Upcycling Or Refurbishing Furniture – Trash Into Treasure

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As humans, we are spending more time at home remote working, it’s natural for us to think about ways to make our homes more suitable for office life and a more desirable place to live full-time. We end up decorating and buying new equipment and furniture thats we don’t necessarily need. Unfortunately, this can come with a hefty price tag. Not sure for our pockets. Everyone should be thinking about Upcycling or Refurbishing furniture before purchasing.

What is refurbishing furniture?

Refurbishing is when you improve something physically, visually or both. It’s a fantastic idea to Refurbish Furniture for many reasons, including it being warn down or broken.

It’s amazing what a lick of paint or even some new upholstery can do. Refurbishing furniture is usually a budget friendly way to change what you already have.

Refinishing furniture requires several skills, all which can be learnt from the comfort of your home using YouTube or surfing the many niche websites that specialise in this subject.

Stripping away paint, sanding, and applying a coat of paint or varnish are some of the most common refurb jobs, which everybody can have a go at.

I find the best resource for finding furniture refurbishing ideas is Pinterest, where you can browse thousands of inspirational boards and images of what can be done to pieces of furniture in your office or home.

Reducing waste is another advantage of refurbishing furniture. Everyone has a responsibility to look after our earth and it starts from home.

Can any piece of old furniture be refurbished?

Yes, it technically can. However, first make sure your furniture isn’t an antique. Refurbishing a piece of furniture can look like an improvement to you, however it may lose some value. If you have any questions at all about the value of your furniture, consult an expert before you get started.

My rule is to never repaint or remove details from anything that looks like it was made before 1960. Furniture during this time was usually very high quality, which is why it’s lasted so long. Each blemish, scratch or colour fade tells a story and it’s worth noting that some people pay a premium for this.

Nowadays, most of the furniture we come across has been made with more cost effective materials and methods, while also being mass produced.

The only restoration work I would do on an old piece, is maybe clean it gently with a sponge using warm water and a little bit of soap. If I am not too keen on the furniture… If it is an older piece prior to 1960, instead of refurbishing I would rather sell it on to somebody who would appreciate what it is. I would buy something different.



Should I clean my furniture before I start working on it?

Cleaning your furniture first, before you start working on it is a great idea! Use dish soap, warm water and a sponge to remove any dirt or debris. Then dry it with a cleaning cloth.

Cleaning is not only good for removing cob webs and dust, it’s also good because you get up close and personal with your furniture, you will notice if there are any dents, scratches or repairs that may need attention when refurbishing.

chest refurbishing furniture

 Can I make a career from refurbishing furniture?

Many people refurbish furniture as a professional career, apprentices and qualifications can help you achieve this. People tend to specialise in a certain area of refurbishing furniture such as upholstery, woodwork, metalwork or varnish.

What is Upcycling Furniture?

Upcycling is when you give an object a second life as something different. As an example, a shopping trolly/cart could get modified to become a sofa or even a bed.

Successful upcyclers, can produce an end result that is ‘new’ with more value than the original.🤞

Re-purposing objects in a creative way is very rewarding. It helps promote an alternative way of living and adds a quirkiness and one-of-a-kind to your home.



What does Trash into Treasure mean?

People sometimes refer to upcycling as trash into treasure. Treasure hunters are always looking for opportunities to upcycle. It’s surprising what people throw away or flytip, for it to sadly end up in a landfill.

The only positive thing about finding trash on the back streets for free, is making it into treasure for someone to appreciate and love again.

fly tipping upcycle

Can I make a Career from Upcycling?

Many people work as freelance upcyclers, other people do it for a hobby or side hustle. Upcycling can be done from home. The more creative you are, the more money you could be making. This job is ideal for those who love taking objects and transforming its purpose, giving it a new lease of life.

You could open an online shop on Etsy, or physical shop on the high street – selling what you love and have a passion for is key. Many freelancers sell what they make in garden centres, markets and fairs.

Pallet armchairs upcycle

What’s The Difference between Upcycling and Recycling?

The difference between upcycling and recycling is that instead of breaking down, melting, or crushing items before making them into something else. Upcycling involves finding, and reusing parts that fit or can be made to fit in a process that doesn’t involve what recycling does. The process of Upcycling is usually better for the environment than recycling.



What Tools do people use for Upcycling or Refurbishing Furniture?

There are lots of tools that people use when refurbishing furniture. Tools vary, depending on the requirements and needs for a particular job.

I have listed a few general tools below;

  • Sandpaper: Sandpaper is great for removing light scratches and marks that a piece of wood has occurred over time. You can also remove paint with sandpaper, but use low pressure so you don’t eat into the wood.
  • Paint Brushes; Paint brushes can be used for a variety of tasks from painting too varnishing.
  • Hammers/Mallets; Every carpenter has a hammer/Mallet. Nails may need to be hammered in, wooden pieces may need to be knocked together.
  • Screwdrivers; Screwdrivers are needed to tighten or replace them screws.
  • Paint Stripper; Paint stripper is messy. However, it’s a better alternative than sanding away at paint – Sanding causes uneven texture and colour changes in the wood.
  • Clamps; Clamps hold wood in place while glue dries.
  • welders; Welding can help remove dents and corrosion from rust and also weld pieces of metal together.
  • Respirator mask; For your own health and safety its a good idea to use a respirator mask. Effects from breathing in toxins or dust particles usually happen years later, so don’t risk it.

Hopefully you found this brief article on ‘Upcycling or Refurbishing furniture’ useful. Should you be having a clear out at home, have you ever considered selling used or old clothes online?