SAVING BEAUTIFUL OLD FURNITURE- How to use your beautiful furniture and breathe new life into it!

If you are anywhere near my age you probably have some beautiful furniture! You probably have had this stunning furniture for a decade or two or more. You probably saved and saved years ago to buy something that was great quality and in high style at the time! And if you are like me, you might be tired of looking at that gorgeous piece of furniture you bought year and years ago and are ready for a change. Or this splendid furniture may be showing its age and looking quite tired!  But, here’s the rub… If you are like me, you paid a whole lot of money for it and the quality is amazing and you could not afford to replace it with something of the same quality. I have very very very good news for you, if you are like me! There is such a simple and beautiful way to update and upscale your gorgeous furniture and breathe new life into it!

Here’s the very very very good news.. we don’t have to get rid of our much loved but slightly outdated or tired or warn furniture. We can paint it! YES!!!

Today’s PRACTICALLY SPEAKING is about the most creative, economical, fabulous way to keep our much loved furniture and make is look like something new!

It breaks my heart to see well made, pieces that have lots of character be thrown out or given away and replace with things of less quality! I’ve done that too. But in the last years I have keep furniture that I love and updated it with paint and new upholstery! 

I recently transformed an old bookshelf I love!

Here is a bookcase in my study/junk room. It’s been discarded and although it’s beautifully made it is woefully worn and outdated. I am gutting and redecorating my study and I really didn’t want to get rid of this piece. But it was NOT going to fit into my new sassy, fresh study decor.

Here is how it looked before. WARNING… THIS IS A MESS AND MAY BE DETRIMENTAL TO YOUR HEALTH. Look and then look away quickly!


And here it is painted with Amy Howard One Step paint….

SAVING BEAUTIFUL OLD FURNITURE- How to use your beautiful furniture and breathe new life into it!

What a difference.

I know that many of you might be shocked by  1. my hoarder looking study and 2.the great colors I used to paint the bookshelf and 3.  how different the bookshelf looks! Well, I can’t defend the mess my study has become. But for all you who think I only love neutral colors, not so! I love love love color! And my study is going to be decorated with these wonderful, rich and sassy colors… plus lots of white! 

My bookshelf went from frumpy to spectacular in one afternoon! I used Amy Howard One Step paint in A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND (don’t you love the name of that paint?) and HOLEY MOLEY.

I painted two coats of that great A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND gray on the case of the bookshelves and on the shelves. And I painted the inside of the bookcase gorgeous and ostentatious HOLEY MOLEY yellow.

SAVING BEAUTIFUL OLD FURNITURE- How to use your beautiful furniture and breathe new life into it!I literally slapped (I think the proper word for it is “crosshatching”) on two coats of paint and waited 20 minutes between the coats! I used a round HOGS HAIR BRUSH to apply the paint. Using this brush made such a difference in application! I’ve used so many brushes and rollers and this was the best …. by far!


The thing I just love about Amy Howard One Step is the finish. It’s NOT chalky feeling. It’s very smooth. And the finish is rock hard! ROCK HARD! I found that it does not “wear off” like some other chalk type paints.

SAVING BEAUTIFUL OLD FURNITURE- How to use your beautiful furniture and breathe new life into it!

Amy Howard One Step Paints are now available at your local Ace Hardware Stores!!!! Probably right in your neighborhood!

SAVING BEAUTIFUL OLD FURNITURE- Breathing new life into the furniture you have!

Amy Howard One Step does not need a coat of wax over it. LOVE that!  But you can obtain a silky, low luster sheen by using the wonderful waxes Amy offers!

SAVING BEAUTIFUL OLD FURNITURE- Breathing new life into the furniture you have!

Did you notice the silver leaf at the top and bottom of the bookcase? I did that!!!!!! It was so so much fun!

It’s real silver leaf. And it was easy! I also distressed it! Would you like to learn how to embellish your furniture with leafing? Good, I’ll show you how soon!

SAVING BEAUTIFUL OLD FURNITURE- Breathing new life into the furniture you have!

Let’s breathe new life in our furniture… together! If you have never painted home furnishings we can work together and learn some beautiful techniques. If you are a furniture painter good for you I’ll show you some great advanced techniques!  It’s amazingly satisfying to rescue old furniture and lovingly give it a second life! During this year I have some very exciting projects for us to do!

And learning new things keeps us vibrant and young! Right?

SAVING BEAUTIFUL OLD FURNITURE- Breathing new life into the furniture you have!

Here’s your first assignment if you want to learn how to update some of the furniture you love! Find a small something to Paint with One Step. It could be something you have in your home like a stool or a picture frame or a small table. Or you can find something at a thrift shop to paint too!

Go to your local Ace Hardware and pick up a One Step paint color you love! Go HERE to see all the colors you can choose from!

Watch this so so so informative video and learn how to use One Step paint… and meet fabulous Amy! I just love her. I met her in November and she is the real, sweet and informative deal! 

Just like I could not part with my bookshelf and saw that it still had potential to be something marvelous, I bet you have much loved pieces in your home that you can give a whole new look to also!

SAVING BEAUTIFUL OLD FURNITURE- Breathing new life into the furniture you have!

New furniture is always a thrill, but reclaiming the furnishings I already have in my home makes my soul sing!

Let’s be practical! If you are like me, I can’t see getting rid of furniture that has served me and decorated my home and still has such great bones. Painted furniture is a new classic so it just makes sense to transform the furniture we love with a new look!

SAVING OLD FURNITURE-magazine-holders-stonegableblog-2

How about you? What are you going to paint first? Please share!!!! And get busy transforming your furniture with paint!

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SAVING BEAUTIFUL OLD FURNITURE-rescue and transform the furniture you have!


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  1. Can you use it on dining room furniture? Your bookcase looks wonderful!

  2. I immediately thought of my dining room furniture too! I would love to start by painting the chairs but am afraid to pull the trigger!

  3. Pam Mowbray says:

    I used this paint on my daughters dining room chairs (left the table mahagony) and put a coat of wax on them. They are holding up beautifully to everyday wear and tear, since this is their primary eating space and entertain a lot. When Yvonne says it’s easy and durable, she is speaking the truth! I love this stuff!

    1. Well, thanks so much Pam! I would never suggest a product unless I thought it was exceptional. So glad to have an extra voice saying it is too!

  4. Paint is an amazing product. I’ll need to head to my local Ace Hardware this weekend and check out Amy Howard paint. I like the idea of how quick you can do a project, unlike the other paints.

  5. It looks amazing and I love that you painted it yellow inside!! Happy Saturday!

  6. My sister has been re-purposing furniture this way for years. Amy needs to add a color to her collection called, “I talked my husband in to it”:)

    Thinking of tackling my son’s bedroom furniture. It is a high quality set, solid as a rock honey oak distressed. He is going off to grad school this summer and we have been talking about updating it.

    1. Yes, June. “I talked my husband into it WHITE”. For my kitchen cabinets. 😀

      And I LOVE your “new” bookcase, Yvonne. Nothing says happy like yellow! Can wait for the silver leaf how to.

  7. You have inspired me to use Amy Howard paint on a small table that belonged to my maternal grandparents, an antique. The video was a great teaching tool for first timers like me

  8. From one who commented on your use of neutrals versus color, it’s nice to know there’s color hiding in there. Can’t wait to see.

  9. Very Nice! **and no, your before study picture looks about right – at my house anyway:) And thank you for not throwing out this piece – most people can’t see the potential in things (or houses for that matter – they always want to ‘gut’ kitchens and bathrooms and lose all the charm).

  10. Judy North says:

    Thanks a million! I cannot wait to visit Ace and start painting our old Jelly cupboard! The video was really great… a huge help.. Bless your heart… and your Bookshelf looks amazing!

  11. Many of us have armoires any suggestions on how to get an updated look and repurpose them?

  12. Ellie LaJuett says:

    I think it turned out beautifully, I love the one step ideas and the colors

  13. What a cheerful piece! Your makeover is an inspiration for me. I have a couple of pieces of furniture that are really showing their age and need something to perk them up. Both pieces came from my husband’s parents’ home so they hold sentimental value as well as their furniture quality. Honestly, I have been afraid to commit to painting them. I guess I am fearful that painted furniture is a trend and will be out of style in a few years, but once I paint a piece, it’s going to be SO hard to go back. We love natural wood, but we have so much of it in our home with shiplap walls and vaulted ceilings, wood flooring, and wood furniture, so perhaps breaking it up with a painted piece here and there might actually be a good idea. I have a small table and a lingerie chest that I have been considering painting. Maybe your makeover will give me the courage I have been lacking.

    1. I’d love you to email me a picture when you are done, Carolyn! Make sure to use Amy Howard One Step. It’s the best I’ve found!

  14. Great job, Yvonne:) Painting furniture is my favorite thing to do! Back in December you had mentioned that you would be doing some painting with Amy Howard’s products, and Shirley ( Hospitality Designs) suggested that I should try it. I’m lucky enough to have an ACE hardware store that carries the entire line, so I ventured out to make my purchase:) I do love the paint, and it definitely will have a place in my paint arsenal. Thanks for sharing your paint project:)

  15. Thank you for an honest review of Amy Howard paint. I have seen it at our local Ace and wondered about it. My first experience with another brand of paint was disappointing, so I think I will give hers a try.

  16. Your bookcase looks amazing, Yvonne.Thank you for sharing the video & the great tips, will start small & try my hand at furniture painting with Amy Howard now.Love the bright yellow & gray !

  17. Yvonne you’ve convinced me to keep a piece I was planning on burning. It’s not vintage but it is real wood. I will have to do a little reconstruction on it but I’m now going to paint it and use it in my office. Beautiful redo I must say and I love the colors.

  18. What an impressive transformation. The silver leaf is icing on the cake!

    1. Thanks Karen! I had so much fun doing the silver leaf. It was very easy and I just could not believe the results. I can’t wait to share this technique!

  19. Such a great post! I love how great your new bookcase looks.

  20. I am dying to paint an antique secretary of mine that has lots of carvings and details that go unnoticed because it’s all a dark brown. I shall paint it using her paint. Now to decide on a color!! So you feel her paint brush is sounds like? Thanks for finally posting this…I’ve been waiting ever since your tease months ago

    1. Hi Nancy! I’m going to paint my rice carved bed in a month or two and use a technique called TOSCANA. Wait until I share the technique to paint your beautiful sounding secretary!. I think your secretary will look gorgeous using the Toscana technique. ANd I think you will love it!

      To begin to understand how the paint works and feels find a small something and use the One Step on it, just to get used to the paint. The hog’s hair brush is not essential, but it will really help the painting process. I’d say, if you are going to paint more than one piece it is worth getting.

      I’m so pleased you are going to paint! YOU GO GIRL!

      What small piece will you start with?

  21. What a pretty bookcase! This is my first time to comment, but I am a long time reader. I love Stonegable! Your paint recommendation carries a lot of weight with me, Yvonne. For years I have thought about painting our master bedroom headboard but had given up the idea because I didn’t have confidence in the quality of chalk paints. Thanks to your recommendation, I’m going to check out the local Ace for Amy Howard paint. Thanks!

    1. SHERI, I would never recommend a product I did not love. What color are you going to paint your headboard. If you wait a couple months, I’ll be sharing how I painted my bed! I’m so excited to paint it!

      1. Cream and gold. Okay, I’ll wait for your reveal before diving in!

  22. Your bookshelf looks great! “A Good Man is Hard to Find’ is a short story written by southern author Flannery O’Conner. Read it some time. It will stick with you.

    1. I LOVE Flannery O’Connor stories! Thanks for the reminder!

  23. This is awesome! Thanks for the idea. You are just too clever for words, Yvonne!

  24. Hi Yvonne – we are in the process of “downsizing” purchasing a new build house. We just listed our house and in the (painful) process of deciding what we can no longer use. I have a sofa table and coffee table that I will be moving and painting, I was surprise that I didn’t get any resistance from my hubs. As you know you’ll never get anything for furniture that you are selling and you are so true that you’ll never replace it at the same price. My next stop will be the link to look at the colors. Truly appreciate your beautiful website always full of inspiration and never ending ideas!

  25. I love what you have done with your bookcase. I too am of the age where i have some great pieces of furniture that need updating. I have a question about the organizational pieces you used in your bookcase. Where did you find them. I love your blog.

    1. Hi Patricia! Great question. The organizational boxes came from Ikea and The Container Store! Hope this helps!

      1. Thanks they are both near me.

  26. Karen Riggs says:

    Bookcase is beautiful! Is the rug new, and if so, where might I find it?

  27. Yvonne- ok you’ve inspired me to paint my grandchildren’s coloring/craft etc. table to something fun that they will love. It’s black right now-not too thrilling!!! Wish me luck Hugs, Dorinda

  28. Love the color combination! and that paint name…haha!

  29. Nice combination! I like the yellow background color.