In The Home: Creative Reuse Tips
If you're a hoarder, this post may be for you. If you're a creative, this is for you, too!
For so many years, without thinking about it, I have held onto things that I no longer have any use for just because I've formed a bond with it. Don't judge me.
What I have learned to do, aside from saying goodbye, is to reuse and recreate.
Upcycling is the art of transforming old stuff (mainly furniture) into new, useful and more beautiful items. Hello, hoarder life #Winning (there's always a loophole, right?)
The great thing about upcycling is that, not only does it allow you to use stuff you already have around the house, or which you can find for free/low cost to create something beautiful and new, but also that there are very few limits to what you can achieve, If you can imagine it and think of a way to do it, you can create anything you want to give your home a unique transformation.
If you want to put your DIY skills to the test and give upcycling a try, there are a few tips that will help you to get it right first time and allow you to truly transform your home…
Preparation is Everything
As always, you should plan your projects in advance. Check out what materials and tools you will need, then check rotorazer saw opinions and paint reviews, for example, to ensure that you are buying the best stuff to make your project work. Not only that, but you may need to clean, sand and prime your old furniture before you start transforming it too. If you rush the prep stage, then there is a much higher chance that things will go wrong, so take it slow and make it a success.
Pay More for Your Paint Brushes
While we’re on the subject of getting the right tools for your upcycling project, perhaps the most important tools that you need to get absolutely right are you paint brushes. You see, cheap paint brushes often shed their bristles, which can end up spoiling all of the efforts you’ve put into a project. Not only that, but they don’t tend to cover well. It will be money well spent. You don't have to break the bank, but make sure the quality is impeccable because you will make much use of your upcycled furniture.
Stretch Your Imagination
If you want to create unique pieces, then you really need to stretch your imagination when looking at that old card table or set of ladders. Think as out of the box as you can, and you’ll almost always be able to put that old junk to good use.
Check Out Furniture Stores
Checking out furniture stores, especially those selling vintage furniture. This is a great way to get ideas about which styles you like and the kinds of things you would like to create. You might even be able to find pieces to add to the new furniture that you're revamping.
Once you've found something you like, it’s time to scour Craigslist, eBay, and local thrift stores to see if they have something similar that you can sand down, paint and use to create your own pieces with your own stamp for a fraction of the price.
Match Your Upcycling Projects to the Period of the Furniture
Although it is possible to break the mold and mix your styles, when you’re starting out, it is a lot easier to achieve a successful upcycle by matching the style of your makeover to the period in which the furniture is from. Unless, of course, you're looking to stray away from the original, then do you boo!
Always Remove Knobs and Handles
Even if you’re planning to keep the knobs and handles on that old blanket box or sideboard, you should remove them before you start painting so that you don’t get them covered in paint (you could alternatively coat them with petroleum jelly).
If you are planning to change the knobs/handles, then it’s even more important you remove them because if you paint around them, when you put the new ones in place, it could be that the paint job doesn’t quite cover everything and you’ll find it hard to fill in those little gaps neatly.
Once you have upcycled a piece of furniture, unless it is fabric, it is very important that you apply a layer of wax or a varnish sealant to protect the paint job. The last thing you want is to proudly display your new piece of furniture that you have put so much time and loving care into creating only for it to chip within the first week. Give it the proper finish it deserves, and it will last far longer and look even more amazing.
Just Do It
Finally, a lot of people worry about starting an upcycling project because they think they might make a mess of it - that’s ok - you need to learn the ropes and the only way you can do that is by making a start. Always start with a piece of furniture that you don't mind to chuck it if you ruin it. We all know it probably had to go anyway.
Time to do some upcycling? YES!
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