Woodcraft Supports Earth Day with Environmentally-Friendly Products and an Upcycling Program

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Woodcraft is pursuing a healthier environment by offering customers environmentally-friendly products and promoting upcycling to reduce waste in landfills.

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During a Woodcraft upcycling demo last year, attendees saw how easy it can be to change the look of a cabinet door or transform it into a serving tray by applying a General Finishes gel stain.

Woodcraft retail stores are including upcycling techniques in free demonstrations held on the third Saturday of each month.

Forty-five years ago Americans celebrated the first Earth Day to promote creating a healthier environment through the actions of individuals. As billions of citizens around the globe prepare for the 2015 celebration on April 22, Woodcraft is committed to expanding its line of environmentally-friendly products and its promotion of upcycling to reduce waste.

“Woodworking and home do-it-yourself projects often require changing the look of a surface by applying a new finish or paint or removing and replacing or repairing an existing surface covering,” Darin Lawrence, Woodcraft product development director, said. “Historically, many of the products designed to accomplish these tasks contained harsh chemicals and required specialized training and equipment. However, that trend has changed since the first Earth Day. Manufacturers are researching and developing alternatives and lower VOC formulations that are easier on the environment. Woodcraft now offers products like the Doctor’s Woodshop Finishes made from shellac, wax and walnut oil and SOY Gel, a stripping product made from soybeans, as well as a complete line of waterborne stains and finishes.”

Going forward, Lawrence said Woodcraft will continue to look for new products that are safe for the environment, as well as the user: “In addition, we support PaintCare, a paint stewardship program focusing on education and recycling of products in participating states.”

To help reduce waste in landfills and help customers save money, Woodcraft began in late 2013 to promote upcycling – the repurposing of an item into something more valuable – through free demonstrations that show how easy it is to transform rather than trash furniture, doors, windows and other items.

“Woodcraft retail stores are including upcycling techniques in free demonstrations held on the third Saturday of each month,” Vince Grlovich, Woodcraft vice president for sales and marketing said. “The goal is to introduce customers to the possibilities for upcycling and the basic woodworking techniques and products that lend themselves to upcycling.”

Sometimes a demo presents an entire project, while other times techniques are only part of a demo, Grlovich said. “Projects featured so far have been designed by Woodcraft employees, but in the future Black Dog Salvage, one of the premier architectural salvage operations in the United States, will be contributing projects that will be available to stores for demos and will be posted on both company websites.”

By partnering with Black Dog Salvage, Grlovich said Woodcraft hopes to reach a broader audience and make more people aware of Woodcraft and what Woodcraft has to offer DIY enthusiasts who pursue salvage/upcycling projects. The Roanoke, Virginia–based firm is also the focus of a DIY Network TV reality series, “Salvage Dawgs.”    

“To support this upcycling effort, Woodcraft.com added an Upcycling Resource Center to our website (http://www.woodcraft.com/media/upcycling.aspx) to introduce viewers to upcycling and announce demo topics and dates,” Grlovich said. “Viewers can also watch a segment of Lifetime’s ‘Designing Spaces’ where Woodcraft product development manager Kent Harpool shows host Aliane Baquerot how to create a shelf from a wooden pallet.”

Both Woodcraft’s Pinterest page (http://www.pinterest.com/woodcraftsupply/upcycling-diy-more/) and Instagram gallery (http://instagram.com/woodcraftgallery) include upcycling ideas, and the blog, “Woodworking Adventures” (blog.woodcraft.com/), has featured upcycling several times. Recently, the blog showed an employee’s project – updating a jewelry armoire – that included the addition of new flocking to the drawers, a technique that was later featured at one of the Saturday upcycling demos.

For more information about Woodcraft, please contact the Woodcraft store nearest you, visit http://www.woodcraft.com or call (800) 535-4482.

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Lori Haught
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