Baby & Kids

Dani’s DIY Upcycling Tips

Whether it’s an existing piece of furniture that you’ve fallen out of love with, or a purchase from a second-hand shop that has great potential, a lick of paint can do wonders. Upcycling is a great way to avoid unnecessary spending and help the planet out, so slip into an old jean and t-shirt combo, pick out some paints and wallpaper, and have a go.

Our colleague Dani is handy with a paintbrush, so we’re happy to have her show us the ropes!

How to upcycle your furniture  

1. Rust-oleum paint is great as there’s no need to prep your furniture AND they’re water based – meaning you can paint indoors (ideal for flats and those of us with no garden!). We don’t have an outdoor area, but we were able to paint the unit in our dining room (which meant it was easy to move back into place afterwards). 

2. Choose an ideal location to paint your furniture. It’s always best to clear a space and pop something down on the floor before you start painting. We used an old bed sheet that worked perfectly. 

3. Next step is to clean your furniture as much as you can. This piece of furniture was in particular need of a good hoover and a dust, but all you need to do is make sure the surface is clean, smooth, and dry. 

4. As there’s no need to prep, we started painting the furniture straight away. We gave the outside of the unit a coat of paint first, then left it to dry for a couple of hours.

5. Depending on your piece of furniture, you may need to give it a couple of coats. Our unit was second hand and slightly damaged, so we needed to give it 3 coats, but there is exceptional coverage after just one coat!

6. Once happy, we tackled the inside – taking out the shelf and painting the whole of the inside to match the outside. As the unit was originally quite dark, we painted two coats on the inside. 

7. For the shelf and bottom of the unit, we used some leftover self-adhesive wallpaper to cover it. All you need to do is cut the piece of wallpaper to size. Peel the backing off and stick it down, using something to smooth it as you go. We used an old loyalty card to smooth down and make sure there are no bubbles! 

8. Once you’re happy with the furniture, keep as it is or get creative! We used some Rust-oleum gold paint on the handle and the sides and then free-hand painted a pattern on the top section. If you’re not too confident going freehand, you could use stencils or a simple dotty pattern to jazz it up!

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