Many older furniture pieces are made of wood, but they are ready to be discarded by the original owners as their finishes fade. The price to have a good piece of furniture taken down to the wood and refinished is generally expensive, so they sell or donate it. People who are looking for good furniture at a reasonable price can do their own refinishing, and it does not have to match what was originally there.
Shabby chic is one of the more popular ways to refinish old wood furniture, and it has caught on with those who are looking for unique pieces. Rather than sanding the furniture down, the refinisher simply uses quick strokes to cover it in the color they desire. Many shabby pieces are painted with chalk paint to give them a partially finished look, and it has become very popular among crafters. They can find good pieces, but they do not have to devote too many hours to refurbishing.
There are many pieces previously owned that were painted, but a person who loves fine furniture may see the beautiful wood under the paint. It takes a long time to sand it off, so they turn to chemical treatments to raise the paint from the surface. It takes attention to use this method because the chemicals can eat into the wood if left too long, so the crafter must be ready to remove it as soon as its job is done. After that, they only need do a little sanding to have a piece that looks like it just came off the showroom floor.
Decoupage is one more way to refinish old furniture, and it is mostly used on tables. A printed piece of paper is laid on the glue covered surface, and another layer of glue is added. The final product is a piece with a unique design or picture that gives it new life.