Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Upcycling Inspiration

A few nights ago, Rob and I watched this short episode featuring Phil Spencer and despite us both agreeing that he won't be stealing Kirstie's thunder quite yet, we felt a sudden burst of inspiration. Now this feeling may be short-lived as we have a tonne of things to change in our house and some tasks require a bigger budget than others so they have to wait... the best til last perhaps.

One thing that did grab my attention is the use of chalk paint to revamp or upcycle plain wooden flatpack furniture. A keen eye would have noticed that they had used Annie Sloan chalk paint which made me begin researching paint on my iPad straight away. Annie Sloan paint has a really nice selection of colour but in order to get some samples I would need to find my way to a stockist which are usually quirky furniture stores, often with distressed/shabby-chic furniture for sale. A slightly less expensive alternative around the £15 mark which is  more readily available from the likes of Homebase and B & Q is 'Rust-Oleum's' chalk paint. It has several great reviews on the online stores, some even with photos which is handy. Other reviews state that the paint is too thick to work with, but providing the paint is stirred really well it should apply well and if necessary both brands can be thinned down.
I can't deny that I have been scrutinising anything which is made of wood in the living room and wondering whether I could use it as a guinea pig for a chalk paint makeover.

"Does the mirror above the fireplace need a lick of paint?"

Rust-oleum chalk paint
Rust-oleum chalk furniture paint comes in many different colours but the colour on the tin may be a bit deceiving; it all depends on the quality of the wall surface and the light.

Both brands of chalk furniture paint can be used over existing paintwork and a primer isn't necessary. I would probably sugar-soap the piece of furniture first to clean it, then give it a rub down with sandpaper before painting. Back in April of last year Rob painted our living room and dining room but the woodwork has only received one coat of paint. High traffic regions of finger marks around the television and anywhere two foot above the ground could definitely see the benefit of an additional coat of chalk paint with a painted furniture clear wax buffed into it to provide protection from grubby finger marks.

I also have an untreated IKEA bedside table which is pretty old now, perhaps first-generation IKEA that is just how old it is. The wood grain catches fluff and dust so I know it is very much untreated, so I am excited to get my hands on some paint samples before getting stuck into it. At this moment we are painting the children's bedrooms; the walls and the woodwork and by the end of the month I will probably by either sick of painting or ready for my next project of chalk painting some of their furniture. 

Unfortunately Rob is not a great fan of the distressed look.

"Why pay for something which is new but looks like someone has had a go at it with sandpaper and a screwdriver?!"

So for this reason he doesn't share my enthusiasm of browsing little furniture stores in quaint New Forest villages, fit to burst with such furniture!

The episode we watched is only around 7 minutes long but it has definitely provided me with some food for though. I'd even consider upcycling our dining table using wallpaper too, as also featured in the clip, but I fear it would only end up being coloured in enthusiastically by the children!

Hijack My Flatpack | Phil Spencer: Home Hero

Have you had a go at upcycling furniture?
This is a collaborative post; all opinions and musings are my own.


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