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Thread: Do We Have Any Upcyclers?

  1. #1
    Elite Member Karistiona's Avatar
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    Question Do We Have Any Upcyclers?

    As some of you may know, I recently moved into a new flat. As I'm a poor student I didn't have much money for furniture, so I decided to look into doing some upcycling. I've just finished my first project - a drinks cabinet! I thought I'd share, I have much proudness. I bought the cabinet in a charity shop for 20, it's a sturdy little thing but it was really old fashioned and quite ugly, but I thought it had potential to be something quite nice.

    So I turned the cabinet from this:



    Brown, ugly, flowery.

    to this:



    Blue, shiny, nautical.

    And because I'm queen of the nerds, this is what the top looks like:



    It's a map of Westeros, from A Song of Ice and Fire

    Does anybody else do any furniture restoration or amateur upcycling? I found it really therapeutic, and it wasn't difficult to do what I wanted to do. My next project is to turn a carpet remnant into a rug, then I've got a new walnut coffee table to clean up and stain and varnish, and lastly two grotty pine bedside cabinets to make purty. It's going to be a busy autumn!
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  2. #2
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    That looks great. This looks just fun,just a neat hobby and you get everything exactly like you want it.
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    Elite Member MmeVertigina's Avatar
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    Wow! I love the top! Great job

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    Elite Member Karistiona's Avatar
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    Thanks guys I'm such a noob, trying to pick things up as I go along so I thought I'd start the thread in the hope that someone is better at this than me and can give me some tips!
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    Elite Member MmeVertigina's Avatar
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    My husband is always finding antiques on the curb and bringing them home with the intention of upcycling them. But he works so much that the little time he has off he doesn't feel like doing it. If he ever finishes one, I will post it for you!

  6. #6
    Hit By Ban Bus! rockchick's Avatar
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    I love it, you did a marvelous job.

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    Elite Member faithanne's Avatar
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    Is that Stannis' drinks cabinet from Dragonstone? It looks awesome!
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    Super Moderator Tati's Avatar
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    That looks fab!! How did you finish off the top, if you don't mind my asking? Multiple coats of something?

    I do a bit of this stuff too, Karis. I've posted a few projects on my blog but I'd be happy to post in this thread too and bounce ideas around. We're planning on quite a few more as our existing furniture looks teeny in this house but we're utterly tapped budget-wise!

    One thing I have learned is that if you want to re-paint that cheap laminate or veneer-covered furniture, you can, but priming it with this stuff first works a treat. Then you can paint on top and seal as per usual. It's a great product for when you want to re-finish something that really doesn't have a quality finish but has good lines.

    I often replace the hardware with new as well, although I once ran into a situation where I could not find hardware with the same distance between the holes. You can always fill and drill new holes, but what we ended up doing was using rope which we tied off to make our own pulls: like so. So just something to keep in mind if you don't like the existing hardware - see if you can find a replacement the right size before doing everything else in case you need to either fill-and-drill or improvise!
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  9. #9
    Elite Member Karistiona's Avatar
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    You're all too kind

    For the top I already had the map poster so I just used sanded the top to get a good key, then stuck the trimmed map on with PVA (big mistake, won't be using water-based stuff again - too many ripples and air pockets!) and then did a bunch of very thin coats of satin varnish. It's still a wee bit rippley but it just sort of looks like an old-timey map rather than amateurish..I think

    I hear you about the budget! That's what led me to upcycling, I've found that the supplies for doing the work are way more expensive than the pieces of furniture. I actually got my tv stand for free from Gumtree, and it's cheap laminate so I'm definitely going to see if I can find the primer stuff over here! Thanks so much for the tip, I was in B&Q and they have about three million different primers and I had no idea which one to go for.

    I loooove the dresser! It's gorgeous, the rope handles are so nice. I could actually use that idea for a few bits, I'm going for a nautically-themed living room so the rope handles would work in really nicely with that. My little cabinet's handles were surprisingly ok, just round gold-coloured ones that actually look nice with the blue paint I put on. What sort of paint did you use on the dresser? Such a pretty colour, it barely looks like the same dresser!

    Have you done many bits so far? I was thinking of seeing if any of the local colleges do any courses on furniture stuff, it'd be nice to learn how to do things properly. I'd love to turn my hand to reupholstering some dining chairs but that seems a tad bit advanced for now.
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  10. #10
    Elite Member palta's Avatar
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    That looks great! It looks so much better in blue.

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    Super Moderator Tati's Avatar
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    I was thinking the same, I would LOVE to take a course on reupholstering! The paint on the dresser was just interior latex in some colour I once thought I would paint a room in and never did. And then I think I used two coats of latex varnish (Varathane? Probably?) on top. Your hardware is great, I would have kept that too. I was just so surprised as to how impossible it seemed to find new drawer hardware with 5" (or whatever it was) between the holes.
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  12. #12
    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Hey, that looks fantastic! Good job!
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    wow kari, that's fantastic!
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    Elite Member louiswinthorpe111's Avatar
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    I love up cycling and just don't have enough spare time to do it. I'm a total project person. And I love stuff that's cheap.

    Pinterest has some great ideas/ tips on up cycling and refinishing.
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