One of the cheapest and most rewarding ways to find home décor solutions is through upcycling. If you aren’t familiar with the term “upcycle” think second life for furniture. This can also include repurposing items.
Three Furniture Upcycle Techniques
You can start with your existing furniture. Is any of it tired looking? Perhaps you have a dining table or pair of nightstands that your aunt donated when you were first setting up your home and you’ve kept them for sentimental reasons as well as necessity.
No furniture? Consider yard/attic sales, flea markets, resale shops and local ads for great furniture finds. Rescue these pieces of furniture and give them a fresh and refurbished look. There are many techniques for revitalizing worn furniture.
If you have a quality piece of furniture that is made from solid wood and not veneers, then it’s a prime candidate for refinishing. You’ll need to strip the old finish off and then apply a new one. There are many types of products available, such as Formby’s Furniture Workshop.
You can either apply a stain and then seal or if you like the natural look simply apply several coats of tung oil, lightly buffing with steel wool in between the coats.
The easiest solution is to keep the current finish and simply add a stencil design. A gold painted stencil will give an aged and classic look to most furniture pieces. You may prefer a stencil, such as the one from Cutting Edge that resembles an inlay pattern. This can be stenciled over an existing finish or you may want to paint the furniture first and then apply a stencil in the color you like best.
There are many techniques for painting furniture. The most popular is to use chalk paint, not to be confused with chalkboard paint. Choose a kit or buy separately. Chalk paint is usually finished with a distressed look that will go with any shabby chic, country, urban or boho décor.
Six Other Upcycling Ideas
There are other pieces of furniture and objects that can be upcycled to use in your home décor. Just look around and think what you could do to revitalize or repurpose an object.
#1 Make a Bench from Dining Chairs
You can upcycle a pair of dining chairs to create a bench. Replace the seats by cutting boards to cover the seats for a bench effect. Paint or stain, add a cushion and you have a great bench for a foyer, mud room or porch.
#2 Shoe Box Storage
Don’t toss shoe boxes in the trash. Cover with wrapping paper or fabric and place on a closet or pantry shelf for colorful storage boxes.
#3 Kitchen Door Message Board
Most kitchens have limited wall space, so use a door for your message board by painting it with chalkboard paint. If you have a paneled door, paint the top panel for messaging. If your door has two or three panels, designate the other two for things like a grocery list, kids’ schedules, family goals and other categories.
#4 Coffee Table Bedroom Bench
If you have a coffee table that you no longer want to use, don’t throw it out. Repurpose it to become a bench at the foot of your bed. Paint the table and add a thick fabric cushion. Now you have a place to sit while putting on your shoes!
#5 Transform Drawers into Shelves
If you have an old nightstand that you no longer want to use, slide out the drawer and save it. Replace the drawer pull with a knob, then paint and stencil the facing panel. Apply a pair of frame hooks to the back and hang on the wall in the bathroom for a deep shelf that’s ideal for makeup, hair dryer or other toiletries.
#6 Headboard Bench
Another great bench upcycling idea is to use an old headboard to create a bench. You can rescue a pair of furniture arms and set of legs or purchase new ones from your local big box hardware store or unfinished wood furniture shop. If you have an existing bench, then simply attach the headboard to the bench. Paint your masterpiece then add a nice cushion and a few throw pillows to complete the look.
It’s All about Perception
When working with upcycling décor ideas it only requires you to change your perception about old furniture pieces. Instead of looking at them as worn out and useless, consider what you could do to transform them into beautiful useful pieces for your home.