Instead of throwing away unused and disliked furniture pieces, why not upcycle them and make them look new? This is also a great way of making your old furniture fit in better with your new décor. Some of the projects listed below are simple, while others require more time and skill. One way or another, they are all rewarding and should let you walk away with some money in the pocket.
Firstly, decide which piece of furniture you want to upcycle and why you want to do it. Perhaps it’s an old piece in your storage room, something just collecting dust in the house or even a piece you spotted in a charity sale or second-hand shop. Make sure the furniture is sound for how you want to use it, especially if you are purchasing second hand.
Paint them anew
For outdated furniture, a splash of paint can make the difference between giving it away and starting anew. The good thing about paint is that you can easily adapt almost any piece of furniture to a current trend simply by selecting a trending colour. But why stop at one colour? Experiment with a couple of colours and turn an old piece into the eye-catcher of the room.
Achieve the distressed look
You don’t have to make old furniture look as if it has just left the store. The intentionally distressed look is ideal for drawers, dressers, cupboards and cabinets. If you are using chalk paint, you don’t have to prepare the surface. Otherwise, begin by sanding down the old paint. Once the new coat dries, work it down with sandpaper to create a unique, distressed look. You can go even further and apply a different colour as an undercoat that will ‘pop up’ here and there.
Small touches like replacing the dresser, wardrobe and cupboard knobs can make a big difference to your furniture. There is a literally endless list of items that can dub as a knob, from door knockers to leather straps and big old keys. The best places to look for these are online home improvement and antique stores.
Holster it up
Old curtains and sheets are items that have no decorative purpose at all… unless you use them to upholster some chairs. This way, you get to transform the old chairs and make use of the fabric that you feel sentimental about. Alternatively, you can buy new fabric, take your staple gun and make your chairs fit better into your new kitchen décor.
Have you considered wallpapered furniture? As a great alternative to painting, any wooden piece of furniture is suitable for this upcycling method, as well as pieces with glass or plastic surfaces.
Tip: If you want to cover large wooden surfaces like wardrobe doors and sideboard fronts, consider doing both the inside and the outside. The wood will expand when it absorbs the wallpaper paste and shrink again when it dries, which can lead to bending or warping unless both sides are treated.
Pallet of options
Need a new bookcase but you just can’t find one that suits your needs or your wallet? Free some space in your cupboards and drawers by making a case from upcycled wooden pallets. In addition, their design makes them ideal for a coffee table or a computer desk, with plenty of room for storage between the upper and lower surface. When searching for pallets, make sure they were properly stored on pallet racking structures, kept indoors and not treated with harmful chemicals.
Self-adhesive vinyl is a great way to upscale your dull countertop. Apart from being cheap, it’s easily applied on all smooth surfaces, it wipes clean and is resistant to heat. Instead of computer-generated renditions of natural stone, manufacturers today use patterns taken from actual pieces of granite or marble.
With just a little imagination and basic home improvement tools, you’ll be able to find a new purpose for your outdated furniture pieces, or simply reinvent them with a new look.
If one thing is true about Lillian Connors, her mind is utterly curious. That’s why she can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of green living/home improvement projects and spread the word about them. She cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. You can check her out on LinkedIn.