Upcycling ideas - Top tips
I often get asked for advice on upcycling, e.g. how to come up with upcycling ideas, where to get old furniture, what colours are popular etc. So here are my top tips for anyone who's interested in upcycling, and just needs a little steer in the right direction:
Most of my old furniture comes from skips, or my local recycling centre. I also search on Freecycle, Preloved, Gumtree, Shpock and Facebook Marketplace.
I try to get most of my items for free, but if I must pay I set a strict budget in order to maximise my return on investment. If you plan to sell your finished product, make sure you estimate the likely selling price, as well as the cost of any additional materials before you buy the item.
Have fun and be creative. Let those upcycling ideas run wild, and come up with something unique and interesting. If you love neon pink, this is the moment you've been waiting for!
If you're sanding down an old finish, take the time to do it properly. Use 40 or 60 grit sandpaper if you have to (but be gentle). And prepare yourself mentally to do battle with that 50 year old dark brown lacquer. It will be worth it once you start applying your chosen finish. Oh and get yourself a good dust mask, safety first.
If you want to turn your upcycling ideas into something amazing, invest in quality tools and materials. For example I love Purdy brushes. They're pricey, but they last for years and they deliver a superior finish. I'm also a fan of Little Greene paint. Their colours are outstanding as they have a higher percentage of pigment than many cheaper brands. Their eco-credentials are also spot on.
Take the time to learn about finishes. I once accidentally mixed linseed oil with a water based varnish, and the result still sends a shiver down my spine. Become familiar with the different types of paint, oil, varnish and wax, and consider what is best for your project.
Don't try to save time by painting around hinges, handles, screws etc. For the best finish, remove all of these and just work with the bare wood. If there's a lot to remove I take photos and make notes to ensure I can get it all back together again.
Don't forget to take a before photo so you can truly appreciate what an amazing job you've done
Best of luck turning your upcycling ideas into a reality. Once you do your first one I'm sure you'll be hooked!