I have recently finished decorating the girls’ bedroom. Their new colour scheme is grey and white. Therefore, the pine chest of drawers and shelves looked very out of place in their lovely new bedroom. The shelves were still very much needed as was the small chest of drawers. We talked about replacing them but a) we couldn’t really afford to do that and b) they were still in very good condition.
I was also very loathed to replace them because they also hold sentimental value for me. My Mum and Dad bought them when I moved into my first flat in Ilkley, Yorkshire. Since then they have moved with me umpteen times and even across the sea and into another country. I wasn’t ready to part with them just yet. However, there was no denying that they looked quite ugly in the new room. They looked very out of place.
Now I have never upcycled before and Mr C would say that my painting techniques leave a lot to be desired. Therefore, when I told Mr C my plans for the furniture he wasn’t too sure. He may have even winced. However, I was confident that I could easily transform the shelves and drawers. After much research I realised that chalk paints were perfect for me as they are so simple to apply. You don’t need any fancy painting techniques. I chose a chalk paint by Annie Sloan.
Why chalk paints are perfect for upcycling
This paint was brilliant because it meant that I didn’t have to spend ages prepping or priming the wood. I was able to paint it straight on. Chalk paint can also be used on any kind of wood – varnished or unvarnished, plastics and metals.
How to upcycle furniture with chalk paint
A guide to painting with chalk paint
- First of all you want to put down lots of newspaper. Loads. You will be surprised how far paint can fly when you are slapping it on.
- Also check that you have a good quality brush with no loose bristles.
- I then wiped down the shelves and drawers in a mild soapy solution and then wiped them dry afterwards.
- You don’t need to rub down your surfaces first but if you have any flakey bits of paint on the furniture then you might want to spend some time rubbing these bits down.
- If you are going for a distressed look then you might want to use two paint colours. A darker paint for your base and then a lighter one on top. Then when you rub down bits of it the darker colour will show through. However, I decided I just wanted a white paint.
- Apply your first coat of paint and leave to dry. You don’t have to be too precise when painting it. You are going for a rustic look here. We left our coat of paint to dry overnight.
- The next day apply your second coat of paint. Again don’t worry too much about your paint strokes. You may even want to experiment.
- Apply wax. This seals and protects the paint. I haven’t done this for the girls’ furniture as we won’t be putting cups of tea on it etc. I really recommend that you do it though! Don’t cut corners like I did.
- Now if you want to distress your furniture this is the time to do it. We didn’t do this as we liked the look already. However, distressing is really easy to do. Get some sandpaper and gently rub at the areas that you want to expose the paint underneath. Less is more here!
- if you have distressed your furniture then you will want to apply some wax again and leave to dry overnight.
- Then the next day buff with a lint free cloth.
There you have it. Two pieces of furniture as good as new at a fraction of the price!
Have you ever upcycled anything?
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