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Are you drawn to upcycling videos? Is that why you clicked on this post and why you enjoy binge-watching tones of YouTube tutorials and hacks on how to glamorize your old furniture?
But getting started with your first project and actually seeing it through seems to be impossible? You're most likely to end up buying the furniture brand new anyway, right?
It doesn't have to be so. Today, I will reveal the ins and outs of completing an upcycling project by ditching the old wives' tales.
1) It's Cheap
I hate to burst your bubble, but it's not always cheaper than buying new or secondhand. My husband and I have successfully upcycled over ten items that we've found in our surroundings. For us, it's mostly turned out to be more expensive than we thought, and we've been in the game for a few years now. We usually need countless paint pots, tools, sandpaper, handles, spray paints, tape measures, gloves, and the list goes on. So, count your costs before you start. Borrow tools or ask around for spare parts and paints. If you do invest in something, get a good drill kit. Hand screwing is not the vibe.
2) It's Quick
You will be greatly mistaken to think that a fresh lick of paint is but an hour's job. Before painting on vinyl (I always find furniture covered in this stuff), you need to either strip it or sand it down so that the paint goes on properly. Also, make sure you prime the surface with gesso before you start painting and give it time to dry properly.
3) It's a One Time Thing
Once you upcycle, you never go back. Once you complete a project, you will find it hard to pay those thousands of won for something new. I wouldn't be surprised if you told me you went dumpster diving in the apartments near you because guess what, I've done so too! It's so satisfying to get a good find and so heartbreaking to walk away from a chest of draws that would look so good in your spare bedroom if only you didn't have one already. It gets so addictive that you want to change your furniture almost every month.
4) It's Long Lasting
There's probably a good reason why it was in the trash in the first place, and sometimes trash is just trash, no matter how hard you've tried to give it a new life. I thought I found the perfect chest of draws for the spare bedroom until the front came off, and it still isn't fixed. I'm keeping it like that until I find a working solution or find a better choice. Most of the draws are still in good condition, so I could make it a trick-draw. The good thing I really like about this is that I don't feel guilty if it does get damaged because I didn't pay the original price. I can be a bit more creative with this furniture, and when I leave Korea, I won't feel so bad about getting rid of it.
5) Materials are Easy to Find
It is so frustrating to have an idea but have no means of making it come to life. We needed a unit to house our kitchen electricals such as the microwave, rice cooker, air fryer, and other random things. But it was hard to find the right unit because of the large microwave we have, so I was delighted to find a unit that would work, even though I had to cut a hole to make it work. However, finding wooden slabs to create slide out draws has been difficult. Whenever we looked for spare parts, we couldn't find the right size. We tried going to a wood cutting store, but the owner turned us down. We have found some now, but they are yet to be screwed together.
6) Screwing is Easy
Well, it's not. You really need to know how to align everything and what screws work best for what you are trying to fix; otherwise, you'll have multiple holes in the wrong places. Sometimes you can cover it up, but your mistakes won't always be forgiven. I was tired of waiting for my husband to put up the curtains in our bedroom that I decided to give it a go. I watched a tutorial video for putting rodes up (they were from Ikea); however, they were not straight. In the end, we had to do it over again, and now I have to live with the holes in my walls. I would advise you to watch multiple tutorials and pay attention to repairers (they are whizzes at these things).
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