Moving into our house a few months ago, we have be trying to work out what we want to do with the rooms. Plans are hatched and then changed, and changed again! So many ideas, but we are narrowing them down! As we moved from a furnished flat into an empty house, we need lots of furniture. With our plans changing as the house develops, we didn’t want to buy big pieces only to find they don’t work. As furniture upcycling is something we have done before, we decided that it would be a good idea to do this again whilst until our plans were still changing. Since then we have been hunting down for bits and pieces to help make the house our home, and one item we have found is these drawers from Calum’s parents.
The drawers are Ikea made and are around 25 years old. They came back from Hong Kong with Calum and his family when they moved back in 1997 and been in his parents attic for some time. These were perfect for the spare room and were added to the upcycling project pile.
We have upcycled a few bits before and like to think that we know what we are doing to get started, but when we were out exploring the town of Whitchurch, we found the local joinery shop has an attached boutique – JuniperBo, selling some great stuff, and more importantly, offers a short introductory course on furniture painting with chalk paint. Calum was signed up and our friend Lauren joined the course, as Lauren and her husband are also in the throws of their own house renovations.
The joinery workshop is in the old Whitchurch cinema that closed in 1959. The space makes for a great workshop, a lovely curved ceiling and lots of bits all across the workshop! Lauren and Calum were making plans for a similar space (somewhere).
Nikki is a designer by trade and who escaped the rat race to do something creative for herself. This lead to the setting up of JuniperBo, specialising in upcycling, painted furniture and repainting kitchens.
Nikki took us through the ins and outs of chalk paint, how it works with wax, finishing coats, sheens and some pit falls to avoid. Thankfully with chalk paint, mistakes can easily be covered up! The best thing to do before painting furniture is to use the chalk paint on some scrap wood to get an idea of the paint; colour, finishes and how different paints and waxes work together. A couple of combinations of paint and wax later, we found ‘the one’ combination that worked for us and we were ready to start the upcycling process and paint the pieces we brought with us.
Whilst there is no need to sand the wood with chalk paint, sanding the bedside table did help remove lots of wear, a good clean of the wood with a general purpose cleaner and we’re ready to paint. As usual, painting will require two or three coats to give it a good colour and coating. Finally, when its dry, a good coating of wax protects the paint and prevents staining and loss of colour.
A few finishing touches and we have the final piece ready for the spare room. It was great to know that we had being doing things correctly and still learnt a few things on painting furniture. Well worth going on if you are interested in upcycling.
You can find about any upcoming JuniperBo courses by contacting Nikki via their facebook page