How to go from drab to fab in 7 simple steps.
Upcycling furniture has played a big part in my life from childhood. Growing up we had a lot of second hand furniture including pews from the church next door. Big enough to sit a family six plus guests at the Christmas dinner table.
I’ve carried the love of thrifted, secondhand furniture on into adulthood and try not to buy new if I can help it. In this post I am going to share with you how I changed a chair from boring to boho.
Some pieces I’ve bought are fine but other need a bit of TLC. This where upcycling comes in, creating a new look for furniture is only as limited as your imagination. If you need some inspiration why not browse my decorate board on Pinterest.
The recent upsurge of furniture paints on the market have been great, there is so much choice!!! I will do a review of the different paints I’ve used in another post. Another way of updating tired furniture is decoupage, I’m not great at it but good enough to have the finished pieces in my home.
My favourite one piece is a pine chair that I have painted and decoupaged to go in my redone kitchen (when its actually redone). You know that type of orangey pine furniture, it’s everywhere and is very popular for upcycling.
Here it is in all it’s orangey glory.
Step 1. Clean the chair from any dust etc. Read the instructions on the paint. Yes I know it sounds a bit patronising but different paints have different drying times etc. Stir the paint well so the pigments are evenly distributed.
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Step 2. Give the chair as many coats as you need to get the desired result. I gave the whole piece a one coat with Rustoleum’s Antique White. Then I gave the legs and spokes another coat as the first coat didn’t cover as well as I hoped.
If you want a more perfect finish sand lightly between coats. I was going for boho meets shabby chic so I so didn’t mind a less than perfect paint job.
Et Voila! You have an upcycled chair. Now you can either use a suitable furniture paint wax to finish – most brands do their own or you can use a good quality furniture varnish. This is important if you want your furniture to retain its current finish and a be waterproof.
Or if you want to try your hand at decoupage, then skip the wax/varnish and read on…
If you haven’t tried decoupage yet but want to, buy good quality serviettes or decoupage paper. On my recent outing to Ikea I picked up some fabulous serviettes that had a summery boho hippy vibe. Soo me!!
Step 3. If you use serviettes remember to separate the front patterned sheets from the plain backing.
Step 4. Using a good quality glue work out where you are starting the decoupage from and paint that area with glue. I use Mod Podge to glue my serviettes down but I know my Aunt who is amazing at decoupage uses Decopatch.
Step 5. This is the tricky bit, very lightly working from the top of the paper lightly place the paper onto the glued area smoothing gently as you go. This will help prevent lumps, folds and tears.
As my serviettes are patterned I put one whole sheet in the center of the seat and worked outwards making sure the pattern lined up. I did the same for the back rest too
Step 6. I covered the whole seat and the front and back of the backrest, lightly painting a thin layer of glue of each piece as it was laid.
Step 7. Wax or varnish the painted areas and varnish the decoupaged area. I use Polyvine Dead Flat decorators furniture varnish, which I have found to have a very tough finish.
And there you have it a finished upcycled piece of furniture unique to you.
I absolutely adore the finished look and I think I will do the other 5 chairs in the same pattern.
There are some mistakes, the paper tore on the back rest and I bodged the bit behind the spokes. I don’t think it matters as it gives the chair exactly the feel I wanted.
I hope you enjoyed the post. Happy upcycling!