Upcycling furniture is a great way of taking unused and unloved items of furniture and making them look like new. It is also a great way of making old furniture compliment your new interior décor, while allowing you to save money in the process. There are so many ways you can upcycle furniture, some can take more time than others, but it is so rewarding and creates a real sense of achievement when you take the time to inject new life into your old furniture. Below are eleven easy tips that will have you upcycling furniture like a pro in no time.
1. Choosing your furniture piece
Before you begin to upcycle furniture, the first thing to decide is what you want to upcycle and why you want to do it. You may already have some old furniture in storage or something lying about the house that needs a new lease of life, or perhaps you’ve just seen something in a charity or second hand shop that would be perfect with a little TLC.
If you are buying second hand furniture, it’s important to have a good idea of what you want to do with it, to avoid purchasing un-useful pieces that will just gather dust in your home. If you do see a piece you like, picture it in your home before buying.
Make sure you check furniture is structurally sound for what you plan to use it for, especially before purchasing. If there are holes in older wooden furniture, it’s probably had woodworm. If you are looking for a unique piece, it’s important to be flexible. Creative thinking can turn crates into shelving or old doors into chairs.
2. Get that distressed furniture look
One of the best places to start upcycling furniture is old drawers, dressers, cupboards or cabinets that you might have. Sand down the furniture piece before applying paint, or use consider using chalk paint as you won’t need to prepare the surface. Once you have applied the paint, go over it once again with sand paper to get a distressed look that will add real character to your furniture. This can work well if want to create a distressed edge look to the furniture by applying a different colour as an undercoat to your furniture piece.
You’ll find a great guide on distressing a desk with chalk paint from the guys at How To Nest For Less (view here).
3. A Lick of Paint
If you’re not after that distressed furniture look but want to breath some new life into your furniture pieces, a lick of paint can go a long way. If a piece looks old and dated, and beginning to show the signs or wear and tear over time you can easily transform it with a little sanding and paint.
Paint can completely transform a dated piece of furniture into a unique, modern and stylish addition to your home.
Don’t play it safe though with one colour. If you’re painting a piece of colour, use a couple of paint colours and make the furniture piece a real feature of your room, whether it’s your bedroom or main living space.
Stencilling is a great way to get creative when upcycling your furniture, as well as for adding a personal touch to your piece.
Although it might be a little daunting, don’t worry if your stencilling work goes wrong, you can always paint or stencil over it again.
This also allows you to get more creative with items of furniture, allowing you to really stamp your creativity into it.
Do you have old curtains or sheets sitting around your house gathering up dust? Why not put them to good use by upholstering some chairs in your home. You can easily transform a chair that is no longer to your taste by removing the old fabric cover and re-upholstering it with these old curtains and sheets, or alternatively you can buy new fabrics to really make your chair look and feel like brand new. You may even find that you really enjoy this approach to upcycling old chairs and the staple gun will become your new best friend.
If you are looking to change up your countertops on the cheap, self-adhesive vinyl is a great way to do this. Ideal for changing up kitchen or bathroom worktops, table tops or for lining shelves and drawers. It can be applied quickly and easily on smooth dry surfaces, and it is also wipe clean and heat resistant. Check out this stunning marble transformation from Retro Flame.
7. The Little Touches
The little touches can also make a huge difference to furniture, such as replacing door, dresser, cupboard and wardrobe knobs.
This is where you can get really creative and use anything from big keys to door knockers, or anything else that catches your fancy. These can easily be picked up online or in home improvement stores.
8. Create a book case with old ladders
A book case can be a great way to complement your furniture, and free up space in some cupboards by giving you an area to store all those cook and interiors books that you have lying around. Use an old ladder to create a simple yet effective book shelf for your home.
9. Add some wallpaper
Last year, we did a survey which found that 78% of the NI population prefer painted walls to wallpapered walls. But what about wallpapered furniture?
Give your furniture a new lease of life by adding some patterned wallpaper to it, whether this is the shelves or the whole thing. Bathroom cabinets can be a great place to add this, as the example below of a wallpaper vanity highlights.
10. Reuse old jars
While they’re not technically furniture, jars can be a great accessory for your furniture. Whether it’s old candle jars or jam jars you are looking to bin, jars can be a great way to store small things around your home.
Simply add boiling water to the jars and leave them to cool before cleaning. Once ready, you can decorate the jars and use them for storing anything from flowers and make up essentials to your personal possessions.
Jars will also allow you to inject a real feel for the seasons in your home, as you can fill them with pine cones, feathers or sand, depending on the time of the year.
11. Something Unique
You may want to get creative and immerse yourself in a unique upcycling furniture project, such as creating a suitcase coffee table, a bicycle stool or a door chair, it’s entirely up to you…just make sure it’s safe and well built!
Looking for more upcycling inspiration?
Pinterest is a great source of inspiration for upcycling furniture, whether it be transforming, re-upholstering or repurposing your old furniture items. Pinterest has examples for everything, so get creating those mood boards for inspiration!
The Facebook Page Nifty also posts some great upcycling ideas to improve your interiors, like this copper pipe display ladder.
We hope this post has provided you with some ideas for an upcycling furniture project. Have you done any furniture upcycling projects in your home? We’d love to see your best upcycling pieces, so please share your favourite creations and upcycling tips with us on the Property News Facebook Page.