13 of the best repurposed furniture ideas

Unlike recycling (breaking down materials and turning them into new ones), upcycling is reinvigorating an old piece of furniture!

Not only does this save old pieces of furniture from going to landfill (War on Waste reported that 85% of kerbside furniture isn’t recycled) but upcycling is a budget friendly way to give your home a makeover. And if you enjoy upcycling (and are a bit of a pro) you could even turn it into a side-hustle and sell your wares for a mean profit.

Yes, upcycling is really easier than you think.

We spoke with Lisa Rickert, CEO of Jolie Home for her three top tips for beginners:

1. Pick neutral finishes and colours when you’re first starting out. There’s less room for error.
2. Use the proper tools. Don’t skimp out on quality paint, brushes, sandpaper and painters tape for crisp finishes.
3. When you want to be adventurous, balance your colours. Select one or two bold and bright hues with one or two neutral colours.

Where to source furniture

The base is one of the most important parts of your project to source the perfect piece have a look on Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree or nan’s attic!

Remember with a good sand and a lick of paint you can transform just about anything. If you’re on the hunt for shipping pallets they are often given away on Facebook too.

Stuck for ideas? Pinterest is a great source of inspiration for your next upcycling project.

DIY is back! So dust off your overalls (also back in fashion) it’s time to turn old worn furniture into trendy art deco pieces, here’s how to upcycle furniture. And don’t forget to take before and after photos as no one will believe that you crafted such masterpieces.

13. Coffee Table


For beginners Lisa recommends "going after a coffee table, or bedside tables that are used very frequently and that somebody can really get the sense of accomplishment that comes with the sustainability that comes with upcycling." Coffee tables are susceptible to crumbs and spills so remember to apply a waterproof coating.

12. Dresser


Another great place to start upcycling is by simply covering an old piece of furniture with a lick of paint. If there is any vanish or vinyl on the wood sand it back before using a high quality acrylic paint, Lisa explains "most paints will just peel off of the surface because it does not allow the water underneath to escape. For that reason, many people choose wood pieces or stained top coats for outside which requires sanding and stripping, to ensure those products are penetrating the furniture properly." This dresser looks completely different after just a couple of hours work.

11. Dining table


One of the oldest tricks in the book is grey washing. Paint the rest of your dining table a neutral colour and then use a grey wash on the top to create a timber-esque look.

10. Dining chairs

It’s time to turn tired to trendy starting with your dining room chairs. They’re a little bit more finicky to sand but the finished product is worth it!

9. Bookcase


IKEA sells one bookcase every five seconds, but rather than buying a new one, why not give your old bookcase a makeover at home. Use wallpaper as a backing board for an instant pop of colour.

8. TV Unit


By simply removing the shelving and glass, this cabinet has been transformed into a stunning but functional TV unit.

7. Bedside tables


Looking to give your bedroom a touch up on a budget? Don’t throw away your old bedside tables, sand them back and paint them and they’ll look as good as new.

6. Cabinet

Hero the craftsmanship in an antique wooden cabinet with paint, wallpaper and new handles. Upcycling is really as easy as it sounds.

5. Sun lounge

You might have seen the instagram trend of using packing pallets for bed frames but another creative solution is a sun lounge. You can make this in less than a day and leave it el naturale or paint it!

4. Chest of drawers

Upcycling a chest of drawers is lots of fun. Play around with it by using a different colour or wallpaper on the drawers and quirky knobs and handles.

3. Desk

If you get your hands on an old fashioned desk, hold on tight - they don’t make them like they used to! Give them some love with a new set of handles and a varnish and they’ll come up as good as new.

2. Indoor pots

Upcycling doesn’t just mean giving furniture a facelift it could also be categorized as repurposed furniture. Take using these drawers as indoor pots for example, a genius idea that looks quirky and fun without the pricetag.

1. Garden furniture

Sadly, garden furniture is often the first to look tired as it bathes in the suns harsh conditions year round. Mend crooked legs and lifting slats or transform shipping pallets into a workstation like this one.

If furniture is too bold of an option start small with these five household items.

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