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Upcycling is the method of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless or obsolete items, etc., into new materials or objects of better quality or for a better environmental value. In other words: It means turning old stuff into new stuff!
This is more often done with furniture that can be made beautiful again with paint and hard work. These types of projects show off the power of upcycling.
There are many reasons why people upcycle furniture.
One reason is refurbishing antique furniture. They want to rebuild an old piece of furniture to make it better (or just as good as) new, without having to spend the money on a brand new item in the same style.
Another reason is that they might want to avoid buying newer products for sustainability reasons
A Guide To Upcycling Furniture
Step 1: Identify Upcycling Opportunity
Upcycling is the process where you take a piece of furniture that is cheap and old and make it fresh. In order to do this, you will first need to assess your situation.
Before you start doing anything, you are going to want to do some research on upcycling. You might find that there is no point in doing upcycling at all or that it’s far too expensive for the number of materials and time it takes.
The trick with upcycling furniture is knowing what you want before you go out, as it can cost a lot of money to turn something simple into something unique.
Step 2: Gather Your Materials
The second step when upcycling furniture is to gather all your materials. For many furniture upcycles, you’ll need:
- A solvent to remove old finishes
- Wood filler
- Wood stain
- Adhesive to fix your upcycled piece
This is not an exhaustive list. There are all kinds of options depending on the furniture that you are working with.
If you are unsure of what you need, it’s best to look up tutorials and see what others have done in the past. You can get pretty detailed analytics about how someone else made a specific piece of furniture.
Step 3: Prep & Sand
The third step when upcycling furniture is to prep the wood.
The first thing that you want to do with the wood is sand it down smoothly. If the wood isn’t sanded down, there will be a lot of flaws in it, and it will be difficult to paint.
During this step, you might need to remove old finishes on the wood.
Step 4: Paint It!
Next, you want to apply paint. You don’t want to get paint on your fingers as it can be very messy, so make sure that you are wearing gloves when doing this step.
The most common way furniture is turned into new furniture is by simply painting it, and the options are endless. You could try chalk paint, milk paint, a varnish, or even go wild with neon colors!
You might have a coffee table that was bought at a thrift store, but it’s not quite the style you want. Painting it a new color with homemade milk paint is an easy way to update it without spending a lot of money on a new item.