Upcycling furniture – giving an old favourite a new lease of life

upcycled chairsUpcycling – the new buzzword. In recent years we have seen the trend towards make do and mend, towards individualism and creating something unique, whilst reducing waste by recycling old pieces.This winning combination of saving money while pouring your own personality in to your home seems to have captured the imagination of the nation.

There have been a handful of TV programmes championing the cause, including shows like “Kirsty’s Vintage Home”, and a multitude of bloggers who are passionate about DIY and crafts showing us all how easy it is to create and transform.

With the availability of so many high quality paints and finishes on the market for DIYers and a multitude of 'how to' help guides on the internet, anyone with the patience and the inclination to create their own style can do so on a shoestring budget.

So what do you need to know if you are considering your own project?

The key to ensuring a great looking and long lasting finish is to do all the necessary preparatory work, and to pick the right finish that will withstand knocks and scrapes.

Preparation:

  • First off, give the piece of furniture a good clean!
  • If you are going to paint wooden furniture that has previously been coated with varnish, wax or another finish, you first need to sand down the surface. This will remove dirt, flaking paint or previous coatings and can also smooth out any surface scratches or bumps.
  • If there are any deep scrapes or bumps you many want to fill these with an all purpose filler to give a smoother finish when the surface is painted.
  • To ensure the best results we would recommend using a primer before you paint. We have a selection of primers in our trade range.


Painting:

  • To paint furniture we would generally recommend using a paint with a mid sheen finish that is both wipeable and hardwearing. Finishes such as our Acrylic Eggshell and Metallic Paints are perfect for furniture.
  • You can also use a Chalky Emulsion paint, and then protect with a good varnish or wax.
  • If you are painting an item that has removable parts, such as handles on drawers, you should remove these first – much easier than painting around or over them and it will ensure a more even finish.
  • You can apply with either a small foam roller or a paint brush, and we would recommend giving the surface two coats of paint – remember to leave them to dry for about four hours between coats.


Some people also like to give the piece a distressed or aged look by gently sanding edges,and then finishing with wax. or protecting with varnish.  The Vintage Furniture Barn have a great blog post which covers this. 

Good luck with your upcycle and feel free to share pictures of the finished result with us on social media, we would love to see the results!

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