Upcycling Done Right: Turn Old Antiques Into Treasure

Christy | 9:24 AM |

Upcycling makes clutter into decor, and breathes new life into old things. If you're hanging on to some antiques that could really use a facelift, there are a few steps to ensure that your project is a success.
  • Appraisal Approved

Have your piece appraised, while not all items need an appraisal first, but it's always a good idea for antiques. You might be sitting on a rare item that's much more valuable if you have it restored as opposed to altering it. If the piece is beyond repair and you absolutely can't live with it in its current state, upcycle away!
  • Brainstorm Beginnings

Next, take a look at your piece and let the project ideas flow from there. Do you have a pair of armories with good bones and a lot of scuffs? A coat of paint or some stenciling might be all you need to turn them into creative media centers or storage spaces for your living room. Research various options for your piece and decide what would look best.
  • Material Mentions

Choose and invest in the right materials. This can be the trickiest part-- something as minor as using the right paint or drill bit can make or break a project. That said, items like power tools can easily be rented from your local hardware store,  eliminating the need to splurge on a new tool that won't get a lot of use. Think about the finish, paints, sprays, or lacquers that will really make a statement.
  • Hire Out

If your project is going to require things like sandblasting or reupholstering, consider bringing in a professional. They can use your design to help upcycle antiques with far less cost and hassle than it would be alone. A professional upholsterer can turn a dowdy floral armchair into a sleek, modern showpiece.
  • Think About Space

You don't always have space to fit everything in your home at once, especially pieces you intend to sell. Consider renting a storage unit to safety keep your upcycled treasures until you're able to make room or sell them-- they'll be safe from nicks, scratches, and spills until you're ready. Find a self storage unit close to home with a simple internet search like, “Storage Units San Francisco”.


With the right mindset and the right tools, any antique can become a fashionable showpiece. Even if you have never upcycled before, a few afternoons worth of work will give you lovely, unique decor you can be proud of.

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