Junk to Gems!

Junk to Gems!

Recession getting you down? Do you find that you have too much time on your hands in which your self-esteem seems to be slowly plummetting as you search for ways to make all the ends meet again? Whatever the situation, a wonderful way to boost your self esteem and get back on the positiity track is to refurbish a piece of old furniture. Perhaps you already have a piece of furniture that has been looking the same for year now, *yawn! Or if you are looking to dress up a room with something new, try scouting out yard sales, thrift stores, help friends move, or check out the free items left on the curb.

Start with cleaning the item off with a damp towel. Take a good look at it and then start to visualize it's new 'essence' within your home. The grungier the furniture is, the better. You can feel as though you are rescuing this table or dresser, like a lost puppy and restoring it to it's happy playful self again. Use a power sander to remove any chipped varnish or paint instead of just painting over it. Sanding is very theraputic, like cleaning, and you will feel the zen of the action. Not to mention, the end result will look more professional and pleasing to the eye.

Having a basic screw driver on hand will be useful for removing any handles before sanding, staining, or painting. Repair any structural deficiencies with wood glue or small nails and screws so you know that your piece is sound, as well as good to look at. The knowledge that you have fixed something up, not just on the outside but, on the inside as well- will feel really good. It is not too often that we get the opportunity to really work with our hands, touching and fixing textile objects. Really savor this project for what it is and try to rush through it or cut corners.

Once the sanding and repairs have been done, take some time to visualize all the color combinations, textures and possibilities your piece of furniture has in store for it. Choose your colors wisely and then explore the many texturing and finishing techniques you can use on your piece by simply spending some time in the paint store and looking at all of the options and display cards. Why stop at one color? How about using stencils? Leaves? Stamps? Lace? Each of these can be used as stamps or stencils. Look to nature to provide you with new tools and textures. You will find metallic and stone texturizing paints in the craft stores, ideal for smaller items like pedestals and plant stand.

You may want to explore putting on new handles or knobs or finishing the top with glass, marble, or mosaic tiles. Decoupage is another popular technique which can really dress up a trunk or table and make it a conversational piece. Put something of yourself in the art of refurbishing your furniture.

When you are done, you will have a physical reminder of a beautiful, practical improvement you have made to your life and your immediate surroundings. Taking a before and after picture might be a good idea because once you start, it may be hard to stop! It is a very rewarding use of time and an inexpensive way to dress up your home. If you are feeling down and out or are so pressed for time you feel that you never get anything done- remember to just slow down and sand. Refurbish something! It is a lot of fun and new way to challenge yourself.

Not only can you redecorate your own home with your artistic furniture, you can prepare for the holiday season by refurbishing smaller items, or even re-sell them on ebay, etsy, craigslist, a flea market, or your local newspaper for extra money. Remember, to challenge yourself in new ways and whenever you find yourself in a rut- take it slow, think outside the box, get creative and get crafty! There is an artist to love inside of everyone.