Thursday, September 19, 2013

Green Ideas on How to Revamp & Reuse Old Furniture

Whether you have furniture in your home you’d like to spruce up or you’ve purchased furniture at a flea market or salvage yard, there are plenty of low-cost and green ways to make old furniture exciting so you can get more use out of it and keep it out of the landfills.

English: Furniture conservation - applying pai...
Furniture conservation - applying paint remover (stripper) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
#1.  Paint it.  Dingy furniture can get a whole new life with a fresh coat of paint.  If the furniture is already painted, you’ll want to put on a mask and strip it.  Old paint can contain lead and other harmful chemicals.  Next, head to your local paint store and find your favorite color in low VOC or VOC-free paint. 

(VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, are chemicals released from the paint.  They can cause illness and disease for many years to come as they are released into the air for decades.)  You can also strip and stain the furniture with natural and VOC-free stains. 

#2.  Reupholster it.  Have a piece of furniture that you like but doesn’t quite match your current décor?  Reupholster it with environmentally-friendly fabric like organic cotton or wool.  And if upholstering is too big of a do-it-yourself job, take it to an expert. It’ll cost less than buying new and is a more environmentally-friendly choice.

#3.  Add bits of finery.  Cabinets, drawers, and armoires can be spruced up with a little bit of new hardware.  You can often purchase the hardware from a flea market or a salvage store. They’re great places to find hardware with personality. 

English: Taken at a Chicagoland Flea Market. R...
A Chicagoland Flea Market.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Tabletops can shine with mosaic tiles made from hammered porcelain or glass tiles.  You can find tiles at your local flea market or salvage yard and the project of hammering them into bits and then reassembling them on your tabletop into a beautiful pattern can be both cathartic and fun. 

Finally, you can also use sheets of scrap metal or recycled metal to create flash on tabletops or cupboard fronts.  The metal can be used as tiles or as an entire front to add an urban or contemporary touch. 

People have used everything from chicken wire to astro turf to add flair and personality to old furniture.  There are a million green ways to make old furniture new again - it just takes a bit of creativity.  Take a look at what you have around you and how you can make good use of it in an eco-friendly way.

Helpful Resources on Refinishing and Reusing Furniture:
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1 comment:

  1. I've just downloaded iStripper, and now I enjoy having the hottest virtual strippers on my desktop.