Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day - Recycle, Reuse, Reduce!

Happy Earth Day Everyone! 

We at Against the Grain try to live like every day is Earth Day! There is a lot more we could do but we do our best to reuse and recycle as much as possible. Throughout the years we have pulled an embarrassing amount of furniture, parts and pieces out of the trash and turned it into some serious treasure. The phrase "one man's trash, is another man's treasure" is pretty much my motto in life. Its amazing to me what people will throw away -- especially items which could be donated. If you live in the Cameron, NC area please call me before you trash a perfectly good piece of furniture! 

In honor of Earth Day - here's a look back at a few of my favorite repurposing projects and furniture saves -- 

We snagged some old wood shutters from a neighbor's trash during their house remodel. With a little paint, stain and some scrap wood we transformed them into a beautiful bookshelf. 

These chairs were left over from a yard sale and we paid $1 each! The seats were ripped up and smelly but the chair had beautiful mid-century modern bones. The wood frames were in excellent condition and cleaned up easily with a little furniture oil. The cushions and fabric were beyond saving - but thats was a simple fix!

Furniture -- I'm constantly amazed at the perfectly good pieces I dig out of the trash! This was a small nightstand probably from a child's room. It was covered in doodles and crayon marks but again, easy fix! With a little sanding, cleaning, a fresh coat of paint and a new top, this nightstand was brand new! 

This is an Ethan Allen hutch base we found by the dumpster in our apartment complex. Missing a few pieces of hardware but otherwise it was in excellent condition. We gave the drawers and the base a facelift with some antique white paint, cleaned up the top and replaced the hardware. 

A pee yellow lingerie chest... I can kinda, sorta, maybe a-little-bit understand why this wouldn't be someone's favorite piece of furniture. But still - no reason to trash it! I grabbed this out of a dumpster in Junction City. Although it was seriously ugly to start with, a coat of paint fixed that! 

Cabinet Doors and Drawer Fronts
Even if your dresser or cabinet is damaged beyond repair, don't count out the parts and pieces. Hardware, hinges, doors and drawers can all be repurposed and reused. 

We LOVE repurposing solid wood cabinet doors into beautiful signs to decorate your home with. Have you seen our Etsy Shop? We have several, very similar signs currently available for sale. 

Glass cabinet doors and picture frames missing the glass are both perfect for chalkboards. Just remove the glass if you still have it and coat it with chalkboard paint. Broken glass? Just cut a thin piece of plywood to size. 

Drawers are another commonly tossed item. In addition to using them as shadow boxes, you can also remove the drawer fronts and repurpose those into signs, jewelry hangers or coat racks!

These are one of my favorites! The possibilities are endless with these -- especially if they are solid wood and have all the glass intact. We've repurposed them into signs, menu boards, picture hangers and even coffee tables! 

Doors - 
Another one of my favorites is solid wood doors. We have been fortunate enough to find several beautiful doors but these can also be found at your local ReStore or Goodwill. I love repurposing them into headboards. Once installed they are a serious show stopper. 

Reclaimed Wood
If you can get your hands on some reclaimed barn wood -- do it! We have made headboards, coffee tables and end tables and so many adorable wall signs with reclaimed lumber. I personally love these bottle openers we made. We currently have several for sale in our Etsy Shop! 

Please be mindful when trashing items. Yes it can be an inconvenience to take items to a donate site (although many will pick up these days!) but you are helping put a stop to the excessive waste build up we have in our country and helping a nonprofit too!

Happy Earth Day friends! 

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