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June 30, 2022
August 10, 2021

Upcycling Furniture: Everything You Need to Know!

Written by
Laura Williams

Thinking about upcycling that old cupboard? Find out how upcycling furniture can be a cost-effective way of furnishing your home!

A lightbox sign with the work upcycling written on it

Table of contents

Thinking of upcycling furniture for your rented flat? Or do you have a furnished rental but don't want to buy all new furniture? Maybe you just moved into your first place. And you might be looking for some inexpensive ways to upcycle furniture to give it a new look. Either way, there are plenty of creative ways to upcycle old pieces. Using what's already in your apartment to add accent pieces. Here are nine projects that will help make any space feel like home.

Projects You Can Try for Upcycling Furniture

Modern upcycled interior of spacious grey and white loft

  1. Add a custom paint job to an old dresser by mixing up your colour and painting with various techniques. For example, you can do just one coat in the same shade as your walls. Or add some texture by adding layers. And even experimenting with different dots, stripes, or swirls.
  1. Writing messages for yourself is fun, but why not turn this piece into functional art? Turn a plain cabinet into something spectacular! A few coats of chalkboard paint will let you write on it like never before. Make it the perfect spot for kids' drawings. They'll love coming back to it every day when they get home from school. Kids might even help put their artwork up themselves.
  1. If you require some extra storage space and love the look. It's easy to find furniture that will work out just right for this project. Build up your bed frame by upcycling a dresser. Just remove the drawers from an old chest or dresser. Paint them to match your room. Screw them onto either side of a headboard. Or another piece of upcycled wood then attach the whole thing with wooden dowels.
  1. Hang up unused sheets as decoration on one wall. You can use the curtain rods that are already hanging up around your house! Use a temporary adhesive spray like painter's tape to be easily removed. It will decrease the chance of damage.
  2. Cut old shirts or t-shirts up into strips. And sew them together on the right side. Leaving an open space for filling in later. Add a pop of colour to your living room with upcycled throw pillows. Fill it up with whatever you want. Stuffing from an unwanted pillow or toy, rice, beans, even scrap pieces of fabric! Sew up the opening, then turn inside out so that the seams are hidden on both sides. Throw some paint at it if you're feeling daring. Right before adding any embellishments like buttons or embroidery along one edge.

Upcycling old jeans on a craft table with colourful fabrics and scissors
  1. Turn your favourite book cover into wall art using repurposed materials. You can use glass jars and frames or anything else lying around. Stack six empty cans up on their sides to create a rectangle. Then paint the whole thing up in whatever colour you like. Put some holes into each of the cans with a can opener. And arrange them to look like an open book before hanging up for display.
  1. Make use of your old suitcases by upcycling them as side tables! Just add casters so they're easy to move around when needed. This will save space while adding a stylish function. That even works well in small apartments and homes.
  1. Give yourself more storage without taking up any wall space. You can use shelves made from repurposed wood pallets. Pallet boards are less expensive than new lumber. Plus they give off an industrial vibe which is perfect if your apartment has exposed brick. Or you want to upcycle furniture that looks rustic. Or check out more ways how you can add more storage to your place.
  1. Create a unique coffee table out of upcycled wood by painting it any colour you like. And adding some legs, so it stands up on its own. Then, decorate it however you please - with your favourite books stacked up into the shape of a pyramid, magazines tossed onto one side for easy access when they're needed, or even just an empty surface left open for fresh air (and perhaps dinner!).

Things You Should Know Before Upcycling Furniture

Outdoor restaurant terrace with wooden furniture in Scandinavian style. Eco-friendly authentic design.

The upcycling furniture trend has been gaining traction for a while now, and it's easy to see why. This eco-friendly way of using old materials is not only cost-effective. But also lets anyone join in the crafting fun, no matter their skill level or experience! Upcycled furniture projects are all about creativity. You're limited only by your imagination when creating something new from discarded items.

Test Your Creativity

The best thing about upcycling? You can be as creative as you want. There really aren't any limits on what kind of things people have made so far out of recycled material like wood scraps. Or even metal wire baskets with handles. If anything, most folks feel that they've just gotten started. Because this craft requires very little expertise. Or in some cases, no expertise at all!

Prepare!

When it comes to upcycling, preparation is key. Plan ahead and make sure you have the right equipment for your task at hand. The chances are high that if a cobweb gets stuck on your paint brush while painting furniture. Making corrections later will be more difficult! Before starting any work in earnest, though. When you are reworking on a surface, try to give it an initial wipe down. So as not to trap dust or other contaminants onto them. You don't want old debris ruining a beautiful new finish on anything, do you? Finally, factor time into completing tasks like this. There might come a point where we rush through things. Because they're too exciting (or scary), but running only ever leads us astray.

Take Bold Steps when Upcycling Furniture

modern recycled furniture in a cafe

You might be wondering what to do with that old ladder you have meant to get rid of. If something about your surroundings has always bothered you. Consider taking matters into your own hands and using some creativity! You can use it as a decoration for plants or an outdoor planter.

Go Vintage

Searching for a vintage piece of furniture is no longer the hard work it was in times past. If you find something on sale, there are plenty more to find at second-hand stores or car boot sales! You can even search through your grandparents' attics. And refurbish some beautiful pieces with paint and creativity! Check these sites out if you are looking for some pieces.

Do Not Compromise on Your Tools

A good paintbrush will save you time and frustration. The bristles on the brush leave less behind in your work than cheap brushes. Giving a better finish to each project! Wrapping your tools with tinfoil or Clingfilm can help keep them moist for more extended periods. This also cleans up easier later on because any leftover residue is contained within the plastic wrap.

Pinterest is Your Best Friend

You can choose the colour, shape and style to suit your personality. Many people on Pinterest have shared their designs with you so that it's even easier to get creative! Have fun being bold in designing. Play with colours, shapes and styles. As they are all up for grabs based on what suits YOU best! Millions of other creatives out there will inspire you too. Just look at how they've done theirs or simply head over to Pinterest, where tons more ideas await.

Be Mindful

You can't just paint around the old knobs. You have to take them off. But make sure you do it before painting so that when you come back. And remove the new ones, they're not smaller than your newly painted space!

Protect Your Project

With all the time and effort you have put into your DIY project, make sure to finish it off with a layer of wax or varnish. If you want to protect your creative piece from possible damage. Many people start as do-it-yourselfers because they want their things done right. But find limitations in what they can accomplish independently. For those who genuinely enjoy crafting projects more than just for utility. This can be frustrating, as so much hard work goes into these pieces. And then without protection, they're left vulnerable to deterioration over time. Or worse! To ensure longevity, every upcycler should take some extra steps at the end. Just by adding one last protective coat before handing them off to admirers.

How to Start an Upcycling Furniture Project? Some More Helpful Tips!

Upcycling is the process of transforming discarded. Or old materials into something new and valuable. It takes creativity, patience, a willingness to try out different ideas. Until you find one that clicks with your style- so it can be tricky! Here are some things we've found helpful when upcycling furniture:

Start with Something Small

Even if the task is daunting, start small with something you know. The satisfaction of completing a smaller project will make bigger ones seem less intimidating in comparison!

Try to Enjoy your Upcycling Furniture Project

Carpenter hammering nail into wooden chair in workshop

The idea of upcycling furniture is to make something new from an old item. However, it's best not to use expensive. Or sentimental items until you've practised on simpler pieces first. Instead, look for dated furniture around your home that could you can improve. And visit a local second-hand shop where there may just be some bargains!

There is No Hurry!

You may be able to complete each task within an hour or so. Try to give yourself the time and space to complete a project without worrying about how long it will take. Creating this perfect workspace is just as important. Because you'll need all your tools at hand before starting on any task.

Prepare Your Surface

Be prepared for your first painting project by doing a quick clean up to remove any stubborn dirt and grime. Wipe down all surfaces with a damp cloth before you start working on upcycling furniture!

Work According to the Theme

Let's say you want to upcycle an old wooden chair. First, figure out which colours will work best for the room. Also, what kind of finish would look good add a few coats of paint or leave it natural? Then go shopping! Fill your home with accessories that match those same styles and colours. This way, people will already feel at home in their surroundings when people come over.

Take Inspiration

What are you waiting for? There's no time to waste when there is so much information and resources just a click away. Whether your goal is to learn how to start upcycling furniture. Or find the perfect ideas to turn your rented flat into an amazing place to live. Our easy guide and helpful tips will help get you started in seconds!

Conclusion:

We have gathered the information to help you make your home feel like a true place of comfort and relaxation. So take some time today to explore these projects. Add personal photos or artwork that reflects who you are! Or even build out an area for entertaining your guests. There is something in here for everyone!

Share this post with friends and family if you found it helpful. If you are a landlord that's looking for more information on property maintenance and your responsibilities, please see our blog on Landlord Responsibilities. If you are looking to improve your property letting experience then Oasis Living is here to help.

We offer services that can find you the perfect tenants, FAST! This ensures you don't lose money in those dreaded void times between tenants! We also offer a premium property management service that includes free maintenance callouts as a standard.We use tech to keep our overheads low, meaning lower fees to pay for you, the landlord. Find out more by contacting one of our property letting experts today!

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