Revamping Vintage Furniture | 3 DIY Tutorials

Vintage furnitureWith DIY tutorials flooding the web, it’s no wonder that the vintage look is the new hot interior design trend. Shopping second-hand stores, yard sales, and thrift marts is a great way to find a unique piece of furniture that makes a big statement without breaking the bank.

However, there are a couple of not-so-lovely issues that come along with bringing that adorable shabby chic dresser into your bedroom or that Victorian-inspired coffee table to your sitting room: odors.

You’ve read all the tutorials on switching up the hardware and the latest painting techniques, but have you thought about how you’re going to combat the stink? Probably not. But, that’s okay – let’s talk about 3 DIY tutorials to revamp vintage furniture. 

Musty Odors & Wood Furniture

Older pieces of wooden furniture are notorious for their musty scent, and if you’ve recently picked up a piece of new-to-you furniture, you’re probably pretty familiar with the odor. While it may not smell like it, there is some good news about that foul musty scent: it’s easy to combat!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Round up these ingredients to create your own homemade odor eliminating formula:

  • Bucket
  • Water
  • White Vinegar
  • Sponge

Here’s What You’ll Do:

Follow this quick and simple DIY tutorial for removing the musty odors from your vintage furniture:

  • Fill your bucket with equal parts of water and white vinegar.
  • Submerge a clean kitchen sponge in to the mixture, and then wring the sponge out well.
  • Rub the sponge over every inch of the wood furniture, then allow it to air dry.

Note: Make sure the furniture is completely dry before moving the piece inside your space.

Stinky Sofas & Upholstered Furniture

Imagine you’re spending a lovely Saturday at the local flea market – you’re having a great time checking out the quirky antiques and original items when you spot a sofa in the distance – a sofa that would be absolutely perfect in your formal living room!

You start speed walking towards the spectacular piece until you’re finally right in front of it. You think to yourself, “Finally! I’ve been looking everywhere for a sofa like this!”

To top things off, the vendor tells you that the price is well under your allocated budget, and you start to feel like this is the perfect scenario. “How did I get so lucky?!” you ask yourself.

You plop down on the cushy sofa to test out it’s comfort level, and then BAM – it hits you like a ton of bricks: this sofa STINKS!

Oh no! Now what?

More than likely, a series of questions will begin to run through your mind: Should you walk away from the perfect piece of furniture that you’ve spent months searching for? Will this sofa make your whole home stink? Will you ever even want to sit on it if it stinks THAT bad?

Then, a brilliant thought enters your mind: Maybe you can get the stink out? Ding ding! Now you’re thinking like a true DIYer! Let’s talk about the fastest and easiest way to get those nose-curling odors out of your dream sofa, or any piece of stinky upholstered furniture.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

All you need are a few key items to de-stink your upholstered furniture:

  • Baking Soda – Lots of it
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Large Bowl
  • 25 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil

Here’s What You’ll Do:

This could be the easiest DIY tutorial ever! Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll be left with nothing less than freshness:

  • Pour a generous amount (the more the merrier) of baking soda into a large both, then add 25 drops of lavender scented essential oil; give the bowl a quick shake to mix up the two ingredients.
  • Heavily sprinkle the mixture all over the furniture – don’t worry, you can’t sprinkle too much!
  • Let the soda sit for 24 hours, then use the hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner to suck up the soda.

Note: This can get your vacuum cleaner pretty dusty, so it may be a good idea to clean your vacuum cleaner after all is said and done. Click here to learn how to clean your vacuum cleaner. 

Yellowing Plastic & Wood Furniture

Even to furniture, time isn’t very kind. Over time, plastic and wood furniture start to take on a lovely (insert sarcasm here) yellowish hue, and also develop a stale stench. It isn’t pretty, folks. However, don’t let a little bit of yellow get in the way of purchasing that gorgeous vintage armoire – take matters into your own hands!

Here’s What You’ll Need:

You probably already have each of these ingredients lying around your house, so this should be a breeze:

  • Alternative Bleach – Click to for 3 all-natural bleach alternative solutions
  • Water
  • Soft-Bristled Brush
  • Bucket

Here’s What You’ll Do:

This DIY yellow-eliminating tutorial is as easy as 1-2-3:

  • Fill the bucket with 10% alternative bleach solution, and 90% water.
  • Submerge a soft-bristled brush in the mixture then use it to scrub the yellowed stains or stale smelling areas.
  • Rinse the area with warm water before bringing the piece into your space.

What About Mold?

There’s no easy way to put this, so we’ll just come out and say it. If none of the tutorials provided a long-term fix for your wood furniture, chances are, you’re dealing with mold.

While the tutorials we provided can be used to eliminate surface mold and mildew, there’s not much you can do about mold spores that are living inside the furniture. No matter how fabulous the piece is, or how well it completes your design scheme, if it’s infested with mold or mildew, it needs to go.


These tips and tutorials were written to provide general guidelines – every piece of furniture is vastly different. With every tutorial you encounter, we strongly suggest testing the techniques out on a small area of the furniture before taking on the entire project.

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