If you’ve not heard of upcycling before then you’re missing out on one of the biggest current trends in interior design. Upcycling is all about taking old or second hand pieces and then changing them in some way to update them and give them a whole new lease of life. The benefits of upcycling are obvious; it costs less money to revive an old piece of furniture, it’s less damaging on the environment than going out and buying new, and you can get a truly individual look in your home. There is some basic equipment you will need to get started, but it needn’t cost a lot of money and you don’t need to be particularly skilled either.
Stripping And Sanding
The main problem with lots of furniture which you can find in car boot sales, auctions or junk shops is that it is often coated with layers of heavy, dark varnish which instantly makes it look dated and unfashionable, so the first job is always to get back to the bare wood underneath. There are chemical based solvents which will help you get the worst of the varnish off, but you will also need sandpaper to work around awkward corners and to give a final polish. At the time it may seem as if you are spending hours with the sandpaper, but the end result will be well worth it.
Back to Basics
Once you have stripped your furniture back to the bare wood, the next decision is about how to use it. You can of course just re-varnish or paint your chest of drawers or shelf, but it can be better to think of other ways to use the wood. An old table can be cut into strips, smoothed off using woodworking planes and made into a set of shelves. An old kitchen dresser can be cut into two parts and used as a separate cupboard and shelves in different areas of the house. How you use your items is really limited only by your imagination.
The finish you choose for your new piece of furniture will depend very much on your personal style and how much effort you want to put into changing the look. The simplest finish is just painting the furniture the same colour all over to fit in with the rest of your home. If you are artistic, you can get all creative with stripes, spots, flowers or all whatever other sort of design you prefer, or use techniques like decoupage or stencilling to give a more decorative finish.
Make A Career From It
Upcycling is so fashionable at the moment that it is possible to make a living from buying up cheap furniture, changing it using woodworking planes, paint and other basic items, and then selling it on through retailers or on the internet. This taps neatly into the fact that many of us like the idea of filling our house with upcycled furniture and accessories, but just don’t have the time to do the upcycling ourselves.