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Making wooden furniture look better

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Do you ever look at upcycled furniture projects and wonder if you should have a go? Well, you should! 

Ask any interior designer and they'll tell you that the upcycling trend isn't going anywhere for a long time so, if you have a creative side, you should let it out to play and see how you can transform some outdated or boring pieces of existing furniture into something really pretty.

We've found some great upcycling inspiration to show you today and think you'll be unable to resist reaching for your sander and paint. Let us show you how to do it and what you could end up with!

1. Heavy varnish to a better finish

This dresser isn't exactly ugly but it won't win any style awards either. imagine how dark and old-fashioned it would look in a small hallway, for example. The trick is to get all that varnish off, strip the piece back to a more natural state and then apply some pretty paint. 

But how can you do that? It's far more simple than you might think!

Start with medium grit sandpaper and get the bulk of the varnish off, always making sure to remove any dust as you go. Move down to a finer grit and finally, finish with some wire wool to get into the grain. 

Speaking of the grain, always work with it, not across it, as that will leave you with deep scratches. Once the surface is free of varnish, you can prime and paint. 

Just take a look at how beautifully this piece turned out!

Beautiful, chic and the right mix of traditional and modern.

2. Painting perfectly

There is always a concern that once you've sanded a piece of furniture, you'll ruin all of your hard work at the painting stage. However, with some careful planning, you won't fall into that trap.

Firstly, make sure that you use a primer. So many people skip this step but primer helps to cover flaws and prepares the surface for a lasting paint finish. With your primer dry, you can start to paint. 

A lot of people recommend a thin first coat, which has been appropriately diluted, followed by a proper top coat. Always follow the instructions on your actual paint though, as it might have specific needs, and don't forget you can be as funky as you want with your designs!

We told you that unique is never a bad thing! What a great finish and it's so refreshing to see a proper refurbishment rather than a simple shabby chic project.

3. Waxed to wonderful

Upcycling waxed wooden furniture might be the toughest project of them all, as the wax really seeps into the material and needs some serious elbow grease to be removed. But boy, is it worth it!

Using wire wool, work with the grain of your furniture and start with a soapy water rinse. From there, you need to visit your local home improvement store to buy a specific wax solvent. Once the wax is removed, you can complete some sanding et voila. A new surface to work with!

Whoever would have thought a super smooth painted finish would be possible on a previously waxed wood dresser?

We're going to show you a few more pictures now to get you fired up for a project of your own!

4. Before and After

5. Before and After

6. Before and After

7. Before and After

8. Before and After

9. Before and After

For more cool DIY inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: Quick and easy DIY renovations.

Are you keen to try some upcycling?
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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