Why waste old furniture when you could upcycle it?
The world generates at least 3.5 million tonnes of plastic and other waste every day, which is 10 times the amount compared to a century ago. To counteract this, it’s vital we take responsibility and protect the environment.
As part of this, many people have been embracing the upcycling trend. In addition to playing your part in helping the environment, it’s also a great hobby to pursue and embrace. When you upcycle an item of clothing or furniture , you reuse discarded objects or materias in such a way as to create a product of higher quality.
Woodwork expert, Alex Dalton from Daltons Wadkin, is encouraging others to join the upcycling movement. Here, he gives top tips on how to breathe new life into second-hand furniture and home wear.
Preparation is everything
Ensure everything is given a thorough wipe down before you do anything. Without doing this you risk getting cobwebs and dust stuck in the paintwork, which will spoil the finished look.
It is also good practice to sand down furniture using wire wool or sandpaper before painting. This will help to give it a smooth, flat surface. Plus, it will help the new colour last for longer and will give it a more professional finish.
Stay on the lookout
Try and get creative when you are out shopping for pieces to upcycle. Think outside the box. For example, old ladders can be made into quirky bookcases or shelving units. Creative ideas can give a new purpose to something that would have otherwise been cast aside, so next time you see something you like on the high-street, break down in your head what the main components are and whether it is feasible to give it a go yourself.
Have fun and be bold
The best part about upcycling is that you can create whatever you want to and you are not restricted by what is available on the high-street. Be bold in your colour choices and experiment with stencilling to add a personal touch to your furniture. Don’t panic if it goes wrong – you can always paint over it and you will learn valuable tips and tricks along the way.
Use the right materials
It is so important to match the right paint to the right material. Chalk paints are great for painting over a dark stain or veneer, as they don’t need to be primed and give smooth, all-over coverage. Always apply at least two to three thin layers of paint to ensure a flawless finish.
Once you have finished your pieces, be sure to protect your hard work with a wax or varnish. After putting so much effort into your pieces, you want them to stand the test of time, so by completing these finishing touches, you will have beautiful furniture that you can enjoy for years to come.