Sunday, October 5, 2014

Upcycling: A New Entertainment Unit

Upcycling is everywhere these days, but with good reason.  If you are looking for some furniture this is a great way to get what you want on a budget while reusing stuff that already exists.  The furniture in our house is a combination of upcycled and made to order pieces.  It is all wood.  I love a quality piece of solid wood furniture.  When we are buying new furniture we go to Dreamwood Furniture in Nobleton, Ontario (they ship across North America).  I have written about them before - I just love the custom pieces you can get here and I will be featuring some of them in upcoming posts.  For now though, let's talk about upcycling.

Over Labour Day weekend I did a big shopping trip to the Habitat for Humanity Restore.  I highly recommend finding and visiting your local Restore if you are looking for some furniture or other building supplies (they have everything from lighting to the kitchen sink - literally).  Excellent finds can be made at the Restore and the proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity.  One of the things I picked up on this trip was this gem:

We were looking for a new entertainment unit for our living room, and this appeared to be the perfect fit.  It was purchased for $60.00.  It was loaded into the truck and brought home for some revival.

If you are thinking about doing some upcycling, your first project will be the most expensive (unless you already have a bunch of material on hand).  I had most of the materials we needed on hand, but if you are starting out this is what I would recommend:

  • a drop cloth (actual cloth so you can reuse it for future projects)
  • small paint rollers and small paint trays
  • a quality pail of primer (I like Para Paints)
  • 100 and 200 grit sandpaper
  • small paint brushes
  • foam paint brushes (disposable)
  • Chomp (a cleaner for furniture)
  • Paint (obviously you will need this - make sure it is actual furniture paint)
  • Varathane (Premium Diamond Wood Finish

Step 1 - Chomping.  I call this Chomping because it is the brand name of the furniture cleaner that I use to thoroughly wipe down and clean every nook and cranny on the piece of furniture in question.

Step 2 - We removed two of the doors, drilled two holes in the back (for cables) and put filler in the holes from the old hinges.  We also used wood filler where needed.

Step 3 - Prime Time!  Two full coats of primer were applied.  Properly prepping your furniture is essential to long term success with this type of project.

Step 4 - Two coats of paint.  This piece was painted in Shaved Coconut by Para Paints.  Another key to upcycling is allowing the furniture paint enough time to cure.  I usually allow 30 days to be in the safe side.  The darker the colour pigment the more time it will need to cure.

Step 5 -  Varathane.  Varathane is not always needed, but if you are going to be resting things on top of the painted surface, if it is in a high traffic area, or doors on it will be opening and closing, or you live in a humid climate, I recommend a coat or two of Varathane.  We put three coats of Varathane on this piece.

Step 6 -Replacing the old hardware on the door with a new knob from Home Depot and.........voilà:
Primed and ready for painting


Ready for action

So let's recap:

It really is that easy.
Especially if you have a helper.

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