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Giving New Life to Old Furniture: Tips for Upcycling and Repurposing

8 April 2024
3 mins

Thinking of getting rid of old furniture that doesn’t suit your needs any longer? Before you consider selling it to an online second-hand furniture shop, or even tossing it out, ever thought of prolonging its lifespan through upcycling and repurposing? 


Upcycling is the art of transforming discarded items into something of higher value, while repurposing involves finding alternative uses for old furniture. Both practices not only breathe new life into your items but also reduce waste. It’s not only a sustainable lifestyle choice but a practical way of approaching interior décor. If that sounds like an option for you, this blog post, we’ll explore tips for upcycling and repurposing old furniture to help get you started. 


1. Assess the Potential


First, take a critical look at your old furniture to determine its potential. Consider its structural integrity, design elements, and how it can be transformed. For example, can a worn-out wooden coffee table be repurposed into a rustic bench? Or maybe your outdated cabinet can become a stylish TV stand. By assessing the potential of each piece, you can envision its new purpose and plan accordingly.


2. Get Insipired


If no new ideas immediately come to mind, then try browsing through social media and design magazines for upcycling and repurposing inspiration. There are a million techniques to explore from people such as furniture flippers and interior decorators who share their creativity online. From decoupage and painting to furniture hacking, the possibilities are endless. Find something that resonates with you and is appropriate for your skill level, and adapt it to suit your furniture and space.


3. Prep and Repair


Before diving into the upcycling process, prep your old furniture to ensure the best outcomes for your repurposed piece. Clean the surface thoroughly, strip away old finishes or paint and repair any damages. Sanding and priming the furniture will ensure a smooth surface for painting or staining.   


4. Add a Personal Touch


One of the joys of upcycling and repurposing is adding personal touches to your furniture. There are a million ways to create one-of-a-kind designs. Experiment with different colours, textures, and patterns to make your piece stand out. You can also incorporate reclaimed materials, such as salvaged wood or vintage hardware, to enhance the character of your furniture. You are only limited by your imagination! 


5. Explore Alternatives


When repurposing old furniture, think beyond its original use and explore functional alternatives. An old wooden door can become a headboard, a vintage suitcase can turn into a quirky side table, and a ladder can transform into a bookshelf. Let your imagination run wild and find practical ways to give your furniture new life while serving a purpose that fits your lifestyle.


Repurpose/Upcycle (And Donate) With Barnything!


If upcycling sounds like a noble but unfeasible (who has the extra time, these days?) activity right now for you, we may be able to help. Barnything was started to offer users opportunities to practice sustainability in their lives, whether it’s through bartering, buying defective items, or selling second-hand furniture online.


Barnything has launched a new service that collects and helps you repair, and refurbish your old furniture and then donates it for you. We've partnered with many local NGOs, charities, and shelter homes that need furniture to make sure your unwanted items are put to good use.


Here’s how it works. First, contact us and tell us about the furniture items you want to get rid of. We’ll assess any defects or damages to the item, the extent of repairs needed, and possible ways we can repurpose it. For a base fee of RM300, we'll collect your furniture from you and channel it to the charity partners in our network who need it. Additional fees will be charged if your item needs dismantling. 


If your unwanted furniture is in perfectly good condition, we’ll take it too! For only RM200 we’ll pick up and channel the furniture to charities under our network. Barnything users only pay RM180. But if you purchase RM800 and above of furniture with us, we’ll collect your old furniture for FREE! Yes, FOC! Oh, and we also do same-day delivery before 5 pm. 


Buying and/or donating furniture with Barnything makes alot of sense, don’t you think? So, before tossing out that old sofa, or selling second-hand furniture online, remember, you can always get creative by finding new ways to use that item.