Upcycling preparation – you’ve decided you want to start Upcycling, but not sure where to begin. There is a huge range of upcycling tools and products available, so what do you actually need? And what on earth does it all do?!

This is my suggestion for an ultimate upcycling preparation starter kit, and how to use it all.

Upcycling Preparation

If you want to start upcycling furniture then nailing your preparation is incredibly important. You need to make sure that your furniture is dismantled if necessary, that all your surfaces are clean, and that any small parts are kept safe. Oh, how tempting it can be to jump in with gorgeous paint, but wait! It will be worth it.

A set of screwdrivers

Having a set of good screwdrivers to hand is key for an upcycling project. These are essential for removing doors, drawers and hardware. Then you can ensure complete coverage and that no areas are missed.

Containers for loose parts

Label up some tubs, bowls, or jars to keep screws, hinges, handles and any other hardware safe. Keep a note of where everything goes. It can be handy to take photos as you take your furniture apart, for reference later when you are putting your piece back together.

Cleaning equipment

Make sure you keep your piece and your working area clean and free of dust. Have a vacuum cleaner, duster and damp cloth ready to get the worst of any dust or even cobwebs off.

Wax, varnish and paint stripper

Right, now to get down to business. Let’s get rid of all that old paint, wax and varnish. We have a selection of products which we rate very highly for this task.

Cornish Milk Biostrip

Cornish Milk Biostrip is a Paint, Varnish and Wax Remover. This amazing biodegradable paint stripper is safe for both users health and our environment. The BIOSTRIP (TM) formula is thickened, causing no drips or runs, even on vertical surfaces. It’s suitable for use indoors and in small confined spaces. And Biostrip is suitable for people to use with respiratory health problems such as asthma.

And best of all BIOSTRIP (TM) will remove all water based coatings, varnishes, primers, wax and oil based paints.

You can use this on all wood types, stone, brick, concrete, plastered surfaces and plastics. Our 500ml bags will cover upto 3 meters squared of surface.

Cornish Milk Bioclean

If you don’t need a complete paint stripper, but want to ensure you have a clean and grease-free surface then you can opt for Cornish Milk’s Bioclean.

Cornish Milk’s unique plant-based furniture and hard surface cleaner powerfully removes dirt, grease, grime and odours such as tobacco. It has a powerful bio/eco-friendly formula and has been made from 100% plant-based and biodegradable ingredients. It’s economical, solvent-free, chemical-free and VOC free.

If you don’t have wax or a thick layer of paint or varnish to remove a scuff sand might be enough to key the surface before you paint. Before you sand it’s important to give a degreasing clean. If this isn’t done before sanding dirt, grime and oil may be pushed into the wood grain which can prevent paint adhering to the surface.

Fleur Paint Citrus Wax Remover

This is a super simple product to use if you need to remove wax from furniture or brushes. With a great citrus scent, this wax remover from Fleur Paint is a joy to use!

Fleur Paint Universal Cleaner

This easy to use cleaner from Fleur Paint is water-based, also ideal for cleaning brushes and tools. Ecological and based on mineral salts, it eliminates solidified dirt. Useful for removing labels from containers and, if nebulized in the environment, acts as an odour absorber.


It’s not uncommon to find holes, dents and damage when upcycling old furniture. A good quality filler ready to go is great for making sure you have that smooth, luxe finish once you’re done.

Sandpaper or electric sander

Here you will want to think carefully about the surface and being careful with your piece. We have some great sanding products if you want to sand your piece by hand. These fantastic Sandi Hand cotton gloves make it so easy to get a super smooth finish on even the trickiest pieces.

Sandi Hand - Cotton Glove women -Home Revival

Coming up next..

Your furniture is clean and ready for paint! The Upcycling Trading Company’s guide to eco-friendly and professional-quality paints, brushes, rollers and more…

If you’d like more tips and tricks be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest. And of course, we’d love to see your projects, so please tag away!