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A Beginner’s Guide to Upcycling Furniture

Photo by eric montanah from Pexels

It seems like so much that we use in our world is disposable. Because there are so many things that we buy that are cheap and affordable, we just throw things away when they break or are no longer needed, rather than fixing or repairing. Clothing can be easily repaired, but how many of us do it? Furniture can be changed, fixed, or upcycled, but again, how many of us are doing that? If you’re looking to redecorate or have some items of furniture that you have been considering throwing out, then what could be done to them to save them? That is where upcycling comes in. 

Upcycling is all about taking an item of furniture that might not look good anymore, or is just generally not up to scratch. Then you look for ways to fix it, make it look better, and make it fit for purpose again. The idea behind it is to really make the item of furniture better than it was before, although that is something that is subjective, and down to your own personal tastes. What you create will be unique and it saves you money, as well as more waste going to landfill.

How do you upcycle?

There are some items that you will want to upcycle that will need to be repaired, before they’re decorated and beautified. The good news is that this will be something that you can do with some basic DIY skills and some tools. You may need to nail a shelf back together, tighten screws in a dresser, and so on, so having some basic tools in the home is a must if you don’t have any already. Something like a cordless drill can be useful too, for making the repairs simpler, and putting up shelves, for example. You could read this article if you want to find out more about cordless drills, as there are a variety out there to choose from. Then depending on the material of your furniture, sanding, varnishing, or painting will be needed next.

Chalk paint

If you want to keep a piece of wooden furniture looking like wood, then that is where sanding comes in, and then varnishing. When you stain the wood the shade you want, you’ll be good to go. However, if you want to paint your wooden furniture, then using chalk paint is an easy win, as it doesn’t need to be sanded ahead of painting. Chalk paints are affordable and easy to use, and they save you time too. So for anything that you’re looking to create, especially in a shabby-chic-style, then chalk paint is a really good idea. 

Fabrics and reupholstering

You can make furniture comfortable and look good again, by using fabrics and by reupholstering them. You could repair seat cushions, for example, and reupholster old sofas to make them look like new again. All this will cost you is the price of the fabric, and usually something like a staple gun, to get the material into place. Something as simple as that, with a lick of varnish or paint, could get things like chairs looking just how you want them to. 

Creativity and planning

When it comes to upcycling, it is best to plan things out as much as you can. When you plan, it means that you will be able to get all of the materials and equipment that you need, so that you don’t have to pause your plans half-way through doing them. Upcycling is a great way to be creative, though, so it can be a fantastic outlet for you, as well as something that gives you some really practical results. 

Pinterest is a go-to for any upcycling, as you can get inspired by colors, styles, and furniture that you would like. Then you can see what you have in your home that could be styled in that way, as well as looking in thrift stores for things that could work. Just remember that so many things can be recycled, from bookshelves, cabinets, tables, and chairs, to vases, mirrors, cushions, fabrics, and picture frames. So if you’re looking to redecorate on a budget, then don’t forget about upcycling; it can be a great solution as you will probably already have the items of furniture that you need, as well as the accessories that you need, to get your home looking just as you want it to.

Are you a fan of upcycling? Would you like to try it out in your home? It would be great to know what you think.


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