was created using a curtain rod from which simple wood frames in various sizes were hung. To achieve the look here, try Minwax® Water Based Wood Stains in China Red, Botanical, Toffee and Royal Mahogany.

Rustic Workshop or Potting Station

An 8-foot-wide pine or cedar fence panel set between two 6-foot-high fence posts (available at home centers) creates a dramatic backdrop for a country-style workspace. We added shelving and hooks, and positioned a small armoire and desk in unfinished wood in front. For the rich wood tone shown here, all pieces were stained with two coats of Minwax® Gel Stain in Honey Maple followed by two coats of Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane in Semi-Gloss, as a protective layer.

Smart Bed(room) Storage

Three unfinished shelving units placed in a U shape on the floor, with a piece of plywood on top, can serve as both bed frame and much-needed storage solution. Baskets within the cubbies keep smaller items organized. Used here: Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner, Minwax® Wood Finish™ in Red Chestnut, and Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane.

DIY Picnic-Style Dining Table

The simple lines of a picnic table make this one of the easier projects to build yourself. This one was constructed in oak from plans bought online. And the traditional slatted tabletop was replaced with a solid wood slab better suited to indoor living. Light sanding, two coats of Minwax® Wood Finish™ in Red Chestnut and three coats of Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane in satin sheen give the table a clear, durable finish that reflects the sparkling chandelier above.

Mudroom Cubbies

Four unfinished pine modules were combined to create this efficient mudroom unit. To get the look, sand, prep and stain each unit. When fully dry, arrange the three larger modules vertically along your wall and lay the shorter module in front across the floor. Top it off with a soft, colorful cushion for a comfortable shoe-changing station. Shown here: Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner and Minwax® PolyShades® in Classic Oak.

Workshop Storage Unit

Transform your garage into your own personalized (and expertly organized) space by using unfinished kitchen cabinets. You can purchase low-cost units at the home center or any furniture store that sells unfinished pieces—or if you're remodeling your kitchen, repurpose the ones you're replacing. Just be sure to treat the countertop with a heavy-duty finish that will withstand workshop wear and tear.

On Cabinets: Minwax® Water Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner, Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain in Botanical, and Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish in a semigloss sheen.

On Countertop: Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain in English Oak, and Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane in a semigloss sheen.

Colorful and Eclectic Dining Chairs

You don't need to splurge on a set of matching chairs to give your dining room a fresh makeover. Beautiful one-of-a-kind chairs are easy to find at flea markets, tag sales, and even at the curb on pickup day. For a cohesive look, tie them together with a single stain color. Or go for the bold and finish each chair in a different shade that coordinates with your decor. For a classic wood tone, use Minwax® Wood Finish™. For vibrant, colorful chairs, Minwax® Water Based Wood Stains are available in 50 shades. Follow with a top-coat of Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish.

For more furniture refinishing ideas, tips and projects, visit Minwax.com