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brown wooden drawer chest

If you’ve got some furniture that’s looking a little on the dilapidated side, then upcycling might present an easy way to get some extra use out of it. In some cases, upcycling can be a simple matter of applying a fresh coat of finish; in others, it can involve wholesale reconstruction of the item in question.

Let’s take a look at upcycling more broadly, and some of the strategies and tools you might employ to get it done properly.

Have the right tools

Before you get started, it’s worth spending time and money on a few key pieces of equipment. It’s best to think about the particular sort of job you’ll be doing, and then allocating your budget accordingly. Paintbrushes tend to be inexpensive, and you’re sure to get a lot of use out of them. On the other hand, something more expensive like a cordless angle grinder might repay the investment very quickly, thanks to its versatility. 

It’s usually a good idea to spend a little extra on battery-powered tools, rather than corded ones. You’ll get more versatility and convenience while paying just a little bit extra.

Adding fresh paint

As we’ve mentioned, painting is one of the easiest and most affordable upgrades you can make to any particular piece of furniture. Be sure that you’ve properly removed the old coat of paint before you get started and that you prime your timber before you apply any further coats. 

Of course, furniture that’s made from sheet materials like plywood might not respond well to sanding and re-coating. It might be that you ruin the item by removing just a milimetre or so from the top of it. Make sure that you do your research, and that you proceed carefully with the sander.

Get creative

You might be able to give an ailing piece of furniture a new lease of life with the help of some key accessories. An old chest of drawers, for example, might benefit from a new set of handles. An older cupboard, by the same token, might do well with its hinges replaced. 

Decorative elements like stencils might also be used. They tend to be highly effective on coffee tables and chair-backs. If you’ve got access to a blowtorch and the right stencil, you can add some scorching text or graphics to just about any wooden surface. Just make sure that you re-finish the item in question when you’re done.

Look for inspiration

With the help of the internet, you’re never more than a few minutes away from getting inspiration from other aspiring upcyclers. Look at what’s selling well, and what’s trending. Look at the sorts of things that people have made using the same sorts of items and materials that you have available. 

Published by HOLR Magazine.