How to upcycle furniture



‘One mans trash is another mans treasure’ is a saying I will always live by. I love repurposing furniture and vintage clothes into something modern and special, so when I spotted this old HMV record player on a local Facebook ‘free to pick up’ page, I was more than delighted. Within half an hour of seeing it on the page, I had picked it up (FOR FREE!), decided where it was going be placed, and picked up 3 cans of spray paint. The turn table itself has no function left, however I bought it for aesthetic purposes only. After sanding, priming and spray painting the wood, I completed the look with a rectangular mirror, cut to size by a local glass supplier for an Art Deco feel.

This was my first attempt at repurposing a piece of furniture, and most definitely not my last. With the right vision and consistent determination, you can bring any piece of furniture destined for scrap back to life.


Where can I find old furniture for a bargain, or even free?

The best places I have found furniture worth a second chance is local Facebook pages. If you type in ‘For sale, swap or giveaway (followed by your village/town/area)’ into the Facebook search bar, you are likely to find a page devoted to people looking for a quick sale or even giving furniture away for free! Be patient and make sure you see the piece of furniture before agreeing a price.

Another simple place to discover ridiculously cheap second hand furniture is charity shops. I admit, I wasn’t an avid charity shopper, until I found several pieces of furniture for less than a tenner!

Make sure to check out eBay, Gumtree and Preloved for local advertisements too. The cheapest deals are usually from people wanting to get rid of furniture as soon as possible, for house moves etc., so ensure you are ready to pick up before agreeing to any purchases.

How can I repurpose economically?

For a shabby chic effect, many blogs and articles suggest buying chalk paint to give the furniture a dated look. However, this can get extremely pricey and end up costing more than the furniture. For my projects, I buy a cheap spray paint from hardware stores such as B&Q, lightly and finely sand in between coats to give the faded appearance. For a gloss finish, I use a white primer, chosen coloured spray paint, followed by a clear gloss. It is vital to lightly sand wood down before priming! Using spray paint means you save money on brushes and save time painting.

Tip: If you are part-painting furniture, use masking tape, covering the non-painted section with newspaper.

Don’t be afraid to try something new and different, even if it doesn’t work out, it’s a fun creative activity to inspire new ideas.

Below, is an old tv stand, bought from a charity shop for Β£10. I repurposed it into a bed for my dog. I removed the internal shelf, sanded down, painted, and added MDF letters and a new door knob. I also stuck some LED sticky battery operated lights inside for a modern touch. (Tip: The blue paint was a cheap sample from B&Q)




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