If you haven’t heard of upcycling you’ve clearly been living under a very lonely rock – so let me catch you up with this very official definition. It is the practice of making over old pieces of furniture and giving them a new lease ofn life all while being good for the environment. So while you steal garbage from your neighbors heap it means you are not only giving yourself another project to add to your list but also doing something good for the environment. TBH I am TERRIBLE at recycling so I consider myself even with all the upcycling that I do. But upcycling is a lot more than just using something old in a new place in your house. So after I was asked by MyDomaine for some tips I decided that there were a few that I should add to the list to make a full post out of it.
What Materials Do I Need
Most pieces will need a good clean up. I mean they are coming from the garbage after all, so a good soap and water scrub, some household cleaner, or sugar soap (thanks Australia) is a great way to get the piece ready for whatever you have planned for it. If you’ve got paint planned for it then sandpaper in a variety of different grits will also help to remove any varnish or existing paint and get the surface smooth and ready for painting. Speaking of paint, you’ll need to choose the right kind depending on the finish you’re after. Oils, waxes or varnish might be needed for other projects. If you’re upcycling old wooden floorboards for example, tung oil is one option, you can learn here the best way to go about it.
What Are The Best Pieces Of Furniture To Use?
The best pieces of furniture to upcycle are those that are made out of solid wood. Sorry IKEA. Luckily most older pieces were made from this and were very well crafted unlike a lot of the big box stuff we see today. So once you find your piece as long as there are no signs of rot, pests or water damage, or something scary and weird looking you should be good to go. As I mentioned in the MyDomaine story don’t worry so much about the color, paint finish, or cosmetic look of the piece as that can all be quickly changed. Shape, scale, and details are what you should focus on when finding the best pieces.
Where Can I Find Pieces To Upcycle
Get scrappy with this. I have found pieces on the street, in dumpsters, and of course the obvious places like thrift stores and the goodwill. Most people quickly walk past these places as they see old, outdated furniture as junk- even it’s solid wood and beautifully made. So your loss is your gain. If you can’t find anything locally then check out online sites or ebay which sell plenty for cheap
When all is said and done, have fun with it and be patient. Refinishing and repurposing pieces is definitely not the easiest of things to do in your spare time but saving hundreds and reusing an old piece are two great excuses to get your hands dirty. If all else fails just trash it half way through and then the next upcycler can make it their project.