So, what is upcycling? Upcycling can also be defined as ‘creative reuse’. The act of transforming pre-loved products and giving them a new lease of life.

Not only are you left with a fancy, good-as-new, piece of furniture for your home, but you can also sit back and know that you’ve just done something good for our planet. Yes, that's right. As well as being kind to your bank balance, upcycling reduces the amount of waste that we are sending to landfills. It also means that there is less of a need to produce new or raw materials, which has further environmental benefits. Win, win – right!? 

How to upcycle furniture? 

Top tip number one: YouTube, is your best friend! Anyone can upcycle. So, whether you’re a novice upcycler or a seasoned professional taking on a new project, looking to perfect your skills, YouTube has simple-to-follow videos for just about everything.  

First things first, you’ll want to find your pre-loved piece of furniture. Now, of course, we’re biased, but Demelza’s charity shops are a great place to start! Luckily for you, we have our Rainham Furniture charity shop and the Maidstone Shopping Outlet, both of which are full to the brim with bargain buys. 

And if furniture isn’t your thing, don’t forget fashion. Our charity shops are packed with quality, pre-loved pieces, from high street labels to designer treasures, that are just waiting for a new spin on their style.  

For the creative minds among us, you might find that classic pine chest of drawers and know exactly what you want to do with them. But if you need a little bit of inspiration, Pinterest or good old Google will help you out. 

Once you’ve found your furniture, you’ll want to give it a good clean – as with most things, preparation is key. Give it a wipe down, removing any dust or cobwebs. If your project has handles, if you can, remove them before painting too. Once clean, grab the sandpaper! Sand, sand and sand again – it might seem tiresome, but trust us it’s worth it in the long run!  

Sanding done (we knew those face coverings would still come in handy) and now it’s time to pick your paint and prime. You’ll need to do a little bit of research, paint isn’t just paint. Indoor, outdoor, high-gloss, semi-gloss, oil base, water base – you pick! Take your time and invest in a good paintbrush that won’t be shedding bristles with every stroke. You might need to do a couple of coats to get the coverage right, but once you’re happy – step away, let it dry (completely, this may take a day or so), and then seal it. Finishing wax is great and will leave you with a beautiful, shiny and wipeable surface *chef’s kiss*. 

Now, for the obligatory before and after pictures! 

Where to sell upcycled furniture 

You don’t have to just upcycle furniture for your own home. Why not turn it into a profitable hobby? Unveil your inner upcycling-superstar and list your creations on apps and websites such as eBay, Vinted, Facebook Marketplace, or even take a trip to your local boot fair.  

Ready to take these tips and head to your local charity shop? Great! We can’t wait to see your creations. Don’t forget to tag us in your before and after photos @demelzahospice (on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). 

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