Turn Trash Into Fully Functional Furniture For Your Home

You know all the furniture that you see people have left out at the curb for trash pickup, that on the surface looks ready for demolition? With a little fix up, these pieces can be saved and used in your own home.


I found this bookcase (everyone needs a good bookcase), and it was unsturdy and unattractive. But, I went to the lumber yard and bought new wood and used screws to add support backing to the back and now it is sturdy. Then I removed the black handles and repainted this in a more appealing white color. Then I re-attached the handles and look at the amazing results! With a little new wood and a coat of paint, this now is a functional and attractive bookcase!

By Vanessa

shelves before and after

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 195 Feedbacks
July 5, 20052 found this helpful

It looks great! I'll definitely think twice before I pass up someone else's "trash". Thanks for sharing!

May 5, 20160 found this helpful

I love to find things to recycle and turn into useful items!

July 5, 20050 found this helpful

You did a wonderful job! And think of all the money you saved!

May 5, 20160 found this helpful

I love to look for recycling finds and turn them into useful pieces!

By Paula W (Guest Post)
July 5, 20050 found this helpful

What a great makeover! Your added support backing will add so much more structure and strength than the original unit ever had. Well done! I have a question about the surface you painted on. Was it really wood? --- or was it fiberboard covered with this plastic/paper veneer that seems to be the normal finish on bargain furniture nowdays?


I ask because I've always wondered if paint would "stick" to the veneer finish. Thanks! pw

By wendee (Guest Post)
July 5, 20050 found this helpful

I wish we were allowed to leave furniture out for the trash. Only what fits in our garbage can for us!!

By guest (Guest Post)
July 6, 20050 found this helpful

It is amazing what people will throw away in the trash these days! Some of our neighbors throw away perfectly good items that can be used as is and I can't understand why they don't bother to give them to somebody who needs them or would use them!

By Suzie Adams (Guest Post)
August 17, 20050 found this helpful

When your wastemanagement will not provide options to discard old furniture and appliances or other large objects, they promote illegal dumping and as a high school science and vocational teacher, it is so sad to see the reusable and often working items that are routinely discarded, in spite of the extremly deprived families that live within miles of these "yuppiesh neighborhoods" that are still so environmentally unconcious and wasteful in too many instances. Local churches or job training orgs. will often pick up and sell, or teach restoring/ repairing with these reuseable or repairable discards. May often give tax receipts when & where it can be deducted as a donation.

July 18, 20210 found this helpful

"yuppiesh neighborhoods"??? Yes, sometimes true. Caution on the generalization. I have seen more expensive items (toys, commodity food, furniture, etc) next to the curb in impoverished neighborhoods. Toys I would not buy for my own children because of cost, a sewing machine and or basket with no problems, just unwanted.


I agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY that humans are very wasteful! I just caution providing people with something for nothing. Sometimes there is more behind neediness than meets the eye.

July 18, 20210 found this helpful

Oh my goodness. My husband saw a lady with a junk treadle sewing machine dump it in a deep metal garbage bin at our local dump. It had a beautiful finish on the cabinet. He didnt get a chance to tell her hed take it before it hit the bottom. It broke all to pieces. Its such a shame. I had looked for several years before I found one. I can now sew without electricity.

February 19, 20121 found this helpful

I took all mismatched furniture and bought a product called Stone from wal-mart or home depot you spray it on and it gives a ceramic looking finish I showed my boyfriend and he painted all my living room furniture it looks like I bought it out of the showroom floor.


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