Upcycling Furniture – The hows and whys explained by Eco Solutions
We are all now much more focused on protecting the environment and our once throw away world is thankfully now starting to decrease. It’s not all about new in our homes and businesses and the trend now is buying upcycled older style furniture or in fact upcycling yourself.
Upcycling furniture is a fantastic way of taking unused and unloved items of furniture and making them look refreshed and like a newly brought item of furniture. Upcycling is a great way of adding style and more often a theme to your home or business interior at a much lower cost than buying it new.
What are the benefits of Upcycling?
- It saves the environment
- It saves you money
- It is now very much on trend
- You can create your own unique furniture to fit with your interior style and colour themes
- It is a skill and hugely rewarding
- There are many ways to upcycle to create different styles and looks
- It is easy when you know how
How does upcycling help the environment?
The environmental benefits of upcycling are huge.
- It reduces the amount of discarded materials and waste being added to landfill each year
- It reduces the need for using new or raw materials to produce new furniture
- This results in a reduction in air pollution, water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and often a conservation of global resources.
Does upcycling really save you money?
Renovating furniture is the perfect way to revamp a room in a relatively cheap way.
Upcycling furniture extends the life of something that you haven’t used for a while that you may have stored in the garage, or it may be a piece of furniture that you no longer like or it no longer fits with your décor. You can also pick up furniture to upcycle in charity shops, house clearances or recycling centres at a minimal cost and more and more people are now buying unwanted furniture and upcycling them for their own homes or to sell on.
There is now plenty of budget furniture available to buy, however, it won’t be as good quality, have as much style or last as longer as older style furniture, so upcycling is perfect for these items.
The tools that you need to upcycle cost a minimal amount and you can use them repeatedly for your next upcycling project. Normally the first piece of furniture that you upcycle will pay for itself and the tools that you need to buy.
Is upcycled furniture a fad or on trend?
The industrial and older style look is very much on trend now with exposed brickwork, copper piping, and reclaimed wood which are all perfect in the upcycling furniture world. Have a look online and in home design magazines to see the furniture and décor that will give you the inspiration if you are thinking about starting your upcycling furniture journey.
How can you create unique styles?
Again, look on the internet and in magazines to give you some ideas on the style you are looking to achieve and then you can start to plan your upcycling project.
The benefit of upcycling compared to buying uniform furniture or flat packed furniture means you can create your very own bespoke and personalised pieces to match your décor, style, colours and needs. Having upcycled furniture in a modern styled room is now very much on trend and mixing and matching décor styles gives you a unique and stand out look.
Why is upcycling furniture so satisfying?
Upcycling can be a fun and rewarding way to give your home or business the style you are looking for. You will get huge satisfaction from making an unwanted or old piece of furniture into an item that you love. Every time you look at your new piece, use it, or see someone else use it you will feel a sense of achievement and be proud of what you have produced.
What new skills do you learn?
Years ago, our grandparents and parents would repair an item rather than throw it away, however, in the last 20 years at least the fast-changing fashions and styles and easy internet access and buying options have been the marketers dream and has resulted in us throwing furniture away and buying new, rather than repair or change it. This and the busy lives that we lead has resulted in us losing repair and mend skills, however, people are now seeing that upcycling furniture is better for the environment, will cost them less, give them great satisfaction and enable them to create their own unique styles and colours.
Learning how to use a hammer, nails, fabric glue and a staple gun to fix a broken table leg or reupholster a chair is hugely rewarding and is a skill that you can pass down to your future generations.
Upcycling Furniture Hints & Tips
There are so many places where you can find good, solid, second hand furniture now; local charity shops, car boot sales, recycling centres and auctions. Online sites such as local; Facebook pages, Ebay and Preloved are also great for looking out for potential upcycling furniture projects.
Decide on the style you are looking to achieve by using the internet, magazines and Pinterest which are great sources for inspiration. Curves, carved or raised moulding on tables, chairs, sideboards are great features if you are looking for a traditional on trend look combined with clean fresh light toned walls.
Don’t just think that you can upcycle older style furniture as anything is a potential project. If you are looking for a modern look then search for items with clean straight lines. Always ask yourself if the furniture that you are buying is worth the cost and the time you will spend upcycling it.
Good lighting is so important when you’re painting furniture and outside natural light is always great if the weather is good. If you are going to paint inside then try and use a room that has a lot of natural light.
Make sure you prepare your work area and organise it so when you start your project you can do it without needing to stop halfway through. You need a clean and tidy work surface and buy some plastic storage boxes which are brilliant for storing your tools when you have cleaned them.
Prepare and prime surfaces before you work on them. Before you do anything else you should use a good surface preparation product that will remove all types of grease, oil, dirt, stains, adhesive residues, paint splashes, stains, grime, mould, dirt and prepare surfaces for re-painting. Go Grime! is perfect for this. It is a water-based, non-toxic, yet powerful solution for stripping furniture.
Paint might hide a multitude of sins but if your furniture has holes, dents, scratches or peeling paint these will be visible when painted over so giving it a light sand will always help.
Always use good quality brushes which won’t lose the bristles and dry into your newly painted furniture. Clean them well after you have finished using them and you will be able to use them time and time again. A great tip is to wrap brushes in tinfoil whilst you are waiting for paint coats to dry which will keep the brush moist and then clean them as soon as you have finished so they are ready to use on your next project.
There are a variety of paints and techniques used for upcycling furniture; Milk, Chalk and Egg Shell paints can all be used. Practice and experiment with a few small pieces of wood to help you decide on your colour and style.
Watch YouTube videos and read blog articles to learn how best to paint an item as these will give you the hints and tips that will save you time and money in the long run.
If you’re using a Chalk or Milk paint you always need to add a layer of protection when your paint has dried with a coat of wax or varnish to protect your painted finish. Wax gives a lovely soft sheen and 2-3 coats should always be applied to protect it. Polyurethane varnish comes in matt or gloss and provides a more robust level of protection.
GrimeGo!™ is a Non-toxic Furniture Preparation Cleaner and Stripper
It has been researched, developed and manufactured in the UK and is a unique product with a myriad of different applications to tackle the toughest jobs around the workshop, office, garage, home and upcycling projects quickly and efficiently.
The water-based formula has been developed from our original world-leading innovative technology and can be used indoors and out, with no need to ventilate the area you are working in and it can be used without gloves or a mask. This water-based product is free of VOCs, acids, alkalis, and any hazardous solvents.
GrimeGo!™ is ideal for use by upcycling enthusiasts and is also used by professional cleaners, up cyclers and users.
All types of grease, oil, dirt, stains, adhesive residues, paint splashes too! – preparing surfaces for re-painting or just to clean and brighten the substrate.
Go Grime! Degreases & De-waxes:
Removes Stains – grime, mould, dirt and much more – ideal for surface preparation – no fumes, no skin burns, no abrasives – non-toxic.
If you are starting out on your upcycling furniture journey then GrimeGo!™ will save you lots of preparation time, tools and products and give you a perfect start to your upcycling furniture project.
Visit us here to find your local supplier.