A big part of our store style is making old items new again. We’ve long had a staff member who specializes in refurbishing jewelry, and we also restore vintage and antique clothing, furniture and decorations. In addition to this, we sell clothing made by Q2 creations, a clothing line created by Calgary-based upcycling enthusiasts.
We’ve had a great response from customers who prefer purchasing upcycled products, so we’ve recently taken our focus on upcycling a step further. With the help of a new staff member, we’re increasing the amount of restored furniture and household items sold at Urban Thrift. We’ve also had many customers ask about our upcycling process, so we’re posting this general guide on how we restore items.
When refurbishing furniture, our number one priority is to restore it to mint condition in terms of its structure. This means replacing a desk leg that might be wobbly or fixing the bottom of a dresser drawer. After any large issues are taken care of, we move on to smaller repairs like replacing knobs, latches, and hinges.
Once all repairs are taken care of, we move on to paint and other cosmetic details. When upcycling a product, the original style is taken into account. If the look is outdated or in need of an overhaul, we search for inspiration in order to give the product a makeover. This can entail things like a adding bright pop of colour to a formerly drab desk, re-painting a wooden storage chest or hope chest into a children’s toy box, or changing a mirror’s frame. At other times, especially when an item has a one-of-a-kind look, we will do our best to simply restore the item to its original state, minus any signs of wear and tear.
If you’re interested in purchasing one of our refinished pieces, check out our Facebook page for a full catalogue of items: we upload frequent updates of our progress on certain pieces as well as the final product once it goes on sale.