Looking for unique furniture and décor for your space? Thrift store shopping is an inexpensive way to upcycle unique finds, paint them and seamlessly incorporate them into your space . Click here to find out what upcycling is and why you should do it. No need to feel awkward when someone asks where you found that amazing dresser; upcycling is on trend and here to stay. Savvy shoppers are hitting thrift stores to find tired but unique, fine quality furniture. Upcycling is being featured in top design magazines and Interior Designers are now incorporating upcycled and repurposed décor into their client’s spaces. Ready to jump into this trend and hit your local thrift store? Check out my 3 tips on how to get the best furniture and décor finds to help get you get started.
1. Shop Often
One of the many great reasons to hit your local thrift stores is there is always a constant change over of items. Sometimes you will walk out with nothing but the more often you go the better chance of finding that perfect piece.
Before- Curved legs, amazing hardware and gorgeous details made this desk an amazing find.
After- Painted in FAT paint's Skyline, Gull Grey, FAT glaze and Gold Leaf, transformed this tired desk into a showstopper.
A great example of this, is this desk. I walked into my local thrift store just as the staff were walking this piece onto the floor. The curved legs, brass accents and stately shape of it….had me close to jumping on top to claim it even before they placed it on the floor. Even though it was tired and the finish was damaged it was so unique I grabbed it as soon as it was priced and wanted to high five everyone in my vicinity. I walked out feeling like a rock star!
Before- This was not the prettiest piece but something about the details really stood out for me, I could see the potential for a fun slightly kitschy lamp.
After-Painted in FAT Paint's Robyn's Egg and white wax gives this lamp a fun coastal feel.
Before- The hardware was so fantastic that I had to buy this dresser.
After- Fusion Mineral Paint Park Bench was the perfect colour to make the hardware the focal point.
2. When You Find It Grab It
I have learned this lesson the hard way. You find something really cool but take time to contemplate it a little more. This is basically a big green light for the person behind you, to grab it while you contemplate. It can be very frustrating losing a great find, considering that unlike big box stores there is not another one just like it sitting in the back. If you are not sure about purchasing it, make sure to take the item or tag with you until you decide, it will save you from losing that amazing piece.
Before- This dresser needed some love but the gorgeous details would be amazing painted.
After- Painted in a muted blue with patina wax accentuate the details and gives it a warm well worn feel.
Before- The legs and the sleek handles of this outdated Gibbard Mid Century is what stood out for me on this dresser.
After- The vibrant green make the legs and sleek handles a stand out.
3.Look Past The Finish
One important thing to remember when you are thrifting, is to not get stuck on the finish or its current state. It can be difficult, you will find some interesting things when thrifting but when you look past the terrible colour, the scratches or the horribly dated faux finish, you can open yourself up to finding amazing furniture. If you are new to the upcycling scene, a great way to build your thrifting skills is to stop and take a moment to focus on what is unique about it; the curve in the leg, the fabulous hardware, the ornate details or the shape of the piece is perfect for a technique you have been wanting to try.
A vibrant orange and gorgeous chinoiserie decoupage takes this dresser from tired to sleek and comtemporary.
Onnce you have found that perfect but tired piece, you can seamlessly incorporate it into your décor by painting it. I love using FAT paint and Fusion Mineral Paint to refinish my finds, no heavy duty sanding or priming is necessary. Check out what Chalk paint is here and what Fusion Mineral Paint is here. If you are not sure where to start with your project, take one of our courses or workshops to give everything you need to get going. Check out our youtube videos for helpful tips. We love talking about upcycling check out our TV segments on CTV Morning Live and on Daytime Ottawa. Happy thrifting!