We have all heard the term ‘up cycling’ being thrown around recently. The idea of restoring old furniture and turning it into stylish, stand out pieces in your home is taking off with everyone throughout the UK.
A lot of these trends tend to die out, but the idea of restoring couldn’t be a better way to help reduce the amount you end up throwing out and breathing new life into your home! The flat pack way of life has taken over many homes and, realistically, we don’t need to put blood, sweat and tears into building something that doesn’t have any real passion behind it when we can restore your own loved furniture instead!
People are really seeing the advantage of restoring furniture rather than simply disregarding it. I will say now though it is not something that a lot of people can simply pick up and do. It requires skill and an eye for detail. Sometimes it is better to leave it to the professionals. (You’ll still be spending less than buying new!) However, if you want to give it a go, you really should read through these top tips to help you get the best out of your old furniture!
Where to get inspiration is always going to be something that a lot of people will struggle with. It’s hard to look at a table or chair that you may have had for many years and wonder how exactly you can make it any different. Much like staring at a blank canvas, you really just have to jump on in.
Get on the Internet and start scrolling through ideas. Using colours, artists or patterns you like and building an idea around that! Pinterest is always somewhere that is great for coming up with unique ideas! On this, don’t be afraid to steal others ideas! There’s nothing saying you can’t see a great up cycled desk and copy it completely. To quote Picasso “Good artists copy, great artists steal.”
Restoring furniture is something you can’t just half-heartedly do at the weekend. If you do you’ll end up with some questionable results, and nobody wants furniture throughout their home looking lacklustre.
Make sure you keep your work area organised, clean and tidy. Plastic storage boxes are great for clearing things away and enable you to see the materials and equipment you have at a glance.
Preparing your surfaces is also really important. Either sanding down or even just cleaning the surface will make a huge difference. Paint might hide a multitude of sins, but if your furniture has holes, dents, scratches or peeling paint these will be visible when painted over.
I did say beforehand that if you aren’t comfortable with restoring your own furniture it is probably best leaving it to the professionals as it will still cost less than buying new, and it keeps some amazing furniture in your home rather than binning it.
However, if you are committed to up cycling your own furniture yourself, be ambitious! Take amazing ideas and patterns and try and copy them. None of us are perfect. You will make mistakes along the way, trust me, but these are great! Learn from them and next time you restore something you’ll be far better! All this will develop your skills.
When you know which piece of furniture you want to bring back to life, you need to know which paints or upholstery will suit it best and how they will fit in the room. There are a lot of options to choose from and I don’t want to say there is a definitive answer of which to choose from, but always think about what will match up to the room the best and experiment with colours and textiles.
In my opinion the best paints to use are Valspar paints, which can be purchased from B&Q. They have a range of colours, so you’re really spoilt for choice. Purchase the Valspar paints that already have primer mixed in, so it saves you having to prime and then paint again.
Once you have created an amazing piece of furniture, it’s time look after it. I know there’s someone out there saying, “that’s easier said than done with my kids running around”, and I get it, accidents happen. However during the process there are things you can do to make sure your pride and joy stays in tiptop shape.
When upholstering your furniture, make sure you spray your fabric with fire retardant spray, which you can purchase online. Most fabrics should be fire retardant, but some wax prints are not, so it’s essential that you purchase the spray.
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 and finish with a layer of varnish or furniture wax.
The process of doing all this should always be fun and creative. These are just some tips to help guide you in the right direction if you have never up cycled before! If, however, you want to keep the furniture you have and bring it back to life and think that this may be too difficult for yourself, always remember it can be done by a professional company, at a fraction of the price of buying new furniture.
If you have a project in mind and need some help then please feel free to get in contact with us here