Got two left hands? Upcycling tips for the creatively challenged

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Caroline Stronkhorst in House & Home

Last updated: 22 January 2020, 07:17 GMT


You often see the word ‘upcycling’ in magazines or articles about the home. Upcycling means to restore old furniture and give it a new look.

It’s great because it allows you to save quite a bit of money! Buy a wardrobe, chair, sofa or whatever you need from a charity shop and with a lick of paint or new upholstery it’s as good as new! But what if you’re not the most handy person? Here are our tips for easy upcycling.

Start simple

If you have never upcycled anything before or had a bad experience with it, you don’t want to throw yourself in the deep end! It’s probably not a good idea for your first upcycling project to be the reupholstering of a sofa.

Start with something easy like a stool, small table or wooden chair. This allows you to get used to the process before you continue to upcycle more challenging items! Once you are comfortable with the basics you can move on step by step.

 Get prepared!

When you’ve found that perfect item for upcycling it can be tempting to start right away. But remember to prepare your product ánd your tools before you start! Get everything ready and lay it out in the order of how you will need it.

 If you are painting you might want to put some newspaper under your item to prevent the floor from getting painted too. Wipe down your furniture items and remember to sand the surfaces down before painting. You might think it’s unnecessary but it will really make the finished product look a lot nicer! 

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Don’t skimp out on tools

If you know you will be upcycling more than one items of furniture, consider investing a little bit of money in your tools. Cheap paintbrushes will leave bristles and will not give as good a coverage. With spending so much time and effort into your upcycling project, it would be a shame if the end product doesn’t look well-finished!

It is important to look after your tools as well. As soon as you’re done painting you should clean your brushes properly to remove the colour. In between coats it’s a good idea to wrap brushes and rollers in clingfilm to keep them moist – this allows for better coverage on your furniture!

paintbrushes

Give your product a proper finish

Once you’ve finished the upcycling of your pieces, don’t forget to wax or varnish them. This may seem like a tedious task, but it is really worth it! You’ve put so much effort in to making your product look nice, the wax will give the product longevity.

Consider putting some felt pads under chairs and tables to keep your floor unscratched and use coasters for drinks to prevent ring marks! These things will help your beautiful piece of upcycled furniture last long.

Don’t be afraid to try!

There is no such thing as failure when it comes to upcycling. You can try anything, from a bold colour to a funny door handle. Remember that upcycling is a great way to express your style and taste, so if you love it that’s all that matters. Sometimes you might give your item a lick of paint and find it doesn’t work well. Simply find a different colour and try again! You will learn from every upcycling project you take on.

These tips will help you become a successful up cycler! Whether it’s your hobby or you make some pennies from your refurbished products, upcycling is a fantastic way to make use of old items. If you’re ever stuck for ideas remember that there is an endless supply of inspiration online!

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