Working with timber can be rather rewarding, especially if you’re getting into DIY styling and upcycling. Unlike other materials, timber can be restyled quite dynamically. Even the oldest pieces of thrifted furniture can bounce back in miraculous ways with even just a little care and attention to detail. Here’s how you can find your ‘diamond in the rough’ when woodworking.
Find a canvas or two
First and foremost, you’re going to want to find some pieces that you’d like to restyle, and then prepare them for your workshop. Working with wooden furniture usually requires multiple layers of treatment before you can get to styling. Whether it’s a thrifted rocking chair or a contemporary chest of drawers; you’ll need to source some sandpaper and a sanding block, some wood fillers, timber paints, and other necessary woodworking tools to ensure that your restyling efforts will be sure to stick around for years to come. Of course, different pieces will need different kinds of attention, and older, thrifted furniture may need an extra round of sanding, polishing, and other treatments if you want them to sing in the same style as your more modern pieces. With that in mind, it may be worthwhile starting with some modern finds before tackling those older, tricker upcycle projects.
Select your style
There are a few highly popular interior design styles that embrace wooden furniture without question. All you need to do is find the style that aligns best with your personal tastes as well as the atmosphere that you’re envisioning for your interior spaces. Some notable styles that you should consider include DIY furniture, where simple light wood and whitewashed accents decorate breezy, relaxed interiors, and contemporary minimalism, where natural accents like timber, marble, and glass, are used to add a sense of cohesion whilst maintaining a soft separation between indoor and outdoor spaces.
Prime, color, and recolor
With wooden furniture that’s been sanded, primed, and sanded again, you’ll usually need to apply multiple coats of paint to get any sense of bold coloring. For this reason, it’s recommended that you manage multiple paint jobs at once (in a well-ventilated area!) so that you can cycle through each coat on a different piece as your other pieces are left to dry. Be patient throughout this painting process and make sure not to rush, as it may lead to your paint job becoming uneven, which may lead to even more sanding and even more recoloring.
This process doesn’t have to be tedious either. In fact, a lot of DIY woodworkers report that the time they spend recoloring is often the time they have their best style ideas, such as lightly mixing paints to achieve a more suitable color, or adding accents they wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. Don’t be afraid to really work your creative faculties here!
Add some personal flair
So you’ve found your furniture, sanded it, treated it, primed it, painted it, sanded it, painted it, and painted it some more…now what? Well, now it’s finally time to work on really making those pieces pop with a little of your own personal flair! Find some artsy dresser knobs, do some freehand painting, and maybe play with some stencils to see what kinds of unique designs you can create. Be sure to look online and consult some design resources like porch.com for some inspiration too!
By the end of this process, you’ll most likely have a few stunning ‘new’ pieces to put in your home, or perhaps even to gift or sell to family and friends. With woodworking, the possibilities truly are endless. Enjoy the fruits of your labor and take in all the positivity your creations may inspire, but most importantly, be sure to enjoy developing these new, timeless skills.