Upcycling furniture projects

Here you will find inspiration for taking on your next upcycling furniture projects. Even if you haven’t yet started your furniture project or if you are an expert. We hope this post will help inspire and create new and original ideas for your next project. If you are looking for advise and help on your first upcycling furniture projects we hope you find it here. Anything else you need, ask away on our forum with upcycler’s waiting to help you! In this post, we look to inspire you with many different upcycling furniture projects. We hope this will give you many ideas for your future upcycling endeavours.

First, here is a fantastic upcycle by @home_in_the_village_ As you can see from this before photo this writing bureau was not in the best state. However, it didn’t look damaged but definitely required a transformation of some form.

upcycling furniture projects, upcycling, upcycle, upcycler life, writing bureau, upcycled furniture,
upcycling furniture projects, upcycling, upcycle, upcycler life, writing bureau, upcycled furniture,

Wow! What a transformation! Is it even the same writing bureau? A beautiful upcycle to turn this once uninspiring piece into a place to set your imagination free. The pink and gold work really well as well as the newer contemporary drawer knobs to better suit the style of the new piece. Great work! This shows the real change that can be made with upcycling furniture projects and also shows why you must never throw old furniture away as you are missing out on this outcome!

Upcycling furniture projects – How do you start upcycling furniture?

Firstly, anyone can start upcycling furniture. You will just need any old piece of furniture you can get a hold of and an idea of how you want to transform it. If you are stuck for ideas on your first upcycling furniture projects then head over to the forum or check out our instagram. We repost many different upcycles from creative reusers all over the world. Also, if you don’t have any old furniture but want to get started with a new upcycling furniture projects then have a quick look at our other blog post, Where to find furniture to upcycle?

Now you have got your furniture and idea of what your upcycle is going to look like, it’s time to start upcycling. The next step all depends on what you have planned for your upcycle. The majority of upcycles, and in particular, furniture upcycles require the use of paint. Upcycling an old piece of furniture by giving it a new lick of paint can miraculously change the original.

Why would people get rid of old furniture?

Too many people decide to throw away or scrap their old pieces of furniture for many different reasons. People think that they cannot sell old furniture due to problems with shipping or collection but this isn’t true. Lots of people (especially upcyclers) would love to take old furniture off someone’s hands. The other reason people usually tend to get rid of their old furniture is that it doesn’t fit a new style or interior design they want. This is where upcycling comes in. You can easily change many things that you already have in your home, especially furniture to fit a design you are after. A lick of paint or an alteration can make a huge difference and will most definitely help when changing the style of your home.

Next, we will have a look at the different types/brands of paint that most people use on their furniture.

Upcycling furniture projects – What paint do I use to upcycle furniture?

As we said earlier, it totally depends on what material and style your old furniture is for you to upcycle it. Therefore, you will have to make a choice on which paint to use for upcycling furniture. All upcycling furniture projects are different but the majority of furniture upcycles are usually painting old wardrobes, sideboards and chest of drawers. These pieces of furniture are usually made from some kind of wood. Therefore, you will need to check out different tutorials on, for example, how to paint wooden furniture. You can always search on google or youtube many online tutorials. However, if you are stuck with something specific to your project ask on our forum. Alternatively, we have a blog post written specifically for painting wooden furniture which you can find here.

Here are some popular paint brands for your next upcycling furniture projects to look at:


Farrow & Ball


Annie Sloan

French Chic


And there are many more, follow our upcycling hashtag #upcyclerlife and see what different paint brands furniture upcycler’s use.

upcycled furniture projects
Here is an upcycled Edwardian desk by G Lowles Interiors

Upcycling furniture projects – How do you revamp old wood furniture?

One great type of upcycling which many people work on is revamping old wood furniture. We think this is because old wood furniture is built much better than new furniture built more recently. The newer furniture sold nowadays is usually made with much cheaper wood materials such as MDF or wood veneer. This is the exact reason why old furniture must be upcycled and not thrown away.

Is your old wood furniture an antique?

When it comes to actually revamping old wood furniture there are different options you have. This is totally dependant on the old wood furniture you have in your possession. It’s entirely up to the owner of the furniture but we would definitely recommend checking the quality of the furniture and finding out as much as you can about the product. First, we would ensure you identify whether or not your old wood furniture is an antique or not. Need help? Then read this article on identifying antique wooden furniture,

Next, once you have understood if your old wood furniture is an antique or not you can decide how you want to ‘revamp’ your furniture. For example, the most popular upcycles of old wood furniture are to freshen up the look of the furniture and upcycle by painting. Many upcycler’s are able to transform furniture by using many of the paint brands listed above to give the old furniture the new lease of life it deserves.

Don’t want to paint?

Another option is to use a vinyl wrap or sticky back plastic to give your furniture a great new style. There are hundreds of different effects and designs to choose from to wrap your furniture. Both are great ways to upcycle your old furniture and you can find many tutorials online if you haven’t attempted an upcycle like this before. Alternatively, you can always head over to our forum or check out some of our other blog posts to help give you inspiration and assistance with your next upcycling project.

Have a look at this awesome upcycle by @restore.and.after! You can see a fabulous marble effect vinyl wrap/sticky back plastic has totally transformed this bedside cabinet. As you can see, the before photo of the bedside cabinet was in need of an upcycle and the outcome is fantastic.

upcycled furniture projects, upcycling, upcycle, upcycled furniture ideas
upcycled furniture projects, upcycling, upcycle, upcycled furniture ideas

What a great upcycle! The grey paint on the top, sides and bottom really work well with the marble effect vinyl. In addition to this, there are new black drawer handles which again work great with the marble effect and the grey creating a lovely modern design. Great work!

Can I paint furniture without sanding?

Furniture just like many other materials, people would normally recommend that the surface is sanded before painting. However, as we have always said with upcycling, it’s entirely up to the upcycler. Some upcycler’s might want to paint some wooden furniture or other pieces of materials which particularly interesting features. For example, knots in the wood grain and other lines, textures and styles different materials has can enhance the overall finish of the final upcycled product. However, not everyone will agree. The most common way of painting is to sand the area, then wash away the dust and any other dirt, then apply the paint. You can apply paint in this way to prepare the surface in a way which allows the paint to take well. This technique will provide a cleaner finish to the outcome in comparison to not sanding the surface.

Chalk paint?

Alternatively, if you are looking for that more rustic, shabby chic style on your upcycling furniture projects then by all means continue to paint without sanding. Many upcycler’s use chalk paint to give these effects. Chalk paint is a water based paint which is sometimes advertised to require no preparation from the painter. This type of paint shows that although most surfaces and styles benefit from good surface preparation. However, if it suits your style and/or use chalk paint which doesn’t require preparation, then go for it!

Check out this lovely chair upcycle by @blakeandtaylorpaint. Here is an upcycle which shows how simple you can make one of your many upcycling furniture projects. In this before you can see the chair is in nice condition and is made unique with the wicker seat. Although, you feel like it would definitely benefit from a little bit of colour.

upcycled furniture projects, upcycling, upcycle, upcycled furniture ideas

What a lovely upcycle! Isn’t it amazing what a lick of paint can do turning this chair into a lovely nautical style ready for the beach. This is an upcycle anyone could do. All you need is a design and some paint! There is no excuse for throwing away old furniture when you can make it look totally brand new! You can find many different upcycling furniture projects ideas all over our forum.

If you are a beginner please check out the forum and ask a question, I’m sure many people can help out with queries you may have. Hopefully you will have a better idea of what kind of project you want to start with and which forum to post on if you get stuck. Meanwhile if you are a more experienced upcycler then I hope you have gained some inspiration to work on a new area of upcycling or an idea for your next project and also help answer some forum questions if you have the time.

Please head on over to the forum to ask questions and also see our other blog posts on everything upcycling.

Furthermore, check out our instagram page @UpcyclerLife to see inspiring projects and #upcyclerlife for a chance of a feature.