Upcycling: ‘How-To’

There are two things you need to know about me. One, I LOVE an upcycle. And two, I’m stingy as hell.

I go on and on about second hand furniture being a great way to do up your home on a budget, especially when you jump on the upcycle train! So I thought I would share a quick ‘how-to’ on how I upcycle my second hand finds !

I am by no means a professional, but I do love putting a paintbrush to a beautiful piece to give it a new lease of life!

So this may be obvious to you well established upcyclers out there, but for those who want to brave it for the first time and don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place!

For starters, I would like to point out it’s so worth waiting for that perfect find. One thing I struggle with most is the patience it takes to wait for the right piece to come along. But let me tell you, it’s worth it! For example I waited months to find just the right console table for my hallway. I needed it to be thin enough to ensure it still felt spacious, but I wanted it to have vintage features to add interest to the piece. Then along came this baby for a bargain Β£35!

So to get started on this project, the first thing you need to do it clean it with warm soapy water. I can almost feel your eyes rolling at the thought, but I promise you this teeny tiny step makes all the difference to the end product. The last thing you want is for the lumps and bumps, or for the colour to be off just because you didn’t give it a good clean! For example, this is how dirty the bowl of water was after I had cleaned the console:

If required give it a quick wipe to ensure the piece is dry before starting.

I would take out any drawers and take off any hardware (in this case the handles) before getting started to make it easier for the painting process.

Next is the fun bit.

For this particular project, I used my favourite paint going: (link here)

I would also recommend investing in a decent brush, as trust me you do not want little bristles falling out and getting stuck to your final product!

Then you can go ahead and slap on the paint for your first coat! Now I would start with a thin first coat, but not too thin that it doesn’t cover all the piece. For this paint, a little goes a long way!

This is my table after its first coat!

While I waited for the first coat to dry, I spray painted the handles gold to add contrast to the final piece:

Making sure you’ve followed the instructions on the tin for drying time between coats, you can now move onto the second coat. This paint asks for around 4 hours between coats (though touch dry in 30 mins). For best results I recommend sticking to this.

Next you can go ahead and apply your second coat. Here I would apply a generous layer, but don’t go too mad that it looks cakey and sloppy. I also used a paint pad (or roller!) on the top to ensure there were minimal brush strokes.

Again, leave it to dry its allocated time, reattach any hardware, replace the drawers and voila! In some cases, if for example you have used chalk paint, I would recommend waxing it for protection, or applying some top coat. For this paint, it’s pretty hard wearing so I’m quite happy to leave as is, especially as I love the sheen of it!

I love an upcycle project because it is not only a fun way to get the look you want, it’s also great for the purse strings if you’re savvy!

However brief this was, I hope it was helpful! The aim was to show you that upcycling is as easy as that! You don’t need to spend a fortune, or to be a professional to achieve a great looking piece of furniture. I’m most certainly still a novice, but I absolutely love this finished console table!

If you have a go, make sure you’re following me on Instagram @budgethomeinteriordesign and you share with me using #thisbudgethome, I’d love to see your creations!

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