We’ve completed more than our fair share of DIY jobs over the years, so we’d like to share some keys to a successful upcycle project for you craft enthusiasts. Ultimately, the best projects involve the following four T’s: tools, temperature, time, and talent.
TOOLS. By far, the most important element of a successful upcycle project is having the right tools for the job. Without the proper tools, the project can take much longer than expected, potentially damage the piece you’re working on, and create major headaches. Before you get started, ensure you have the right tools. Either make the investment or borrow them from someone else (just make sure you give them back when done!).
TEMPERATURE. Living in Ohio means you have to deal with crazy weather. It could be 60 degrees and sunny one day, then cold and snowing the next (which literally happened last week). This means that projects are often put on hold due to Mother Nature. If your workspace is not climate controlled, you could freeze your butt off while sanding or end up waiting forever for paint to dry (in fact, certain materials can only be applied above 50 degrees). Just keep your cool (pun intended!) and be patient. Learn to take advantage of those sunny days and use the down time on dreary days to research your next project.
TIME. Ok, so you have the right tools and great weather… now you just have to find time to complete the project. Keep in mind that upcycling a piece is not an overnight job. There are usually several steps involved (e.g., disassembly, sanding, stripping, painting, re-assembly, etc.) and many steps require down time. We often piece-meal our work. Meaning, we start one step then call it a day until we find the time to complete the second step. Rinse and repeat until all the steps are complete (hey, that rhymed!).
TALENT. We’re sure you’ve seen some fabulous projects on Pinterest. Trust us, for every awesome project posted there are several others that didn’t turn out so well. We’re not saying this to discourage you, but you were not born a carpenter. This is a skill that requires lots of practice and years of experience. Remember that old saying, practice makes perfect? We often recommend to our customers that they take the time to research their project inside and out, and to start off small before diving into larger and more expense endeavors. Ron, for example, has been upcycling for over 40 years!
When you tackle your next project, just remember the four T’s! What’s next on your DIY list?