More Refurbished Vintage

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Whether you refer to it as refurbishing,recycling or upcycling,
we encourage you to expand your scavenging beyond that of your own home.  For there are treasures awaiting your discovery amongst dumpsters in back lanes, second-hand stores, consignment stores, flea markets, auction sales, yard sales and estate sales.  Not to mention FREE kijiji, and various other (not so free but definitely cheap) websites.  Kijiji, craigslist, CanadianListed, and BuySell.com are a few of the many, local online communities offering free classified advertisements.

Here we took an Ikea dresser, swapped out the hardware, painted the drawers and added a new mirror.  We painted the mirror to match the drawers and put generous layers of varathane on both to give them a glossy shine.  We used the same colour of paint as on the walls (Benjamin Moore Pale Avocado 2146-40) for our first layer of colour and then washed a blue over top.  We then lightly distressed the drawers for a weathered beach look.

We found this magazine rack for a couple of dollars at a second-hand shop and we thought it would look charming with a fresh coat of blue paint.

Chairs in bedrooms are always a convenient solution to keeping your clothes off the floor.  We refinished this chair as a companion for the vanity. 

Since the wood finish of the chair did not match the intricate marquetry found in the vanity, we decided to paint it.  We painted the chair with a colour that matched the tone of the vanity and upholstered it using a leftover fabric remnant from the drapes. 

Do not be afraid to reupholster chairs with a simple tuck seat.  As long as there is no sewing, new foam or upholstery trim required, you will find it very simple. 

We gave these chairs a two tone finish.  Using the same colour on the chairs as we used on the walls keeps the room feeling light and airy.  Matching the black with the dresser ties the two elements together nicely and defines the shape and gives individuality to the chairs.

You can create a unique combination by painting a mismatched desk and chair to make a set.  We left the original finish on the desk top and shelves for durability and interest.  Of course they did get a healthy helping of varathane to shine them up.

We have bought a few sideboards that are quite similar to this one.  They are well made and very common.  They often have a groove along the back of the shelf for standing up plates and a groove along the front and sides for sliding glass doors.  This one was purchased without the doors and all the grooves were filled in with polyfilla. 

We found a similar sideboard on CanadianListed.con with the glass doors intact for $50.  We thought that was a bit pricey for such a common item.   We also prefer the look and functionality of a shelf with the doors removed and the grooves filled in.

We would probably offer $20 and pay as much as $30, possibly $35 if we really needed it for a specific project and did not want to take the time to find another one elsewhere for less.

When refinishing furniture we often add a distressed or weathered look to our finishes.  You can do this by slightly rubbing the piece with antiquing finish, using crackle medium between coats of paint or simply roughing it up with sandpaper.  Not only does it add character to a piece, it adds an appropriate gently worn patina, ensuring your project will continue to age gracefully over time with the wear and tear that comes from regular use.

Refurbished furniture is a wonderful way to express individuality and creativity in your home.  For fabulous ideas and expressions of creativity, checkout Inhabitat’s Spring Greening Competition, you will be amazed at what people have made from recycled materials.  Without a doubt they take upcycling to a new level.