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Can You Upcycle Oak Furniture?

Can You Upcycle Oak Furniture?

Oak furniture has been eternally popular due to its sturdiness and quality but being a natural product, it’s also liable to damage and suffer age-related wear and tear. Many people are understandably reluctant to throw out their worn furniture because of the quality of the grain but don’t know what to do with it otherwise. 

This is where upcycling may be a useful option. It goes beyond simply restoring oak furniture and presents a different use for it that still allows you to keep it in the home.

What is Upcycling?

In essence, upcycling is taking an item and recycling it into something that has a greater value than the original item had on its own. As such, it’s usually broken or discarded items that are best at being upcycled as their value from their original purpose is little to nothing. Upcycling can be anything from painting a sideboard to give it a new lease of life, to creating a coffee table from a wooden palette. It all depends on how creative you want to get.

If you did just have a tired item that only needs some light work, our guide on painting oak furniture can be found here.

The Benefits of Upcycling

Upcycling has several benefits, both for the owner of the item and for the wider world. For example, by recycling materials you lessen your impact on the environment by recycling materials you’ve already purchased rather than buying new ones. This also reduces the amount of waste that goes to landfills; the chances are, you were probably going to throw out that old item only for it to sit and rot in a dump whereas now it continues to serve a purpose in the home. That should make you look at that upcycled tv unit in a different light.

It can also save you money on buying new furniture while encouraging your creativity. And, if you do decide you’re not too keen on the finished product, you may even make a little bit of money back by finding someone who is prepared to pay for it.

Things to Avoid for the First Time Upcycler

While upcycling may seem like sunshine and roses, there are a few things to avoid if you’re trying it for the first time. For one thing, don’t rush into upcycling an item if it’s not right for you. If you’ve got a ton of brilliant upcycled sideboard ideas for your beaten-up old cabinet then by all means jump right in. But, if you’re not excited about the project, it’s likely you’ll never finish it and will have spent more on paint, polish, or other items without ever getting a finished piece of furniture out of it. 

Avoiding taking on too much on your first try is also a good way to go. Start with a small, manageable project and go from there. Lack of preparation could also prove a challenge, as you need to be aware of how long it takes for paint or glue to dry, and what you’re going to need for your upcycling. It may be far more complex than just painting wooden furniture. Think through what you’ll need first and it’ll make the whole project a lot easier in the long run. 

So, can you upcycle oak furniture? In short, yes but you need to be prepared. If you’re maybe just wanting to modernise your furniture, take a look at our guide here.

If you're looking for new and exciting oak furniture, check out our collections here.