High-quality pieces of furniture can be quite an expense if you are looking to purchase something new. And you know what they say, “they just don’t make ‘em like they used to.” So, if you have a little time on your side and access to a thrift store, Craigslist, Nextdoor, or the like, you might just find your next showstopper…at a fraction of the cost.
When looking for furniture to “upcycle,” look for quality. This can mean different things depending on your tastes, but generally, it would mean no holes or missing parts. If you are looking for a wooden piece of furniture, dovetail joints are very nice to have. If you want to reveal natural or stained wood, you’ll want to validate that there are no significant blemishes. If you plan to paint the piece, that is suddenly less of an issue as you’ll be able to patch, sand, and cover any imperfections.
Once the quality of the piece has been established, it’s time to look for style knowing there is a lot you can do to influence the final look. If there are sad legs on a piece of furniture you can remove them or add new ones. If the hardware is missing, mismatched, or uninspired, that is an easy fix. So, keep these things in mind and let your mind run wild. There is a lot you can do with the internet at your fingertips for advice and inspiration.
Now that you have your piece, the first step is to give it a good scrub down to remove any accumulated dirt and grime. Once the piece is dry, patch any flaws then sand it down as much as is needed. If you are looking to get down to bare wood, you will start with higher grit sandpaper to get the most paint/finish off as efficiently as possible and work your way down to a finer grit for a smooth finish. If you are simply roughing up the surface for a new paint application, a finer grit will do.
At this point, you’ll want to wipe your piece down with a tack cloth to remove any debris and ensure a high-quality finish. There are lots of paints on the market for this job, but I highly recommend Valspar Cabinet Paint for a durable enamel finish. Follow the instructions, allow adequate cure time and you are sure to create a finish that lasts for years. If the hardware is in need of an upgrade, install the necessary pieces and take a step back to admire your work. You now have a unique, high-quality piece of furniture that suits your personality for significantly less than the cost of new.