upcycle old furniture


What to do with old, wooden furniture? Add a lick of new paint, of course!

Step 1. Find some old, wooden furniture

Outdoor chairs or table that are covered with mould or starting to rot?  A set of children’s chairs or a old wooden table? Find furniture that would need replacing, if it wasn’t for you giving it a new coat of paint.

Don’t have old furniture around your home? Ask for some on your local ‘buy nothing’ Facebook group or visit your local recycling centre.

Step 2. Find some paint that inspires you

Take a look at the left over paint from earlier projects around your house.  Brighten up your world by making bold decisions with the paint’s colour. For outdoor chairs, think bright pink, blue or white.  An indoor table might work best in the same green as a feature wall in the kitchen. Don’t have spare paint at home? Consider asking friends or neighbours if they have anything in the back of their shed.

Have a think about the type of paint you’re using. If the paint underneath is enamel, then you’ll need to choose enamel paint or give the surface a good sand back and use a primer.  Worried about using indoor paint on outdoor furniture? Don’t be. You might just need to add an extra coat or two, or plan to re-paint more regularly.

Step 3. Prepare the surface for painting

If you don’t have a totally smooth surface, then give your furniture a light sanding as well as a wipe down.  However, if you’ve got a smooth surface, just a wipe down will be enough.

For rotting furniture, you’ll need to remove the rotting sections and pop in some wood putty to even up the surface. After it’s dried, sand it down.

Step 4. Paint

Such fun! Pop your furniture down on the grass and get painting. Use at least two coats of paint to give a depth of colour and help with preserving the wood furniture’s structure.

A coat of paint on outdoor chairs will take about 30 minutes per chair.

Mia Swainson