In this post, you'll find before and after photos of some of my upcycled furniture projects. All of the pieces here were either free or bought for a small fee second-hand. I've included the prices so you can see for yourself how easy it is to fill your home with furniture even if you have a tiny budget.
I've linked to the corresponding blog post where possible so that you can read how each of these transformations was achieved.
Why should you upcycle furniture?
Beautiful home on a budget
Firstly, If you are prepared to upcycle, refurbish and refinish old furniture, not only will you be creating a unique to you home at an extremely low cost but you will also be creating a sustainable and eco-friendly home.
Upcycling is environmentally friendly
Secondly, people are becoming much more environmentally friendly in their choice of home furnishings. By choosing to upcycle furniture instead of buying new you are also doing your bit for the environment and creating less waste.
How do you upcycle furniture?
Creating a beautiful home with upcycled furniture has never been easier. These days there is a myriad of wonderful painting techniques, paints, transfers, stencils and finishes to suit any would be up-cycler.
Clicking the links to the related posts below will take you to the tutorial for the respective project. For the most part, beginner upcyclers will undoubtedly find more than enough upcycling projects and ideas to make a start.
Finding Furniture to Upcycle
Scour the small ads to find great bargains or even bag the odd piece of furniture for free yourself. I find most of my furniture on eBay.
Alternatively, if you've never painted or refurbished furniture before and don't know where to start, grab you free Checklist here. The 'Furniture Flip Checklist' teaches you ten things you need to know before buying second-hand furniture. Take the checklist with you when you go hunting for furniture so so you don't waste money by bringing home a 'dud'.
15 Furniture Flips - Round-up
Without further ado, let's get on with this week's furniture round-up.
Lounge - Furniture Upcycling projects
Riviera Maison Inspired Coffee Table Makeover - €15
This was one of my first ever furniture upcycling projects with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Refurbishing this small table was what started me on the road to buying more and more second-hand furniture to upcycle and eventually be able to furnish my entire home on a tiny budget.
Read the coffee table makeover post and tutorial here.
Media Stand Makeover - FREE!
One of my more recent projects using a beautiful seed-head stencil.
Someone local was getting rid of a load of furniture in a house clearance and a media stand was on my list of things to get – perfect!
Read the Media Stand makeover and learn how to stencil furniture here.
Barley Twist Floor Lamp Upcycle - €12.00
One of the items I knew I wanted in our lounge was a tall wooden standing lamp. I love the interior designs of Riviera Maison and the Belgian interior design company Flamant and I’d spotted a lovely white barley twist floor lamp there and was smitten. The only problem was the price – at €460 it was not going to make it anywhere near the top of the list any time soon!
If I had waited until I could afford that lovely barley twist lamp from Flamant I would still be waiting now! Instead, I have one equally as good, not to mention, at a tiny fraction of the price.
Read how I used chalk paint to upcycle this floor lamp in the post Barley Twist Floor Lamp.
Bookcase Upcycle - €10
The eBay ad said that if someone didn't come and collect this bookcase soon it was going to be chopped up for firewood! Well, I couldn't let that happen, I hate to see perfectly good furniture go to waste when it can be given a new lease of life with a bit of effort and a lick of paint.
The funny thing was that the lady I bought it from said she was getting rid of it because she didn’t want dark furniture in her home any more! I wonder what she would say if she could see it now!
This furniture painting project is split over four parts. The post Bookcase Makeover using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is the first in the series.
Wardrobe Upcycle - €35
I almost passed this wardrobe up when I saw it advertised for sale in our local paper. Luckily though, a few weeks before, I had read an article in a home magazine where someone had refurbished a wardrobe exactly like this one and was using it in their lounge.
This wardrobe project is not up on the blog so I'm just showing you the before and after photo.
Dining Room - Furniture Upcycling projects
Secretary Upcycle - €30
This has to be one of my all-time favourite furniture upcycling projects. This lovely secretary makes the most gorgeous storage and desk space in our dining room. I'm sorry I didn't get a 'before' photo of this one but I can tell you, it was dark wood like the buffet below.
Read how I painted and stencilled the secretary using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the post How to paint and stencil furniture with chalk paint.
Small side table with drawers - €10
This was one of the quickest furniture makeovers I've ever done. It was so quick in fact that I forgot to get a before picture - oops!
It had a very dark furniture stain all over. I sanded and waxed the top and painted the rest with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White. New drawer pulls complete this quick and easy furniture upcycle. Something like this would make for the perfect beginner furniture refurbishing/refinishing project.
Buffet Upcycle #1 - €20
Currently being used to hold craft supplies, this buffet was a joy to upcycle. It has beautiful leaded glass in the doors and an oak top.
This project is not on the blog so I'm just showing the before and after photos.
Buffet Upcycle # 2 - €30
This gorgeous buffet stands in our dining room. We love to display our hand-me-down crockery and glasses in the top half of this wood and white buffet.
Bedroom - Furniture Upcycling projects
Large Grey Chest – from my first flat
This large painted chest of drawers was one of the first pieces of furniture I ever owned.
Instead of painting the whole thing in Paris Grey, I decided to do something a little different and use some Old White to lighten up some of the areas and hopefully make it look a little more interesting.
This upcycling project together with the smaller chest are both on the blog and you can read about their transformations in the post How To Transform Furniture With Chalk Paint.
Small Grey Chest Upcycle - €5
The smaller painted chest was much less work and the actual painting and waxing process was finished in less than an hour! How To Transform Furniture With Chalk Paint.
French chair upholstery - €40
This little French style chair is so versatile and often changes places in our house. It has spent time in our lounge and guest room and currently resides in the master bedroom.
I wanted to try my hand at upholstery and didn’t want to spend too much money for a first attempt.
Unfortunately, my 'before' photo turned out blurred but at least, you get the gist – sorry! Read how to upcycle a French-style chair in the French-Style Chair Makeover Series.
Guest Room – Furniture Upcycling projects
Ladder – Swapped for a packet of coffee
This DIY ladder makeover is the perfect hanging solution for guests who stay over in our (multipurpose) guest room. Shirts and dresses can be hung on the hangers and the rungs can be used to drape trousers and tops or even throws and blankets from the bed when those are not in use.
You can read the DIY ladder makeover post here.
Guest en-suite Bathroom
Chest repurposed to a washstand and Mirror €30 for the pair
This chest and mirror were bought together. I upcycled the chest with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in 'Paris Grey' and refinished the mirror with white wax. Sorry, I didn't manage to get a photo of how it looked before I painted it and applied liming wax to the wood.
The chest has been repurposed to include a washbasin which fits perfectly in the small en-suite bathroom in our guest room. Spot my shadow in the after pic below 😉
Rocking chair Upcycle
Two coats of Annie Sloan’s ‘Old White’ chalk paint was all that was needed to upcycle this rocking chair and I was able to do both coats within around twenty minutes of each other.
If you want to read more about this furniture makeover, take a look at the post DIY Rocking Chair Makeover.
Create a unique home by upcycling
Whether you want to create a sustainable home or are just trying to save some cash, upcycling your (or someone else's) old furniture is the perfect place to start. For me, it has become a way of life and all things considered, I love that my home is unique and reflects my creative side as a result.
I hope this post inspires you to upcycle something yourself! If you need some help choosing second-hand furniture for your home, feel free to download the free guide below. You'll also receive the Chalking Up Success weekly Newsletter.