according to Wikipedia, the definition of upcycling is this:
the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.
The first recorded use of the term upcycling was by Reiner Pilz of Pilz GmbH in an interview by Thornton Kay of Salvo in 1994
When my father was here he made an observation…
” You have no painted furniture here at your house. “
I used to paint everything. Walls, floors, dressers, desks, tables, cabinets, even curtains. I don’t have so many pictures….before kids I didn’t take so many pictures. Here are a few of what I do have.
In this picture you can see the front porch of my house in NY. I painstakingly painted a ” carpet”. It looked nice for one and only one summer. I think I painted it in the early spring/summer of 2002. This picture is dated January 2003. I didn’t use the right paint to withstand shoveling and CNY snow, ice, and salt. I painted over it as soon as the snow melted with plain old gray porch paint in spring/summer 2003.
I WISH I had a better picture of this floor. This picture was used when I listed my house for sale. The floor was old in-dire-need-of-replacing linoleum. Painting it was more cost effective for a single woman living on her own! And I LOVE LOVE LOVED the result. Even painted my walls the same green in the plaid floor. When the house was re-sold, I saw in the listing online that the woman didn’t replace the floor either. Guess she liked it too! My father and I did this together…I have great memories of doing it.
This was my home office. I painted those valances on canvas. I nailed a strip of wood to the window frame and attached the valances to the wood. Still like them!! They stayed in the house too when I moved…sniff sniff….I also had a desk in this room and I am desperately looking for a picture.
I painted most of these dressers. I hired someone at the end to help out with the drawers fronts. I painted all the knobs and the tops were painted in a faux marble finish and I had glass cut to size to protect the finish. Some of them were in very sad shape and required lots of wood fill. While they are not 100% my style anymore, its still unbelievable that I did them! And there were 3 more.
So you can see why my father noticed I don’t have any ” special” paintings around my home now. For several reasons, I suppose. When I moved to Germany, I left my tools of the trade behind ( BIG MISTAKE). I didn’t really know where to get my necessary supplies when I first moved and I didn’t know where to get the furniture. I only painted second hand furniture…upcycling! I usually found my furniture on the curb, or someone told me they had something they didn’t want, or though a few second hand shops.
My Dad put a little bug in my head though and yesterday, I went to my favorite second hand furniture shop in Bonn and got some pieces. I’m all about going back to my roots lately and getting back into painting is part of that. I have to admit, it felt really good yesterday to put on my grubby clothes, sand my pieces and get the base coat on!
People used to ask me constantly if I would be interested in painting faux finishes as a side job or if I would do pieces for them. I actually never considered it then, but I’m planning on upcycling some pieces for sale as well as for my home. I am also working on a plan to accept orders for upcycling dresses, t shirts, and skirts, so keep an eye out!
UPDATE: here is a peek at what I’ve been working on…
Oh, now that’s a bbbbaaaaadddddd shot from my cell phone.This was a TV stand in its former life and the table part rotates.
I don’t know if I will be able to part with this one. In its previous life, this was a TV cabinet. The back is completely open and I’ll cover it. Thinking about adding shelves inside. It would fit nicely in my hallway as a sort of linen closet.
Ok, don’t laugh at that ancient TV in the back round! The TV is only used on occasion when the kids want to play playstation!!