collaborative post // Despite the rising popularity of upcycling, it’s thought that just under one-third of people (30%) in the UK have thrown away furniture and appliances that could have just as easily been reused, sold or donated to a charitable cause.
However, this trend is likely to change in the near-term, as the cost of living continues to rise at a disproportionate rate to earnings and people seek out ways of effectively saving their hard-earned cash.
But how do you go about recycling furniture? Here are some ideas to keep in mind in the current climate!
Understand the Process of Upcycling
Before getting started, you’ll need to understand the broad definition of upcycling and how it can be applied in domestic settings.
In simple terms, it describes the process of taking an old or worn piece of furniture and either upgrading it through simple design measures or reimagining and repurposing it to suit your needs.
There’s clearly a huge scope for creativity here, while you can also upcycle items as a way of saving money on new purchases or generating a secondary stream of income by creating products for sale.
Virtually anything in your home can be upcycled, from old sofas or side tables (which may now be obsolete) to wardrobes or wooden cabinets. You can then tailor your methods to suit the scale of the project and requisite materials, with fabric, metal and wood among those that can be effectively upcycled.
Upcycling Wood, Fabric and then Detailing: The Key Considerations
In the next section of the article, we’re going to consider some effective upcycling tips in relation to different materials and tasks. These include:
- Upcycling Wood: Before you upcycle wooden furniture and items, the first step is to ensure that all surfaces are sanded smooth. You can sand the wooden surface using a DeWalt oscillating tool, as this will effectively remove any grooves, scratches and imperfections before upcycling. This can also create a more natural and rustic look, although you may want to smooth surfaces before applying a specialist wood varnish.
- Upcycling Fabric: In order to effectively upcycle fabric materials, you’ll need to possess (or learn) some initial upholstery skills. Put simply, you’ll have to replace the old or worn fabric covering an old item of furniture, while also introducing additional padding to help create an almost-new finish. This requires patience and a keen eye for detail too, so you should set some time aside to ensure that you do this job as effectively as possible.
- The Importance of Detailing: Detailing is key to effective upcycling, as this enables you to add small but eye-catching features that can add value, functionality or aesthetic appeal in equal measure. A simple example of this practice would be to paint different sections of an upcycled piece alternative colours or adding gold accents and features to elevate the quality of appearance and help it to stand out as a truly bespoke offering.