You don’t have to be an expert to upcycle. If you can use a paintbrush, you can upcycle wood. Use these four steps to upcycle just about any piece of wood: chairs, shelves, tables, buffets, frames, etc.
Step 1: Find it!
One of the reasons we love going to auctions is you eventually walk away with stuff nobody wants. This vintage record cabinet cost us the grand total of $1. It definitely had some wear and tear. It looks like a dog had chewed the handle and lower left corner. Also, one of the legs was coming apart. Just like all upcylcing, you have to look past the problems to see the potential. You can find pieces at garage sales, auctions, and people’s curb on trash day. You’d also be surprised what you can find in your own house.
Step 2: Sand it!
A key to making your product turn out great, is to spend time sanding/cleaning. This is often an overlooked step, but if you skimp here, you will regret it later! (We learned the hardway and ended up painting twice.) Sanding removes imperfections, and gives your paint a solid/clean surface to adhere to. Don’t forget to sand and clean!
Step 3: Paint it!
Paint is pretty inexpensive, and it goes a long way. Get a few basic colors in your stockpile. Don’t fall into the trap of buying new paint for every project. (You can find really great deals in the “mis-tint” section at your favorite paint store.) We recommend having a few basic colors like white, beige, gray. It’s also good to have a favorite bold colors handy. We like orange and navy.
Step 4: Stage it!
Staging brings the piece to life. It’s one thing to have a finished product sitting in your garage. It’s another thing to bring it into your home, add a few accents and watch it go from “eh” to “Amazing!” Staging is an art, so there is no right or wrong. Have fun with it. Think outside the box. Get some creative juices flowing by looking on pintrest or other sites.