What is Upcycling?

Oxford dictionaries state “reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original.”

It can mean a variety of things but in its loosest sense its changing the items appearance or function. This could involve painting, decoupage or repurposing it.

Did you know, 670,000 tonnes of furniture are disposed of year each?
( WRAP data from 2010/11)

Stuck for ideas with what to do with that old item? Check out the inspiration gallery for some before and afters.

Have you ever wanted to try upcycling but don’t know where to start? Check out these handy guides below which will give you some more information on techniques and materials.

Refurbishment not replacement

Perhaps getting your hands messy isn’t your thing, don’t worry there are plenty of ways to revamp old furniture. This will allow you to create a bespoke look with furniture you already own or a unique item that you found somewhere.

  1. Professional upcyclers – will usually but not always use chalk paints and can replace handles, make small alterations and such a variety of paint and material effects like decoupage. They are generally the place to go for when you want a creative and artistic transformation undertaken.
  2. Furniture sprayers – they will use a manufacture grade cured paint product for a long lasting and tough finish. They will take on small projects from a single dining room chair to a whole kitchen refurbishment. If you have a precious item and love the design but not the finish, then consider having it professionally resprayed. They are generally able to offer a range of colours and finishes.

Handy guides

Upcycling inspiration