Technically, this post could be saved for the letter U, as in upcycling, but I’ll have to deal with thinking of something else in a couple of days’ time. Even though upcycling is the new big thing in furniture restoration,
I don’t think what I have done is really considered that when I’ve only applied a bit of paint. Still though, I have dramatically changed the look of a couple of pieces of furniture lately, and I think it is worth talking about the fact that upcycling is not something which takes effort, but can be done simply, quickly and easily.
Forever on the way to increase the amount of storage in my flat, and a lover of a bargain and reusing things, I am easily pleased with a peruse around a secondhand furniture shop. There are a few in the area I live, and most display a few items outside, meaning I’m always tempted in!
There is one charity shop in particular that always seems to sell furniture at a ridiculously low price, and after visiting there recently I picked up a bamboo dressing table, three-piece mirror and three drawer unit…wait for it…for the bargain price of £30! I didn’t even barter with them (only because it was for charity), they were just practically giving things away (Dove House Hospice on Beverley Road for anyone local).
Cheap things do come in a price in other ways though. The drawer unit was missing a handle and one of the inside pieces had collapsed, though this was nothing a bit of superglue didn’t sort out, and a visit to a market for an almost identical handle, which I picked up for £1. There was nothing wrong with the bamboo dressing table or mirrors, except for being a little on the ugly side, but I knew a bit of paint would change that.
The lady in the shop advised me that a white coating paint would avoid having to sand the furniture, as it contains an ingredient which allows emulsion paint to grip the surface better. The drawers are only made of a cheap chipboard with that glossy wood-effect coating on top – think any cheap wooden product and you’ll know what I mean. Argos and Ikea love the stuff.
Anyway, for the table I only applied the coating paint as I wanted it white anyway to match the rest of my bedroom furniture, but I added a coat of regular coloured Dulux paint in a pastel blue colour to sit on my landing. Here’s what they turned out like:
So just for £30, a bit of paint and a Saturday afternoon, I had two nearly-new pieces of furniture. The only problem is stopping myself going back every week!