Upcycling Mistakes

Upcycling Mistakes to Avoid discussed by Eco Solutions

Upcycling is getting more and more popular and there are lots of reasons for upcycling; it’s better for the environment, it’s a cheaper option compared to buying new and you can turn a classic piece of furniture into something special which is hugely satisfying. When starting your upcycling journey you will make mistakes along the way and learn new and better ways of doing things as you go. Our Upcycling Mistakes to Avoid article will reduce the number of mistakes you make, removing frustration and the possibility of ruining an item, along with making the whole experience more satisfying for you, always resulting in you wanting to do more and try different things and techniques.

The most amazing and satisfying thing about upcycling is there are no restrictions to what you can use and how you can change something to give it a new lease of life. The only limit will be finding the products and finding new and better ways to use them or having the imagination to decide what you want them to look like.

What are the Benefits of Upcycling?

  • Reduces the strain on the environment – reducing CO2 emissions by using old materials instead of making new ones (for every ton of discarded textiles used again, 20 tons of CO2 is prevented from entering the atmosphere)
  • Reduces the amount of waste that goes to landfills
  • Conserves limited resources
  • Reduces the cost of reproduction to replace items that have gone to landfill
  • Supports local industries and businesses
  • Encourages creativity and innovation
  • Saves you money
  • It can make you money if you decide to sell
  • Keeps the products you love

Upcycling Mistakes to Avoid

Upcycling Mistakes – Not Finding the Right Product to Upcycle

Buying the wrong product to upcycle will end up with you not being happy with the end result so if you don’t already have something at home you want to try with then you should firstly think about what additional furniture or the furniture piece you are looking for. Look on the internet and look at different designs, styles and colours you would like. When you have done this look on eBay, Gum Tree, local Facebook selling sites, in charity shops, at car boot sales and your local recycling centre shop to find your perfect first project. Also, ask your family and friends if they have any old furniture they no longer want that you could start your upcycling journey with.

Upcycling enables you to create your own bespoke look and feel in your home. Lots of people now mix and match decor styles; adding chic boutique furniture with modern and contemporary decor and upcycling furniture enables you to take an old sideboard, strip it back and paint it a bright colour, neutral tones or wax it so you see the natural grains and older wood. Add some new handles and you’ll have a brand new furniture piece that is individual and stands out at a much cheaper price compared to buying new or something which has been upcycled by someone else.

You can incorporate what you already have in your room by picking up on an existing colour and using it for your upcycled furniture piece and this creates a cohesive colour scheme. Decor styles can use flat finishes and velvet depths by using milk or chalk paint which complements a shabby chic look. Traditional decor can be achieved by waxing and varnishing which gives a natural wood finish, and for modern decor, use high gloss paint with glass or glittery handles and knobs.

Read more

Removing Varnish

Removing Varnish from……Home Strip® Paint & Varnish Stripper

Perfect for DIY and Up-Cycling Projects

Whether you are upcycling furniture or renovating a property, Home Strip® Paint & Varnish Stripper is a ‘Go-To’ product that you can use for Removing Varnish from all surfaces, quickly and safely.

Traditional Ways of Removing Varnish

Removing Varnish by Sanding

The traditional way to remove varnish from a surface has always been sanding, however, it is a laborious job and takes forever. You would use medium sandpaper (150 grit) to remove the top layers of varnish and then as you get closer to the original surface you want to remove the varnish from you would use finer sandpaper (220 grit). it takes a long time, makes a lot of dust and mess, is very labour intensive and hard work on your arms, hands and fingers. You need to sand the surface in stages and layers and then wipe it clean so you can then start on the next layer. You should wear a mask when you are sanding as you will breathe the dust fibres in and always wear gloves to protect your hands as much as possible. Flat surfaces are the easiest to sand, compared to curved surfaces and joins which are really tricky to completely remove the varnish from. When you have finished and all the varnish has been removed you should wash the surface with warm soapy water to remove any dust and leave it to completely dry before you treat the surface with anything else.

Removing Varnish using a Heat Gun

A heat gun works by softening and loosening the varnish making it easier to remove. It is surprising but a heat gun doesn’t scorch the wood or surface you are removing the varnish from, however, when you have used the heat gun to soften the varnich which is time-consuming you then also have the task of scraping the varnish to remove.

You should always wear protective goggles and gloves when using a heat gun and be really vigilant as you are doing it so as not to overheat the surface and burn yourself.

Read more