Tips and tricks when upcycling old furniture

Published: 04 January 2022

Whether you’re moving into your new home or you’ve recently redecorated upcycling may be the answer to saving yourself some money and giving your old furniture a new lease of life!

What is upcycling?

The definition of upcycling is to reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original. According to a blog from Kappi “It’s giving something that would normally be discarded a new life”. One way to upcycle is to use your current furniture. For example, if you have any pieces that feel tired or no longer match your décor instead of throwing them away and buying new, you can upcycle the piece to give it a refreshed feel. Alternatively, if there is a specific piece of furniture you want, why not buy second-hand or vintage with the aim of upcycling the item to match the design you’re searching for.  

Where to find furniture to upcycle?

There are so many options for where to look when searching for the perfect piece of furniture to upcycle. The first point of your search should always be family and friends, someone you know may be getting rid of some furniture that could be ideal for you to upcycle and add to your home, and it’s free! Other options include charity shops, car boot sales, and Facebook marketplace or Gumtree. These are all great options for finding furniture to upcycle on a budget. Finally, you can try vintage markets or antique shops but be aware these could be pricey!

Old furniture

Old furniture

How to upcycle?

The most obvious way to upcycle a piece of furniture is to paint it, this not only gives it a new look but also covers any marks or scratches. This also means you can fill any dents or large areas of damage before painting. With your choice of paint, you can create a new feature unit for your room or a table that blends with your home nicely and can even choose to paint only certain parts of the piece or paint on a pattern. Alternatively, you may quite like the current look of your piece of furniture and so instead you can think about adding or changing some details. For example, you could add some legs to an old unit or change the handles on some draws. Etsy is a great place to look for inspiration.

Upcycled chairs

Upcycled chairs

Tips for upcycling

Tip 1 - Search for inspiration and have a plan. Pinterest is a great place to get inspiration and guidance on how to achieve a certain style when upcycling. For some great ideas check out this Good Housekeeping article on upcycling. Once we’ve decided on a design be sure to thoroughly research the materials required.

Tip 2 - Make sure you have all the tools required. Now that you have a plan you should be ready to start, but before starting your project ensure you have all the tools you need. These will include sandpaper, screwdriver, paintbrushes, paints, varnishes/wax, and much more so be sure to research this also before starting.

Tip 3 – Prep your work area and the furniture itself. Now you’ve got all your plans and tools you need to prepare your work area. Ideally, work outside or in a shed/garage however if you’re working inside ensure to cover any floor and furniture nearby to avoid damage and mess. You must also prepare the furniture itself which means giving it a good clean and removing all handles before starting any work. For more advice like this checkout Upcycled World.  

Whilst you're here, take a look at our other blogs for the latest interior trends and our favourite first-time buyer hotspots. You can also stay tuned by following us on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter

Written by the SO Resi In-House Team

Please accept analytic cookies to view this content.