Upcycle? WTH?!?

Published December 1, 2012 by mindfulofchatter



I am recently returned to my home valley after a disastrous jaunt to live further north. When making that move, I sold almost all of my furniture and got rid of loads of stuff (Stuff is a polite way to say junk). Now, of course, I need to replace some of the furniture.

This brings me to the new phrase ‘upcycling’. You know, you take a POS bit of furniture, repaint or re-finish it, add new hardware and then re-sell it for an absolutely ridiculous price. At least that is my take on it. Maybe I’ve missed the point completely. But as I have looked at used furniture, I see this  wordy little trend more and more.

At first the term ‘upcycle’ had me baffled. I saw the word, but not the thing associated with it. When I saw what ‘upcycle’ meant, I laughed. Out loud in an empty house. Thank goodness for the emptiness or I may have otherwise been committed to the funny farm to weave baskets or twiddle my thumbs and toes (10 points if you got that reference). I guess an upcycled dresser if more appealing than a repainted dresser.

I’m not sure when it happened. We used to re-finish old items. Then we recycled them. Now we upcycle them? What comes after upcycle? Uppaint? Regrade? cyclegrade? upcyclethepaintupgrade?

Along with upcycling comes the trend to add prints to dressers and side tables. Lay down a bit of lace and spray paint over it. Lift the lace and wa-la, you have a lace print on your surface. Zebra print seems to be all the rage. I have seen several table and dresser with a stripe of zebra print across the tops and down the sides. Well, they call it zebra print. It’s really not very zebra-ie. But you get the idea. I saw one small (as in tiny) chest of drawers painted turquoise with a zebra strip up one side, across the top and down the other side. They wanted $110 for it. I almost nose snorted my tea.

Now I have my own little POS dresser to repaint, oh sorry, upcycle. It is a funky old thing, and the funkiness appealed to me. Oh sure, its missing its kick plate, the pulls are uglier than sin and one drawer has a chipped corner, but I like it. It will hold my clothing and look just fine once I fix the things that need fixing, paint it and re-hardware it. I will skip the animal print and lace print, thank you. Best of all it was dirt cheap. And dirt cheap is about my price range at the moment.




One comment on “Upcycle? WTH?!?

  • People do seem to confuse ‘upcycle’ and plain old ‘decorate’ (or even ‘tart up’ as us Londoners might say). Upcycling should mean changing the purpose of whatever it is, not just painting it …

  • Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s

    %d bloggers like this: