Andrea McLean, TV presenter and homes columnist and the face of our Furniture & Electrical stores for 2015, has provided her top 10 tips for upcycling furniture:
- Scour car-boot sales and charity shops like BHF Furniture & Electrical stores for great value second-hand furniture
- When shopping, look for a shape or style of furniture you like. This will be your base for upcycling
- Don’t dismiss scratched or stained items – furniture can look very different once it’s been painted
- Notice the detail on frames, mirrors or handles - if something stands out it can quickly be updated with a fresh coat of paint or gilding with gold leaf
- Try to visualise what items will look like in your home and how they could look when you’ve painted or re-upholstered them. Sometimes it helps to have an idea of what you’re looking for before you leave home
- Always sand down furniture using wire wool or sandpaper before painting it to give it a smooth surface. This will help the new colour last for longer
- Chalk paints are great for painting over a dark stain or veneer as they don’t need to be primed and give smooth all-over coverage. Always apply at least two or three thin layers of paint and finish with a layer of varnish or furniture
- Experiment with stencilling to add a personal touch to your furniture, and don’t worry if it goes wrong as you can always paint over it. Be as creative as you like!
- Chairs can easily be updated if the fabric isn’t to your taste – simply remove the old and re-upholster with fresh fabric to match your home
- If you’re buying new items, chances are you’ll need to clear space so your home doesn’t look overcrowded. Don’t forget to donate your unwanted items using the BHF’s free collection service.