The upcycling revolution is here, and has been for some time. Vintage furniture and inspired charity shop finds have always been in vogue to some extent, but are experiencing renewed interest from people of all ages – and for a variety of reasons.

Furniture upcycling is an inexpensive way to achieve beautiful and unique results, making it the perfect way to individualise a home in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis. It is also an incredibly fun activity, and one which can quickly become a full-on hobby – or even an additional source of income, as demand for bespoke and sustainable furniture items continues to rise.

Speaking of sustainability, a wider public push towards sustainable and eco-friendly living has led to more people interrogating the impact of mass manufacture, both in fashion and furniture. Upcycling has proven a popular way to re-use serviceable items of furniture, and even give them a new lease of life.

Tools, Equipment and Materials

If you’re interested in taking on an upcycling project, or even striking up an upcycling hobby, you should first make sure you have all the right equipment and materials to work unhindered. Upcycling is a multidisciplinary process, requiring carpentry and upholstery skills as well as general DIY handiness. As such, you will want to have a relatively wide array of tools at your service.

Choosing tools can be difficult for someone new to DIY or craft hobbies, so buying brand is often the safest bet for newcomers. Milwaukee power tools are used widely by professionals and hobbyists alike, and are reliable enough not to cost you additional money in unexpected replacements. You will also need a range of hand tools, from chisels and planes to files, in order to properly refinish certain wood items.


As well as tools, you may want to stock up on raw materials to help you with your projects. Scrap wood is invaluable for re-filling old screw-holes and joints or buttressing older and more rickety items. You might also want to start collecting fabrics, for if you’d like to re-upholster certain items with less worn – or more fabulous – materials.


Often upcycling is as simple as giving your chosen item of furniture a fresh lick of paint – in which case you will be re-finishing it! In order to do a proper re-finishing job, you will need to strip back the finish that the item of furniture already has.

For woodwork, this involves removing the existing paint or lacquer layer by sanding and planning, to give you a raw wood surface. From here, you can re-varnish or prime the wood for a paint coating. Metal items of furniture are a little trickier, but there are a number of methods for stripping and recoating – from chemical paint strippers to sandblasting and re-spraying.

Thank you for reading.


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