Turning old into new: the secrets of upcycling

For some products, like a TV or a computer, people are always looking for the newest model to make sure they’re buying the best quality product. When it comes to furniture, it can often be the case that the old construction techniques and materials are actually better than those used in 2020. Many retailers now use cheaper materials like MDF rather than the solid wood used just a few decades ago. That’s why many people have turned to upcycling old furniture into new pieces. If you fancy doing the same, here are some top tips on how to get started with upcycling a piece of furniture.

Remove the old style

Once you’ve picked the item you want to upcycle, it’s time to start removing what the previous owner did to it. It might just be that there are a few marks or stains that will be easily cleaned off or polished out. If this is the case, test the soap or polish you’re using on a spot that you’re not going to see to make sure it doesn’t react with the surface and leave a mark.

If you want to change the look of the piece completely, you’ll need to strip it of any existing paint or varnish before you add a new coat. If it’s a light coat, you might be able to sand it off. If the coat is much thicker, like emulsion, you’ll want a hot air tool like a Leister Heat Gun to help remove the material. Once you’ve heated up the paint, it can easily be scraped off without damaging the material underneath. This tool might not be one that everyone has in their toolbox but is a great investment and will last a long time. If it does become damaged, then you can easily buy a new heating element to get it back up and running in no time.

Add the new style

Once you’ve removed the old paint, it’s time to add some new paint. Decide how you want to decorate the new piece. Do you want to restore it back to its former glory with a light varnish or a paint job that keeps with the period it was made? If not, you might want to choose a completely different bright colour scheme to make it look more modern and funkier. Whatever you choose, make sure you choose a type of paint that will work on the furniture you’ve bought. For example, chalk paint will cover pretty much any material with very little preparation needed.

Protect your work

Once you’ve completed your work, it’s time to protect it. Even the best paint jobs can be scratched or chipped. There are many different types of varnish you can use to protect your new furniture. They range from the traditional tin that you apply with a paintbrush, to a spray can that is much simpler to apply. If you’re worried about how it’s going to look once you’ve protected your paint, try it on a test piece of spare wood first.

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