The world is full of ugly furniture. There is literally tonnes of the stuff – in junk shops, garage sales, landfill tips, and dumped on the side of roads. You may even have some less than attractive items taking up space in your home. So what’s the answer?
Buy New Furniture
If money is no object, the simplest solution to a house full of ugly furniture is to go out and buy some new stuff. Stores such as unicheinteriorfurnishings.co.uk sell lots of gorgeous pieces of vintage furniture, or you could pop over to your nearest Ikea and pick up some budget Swedish mix and match pieces for a song. Unfortunately, however, investing in brand new furniture is an expensive business and not all of us can afford to splash out, particularly in these straitened times.
A much better alternative to buying expensive new furniture for the home is to upcycle the pieces you already have. Or, if you really can’t stand anything you already own, go hunting for some second hand items of furniture with potential.
The Definition of Upcycling
The principle behind upcycling is to reuse discarded pieces of furniture and transform them into better quality items. There are lots of ways to do this.
Wooden furniture can be sanded down and painted or varnished. Painting old furniture is a popular way of creating a new and vastly improved piece you can use in your home with pride. Most items of furniture can be painted – even metal or MDF furniture. There are even entire ranges of paints designed for the very purpose.
Paint effects are easy to achieve and you don’t need a lot of skill to create a faux antique finish on an ugly old table or dresser. Simple paint the item in two contrasting colors and then sand it down to reveal the underlying color in selected areas. Dark wax can also be used to create an antique finish.
Upholstery for Beginners
Upholstered furniture can be re-upholstered with new fabric. Upholstering a piece of furniture requires some knowledge, but it is easy enough to learn the basics by signing up for a beginner’s course at a local college or watching instructional videos online.
The Art of Stencil
Old furniture can be decorated with stencils or other decorative designs. Make your own stencils or buy some ready cut from craft stores or online retailers. Paint the item in a base colour and then use your stencil to create a design. Alternatively, paste paper images cut from magazines or newspapers and then varnish them. This is an old decorative technique, but when used sparingly it can be surprisingly effective.
There really is no limit to what you can do with old, ugly items of furniture. All you need is a bit of time, some paint, and lots of enthusiasm. Yes, it is nice to have brand new furniture in your home, but upcycling old items will give you an enormous amount of satisfaction and pride in a job well done. Plus it will save you a fortune in the long run.