Upcycling & wellbeing
Guest Blog by Eco Chic Interiors
It’s the DIY craft of the age, combining practicality and creativity as well as being a fantastic way to produce something unique and functional for your home. And the best bit is that upcycling also helps the environment by reducing the amount of old furniture sent to landfill.
Landfill sites are not only unpleasant to look at as well as being expensive to set up and maintain, much of what is deposited there will, over time, either emit gases which contribute to the greenhouse effect or leak toxins into the soil and water ways.
So upcycling really does have a feel good factor attached to it with benefits reaching far beyond the walls of your home. As with any craft, the safety aspect must also be considered before you begin so that your wellbeing as well as that of anyone else who will be living with the reinvented piece, is never compromised.
As a professional eco interior design advisor and decorator, I always ensure that any paint used is low VOC rated (VOCs are chemicals that can lead to air pollution indoors and out). It may seem a minor consideration but if you think about how many other things we have in our homes that emit VOCs and undermine air quality - carpets, upholstery, painted walls and woodwork to name but a few – adding more to the atmosphere should be avoided at all costs. Always work in a well ventilated area and if rubbing back the painted surfaces on old furniture i.e. something that was painted before the1990s, check that it doesn’t contain lead. Keep a supply of lead test swabs in your upcycling kit which you can buy from DIY stores or online. And if lead is present, take advice from a professional decorator or restorer before proceeding.
Have fun upcycling but remember the rule: if it’s not good for the environment, it probably won’t be good for you either!