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Date Archives: June 14th, 2021

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Upcycle Furniture

There are countless reasons to start upcycling furniture and no real downside. It saves you money, it keeps old furniture out of the landfill, and it also happens to be a lot of fun. That's what our real estate agents call a win-win. 

Of course, it can also be hard to know where and how to get started when you're a newcomer to the whole idea of upcycling. How do you go about transforming old, worn-out furnishings into something new and exciting? For that matter, where does one even find this stuff? 

Getting Started with Upcycling

For a lot of upcycle newbies, one of the biggest challenges is finding furniture and decor to start working on. Sure, you can always keep an eye out for thrown-out furniture on the curb, but that's not very consistent. And of course, if you have an attic or garage full of old decor, you don't have to look very far at all. For the rest of us, one of the best places to find furniture to upcycle is the internet. Platforms like Freecycle, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace offer endless opportunities to get your hands on free (or extremely cheap) goods that are ripe for revamping. Once you have an item you wish to upcycle, follow these steps.

Furniture Tips

  • Do Your Prep Work
    One of the most important steps to upcycling any piece of old furniture or decor is preparation. Make sure you have all the tools and materials you need in advance and don't rush the job. Sanding off the old layer of paint or stain on an item is always a good idea. Perhaps most important of all, make sure you give the item a good, thorough cleaning before you start repainting. You don't want your paintbrushes getting clogged up with dirt and cobwebs. 

  • Be Imaginative 
    In a lot of cases, upcycling means looking beyond an object's original use. Got an old wooden ladder lying around? Think about turning it into a trellis for your climbing vines. How about an old dresser? The drawers can be transformed into anything from hanging shelves to planter boxes. If you're in need of inspiration, there are some fantastic Pinterest boards out there that are chock full of upcycling ideas. If you have some old wood pallets or mason jars, there are endless projects you can use them for.

  • Be Respectful of Furniture's Origins
    While it's always great to let creativity run wild, sometimes it's also important to respect the original style of a piece and the era it comes from. This is especially true with furniture. For example, an antique American Colonial-style desk is simply not going to look good with a funky coating of chalk paint. Try to be conscious of upcycling furniture in a way that complements its original style. 

Furniture Paint

  • Invest in Quality Tools
    Whatever tools, materials, and accessories you use for revamping old decor and furniture make sure they're good quality. Use high-end paint, and shell out a few extra bucks for the good brushes. After all, the actual items you're painting were probably free, so you can budget a little extra on other materials to ensure a better end product.

  • Choose Well-Made Furniture
    It's also a good idea to make sure the items you're attempting to upcycle are of good quality, even if they need a little love and attention to get them back in good working condition. Older furniture tends to be better made, as a general rule. Avoid newer, mass-produced pieces that are made from chipboard or composite board. That stuff is basically glorified cardboard, and it just doesn't hold up in the long run.

    Furniture Painting 
  • Experiment with Styles, Materials, and Techniques
    There are endless options when it comes to paints, stains, and other materials you can use. Give yourself permission to be bold, use your imagination, and mix materials and styles. Chalk paint is good for beginners. Try combining fabric with a painted surface to see what you can achieve. Experiment with sanding paint after it dries is good for a distressed look, and have fun creating patterns with stencils. Nobody gets it right 100% of the time. Sometimes, you have a vision for how you think a piece of upcycled furniture will look, and it just doesn't pan out. That's okay! There's always next time. Try to practice on some low-stakes pieces, so you're free to make mistakes before tackling big projects you're really invested in. 

Planning for a Move?

Upcycling isn't just a good way to get new furniture, it's also a great way to get rid of your own unwanted furniture. If, for example, you're planning on moving in the near future, letting some of your old furniture go to others for upcycling is a great way to give it a second life while eliminating clutter in your home. 

Contact us today to learn more about upcycling and how it's a great way to either pare down your belongings before selling a home or fill your living space with creativity when you've just bought a new home. 

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