Sometimes, it is difficult to see the potential in used furniture pieces. That’s why people will go out and buy new – we look at a used item and we see it looks old and tired or dusty and dirty.

Here are a few simple ideas that can help you rejuvenate, customize and repurpose the old furniture you have or the used items you have purchased.

1. Clean it

Although cleaning an old piece of furniture can take a bit of elbow grease, you may be amazed to see what you find simply by giving an item a good cleaning. That old, faded outdoor patio set might look new with a good power wash and scrub with soap and water.

But be mindful of the materials you are cleaning and what products are safe to be used. Make sure you do your research on what cleaning products work best for the materials you are cleaning. Although vinegar may be great for cleaning a window or mirror, it can quickly and easily stain a marble countertop. You can quickly ruin the finish and the overall integrity of materials such as wood and stone, so do your research before you start cleaning.

2. Paint it/stain it

Painting an old dresser can dramatically change the entire look of the piece. Paint is generally an inexpensive, easy and fast fix that can create a beautiful result.

There are a variety of different finishes and painting techniques that allow you to be creative with your own sense of style. Choosing to paint a dresser turquoise may not be everyone’s choice, but it may be just the dramatic punch you have been looking for.

If you would like to enhance the grain of a wood piece as opposed to covering it, staining is a better option. Test a few stain variations before you apply it to the piece – removing a stain that turned out too dark can be near impossible. If you simply want to treat the wood and bring it back to its natural beauty, try a furniture balm as they are the most gentle way to restore and refurbish tired-looking wood.

3. Repurpose it

When making a change around the house, think outside of the box. An old dresser can make a gorgeous one-of-a-kind vanity, or even a unique table for your entryway. An old door can easily be repurposed into a great desk by simply adding some table legs. The old night stand you found at a yard sale might just be the perfect living room side table. Let your mind be creative about which furniture items can be used in every room of your house.

Before buying new, use your imagination when it comes to your old furniture. You may find with a little creativity and a little effort you already have what you’ve been looking for all along.