Upcycle Your Furniture
Repurposed furniture is when you redo or makeover a current furniture item to either have a new purpose or just a new look. Dressers can become chairs or you can give a whole new look to a desk with new materials. Furniture makeovers are such a great way to make you love your home…
Upcycling has become popular in recent years, and is great for staging your home and especially today with more people looking for ways to reuse materials and save money. It is a great way of transforming unloved, outdated, or unused pieces of furniture into something fresh, unique, and perfectly suited for your space
The good thing about upcycling is that no previous skills are required, and there are really no limits to what you can create. Upcycling is not only a cost-effective way of breathing new life into your old furniture, but it's also a great way to expand your creativity and reduce your impact on the environment.
We have put together our top tips, that will help you create your ultimate upcycling adventure. Both Cathryn and Marnae have personal experience upcycling so will you share some of your ideas?
1. Choose Your Furniture -The first step in your upcycling is to choose what you want to upcycle and the purpose you want the improved piece to serve. You may have some old furniture lying about in the house that needs a new look, or maybe you've seen something in a thrift store or garage sale that would be perfect with a little creativity. Either way, you want the idea is to upcycle at just a fraction of the price if you bought it new.
2. Make Sure the Piece is Structurally Sound When I first decided to try upcycling I went searching for a kitchen table.. I found it was important to look beyond the surface to the idea you have in mind when choosing a piece of furniture. You don't want to spend time on something that will become useless or fall apart the next day. Look at the joints and structure of the piece before you buy or start the transformation. Good bones are important for extended use.
3. Keep Your Eyes Peeled
Buy-Sell-Trade Groups on Facebook
· Taking those hand-me-downs from relatives even if you are not sure you have a purpose yet
· Thrift Stores
· Salvage shops/Antique Stores:
· local favorites Estate sales - “barn” rooms where things may be broken or needed lots or love, but you can score them for cheap!
· ReStores: Not only you are helping Habitat for Humanity, but you can find some really great pieces of furniture
So once you have the items, how do you make old furniture look new?
· Add a fresh coat of paint (chalk paint, spray paint, any paint)
· Change out the hardware
· Add wheels
· Give the furniture a new purpose
· Put two pieces together
Contact paper can work wonders
Create a different finish
Don’t be scared to take apart and use different pieces and parts
Reupholstering can be your best friend
Add fun accessories to a piece of furniture
Use rope or other craft supplies to repurpose an item
Add circuit lettering and designs
Handpaint or draw designs
Isn't it great when you can take something old and turn it into something modern for your home?
Be imaginative when you see old pieces. Almost every item can be an upcycling opportunity, no matter how it looks on the surface. Something might look ugly at first glance, but you have to look past the flaws to find the potential.
4. Plan Ahead Whether you're upcycling a small stool or a complete dining set, help yourself by preparing ahead of time. Have an end goal for your project and ensure you have all the tools and supplies needed to do the job. Give your piece a quick wash, sand it down and wipe it to get a smooth surface and get the perfect finish. Paint might hide many problems, but if your furniture has dents, holes, peeling paint, or scratches, these will be visible when painted over. Maybe you want to go for the distress look and add more dents.. Just determine that look ahead of time.
5. Don't Get Carried Away While it's exciting to get started on transforming your furniture, you'll end being frustrated if you bite off more than you can chew. Choose something simple, like a small table that needs painting, and don't rush.
6. Paint and Make Perfect If you're not after that distressed furniture look, a fresh coat of paint can go a long way in breathing some new life into your furniture piece. If your piece looks old and dated, a little sanding and paint may be all that you need to achieve a unique and stylish addition to your home. Make sure you use good quality brushes and paint that give good coverage and don't leave bristles in your work.
7. Get That Distressed Look Old dressers, drawers, cabinets, or cupboards are ideal for distressed looks if that's your style. Sand down the furniture and use chalk paint for a matte or chalky finish. Chalk paints are also great for covering a dark stain. Once you've applied the paint, sand the surface for a distressed look that will add character to the piece. Target the areas that would see the most wear and tear, like the edges.
8. Try Stenciling Stenciling is an easy step to full personalization. It's a way to get creative and add a personal touch to your furniture. You can find stencils online or designs yours if you have the right equipment. Use a stencil brush to stamp your creativity onto the furniture piece and add a coat of wax for protection. Don't worry if your work doesn't turn out as expected, you can always stencil or paint over it again.
9. Don't Forget the Little Touches Perhaps you've decided to upcycle a piece of furniture that has knobs on it. Replacing the knobs with some creative pieces can make a huge difference to your piece. You can use anything from door knockers to big keys or just any piece that catches your fancy. And even though you're going to replace your knobs, it's good practice to remove the old ones to make sure your paint job is a clean and smooth as possible. It will also save time if the new ones are smaller and there's a space with no paint.
Look no further than the neighborhood garage sale or your favorite budget furniture store (hello, IKEA!) to find the basis for a seriously upscale-looking piece. With a little paint, sandpaper, and some rolled-up sleeves, these DIY home decor projects turn humble "befores" to enviable "afters."