Up-cycling furniture is so fun to do, most of the time it is also much better environmentally than buying new. This process can be done with a piece you already have and can be a small or big project, depending on your preference.
If you haven’t already got a piece of furniture that you want to up-cycle, then you will need to. I find pieces that have been thrown out and left on street-side all of the time, sometimes I am up for the challenge, in this case, I first check for ‘woodworm.
Woodworm makes the wood look like it has lots of little holes, you do not want to bring this into your home as it can spread. Assuming that the furniture does NOT have woodworm and is SOLID wood, I get it home and study why it has been thrown out.
Broken legs can be easily mended with commercial wood glue, the glue usually dries completely clear so you will not need to worry about the visual aesthetics too much.
To fix a broken piece of wood or leg, you will need to put some wood glue on one piece that you want to bond to the other, using a clamp to ensure it is a tight fit.
You should let the glue dry according to the manufacturer's instructions, it is usually 24 hours for a strong bond but some can fix earlier.
I like to clamp the leg in place, all glued, and then to quickly whilst still wet give it quicksand by hand with a course paper.
If done correctly this will fill in the crack/join with sawdust which once dry will look very natural and makes the damage unnoticeable.
If the wood is looking very dull, maybe even some water damage, or just worn out, worn off: flakey paint, wood finish, scratched, dented.
Ensure the unit is completely dry and this can be fixed most of the time.
Go around the whole piece with sandpaper always going with the grain to avoid further scratches, your goal here is to smoothen it out, removing the old finish to get it back to its clean wood state, IE: removing all old paint, oil finish, sharp edges, getting rid of scratches, and indents.
Next it is a case of removing the dust, this can be done with a damp not wet cloth, after it has dried add linseed oil to the cloth and this will provide a beautiful natural finish, it will bring out the natural character of the wood, knots etc or if you would like to you can paint the furniture piece with an appropriate paint however I like to always keep it as natural as possible.
Warning: You should always be careful when and if using power tools using appropriate protection at all times, use gloves when handling wood in case of splinters, and ALWAYS wear a dust mask when sanding things to protect your lungs. Also, you should not sand any wood that you do not know anything about, research should be carried out beforehand if in doubt consult a professional.
According to GOV - Under current legislation softwood dust, hardwood dust and formaldehyde are considered to be hazardous to health. Both softwood and hardwood dust are known to be respiratory sensitisers and may cause asthma and other respiratory problems. Hardwood dust can also cause disease and illness.
If you can appreciate rustic wood items, here are a few of our one offs that have been made from recycled wood. If we didnt make these, the wood would have been thrown into landfill, which is why we choose to do in house carpentry using scrap woods that we find or have leftover.
1. Solid Pine Controller Box (£17)
This fancy box has a ton of character and has a nice story too! It was once a cot for both our children, we tried to sell the cot for months and had no interest so I set to work to create this stunning but simple piece!
This was also solid pine from the cot, but now it is a set of four rustic chunky coasters, that will look beautiful on your table, featuring a golden colour, and an offshape circle design!
3. Pallet Wood Toilet Roll Holder (£10)
We see many pallets go into skips every month, why? You can make almost anything with pallet wood, it features a dark color and here we combine it with pine to create a simple but elegant toilet roll holder!
4. Norweigan Spruce Elephant Figure (£36)
This elephant was hand carved from a Norweigan spruce Christmas tree's root! It was a personal item that I made myself, this is my first-hand carving.