Tag: upcycling

Chat, Other

Mexican pine cabinet makeover




This week’s makeover is a mexican pine cabinet. It’s not quite finished but you can see how it’s looking so far. It was originally the famous Mr Cheap-as-Chips orange colour but looking a bit worn and tired to go with its glowing tan. For some reason Judith Chalmers came to mind there. It’s that ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue’ radio show … remembering a game with a turned leg and a deep tan …. ha ha

First, I removed all the hinges and put them to one side. Then gave it a good sanding down to get the old varnish off and toothed up. I wiped the cabinet out with some damp cloths and gave it 10 mins or so to let it dry.

I applied a wash of satin finish paint thinned with a little white spirit. Let that dry then added more paint to the wash and stippled the surface areas all over.

When it was thoroughly dry (left it 24 hours), I put the hinges back on and  lined the drawers with some pieces of wall paper.

Looking good and am nearly finished. There’s still a little bit of touching up, mainly behind the doors and insides of drawers but nothing major. The next step might be to stencil something on the side. We shall see on that one.

And how much was it? Let’s just say cheap as chips on that front, too. Really want to know? €10. A steal!

Crafts, Other




Hello Dare!

Thought I’d show you my bookcase make-over. I so wish I’d taken a before shot… but I didn’t. The bookcase came from a local auction house and I paid €25 for it. It’s solid oak and you could use the shelves as a ladder, it’s that sturdy and strong. Couldn’t talk this one down, Ted.

It had a traditional wood finish, old polish or varnish  but the finish had seen better days and was very lacklustre. It was crying out for a make-over.

First I vacuumed it with a soft  brush attachment- there were a few spider exo-skellingtons in the dusty coating on the shelves that skeeved me a bit. (If you’re over six then the real word is exo-skeletons but I have a sentimental attachment to this word).

The case was sanded down to give the wood some tooth and wiped with a damp cloth a few times to get rid of the dust. I mixed up a wash with satin finish paint thinned with a little white spirit. The wash was painted on and worked, ie, brushed until it was tacky and to give a nice weathered or distressed coating. It was left to dry then touched  up here and there.

Finally, got my Cougar on the case and cut a stencil for the words ‘Read Me’ in Brock Script font. Because I didn’t want to merge the letters I had to use thin masking tape in stripes across the stencil to stop the middles of letters like the ‘e’, etc, from dropping out.

The stencil was sprayed with repo glue and fixed in place.  I used a black (fine) Sharpie to outline the letterform then painted inside the lines to fill it in. All that was left to do was fill the shelves with books and take the pictures.

What do you think? I am delighted. The whole process only took a couple of days and that was mainly because it had to dry thoroughly.

So, €25 at the auction. The paint and white spirit used was minimal and we had it in the house already. A spritz of repositionable spray adhesive… I’d say €26 tops. And to think I was going to buy one for €120 somewhere else – smaller, MDF with veneer… So, wow. Just WOW.

Still have more projects waiting. Think I’ll do the doors next.  Brand new with plain glass panels cost €159.99 each from a certain Irish DIY chain store… how much did I pay? For two of them? With pretty patterned glass panels (that exactly matches the glass in my front door) ? How about €10? For the TWO of them. I kid you not.

They’re in great nick but will need a cleaning down, a sanding and want them either given a light wash or gloss white so will be masking off the glass panels. A bit of a chore but really won’t take that long then it’s all fairly easy and quick.

I’ll post the pictures in a week or two. Or however long it takes me to finish off a couple of things I’m working on in the sewing room till I can get to them. Will this pleasure never end?!

Have a good weekend and, if you’re a bargain hunter like me, happy hunting.


Chat, Crafts, Other, Sewing


Another project on the go. We are doing up what we grandly call ‘the guest bedroom’ at the moment – on a shoestring. So having to be nifty and thrifty in lots of ways. We’re even calling a pair of new cream curtains from Penneys (or Primark as it is in UK) ‘splashing out’! Anyhow, we had this tired old headboard, a decent piece of fabric from Hickeys – a remnant at a fraction of its original cost per metre, a set of doll-makers needles (very long), some nylon fishing wire, some Fray Stop, a staple gun and some hot glue. Nothing we had to run out and buy. The technique is really easy – I won’t write up a proper tutorial – Google ‘upholstering a headboard’ and you’ll get dozens of hits from pictorial guides to You Tube videos on how to do it.

Basically though, remove the buttons and rip off the old cover. Cover the whole area with new fabric and pull  taut over the padded section. Staple down securely all around the edges. Feel for the indentations for where the buttons go, squeeze a little blob of Fray Stop in the middle and before it has time to dry,  pass your long needle and strong thread (or nylon fishing line) to  go through it and and come out on the other side where the button holes are. Staple and/or hot glue the thread tails in place at the back and continue until all the buttons have been threaded through. That’s the ‘hard’ bit done – simples, eh?!

Next step will be to attach it back to the wooden mounting board. It was wooden,  it was tired and fairly horrid so painting it was the easiest and cheapest option. We wire-wooled it down, washed it with sugar soap and gave it a  first coat of paint and will get it finished over the weekend. We’re painting it in a rich cream colour.  When it’s ready, we’ll glue and screw the padded bit on and attach the headboard back onto the bedframe. It really is as easy as that.

I had some fabric left over so have made a few heart-shaped lavender sachets, ooh la la-ed up with some beads from my charity shop find the other weekend. A scrummage in my ribbon box found a nice length of chiffon to finish them off with lovely flourishey bows. The pic shows one finished and one all nudey waiting to be gussied up. Got another few cut out ready to be stitched – three, I think.

Another junk yard find. This was a rusty candelabra. It’s been spray-painted using a tin of Rustoleum (not a whole tin!). It’s dry and I’ll be giving it the rough treatment this weekend to make it look more shabby chic. I’m not sure if I want to hang some of the fabric hearts from it (it will be hanging from the ceiling) or maybe some paper flowers and a few beady jewels. I’ll have to see how the room takes shape and go from there.

Finally, I think I have enough fabric left to make a bolster pillow. I found a great tutorial to do this online somewhere so need to go through my history to find it. Some clever person used a ratty old towel and some spongy stuff to swiss-roll together to make the pillow then covered it in nice material. She then finished it off  by sewing circles of fabric onto each end and stitching some furniture cord around the seams.

I think I’ll make mine easier still by making it longer and adding a drawstring channel at either end so that it looks like a Christmas cracker – a roll with a gather. It”ll  make it easy to wash or change the filling, if needs be. And make for a very simple sewing project. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get started on it over the weekend, if not it’ll have to wait till next weekend. A long bank holiday weekend. Ah.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...