Add Wood! And Other Simple Upgrades for Cheap Furniture

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.

  • Thomas

    Great article!

  • Michael

    Superb! Primer has it goin on! Well done.

  • Ed

    This is a cracking article, one of the best I’ve read on Primer. Simple, effective, great tips.

  • Phil Hamer

    These are great! I’ll keep these in mind for my annual Ikea trip. I love the lamp idea.

  • Butch_Zee

    Awesome, awesome post. Primer is becoming my favorite blog.

  • Zach

    Great ideas. Thanks!

  • Luke

    Wow! This article is full of awesome ideas! Very well done!!

  • Jonathan

    having a hard time finding those table tops, any homedepot online links by chance?

  • Ken

    Lowe’s also has the wooden pine round(s) if you have a Lowe’s store in your area.

    • Jonathan

      have you found any smaller than 15″ at lowes? i know its only 3 more inches, but when looking at the rounds in store i thought it would be an awfully big seat. i will probably use it though.

      • Andrew

        I thought the exact same thing but it’s the perfect size when on.

  • Nick

    Just moved into my first postgrad apartment last week and still trying to furnish. Awesome, awesome article. More like this please.

  • Shorty

    Awesome article. Really cool have bunch of these tips on furniture from IKEA, for us living in europe, most of the tips about homedepo etc. arent very relevant, but ikea is everyone. Cheers!

  • NH

    Do you have a specific model for the lamp? That’s a brilliant idea that looks sick, but having trouble finding the lamp (or a similar lamp) that would work.

  • Whiteums

    That trick with the leather drawer pulls is pretty slick. The second i saw it, though, I instantly thought of sticking a wooden rod through. You know what I mean? That way, instead of trying to fumble with trying stick your finger in a little leather fold so you can actually get some leverage on it, you have a nice, manly bar to grip. Especially in circumstances like in the picture, with the two pulls. And you could even rig some sort of anchor on the ends of the wooden rod, so it doesn’t just fall out. The anchor could be something as simple as a cotter pin through a hole you drilled sideways in the rod, for the industrial look.

    Hey, Andrew, just wanted to let you know I love the site, I have been a subscriber for a couple years now. I still live at home, until I can actually support myself and move out, so I can’t really put a lot of your tips to use. but I’m definitely filing them away for the future!

  • second hand furniture london

    You have shared really amazing pictures and I really like that. I want to some pictures share with my friends. Hope they like them.

  • JustaGuy

    Do you come up with these ideas yourself or do you get inspired by other sources? Used the silver paint and also redid a piece of furniture in a manner inspired by the dresser idea. Good work!

  • Adam Kappel

    Hey Andrew, I’m in the process of building the Old Army Stool. It’s looking awesome so far. My question is; how do you secure the footrest? I’m considering just drilling straight through, and securing it with a new bolt, but I feel like there must be an easier way. Thanks in advance!

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  • Rharbaje Badr

    These are great! I’ll keep these in mind for my annual Ikea trip. I love the lamp idea.
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  • Cynthia Anastasiou

    This is all so great. What stain color did you use for the stools?


    • Andrew

      It was a cherry if I remember correctly.

  • burnto

    How are the rounds affixed to the stool? Do you screw them onto the black seat from the bottom, or do you replace the black seat?

    • Andrew

      Yep, they’re screwed on to the black seat.