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How to upcycle with ease

Retired Team Member
Retired Team Member

How to upcycle with ease.png

Break down your upcycling project into steps and don’t rush the process, advises the winner of Australia’s best upcycling makeover.


Donna, known as @DonnaDrummond1 in the Workshop community won our D.I.Y. July competition last year for her mudroom using an upcycled cabinet.


“If someone was attempting their own upcycle project, I think the best advice is to do it in stages,” Donna says. “Tackle one task at a time. Take your time with each step and don't rush.”


Donna proudly reveals her mudroom cabinet “hasn’t shrunk or cracked at all” over the past year. “I'm very pleased with how the cabinet has held up considering we found it in an outdoor shed, so it had been exposed to a bit of weather.”


Stripping off older paints on the cabinet was a challenge, Donna remembers, especially as she “did not know whether they were lead-based”.


She emphasises the importance of taking safety precautions in situations like this, suggesting measures like safety masks and painting in a well-ventilated area. Donna's mudroom cabinet "hasn't shrunk or cracked at all" over the past yearDonna's mudroom cabinet "hasn't shrunk or cracked at all" over the past year


For anyone wanting to attempt their own upcycling project, Donna suggests gathering information from available resources.


“If you are unsure of how to do something or what to use, look at videos online. You can also ask Bunnings about the different tools needed for each project. Remember that more expensive tools aren’t always the best ones for the job.”

Expert tips on upcycling


Mitchell Mclean (@MitchellMc), resident Bunnings D.I.Y. expert and a judge for this year's competition to find Australia's best D.I.Y. projects, has further advice for those tackling an upcycling project.


Mitch's tips include:


1. Don't be discouraged by minor flaws or quirks in the original item - they can add character and charm to the finished project.


2. Combine various materials such as wood, metal and fabric to add interest and create a more dynamic finished piece.


3. Kerb-side clean-ups are treasure troves for finding unique and free items that can be upcycled. Without an initial cost, you can spend a little extra on finishes and accessorising your project.


4. Upcycling is a creative and rewarding process, so allow yourself to experiment, learn, and don’t be discouraged if you make a mistake.


5. Paint or stain can completely transform an item, so don't be afraid to explore different techniques and finishes.


The Bunnings team shares more advice on upcycling different types of furniture.


Inspiration for your upcycling project


Check out our collections of upcycled buffets, dining tables and bedside drawers for more clever ideas. 


D.I.Y. July is here and we are again searching for Australia’s best D.I.Y. projects. Winners will have their projects featured in the September issue of Bunnings Magazine. We look forward to seeing your projects. 


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