You’re always looking for new ways to spruce up a room. Who isn’t? But some of the newest and best ideas floating around right now all rely on taking used furniture and making it new again. Here are four tips you can use to take old furniture and other materials and recycle them into your own unique creations.
1. Add Pallets to Your Palette
If you aren’t familiar with them yet, pallets are an almost universal tool for carrying merchandise around the world. They are a small wooden frame, usually about 4’x4′, and can be found out back of almost any big box store or factory. A simple request to the manager will usually result in a truckload of new wood for you to work with.
Even a casual look around the internet will give you more plans than you’ll know what do do with, but here are a few of our favorites. Check out this stadium-style movie theater seating. Or this gorgeous corner sofa. Or even this sleek coffee table.
2. Patch it Up with Paint
Don’t be dismayed when an old piece of furniture doesn’t look as good as you might like. Badly stained wood, awful choices in paint, poor care of a piece, all of these can make an otherwise perfect piece of furniture look like it isn’t worth a second glance. Try to see past all of this. (even if you have to squint)
A simple coat of paint will bring new life into abused furniture, but some easy principles will make that same piece stunning. In general, your furniture should not have more than two colors. White and black are particularly gorgeous colors to revive an old piece of furniture, though blues can be equally beautiful. Some projects will lend themselves best to a single color, only broken up by the most gorgeous hardware you can find. Whatever colors suit you, take care to look past the way a piece looks before you work on it. With a little work, you can transform it into something beautiful.
3. Promptly Polish Problem Pieces
So you’ve found that perfect coffee table, but the legs are dinged up with some just awful scratches. There’s no way you’re going to leave it like that, so what are you going to do?
Fortunately, there’s an old remedy you can use to buff those scratches right out. Take three parts canola (or mineral) oil and one part vinegar and mix them thoroughly. Soak a rag with this mixture and rub the scratched-up area until the damage is polished away.
4. Don’t Close the Door on a Good Idea
Doors are some of the most versatile materials out there for the intrepid designer. An old door will almost always have some interesting features worked into its panels. Beyond that, using a door suggests a whole range of interesting choices. Do you paint the door so that it simply looks like an interesting piece of wood? Or should you design your paint scheme to highlight the fact that you’re using a door?
Regardless of how you decide to color your door, there are countless projects you could work one into. Any place you need a large piece of flat wood, consider a door.
5. Clean Your New Found Goods
You never know where that piece of furniture has been or what it has been through. Before you bring anything into your home, make sure that you clean it thoroughly beforehand. Otherwise you risk bringing pests like termites, bed bugs, or sugar ants into your home.