How to Modify Furniture to Look like Contemporary Furniture

What You'll Need
Metallic spray paint
Tape measure
Sewing machine
Clean rags

Trying to keep up with the latest trends in contemporary furniture can quickly become a costly and wasteful pursuit if undertaken in the wrong way. By choosing to modify your existing furniture, you can save money whilst still keeping up to date.

Step 1 – Type of Furniture  

The method you use to create contemporary furniture will depend on the type of furniture that you have and the material it is made from. Bear this in mind and choose the correct method accordingly. For example, you will not be able to use the same modification method for wood that you would use for metal.

Step 2 – Reupholster

Many types and designs of material used for furniture can quickly become dated so it is useful to know how to reupholster furniture to give it a contemporary look. After choosing a modern fabric, remove the sofa cushions and unpick the seams to use it as a pattern for the new covers. When dealing with a straight-backed chair, you will need to use a flat head screwdriver and carefully slide it beneath the pins that hold the cushion in place to work them out gradually. If it is required, take the opportunity to replace any padding that has become worn. Ensure that the fabric you choose is a color that is suited to the material that makes up the remainder of the chair and, if not, rectify this before beginning the process of reupholstering.    

Step 3 – Wood

Dark wood furniture can often look rather old-fashioned so lightening the shade or using a different color completely is a great way to keep furniture in line with trends. Remove the finish by sanding the wood with sandpaper and removing any trace of dust by wiping the entire surface with a cloth that has been lightly dampened with water. Apply the paint or whitewash in accordance with the instructions, making sure not to overload the paintbrush. Allow it to dry completely before applying varnish for protection and shine.

Where the wood comprises scrolls and carved designs, consider planning these away to produce clean straight lines that are more common with contemporary furniture. Initially, make sure that you are not dealing with an antique as this could devalue the item.

Step 4 – Metal

Metal furniture can be given the look of contemporary furniture with the use of high shine metallic spray paint. There are many varieties and colors available which will enable you to find one that is hard-wearing enough even for wrought iron. Use it in accordance with the manufacturers instructions wherever possible. This method can also be used on plastic fixtures and fittings.  

Step 5 – Accessories

The use of accessories can be an easy way to create contemporary furniture. Replace existing fixtures with stylish modern ones; items such as door knobs and handles, light fixtures and lampshades are widely available in a range of contemporary styles that will allow you to update the look of your furniture.