It is said that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure! And that’s true for almost everything. Especially when it comes to furniture! You may find forgotten or unwanted old pieces, like a chest of drawers or coffee tables that you may like in a friend’s or neighbour’s garage or storage. And the best part? You can upcycle them now very easily!
Have you ever visited your grandmother’s attic? Please do! Surely, you’ll discover something amazing. That’s why your first thought shouldn’t be to throw it away! Learn how to upcycle furniture now with our step-by-step tutorial and turn it into an eye-catching piece for your living space, your dining room, or even your bathroom!
Benefits of upcycling furniture
It is a terrific way to save old furniture and give these pieces new life. In addition, upcycling projects give you the chance to add style to your home decor and create beautiful statement pieces to boost and complete your home’s interior design.
Also, improving your home’s decor with upcycled furniture ideas have more benefits than you have ever considered.
- It’s eco-friendly as it reduces the waste that people tend to dump in landfills.
- It saves you money. Unique pieces of furniture cost a lot. DIY furniture makeover is a fantastic way to create expensive furniture you can’t afford.
- It’s in fashion. Surf the net and see what we’re talking about! You’ll find many guides for DIY projects, either creating garden furniture from pallets, wood, or even metal. Or you can check our guide on how to upholster a chair on your own!
- It promotes creativity as you can do whatever you want. Plus, you can create unique pieces that no one else has.
Things to know before you start
DIY makeover old and second-hand furniture is an inexpensive option to renovate your home. However, before you start, you need to know some things for a successful result.
1. Prepare the furniture
Preparation is the key step for DIY projects. Before starting, make sure you have the needed tools and materials. The next thing you should do is wipe down the furniture to get rid of dust, debris and even any cobwebs. While wiping, check the surface for any damages. In case there are any, you better repair them first.
2. Determine the technique
When it comes to upcycling furniture, there are many techniques you can use to revamp, for example, an old dressing table or a side table and dining chairs. Whatever technique you’ll use, you’ll have first to prime and remove any previous paint. How? You can use sandpaper to get rid of the old coat of paint and smooth down the surface. Then, you can apply any furniture paint you want.
Once you have determined the technique, get the necessary tools. If you opt to spray paint the wooden item, you need a spray painter. Or, if you choose decoupage, you’re going to need specialist papers and decoupage glue. Of course, don’t forget to invest in good paintbrushes. Whatever paint method you’re going to use, you’ll need smaller ones for the hard to reach areas.
Depending on where you’re going to place the piece of furniture, you can decide which paint to use once you revamp it. And that’s because not all paints are suitable for all environments. For example, oil-based wood paints are suitable to use in the bathroom and kitchen. Instead, acrylic wood paints are less toxic. Thus, you can use them to repurpose a piece of furniture for the dining room, bedroom, living room and so on. Finally, there’s a new trend called chalk paint. It’s pretty easy to use, and you need almost no preparation before applying it.
Choose the colour that pairs with the rest of the decor. Once you are done with priming, sanding, and choosing the painting method and colour, you can start painting. After priming and painting, you’ll have to apply varnish on the surface to protect it from scratches and moisture and help the furniture last longer.
4. Be creative
You could see that coming, right? Being creative can help you make a statement piece. Don’t be afraid to create whatever crosses your mind providing you feel confident with that.
5. Consider the material
The material of the furniture will determine the way you’ll tackle it. Different cases need different treatment.
- If your bookcase, for example, is made of untreated wood, like pine, you don’t need to do anything. You can paint it as it is. You can lightly sand it, but that’s not necessary.
- You need to sand the surface first to help the paint stick on it for varnished and treated wood. After sanding, apply a primer, and then you can paint.
- Pieces made of melamine and coated MDF can either be painted with chalk paint or you can apply a primer and emulsion.
Smart ideas for upcycling your furniture
When upcycling old furniture, you need to be creative. It’s probably the most inexpensive way to make unique pieces and renovate your home. Here are some smart upcycled furniture ideas:
1. Turn a torn apart armchair into an eye-catching piece
Have you got an old armchair that has become worn and torn because of daily use? Don’t throw it away! Paint the wood frame yourself, and take it to an expert to change its upholstery. Choose one that matches the rest of the decor and create a focal point in the room.
2. Transform a dull sideboard into an interesting one
A dull and monotonous sideboard can destroy the entire interior design. What can you do to change that? Just pick your favourite colour, ensuring that it pairs with the rest of the room, and paint it fading from dark to light. Easy breezy!
3. Make a side table into an outdoor plant display
Get an unused side table and paint it with a bright colour. Use waterproof paint since this item will be placed outdoors. Place on it some colourful pots and create an exciting plant display to upgrade your garden or patio.
4. Create shelving with vintage suitcases
If you own a few old suitcases that you don’t use anymore, you can transform them into shelving. How? Just cut the fronts away and mount them to an empty wall or down on the floor to fill and decorate an empty corner or your hallway. Then decorate the shelves with greenery, picture frames or small plants.
5. Bedside table made from suitcases
If you have a couple of vintage suitcases, and you don’t want to go for shelves, you can use them to make two beautiful bedside tables for your bedroom. Attach wooden legs to the underside, and your vintage bedside table is ready to use!
6. Reuse your old sheets by creating new cushion covers
We all have some old sheets with flowers and other patterns that we don’t use anymore. Instead of storing them in the wardrobe, you can use them to create your own cushion covers. Pick a sheet and create yours to decorate your sofa with some throw pillows.
7. Renovate your old garden chairs by recycling plastic bottles
Instead of throwing away your old garden chairs, you can renovate them using plastic bottles. Strap some bottles to the base and back of your metal chairs, and turn them into comfortable, waterproof and long-lasting seating.
8. Paint your old armchair with sponges
To breathe new life into an old, boring armchair that might not matches your living room, refresh it. You don’t need to reupholster it. Instead, you can grab your sponge and some fabric paint and add a nice touch. So here’s a modern, unique, new armchair.
9. Make your old drawers look like a suitcase
To upgrade the old drawers that you don’t like anymore, here’s what you can do. First, paint them with a colour pallet of pastel shades using chalk paint. Then, for a suitcase look, make sure you paint each drawer a different colour. Then, attach some clips and decorative suitcase items, and your suitcase-style bedside cabinet is ready!
10. Stencil paint your coffee table
Do you want to make your boring coffee table more fascinating and appealing? Sketch a design you like on paper or get a ready-made stencil one and then paint it on the surface using oil-based paints. Then, let it dry and enjoy your new piece!
Upcycling is a fantastic way to save old pieces. The best places to find some are car boot sales, charity shops and the internet. There you can find some unique pieces at low prices. Give them your creativity and a bit of your time and you’ll be rewarded. Your house will look more interesting and appealing. We can promise that!