What is the difference between repurposing, refinishing, and refurbishing projects?

What is the difference between repurposed, refinished, and refurbished?

That is a really good question. If you’re an aspiring DIYer and you’re baffled by the difference {maybe you didn’t even know there was a difference}, check out this handy flow chart. It’s a fool-proof way to determine exactly what kind of project you’re embarking on.

click on the image for resolution!

The breakdown:

Every expert has their own definition of these things. I’m not an expert, so you should probably go by my definitions. That way, if I’m wrong, no big deal. You follow my logic?

Repurposing a piece of furniture involves adapting it to fit a purpose outside of that for which it was originally intended. Like using an old entertainment center from the mid-nineties to create a badass dress-up princess station for your 4 year old. It should be noted that this can be super easy or fairly difficult, depending on the state of the piece you’re working with {how much refinishing you may have to do prior to repurposing} and the extent to which you’re changing its purpose.

Refurbishing a piece of furniture involves cleaning it up and changing it’s appearance - typically a refurbished piece with either be fully functional to begin with {no repairs needed in order to make the piece usable}.

Refinishing is a beast. To refinish is to make functional again. So if you’ve got something in a state of disrepair and you intend to make it functional, you’ll probably be refinishing it. Alternately, you can start with a fully functional piece and refinish it by stripping it down to its bones and building it back up so that it appears brand new again. This is a very labor intensive process, but any DIYer can do it with the proper equipment and moxie!

While I do a lot of refurbishing and repurposing, I’ve never refinished something in my life. I prefer a more rustic look, so refinishing doesn’t really apply to most of my projects. I’m also a little afraid of the seriousness of refinishing.

Maybe someday…


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Posted in Projects | Tagged and refurbished, refinished, What is the difference between repurposed

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