Repainting old doors

Circular economy: creative upcycling ideas for your home

May 6, 2023 | Dan Taylor-Peter

What is a circular economy?

Circular economy is a vital part of a sustainable future that encourages reusing, recycling and repairing materials and products to reduce waste as much as possible. In our new blog series, we’re exploring ways we can all work to build a better circular economy for Wales.

Top tips for upcycling furniture

If you have been to our reuse village – Canolfan Eto in Nantycaws – you might have been surprised by how many items can be given another lease of life.

Upcycling furniture is a great way to breathe new life into old pieces while also doing your part for the environment. With a little creativity and some elbow grease, you can transform outdated furniture into unique and stylish pieces that will be the envy of all your friends. Here are some tips to get you started:

Choose the right piece

When selecting a piece of furniture to upcycle, consider its size, shape and condition. Look for solid pieces with good bones, but don’t be deterred by scratches, dents or stains. These imperfections can often be fixed with a bit of sanding, filling or painting.

Clean and prep the piece

Before you start upcycling, give your furniture a thorough cleaning. Remove any dirt, grime or dust with a damp cloth or sponge. If the piece has a glossy finish, you’ll need to rough it up with sandpaper to help the new paint adhere properly.

Decide on a design

The fun part of upcycling is choosing a design that suits your taste and style. Look for inspiration online, in magazines or on social media platforms like Pinterest. Decide on a colour scheme and any decorative elements you’d like to add, such as stencils, decoupage or hardware.

Get painting

Painting is a key part of upcycling furniture and it’s important to use the right type of paint for your project. If you’re painting a wooden piece, use a primer to help the paint stick and then apply two coats of paint. For metal or plastic furniture, use a paint that’s designed for those surfaces.

Add finishing touches

Once your paint is dry, it’s time to add the finishing touches. You can distress the piece with sandpaper for a vintage look or add decorative elements like stencils or decoupage. If you’re upcycling a piece of furniture with drawers, consider adding new knobs or handles for a fresh update.

Upcycling furniture is a great way to get creative and express your personal style, while also doing your part for the planet.

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