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Watch a furniture repurposer turn Allston Christmas trash into treasure

Home Improvement News Renting Boston
We walked around Allston on September 1st with Amy Chenette, a repurposer at Furnichicks, a coop for furniture restorers, to find some trash she could restore and turn into something beautiful.
We walked around Allston on September 1st with Amy Chenette, a repurposer at Furnichicks, a coop for furniture restorers, to find some trash she could restore and turn into something beautiful. Lauren Foley / Boston.com

In case you haven’t noticed, there was lot of trash in Allston on the September 1st moving day.

But that dirty wooden side table and that broken stool don’t have to be picked up on garbage day. They can be resurrected into perfectly acceptable, even stylish, apartment decor – if you know what you’re doing, that is.

We walked around Allston on September 1st with Amy Chenette, a repurposer at Furnichicks, a coop for furniture restorers, to find some trash she could restore and turn into something beautiful.

Because trash can be turned into treasure.

Here are the general tips Chenette shared for anyone who braved the Allston wilderness:

1. Picking a piece of furniture to refinish/repurpose

Be sure to pick a piece made of solid wood that is in relatively good shape. A little glue can go a long way but too many repairs are not worth your while. Pick something that catches your eye.

2. Tools

Nothing ruins a good painting project more than cheap tools. Buy a good brush – Purdy or Wooster. There are so many kinds of paint to choose from: latex, oil, spray paint, chalk paint, muddy paint, milk paint, the list goes on. You can use any paint but you get what you pay for – I use Benjamin Moore.

3. Prep, prep, prep!

Clean your piece. I recommend Spic and Span or Murphy’s Oil Soap.

4. Sand.

Just scuff up the finish, no need to break your back here. Grab a medium grit sandpaper and scuff away until the piece has no sheen left.

5. Prime

You can prime if using latex paint or spray paint. A good primer like Kilz will block out any stains and any wood grain. If you are using chalk paint you can skip this step.

6. Protect

After your last coat of paint has dried you can apply your finishing product to seal and protect your piece. Similar to paint, there are many options: polyurethane, varnish, lacquer, wax, etc. An easy DIY protectant is wax because you really can’t mess it up. My favorite wax is Modern Masters, but simple Minwax will work well also. Varnish is my finish of choice – it has a flat finish and is easy to apply.

7. Enjoy

Sit back and admire your hard work!