So many of us own a piece of furniture that’s looking worn around the edges or a little unloved. Something that gets shoved in the corner because its not ‘pretty’ enough to take centre stage. If you love the look of painted furniture, but the bank balance won’t allow you to invest in a new piece, perhaps it’s time to dig out that diamond in the rough and breathe new life into it with a lick of paint and some new handles.
Customising old furniture, or ‘upcycling‘ it is an inexpensive way to give a room a new look, hide some knocks and bumps or simply adapt your furniture to fit your unique style. So we’ve compiled a handy set of instructions, plus a useful video guide, to talk you through the basics of customising your furniture and refreshing your interiors.
Before you get started – check you have the correct hardware and supplies to hand.
Here’s an approximate guide of the tools you’ll need;
Top coat – suitable for wood (the colour of your choice, time to experiment!),
A Damp Cloth
Small Paint Brush
Roller & Tray
Place your chest on top of a dust sheet, ensuring you cover all surfaces you do not want to get dusty. Today we’re using a pine bedside table.
Take out each drawer and place aside for now so we can get started with prepping the outside of the unit.
Take your sanding block and wrap some sandpaper around it. Sand all areas to remove as much of the surface shine as you can.
Just a light sanding should do the trick; just enough to remove the outer layer of wax and residue.
Here we’ve started with the top surface and worked our way to the outer edges, we’ve switched to using smaller pieces of sandpaper without the block.
We’ve also used wire wool to really get into the smaller detail areas and edges.
You may find it useful to turn the product on its side once you’ve finished the top.
Don’t forget to sand a little bit into the internal edges where the drawers would be, this way we can also apply the primer and top coat to these areas – so once the unit is finished, the bare wood will not be visible when pulling out the drawers.
Moving onto the drawers next. Unscrew each handle and use the sanding block for the front surfaces,
You may find it useful to tear off smaller pieces of sandpaper or wire wool to work your way into those tricky bevelled edges.
Once you’ve finished sanding, give each surface a wipe down with some sugar soap and a cloth, white spirit or a tack cloth will work just as well.
The next step is coating the product with a base layer of primer.
Fill your tray with enough primer to coat the outside of the unit, and work the roller up and down in the paint tray to ensure it’s adequately covered.
Coat the top surface using the roller, use sweeping movements back and forth. Each strip may take a few rounds to cover fully. Use your paintbrush to coat the outer edges, these may need a little more attention.
We’ve used the roller to coat the flat framework at the front and have switched to the paintbrush to cover the internal edges and reach just inside the corners.
The paintbrush is particularly handy for the detailing on the drawers, whilst the roller works beautifully on the drawer fronts and sides.
We recommend two coats of primer. Wait a couple of hours until all components are dry and then add another coat, using the foam roller and brush as before.
Once you’ve completed the second layer of primer and allowed time for the final coat to dry, your unit will look something like this. Pop the drawers back in and check there is no bare wood visible.
You may find you’ll need to smooth any lumps and bumps that have accumulated on the final coat of primer. Wire wool works a treat to get of rid any grit before painting!
Now for the top coat. Use the roller for the flat surfaces and as before, use even, sweeping movements back and forth, until each section is covered.
Use your paintbrush to coat the bevelled edges and just inside of the frame. The brush will work wonders for tidying up any spills made with the roller. Allow time for the paint to dry, this may take a couple of hours. Don’t forget to paint the outside of the drawers whilst they are on the dust sheet, and the internals, for a more complete look.
Once dry, apply a second coat of paint to your chest, and the drawers. Here we have applied two coats, although depending on preference you may decide a third is needed.
When the paint is completely dry, it’s time for the final step. We’ve added ceramic handles to our newly painted unit. Simply screw each handle into the drawer and once done place back inside the chest and Ta Daaaaaaaa!…Your work is done!
Your piece is ready and it’s time to place it in the room of your choice. Accessorise it with a lamp or some trinkets and then give yourself a pat on the back and a large glass of wine for all your hard work. Cheers!
For the full video of how to customise your furniture, click through and we’ll talk you through it step by step. Keep us posted with how you get on!