Horrifying Images of People Who Ruined Priceless Vintage Furniture

Shannon Quinn - December 12, 2022

Over the past few years, there has been a huge uptick in people deciding to DIY old furniture into something new. They will paint over perfectly good pieces of antique furniture just for the sake of customization. It’s truly horrible, because it ruins high-quality pieces that would be worth much more if they had been left alone. Thankfully, there is a group of people who restored furniture to its former glory. Here is a compilation of images taken from a subReddit called Reverse Pinterest.

Before and after restoring a vintage set of drawers. Credit: BoredPanda

A Green Changing Table Transformed Into a Beautiful Chest of Drawers

The “before” dresser to the left was being used as a changing table. It had been painted green, but seems to have been fading over the years. On the right, you can see how it looks after it has been sanded. It will look much better once the handles are replaced as well. I just wish we saw a photo of it inside of the house, rather than the workshop. Hopefully the new owner will enjoy this piece to hold their clothing for years to come. (via Pinterest)

Someone made a terrible choice when they did a DIY project on this dresser. Credit: BoredPanda

Life is a Journey

The original caption for this photo said, “I Wish I Could Pay $170 To Purchase This Piece Off Of Fb Marketplace And Restore It… literally Should Be A Crime To Do This.” One of the comments said, “I agree. I especially don’t like when they put inspirational words on furniture.” This DIY project truly makes me cringe. They made the furniture look like something out of a scrapbook. (via Home Addict)

This wooden table with a mosaic inlay looks better without paint. Credit: BoredPanda

From White to Wooden

Someone thought it was a good idea to paint this table white. It’s a very unique piece that contains a small mosaic inlay. Since the original poster didn’t give the brand name of this furniture, I can’t find an exact comparison. But there are different types of mosaic tables for sale on Etsy, which all go for the ballpark of $200. Of course, this person probably thinks that this piece is priceless. (via Etsy)

After the paint was removed from this clock, it looks very beautiful. Credit: BoredPanda

This Clock Was Rescued From the Thrift Store

Whoever thought painting a perfectly good antique clock blue must have had a few screws loose. Thankfully, this person was able to remove the paint to reveal the original wood underneath. These types of antique clocks aren’t as popular as they used to be, so you can find them on eBay for $50 to $100 each, depending on the brand. And people will sell them for even less at a yard sale. Obviously, the person who painted this was feeling crafty. But the wood looks much better. (via Antiques World)

Removing blue paint helped to restore this vintage furniture. Credit: BoredPanda

Restored Antique Cabinet

The original caption for this photo said, “My Crusade Upon Painted Antique Furniture.” This came from an Instagram account called finding_hastings owned by James White. As you can see from the “after” photo, they are also finding more appropriate handles for this cabinet as well. Based on the caption, we can only imagine that this guy has a hobby of restoring antique furniture, and I hope he continues. (via Finding Hastings)

After removing the paint, this furniture looks gorgeous. Credit: BoredPanda

Midcentury Furniture Restored to its Former Glory

The “before” on the left still looks like a nice piece of furniture. But when you look at the restoration job “after”, you can see just how beautiful the original piece of furniture truly was. Maybe black suited the style of the previous owner, but now it’s back to the way it should be. This piece has a new life as a dresser in someone’s home, and hopefully it will be passed down to someone who will appreciate it. (via All Modern)

A beautiful credenza after the paint was removed. Credit: BoredPanda

This Credenza is Beautiful in Brown

The original caption of this photo said, “Stanley Furniture “Linear Precision” Credenza”. After a little bit of research, I found this piece on 1st Dibs where it sold for $3,000. Wow! Whoever bought this truly got a good deal. Pieces like these can be passed down from generation to generation, because they are such high quality. Hopefully this person owns this piece for years to come. (via Pamono)

Someone rescued this furniture from a thrift store. Credit: BoredPanda

Restored Midcentury Broyhill Furniture

The original caption of this photo said, “First Time Rehabbing A Piece. Broyhill Sculptra Dresser. Few Mistakes With The Finish Due To Impatience. But I’m Happy With It For A $30 Thrift! All Thanks To Dashner Restoration Youtube Channel.” I found this same piece for sale at the Modern Hill Furniture Warehouse for $2,300. Wow! That’s a huge profit for a thrift store score. (via Dashner Restoration)

Before the restoration, this dresser looked awful. Credit: BoredPanda

Blue is Not Your Color

The original caption of this photo said, “I Was In Desperate Need Of A Dresser And Bought This Cheap. 7 Layers Of Paint Later I Found This Beautiful Wood Underneath.” Something like this would only sell for around $20 at a thrift store or on Facebook Marketplace. So the restored piece looks like it’s worth much more. Seven layers of paint is a lot! They had to have a lot of patience to restore this, but it looks like it was worth it. (via This Old House)

Someone restored this beautiful table to its original glory. Credit: BoredPanda

A Lane Acclaim End Table Restored to its Original Beauty

The original caption for this photo said, “Lane Acclaim End Table For $50 On Facebook Marketplace, Before And After”. This same table is selling on 1st Dibs for nearly $1,000. Hopefully they can keep this in good condition and pass it on to someone who will appreciate it. This is the kind of piece that you could keep for the rest of your life and eventually pass it down to your kids. (via 1st Dibs)

Who thought it was a good idea to paint this dresser pink? Credit: BoredPanda

This Bassett Dresser Was Pepto Pink

The original caption for this photo was, “My Refinished Bassett Dresser, It Was Pink!” Yes. Very pink. While I don’t know the exact model name of this dresser, Bassett is still around today. And for a piece of this size, you can expect to pay around $2,000. Whoever owned this previously probably painted it pink for a little girl’s bedroom, because it was her favorite color. Painting it paint really brought down its value, so it’s good that it was restored. (via Bassett Furniture)

This furniture was rescued from a bad DIY job. Credit: BoredPanda

A Magnificent Tilt Out Cabinet

The original caption for this photo said, “Stripped The Paint And Transformed It Into A Tilt Out Storage Cabinet”. These types of cabinets aren’t really made anymore. They’re good as magazine racks or vinyl records, but not much else. So I’m not sure how much this is worth, but I’m sure the owner thinks it’s priceless. I’m curious to know what the new owner is using it for today. (via Houzz)

Both versions look great, but the right is fully restored. Credit: BoredPanda

A Wonderful Restoration of a Broyhill Brasilia

The original caption for this photo said, “I Found This Painted Broyhill Brasilia On Craigslist And My Husband Fixed It.” This same vintage piece is available for sale from Midcentury Warehouse for $2,800. I don’t know how much they originally paid for this piece, but I can only guess that they got a great deal. These are very popular and sought-after midcentury pieces, because of how beautiful they look. (via Midcentury Warehouse)

This desk looks ugly with the blue paint. Credit: BoredPanda

A Restored Johnson Carper Fashion Trend Desk

The original caption of this photo said, “Restored This Johnson Carper Fashion Trend Desk. This Paint Did Not Want To Come Off.” After a bit of research, this desk was originally part of a 3-piece set that would have made a large corner desk. The full set is on sale online for $1,200. So I don’t know how much this desk would be on its own, but I would guess a few hundred dollars. (via Worth Point)

After removing the black paint, this coffee table looks beautiful. Credit: BoredPanda

Restored Mission Oak Coffee Table

The original caption of the photo said, “Stripped And Sanded This Mission Oak Coffee Table. Happy To See The Tiger Oak Back Out In The Open.” There are similar vintage coffee tables selling on Etsy for over $1,000. This person seriously got a good deal. To me, it looks like it may have been made in the 1980’s or 90’s. It’s not as old as many of the pieces on this list, but it still looks timeless like it would fit into many homes, regardless of their interior design style. (via Etsy)

A not-so-clever paint job was removed to reveal the original wood. Credit: BoredPanda

A Beautiful Kroehler Side Table

The original caption of the photo says, “Reversed This $10 Fb Marketplace Kroehler Side Table”. On a website called Incollect, this table sells for $700. Not a bad score for a Facebook Marketplace find! You can tell that whoever painted it was probably proud of their DIY project. But by painting over this table, it rally took away the value. So it’s very good that someone came along and restored it. (via Incollect)

Before and After removing ugly green paint from this furniture. Credit: BoredPanda

Green With Envy

The original caption said, “It Had To Be Done. I Hope You’ll Enjoy The Result.” Since the Redditor never posted the name of the furniture brand, there is no way I can accurately price this piece. But in general, midcentury modern side tables are a few hundred dollars. It’s.a shame that they only found one table, because these would look really cute as end tables on either side of a bed. (via Living Spaces)

After and before this wooden midcentury modern couch was restored. Credit: BoredPanda

A Beautiful Restoration Job (After and Before)

In case you were confused, the “after” photo is on top, and the before is on the bottom. After a little bit of research, I discovered that this is an Adrian Pearsall platform sofa. Believe it or not, 1st Dibs is selling this couch for $16,400! Wow! I have no idea how much this person paid for the couch, but we can only assume that this was a massive bargain. Hopefully they will sell this for what it’s worth, or hold onto it as an investment piece in their own home. (via 1st Dibs)

This end table was restored by removing ugly green paint. Credit: BoredPanda

From Vomit Green to Beautiful Wood Furniture

The original caption said, “Reverse Pinterest That A Friend Did.” This looks like someone was trying to go for a French country vibe, but slightly missed the mark. At the antique store, they made it look like a kitchen island setup. But the new owner is using it as a credenza that they’re keeping in the hallway. This is a great place to put down your purse or keys when you walk through the door, and store a lot of belongings. (via Hello Lovely Studio)

Someone had the audacity to spray paint this piece silver. Credit: BoredPanda

Mahogany Should Never Be Painted Over

The original caption said, “Forgot To Take A Pic Of The Finished Product Without Stuff On It But! My First Reverse Pinetrest On This $10 Genuine Mahogany Dresser That Had Been Spray Painted.” What a tragedy. You shouldn’t spray paint a piece of furniture like that to begin with. It looks awful. But thankfully, this person came along and restored it to the original wood. (via Wood Working Clarity)

The green paint on this dresser was not doing it any favor. Credit: BoredPanda

Teal Spray Painted Furniture Transformed Into its Original Beauty

The original caption for this photo said, “Johnson Carper Ronda Saved From Teal Spray Paint.” This piece sells on the Midcentury Warehouse for $1,200. Maybe that green color was trendy at one time, but it’s not on trend anymore. The natural wood color looks so much better. Always try to do your research on furniture before you decide to paint it for a DIY project! (via Midcentury Warehouse)

End tables after they had ugly paint removed. Credit: BoredPanda

These Mid Century Modern Night Stands Were Completely Fixed

The original caption said, “Final Update On My Mcm Nightstands! Before, Fully Stripped, And After! They Are My Pride And Joy”. We don’t know what type of furniture this is, so we can’t give any kind of estimate of what it’s worth. But my best guess would be that they would be at least $100 each. It’s wonderful that this person considers them to be their pride and joy, because it means they will be in their home for years to come… and nobody will attack it with gaudy paint again. (via Etsy)

Someone removed ugly blue paint from a dresser to reveal beautiful wood underneath. Credit: BoredPanda

An Incredible Before-And-After

The original caption simply said, “Facebook Marketplace Makeover.” You can see that they stripped down the dresser, removing the layers of cheap blue paint. Beautiful grained wood was revealed underneath. They are now using the dresser for their terrarium for some sort of pet reptile. This piece doesn’t look particularly old. I don’t think it’s an antique, but it may have been made back in the 1990’s. (via Wayfair)

These beautiful end tables have been restored from a terrible DIY job. Credit: BoredPanda

Restored Midcentury Lane Acclaim Tables

The original caption of this photo said, “Pair Of Lane Acclaim Round Tables.” On Etsy, just one of these tables sells for $760. So this set of 2 is worth $1,520. We don’t know how much they originally paid for these tables, but I bet it was a lot less than that. This person already has a great midcentury lamp, so the tables really help complete the look. Surely, they will hold onto these pieces for a long time. (via Etsy)

This coffee table looks beautiful now that it has been restored. Credit: BoredPanda

An Unfortunate 90’s DIY Was Removed

The original caption for this photo said, “I Bought This Coffee Table In 2018 For $15 At A Flea Market Because It Was Cheap And I Needed Something For My Living Room. Finally Got Around To Stripping It This Weekend.” You can find similar-looking coffee tables on Overstock for about $200 each. So while it’s not the biggest score you’re going to find on this list, it’s still a great deal. (via Overstock)

Before and after distressed paint was removed from a dresser. Credit: BoredPanda

Distressed to Gorgeous

The original caption for this photo said, “The ‘Distressed’ Console That Caused Me Such Distress.” For a while, “distressed” furniture was in style. It’s sort of French Country style. The original poster stripped off the paint, and stained it in a blonde wood color. It looks great! Obviously, they prefer to have a natural wood style instead of the painted distressed look. But some people still enjoy that style. (via HGTV)

Before and After a wine bar restoration. Credit: BoredPanda

Wine Bar Restoration

The original caption for this photo said, “60s/70s Wine Bar Restoration”. I tried searching for this piece online, and I couldn’t find it. But back in the 1960’s, having a home bar was all the rage. Now, a lot of people have bar or tea carts instead. This piece may not be in style anymore, but the person who took the time to restore this piece clearly saw the value in it. Maybe they will use it for their own home bar. (via Pinterest)

The new desk looks truly beautiful once you remove the white paint. Credit: BoredPanda

White Distressed Desk Returned to its Former Glory

The original caption for this photo said, “I Saw This Desk On Craigslist For $50 And Drove From San Antonio To College Station To Pick It Up. Restored It In American Oak And Black Lacquer.” Without the name of the piece, I can’t look up its value. But $50 seems like a great score for this midcentury piece. If I had to guess, I would say that it’s worth at least $1,000. (via Etsy)

This vintage furniture has been restored to what it originally looked like. Credit: BoredPanda

Reversing a 90’s Furniture Fail

The original caption for this photo simply said, “My First Furniture Unflip.” I really like how they paired it together with the floating wooden shelves that match the color of the dresser. It almost tricks your eye into believing that it was all one piece, or that they somehow went together. I don’t know the name of this piece, but I recognize the style being popular back in the 1990’s from places like Ashley’s Furniture. (via Better Homes and Gardens)

This dresser looks beautiful now that it has been fully restored. Credit: BoredPanda

This Person Removed Ugly Blue Paint to Reveal Gorgeous Wood

The caption for this photo said, “American Of Martinsville Dresser That I Tried My Best To Restore”. According to a furniture blog called Invaluable, vintage American of Martinsville dressers sell for a few hundred dollars, up to $1,000 for a full furniture set. The company is still around today, selling new pieces of furniture. Believe it or not, there are some American of Martinsville vintage pieces that have sold for over $6,000 at Sotheby’s. (via Invaluable)

Someone restored this beautiful mid century modern furniture. Credit: BoredPanda

A Mid Century Furniture Miracle

The original caption simply said, “Before and After”. This is actually the same sort of side table that was mentioned earlier, so it must have been a popular company back in the midcentury. But without the name, I can’t look up its value. However, I’m sure this person feels that their work is priceless. Owning pieces of real wood furniture is great, because it lasts for hundreds of years, compared to cheap Ikea furniture that falls apart by the time you’re ready to move. (via All Modern)

The impressive before-and-after of this beautiful set of drawers. Credit: BoredPanda

This Project Took Three Weeks to Complete

The original caption for this photo said, “Stripping Paint Is The Absolute Worst. Three Weeks After Staring I’ve Finally Made It, Boys. Just Picked Up Another Similar Dresser Painted Brown. Why Do I Do This To Myself?” Sounds like this person is busy with multiple projects going on at once. Some people can make a good profit by flipping furniture online. So I wonder if they plan to make money, or just keep the furniture for their own house. (via Refresh Living)

These beautiful chairs are truly valuable now that they have been restored. Credit: BoredPanda

Midcentury Dining Chairs Restored

The original caption for this photo said, “Thonet Dining Chairs, Redeemed.” I searched the internet for midcentury Thonet dining chairs, and I was shocked to see just how much these go for. On a website called Icon by Design, there are similar-looking chairs that cost $650 each. That’s $1,300 for two chairs. Whoever bought and restored these chairs seriously scored.

(via Icon by Design)

Before-and-after restoration of a vintage wooden bookshelf. Credit: BoredPanda

Vintage Goth Vibes

The original message on this photo simply said, “Restoration Process, Finished!” You can tell that whoever decided to give this bookshelf a few coats of black chalk paint truly thought it was a good idea. One of the top comments said that they actually like the black color. I agree, but the original wood looks so much better. The paint was also covering a beautiful golden inlay, which was a sin to paint over in the first place. (via Annie Sloan)

Someone restored this beautiful wardrobe. Credit: BoredPanda

Before and After Wardrobe Restoration

Years ago, people did not have closets in their bedrooms. Many older homes (especially in Europe) still don’t have a closet available for people to keep their clothes. So they would buy large wardrobes like these to store their clothing. On the left, we can see that someone once decided to paint it white. It’s not necessarily bad-looking. But once the paint is stripped away, you can see how truly beautiful the wood looks. Large antique wardrobes like this can sell for thousands of dollars. Without knowing the brand, I can’t research the exact price. But it would surely cost a lot of money to buy this from a dealer. (via Etsy)

A cute set of drawers perfect for a mini renovation. Credit: BoredPanda

Rimu Timber Dresser Restored

The original caption for this photo said, “Under 3 Coats Of White Paint And 1 Coat Of Green, Was This Beautiful Rimu Timber”. I tried researching Rimu Timber furniture, but I can’t find this exact piece of furniture. But I would estimate that this is worth around $300. Compared to some of the other pieces on this list, this dresser isn’t as impressive. But it is timeless, and can be used for years to come. (via Real Simple)

One person on Reddit did all of these impressive restorations. Credit: BoredPanda

A Huge Collection of Restoration Projects

The original caption for this photo said, “A Ridiculous Amount Of Love, Patience, And Skill Went Into Reversing These Mid-Century Modern Pieces! I Restore For A Living, And Although I Really Hate Dealing With Painted Stuff, It Makes Me That Much Prouder Of My Craft.” Wow. You can really tell that this person does this for a living. I hope they make a good profit flipping furniture online. (via MidCenturyMistress on Reddit)

This person restored a set of drawers to its original wooden state. Credit: BoredPanda

No More Blue

The original caption for this photo simply said, “Was Told To Post Here. Before And After De-Pinteresting.” They never posted the brand name of this furniture, so I can’t look up what it’s worth. But they most likely saved a few hundred dollars by restoring this piece instead of buying a brand new wooden piece of furniture. However, the bottom of this dresser is still blue. So that’s a bit odd. (via True Value)

It took months to restore this beautiful midcentury modern desk. Credit: BoredPanda

This Desk Took Two Months to Restore

The original caption said, “I Put Two Months Of My Time On Weekends And After Work To Remove The Awful Paint From This Gorgeous Danish Teak Desk With Floating Legs!” After a bit of research, I found a similar desk on 1st Dibs for $2,500. From my personal experience, 1st Dibs always charges way more money for their antiques compared to eBay, flea markets, and antique shops. But it’s still very gratifying to see that all of that hard work put into restoring this desk means that this person now has a valuable investment piece in their home. (via 1st Dibs)

Removing the paint revealed a beautiful vintage inlay on this side table. Credit: BoredPanda

This Table Was Saved By Its New Owner

The original caption for this photo said, “The Abuse Is Finally Over.” One of the top comments said, “Someone … painted…over…INLAY…?!??!??!?!?!? Why would you paint over inlay?!” Great question. Inlay furniture is very valuable, and it’s not something you see every day. You can tell that the person who painted this furniture liked to craft, and they thought they were doing something clever by painting it. But the original piece is just so much better. (via Etsy)

Beautiful work restoring a carved console table. Credit: BoredPanda

Carved Console Table Restored to its Original Beauty

The original title of this post said, “Vintage Console I Stripped A While Ago”. This piece is beautiful. I can only imaging how long it took to carve all of those shapes and lines into the wood to make this piece. Unfortunately, without the name, I can’t find out how much this piece is actually worth. But I would imagine that it’s somewhere in the ballpark for. $2,000 or more. (via Overstock)

The before and after restoration of a vintage coffee table. Credit: BoredPanda

Look What Was Hiding Under Layers of White Paint

The original poster said, “Thought Y’all Might Appreciate My Efforts”. Yes! We seriously appreciate it. Look how beautiful the wood pattern was underneath the white paint. They never posted the name, but it looks very similar to the Lane Acclaim Round Tables that were mentioned in an earlier post. If that’s true, this table would be worth $760. Hopefully the original poster knows how valuable it truly is, and they don’t let it go for less than what it’s worth. (via Etsy)

This dresser was saved from an ugly paint job. Credit: BoredPanda

Look What Was Hiding Under All of That Paint

The original caption for this photo said, “Thinking My Recent Rehab Of This Pre-Pinterest Paint Job Would Be Enjoyed Here.” You can see that this person replaced the drawer pulls with black leather pieces, which is very trendy right now. I wish I knew the brand name of this dresser, but I don’t. Before the restoration, it sort of reminds me of Elvis, or a race car. After the restoration, it looks so much better. (via Facebook Marketplace)

Before and after of a small side table restoration. Credit: BoredPanda

From Pea Green to Wooden Glory

The original caption for this photo said, “Lane Acclaim Side Table Hidden Under Pea Green Paint!” There is a set of two of these tables for sale on Chairish for $1,500. So technically, you could say they’re worth $750 each. We don’t know how much this person paid for the furniture on the secondhand market, but I can guarantee that it was worth a lot less when it was painted that ugly green color. (via Chairish)

A beautiful piece of furniture that was restored to its former glory. Credit: BoredPanda

Paint Removed to Reveal a Gorgeous Dresser Underneath

The original caption said, “Heard You Guys Like A Good Before And After”. This is yet another Broyhill Brasilia piece. It costs $2,500 on the Mid Century Warehouse. People love this style, because it truly captures the vintage mid century vibe. I can see why people are willing to pay a premium to have this furniture in their home. They’re lucky that it even still has all of the original hardware still intact. (via Mid Century Warehouse)

A restored midcentury modern coffee table. Credit: BoredPanda

So Much Wrong With The “Before” Coffee Table

On the original Reddit post, the OP said, “Something I Did A Few Weeks Ago.” If you look closely, you’ll see that they also flipped the legs over in the correct direction. How did they not realize that it included a magazine rack? It’s really cool, because this piece spent so much of its life being misused. Now its new owner has restored it back to the way it should be. (via Houzz)

A beautiful wooden mantle restored and stained. Credit: BoredPanda

Gorgeous Mantle Restoration

The original post said, “Painted Antique Mantle Restoration Transformation”. After doing a quick search online, I discovered that these antique mantles are worth a small fortune. If you find one in the condition on the left, you might pay in the ballpark of $500. But if you find one fully restored like the one on the right, it is now worth thousands of dollars. I’ve seen anywhere from $3,000 up to $12,000, depending on the intricacy of the mantle. (via True Value)

A beautiful vintage dresser restored from layers of white paint. Credit: BoredPanda

A Beautiful Transformation of Vintage Furniture

The original poster boldly claimed, “Behold, The Most Satisfying Reverse Pinterest Of 2021”. Normally, I don’t like it when people claim that they’re the “best” at something. But honestly, they might be right. The v-shape of the wood grain is absolutely stunning. It looks like the wood was taken out of a slice of one large tree. Clearly, they are proud of their restoration work. And they will most likely hold on to this piece for the rest of their life. (via Sunbeam Vintage)

A fully restored Brasilia II Petite Buffet Table. Credit: BoredPanda

Restored Brasilia II Petite Buffet Table

The original post said, “I Don’t Know If I Can Top This One! Fully Restored Brasilia II Petite Buffet.” After a quick online search, I found the matching Broyhill Brasilia sideboard selling on Atomic Furnishings for $500. On places like 1st Dibs, larger pieces from this collection sold for around $1,800. So I would put this piece in the ballpark of $1,000-$1,500. (via Atomic Furnishings)

A before-and-after restoration of a vintage cedar chest. Credit: BoredPanda

Antique Cedar Hope Chest Restored

The original post said, “Restored This Beauty To Original Glory. $20 Goodwill Cedar Chest Returned From Crackled Paint Torture”. After a search online, I see that vintage cedar chests go from $500 to $1,000. If you look on eBay or Facebook Marketplace, you might get a damaged piece in the ballpark of $200. But to find this at Goodwill for just $20 is seriously a steal. (via eBay)