Flipping your furniture to help save the planet

Senior woman painting furniture

Not only is upcycling a good way to pass the time, but with sustainability being a key trend at the moment and very much on everyone’s mind, it could be your way of helping to save the planet. According to E-On Energy, 90% of Brits say being more environmentally friendly is high on their list of priorities this year and one way we can all be more conscious is by reusing, reducing, and recycling. ‘Furniture flipping’, or upcycling, certainly isn’t a new term but for those contemplating their first attempt, it helps to plan and do some research for it to be successful.

Choosing your piece

The decision to give a piece of furniture a new lease of life might come from having a little reshuffle of your living space, decorating a room or even as part of a repair job. When you’re thinking of redoing a room in your home, instead of shopping for new furniture online, why not try shopping from the rest of your home? Maybe there’s a hallway mirror that, with a lick of paint, would look great above the fireplace. Or those bedside tables would look great as side tables in the living room.

If you’ve exhausted the pieces you already own, again, instead of looking for a brand-new piece, why not try places for second-hand furniture? It will no doubt cost less, reduce waste and will create a unique piece for your home that you can boast about to guests. There are so many great places where you can pick up second-hand furniture and homeware, like Gumtree, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and local charity shops. You could even keep an eye out for local car boot sales too. Good quality pieces will be snapped up quickly, so if you see something perfect and within your budget then you best act fast. You can also set up alerts on Gumtree and eBay for when things matching your criteria come on to the site you can be first to act.

Deciding on a style

Once you’ve found the piece you’re going to upcycle, the next big decision is what style you are aiming for. There are plenty of considerations, from colours, textures and patterns. The design may be dictated by the room itself and what colours are being used, so this could be your starting point. But if you’re struggling for ideas, there are lots of places to help spark your inspiration from the likes of Pinterest, Instagram, home interiors blogs, magazines and even the odd show home visit. At this point, the only limitation you have is your imagination and your DIY skills!

Restoring an older item so that it has a modern twist can help it fit into your home but remember to be sympathetic to its original style and features. Some colours and effects can highlight its style but can also make it look worse. Luckily, when it comes to paint nothing is too permanent.

Finding the right supplies

Ensuring a successful upcycle project comes down to having the right supplies. From tools needed to make any repairs, any prep work like sanding and filling, to paint and brushes. Depending on the size of your project, most tools needed can be found from hardware stores like B&Q and Wickes, from hand tools to power tools. You’ll also find all of the preparation supplies here too. If you’ve decided to work with specialist paints or waxes, make sure you use the right supplies for those materials – and follow the instructions carefully. Be careful with using cheap paintbrushes as bristles can come off during application and can be difficult to get rid of. You may not always need to spend a lot of money though, for example, old socks are great for applying wax and paint to awkward areas that a paintbrush can’t reach.

Luckily when it comes to paint, there are so many great brands out there to choose from – many that have the unique selling point of not requiring a primer. Brands such as Frenchic paint, Lick and Valspar’s new furniture paint range are great for their choices of colours, coverage and range for both indoor and outdoor use. Frenchic paint can be used on a variety of furniture and other areas such as front doors, garage doors and even kitchens. But don’t forget once you’re finished, to protect it using a gloss or glaze.

Adding that extra touch

Upcycling isn’t just about changing the paint colour, you can add an extra touch by replacing doorknobs with different styles, shapes and colours. You can also choose to add patterns with sticky vinyl, mirrors or stencils. Or how about adding wheels to side tables so you can move them around easily?

Now you’ve got a plan in place, it’s time to get started! Remember, you can find lots of interior inspiration at the s1home Pinterest page and our blog too at s1homes.com/blog

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