Upcycling furniture is a great way to bring old furniture to life, add a personal touch, alter the style, or simply refresh old and tired items. Whether you choose to customize, upcycle or refresh items you have, or you fancy looking for cheap items in charity shops to work on, upcycling is very rewarding. It is a great way to be more environmentally friendly, re-using something old instead of buying something new. It can also be a great way to save money, so here are some of the things you can try:
For upholstered furniture like armchairs and dining chairs, re-upholstery is a great way to make things look new again. Upholstery fabrics come in all colours and styles, and you can easily find upholstery fabrics online with the fabric finder on the Yorkshire Fabric Shop website. They sell leather, cotton, velvet, and many more fabrics in different colours and styles. Re-upholstery can seem intimidating at first, but there are lots of guides available follow, and the difference it makes is amazing. From plush velvet to bold prints and patterns, you can really transform the style of something with your fabric choice.
2. Add a New Stain or Varnish
This is an easy way to refresh old wooden furniture. It will take a bit of work with some sandpaper to remove scuffs and scratches, but once your piece is smooth, you can add any kind of primer, wood stain, or varnish that you like. This works really well on pieces that have the grain of the wood showing, as a wood stain can alter the colour whilst keeping the natural wood pattern.
3. Paint or Spray in a New Colour
Painting furniture is a great way to alter the style. It is recommended you sand and prime wood furniture first, and use the appropriate paints for the material, whether it be wood, metal or plastic. You can choose classic matte white, glossy black, or even mix and match with contrasting colours. Whatever colour scheme you choose, all it takes is some paint, a brush, and a bit of creativity! Some people even use stencils and tape to mask out patterned designs. If you don’t want to paint the whole thing, how about just the drawers or doors? This can make a stylish difference and a bold statement.
4. Replace or Change the Hardware
If you have a piece of furniture that has drawer pulls and doorknobs, simply swapping these out for new hardware can instantly upgrade it. You just need to pay attention to the type of fittings they have, but many come in a standard size screw. Alternatively, you can simply remove the hardware and spray it a new colour; this works great on metallics – try switching from silver to gold or copper. There are plenty of classic styles to choose from, but there are also some really unique hardware choices out there too. Some people have even made their own from spray-painted toys, or by decorating plain ones with beads and stones.
5. New Legs
Replacing the legs on furniture can give it a whole new feel. The style of the item can drastically change with a new set of legs, especially when combined with a new coat of paint. This is a relatively easy change to make, and you’ll be surprised what a difference it can make! If your furniture piece doesn’t have legs already, perhaps you could add some.
6. Add Decals or Decoupage
Stick on decals and contact papers can all be used to update furniture or give it a twist. From fake marble tops to funky designs, decals are a fun and creative way to update your furniture pieces. Stick on contact-paper and decals can be used in all kinds of ways around the home, but using them on furniture can create a unique look. You could also use printed out images and use a layer of varnish over them, to create decoupage designs.
7. Turn it Into Something New
If you want something totally different, a bit of imagination can come in handy. One of the great ways to upcycle furniture and old items is to turn them into something new, like mounting drawers on the wall to create shelving or turning a side table into a pet bed. This is where you need to think outside the box a little and consider how something can serve a different purpose, despite how it was originally made to function. If you are handy with tools, disassembling old furniture and making something new is a really fun way to experiment.
There are so many fun ways you can refresh old furniture and change the style of pieces completely. It’s really rewarding to upcycle pieces and give them a second chance at life. Projects like upcycling furniture are always great fun, so challenge yourself and see what you can create. If you need some inspiration, there are plenty of great ideas online that others have shared.