Using reclaimed wood furniture is a great way to not only recycle, but to create unique pieces for your home or for gifts.
You don’t have to be a carpenter to enjoy the benefits, just have some ideas. There are stores that sell refurbished or repurposed wood furniture, but you can do this yourself quite easily. It is just a matter of purchasing the right products.
Start by taking a good look at the piece. If it is still in good shape, but the wood just looks tired, scratched or faded, then consider painting the piece. Before you panic with thoughts of varnish strippers and harsh chemicals, take a look at the latest in “friendly” products in your friendly paint or hardware store.
You can now get high adhesion primers that will paint over and totally adhere to anything. From shiny polished wood to glass. Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 is one such product that I have used to repurpose lots of furniture.
You can start by giving the piece a good clean with a degreaser to get rid of wax build up. Once the surface is clean, you can then take draws out and hardware off and give the piece a good coat of the high adhesion primer. You may need two coats of this.
After the primer has dried, the rest is up to you. This is now a blank canvas for any paint. You could keep it simple and paint it a nice colour and then simply change out the hardware to modernize it a bit, such as with a dresser. Or you could take a long dresser, take out one bank of drawers and create open shelves and change out the hardware to now make a dining room buffet or side table.
One project I did, that turned out very well, was to take an old coffee table, which I purchased for 10 dollars at the local thrift shop. Clean it, prime it and then I painted a scene of birds flying on a sunset night on the top of the long rectangle coffee table.
I then gave it 3 coats of clear satin varnish to protect it, and it became a great conversation piece in my living room for years.
You could even get a piece of glass cut to fit the top of the table, and use it for putting photographs underneath.
Reclaiming wood furniture can really get the creativity flowing. So, before you throw it out, take a really good look at it. Is there something you can do to this piece to change its look, or change its purpose and use in another room, or simply update it to look more modern with some new hardware or hinges?
We all need to do our bit to reduce our carbon footprint. Using reclaimed furniture is just one of those ways. Painting wood furniture can be a great way to quickly refinish it without harsh chemicals and create a new looking piece to enjoy. Take a look at some of the pieces you have that are looking tired, or head out to the thrift store and see what you can find, and use reclaimed wood furniture in your next room design.