A wooden dresser, bookcase, or toy box from a consignment shop, thrift store, or antique shop has loads of eco-value. One, you’re reusing and recycling a piece of furniture instead of buying new. Two, you can refinish the piece in an eco-friendly manner making it safe for your child’s room. Three, you’ll end up with a unique piece for your child’s room, a piece that you may hopefully pass down for generations. Here’s how to eco-refinish furniture in four easy steps…


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SHOPPING FOR THE PERFECT PIECE OF WOODEN FURNITURE:

When shopping for used children’s furniture, ignore looks and focus on safety. Aesthetics like color, scratches, and hardware can be easily altered, but some problems can’t be fixed. Before you buy, check furniture for major problem areas like loose parts and chipping paint (unless you’re going to refinish and repaint it). Be sure the piece is smooth with no rough edges or splinters; minor rough patches can be sanded out. Other big problems with a piece might be uneven legs, or drawers that won’t slide easily. Unless you’re a carpenter, avoid problems like this.

HOW TO ECO-REFINISH YOUR FURNITURE IN 4 EASY STEPS:

1) Refinish the piece: Take a look at this easy guide to refinishing furniture. This guide is simple to follow, but the downside is that it doesn’t mention eco-friendly paint stripper. Follow the guide, but make sure you choose a paint stripper like Soy-Gel Paint & Urethane Remover. Soy-Gel will remove lead-based paints, enamels, oil and water based latex, varnishes, urethanes, and solvent and water based concrete sealers, is low-odor, and is 100% biodegradable.

2) Prep or stain your furniture: If you’re priming your furniture for paint, the best eco-friendly choice around is probably AFM Safecoat Transitional Primer. When it comes to eco-friendly wood stains, two choices include AFM Safecoat DuroStain and Bioshield Aqua Resin Stain Finish. The primer and stains mentioned above work well, but are far less toxic than traditional products.

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3) Paint your furniture: There are currently many wonderful eco-friendly paint choices available. Some pretty options include:

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4) Add eco-friendly hardware: An excellent way to make an antique or consignment dresser look sparkling fresh is with beautiful new hardware, such as the 100% recycled beach pebble collection shown above. You have some great options when it comes to eco-friendly dresser handles or knobs, such as hardware from:

  • Spectra Decor – beautiful 100% recycled aluminum, recycled glass, eco-resin, and nature-made hardware.
  • Eleek – gorgeous modern, recycled hardware choices.
  • GreenSage Store – Large collection of recycled glass and lead-free pewter hardware.

+ indian glass knobs from j. image via jawcey

+ Furniture image via briandeadly