Old furniture often gets tatty and even if it’s in good condition we get tired of it. It’s tempting to put it in the trash and buy new, more fashionable pieces – but that’s what rampant consumerism is all about.

Our grandparents mended, made over and revived their belongings. Not only is upcycling your old furniture an economical option, it’s also a fun way

to refresh and personalize your décor. It’s not difficult, it’s the green way to go, and eco design and upcycling old furniture is a big deal in interior décor today.

Old furniture with pleasing shapes can simply be given a new look with a lick of paint. For a few dollars, revarnishing or applying a few coats of white paint will brighten up any item that’s looking tired and tatty. A few years ago, stripping paint was the big thing. That’s still a way to refresh natural wood pieces that have become patinated, but now painted furniture is back on trend. Even plastic or plastic coated materials can be revamped with special paints.

Plain furniture with clean lines is ideal for getting the funky treatment. Bright, neon colors, like electric pink and acid green are perfect for creating a new, contemporary look. Kids will also love the funky feel of colors that are thoroughly modern, but a paint makeover can help transform the décor of any room in the house. Ideally, in line with eco design principles, opt for green paints that are low in non-renewable ingredients and don’t emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

If you have a bit of time and energy, then there are ways to upcycle old furniture into little works of art that express your personality. Decoupage and paint techniques are top ways to revamp your furniture. Both will allow you to reproduce all sorts of finishes: marble, wood grain, even leather. The effects you can achieve are only limited by your imagination, although some require a bit of expertise and a degree of dedication.

If you have damaged furniture, it still doesn’t need to end up as firewood. Sometimes a bit of lateral thinking will help you turn old pieces into something new. Replace damaged door panels with fabric or mesh, or take the doors off and make an open shelving unit. Take a good look at your old furniture before you turf it out. Turn it sideways and upside down to see what new use it could be put to. You’ll also find plenty of eco design inspiration on the internet.

Recycling your furniture can give you shabby chic, but it doesn’t have to be shabby and you can create unusual and eye-catching items with high end style. It’s rewarding, eco-friendly and a great hobby for anyone with a creative bent.

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