Upcycle | Rangemaster Rennovation

Last month I showed you guys the makeover I did on my sister’s kitchen cabinets and at the end of the post, a few of you might have noticed my comment about her oven. The Rangemaster in her kitchen was inherited when they moved in and was a gloss bottle green with gold features. Not that I don’t like green (it’s actually one of my favourite colours) but it just didn’t go well with the new decor. So I searched the internet for ideas and decided I wanted to spray paint it to a more modern finish.

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There are lot’s of options available to you if you want to upcycle your oven but I chose the Rust-oleum BBQ & Oven spray paint as it said it was heatproof up to 650 degrees celsius whereas a lot of the other paints didn’t specify. I bought 2 bottles just in case and began my prep work.

Luckily, the oven had already been cleaned so it was ready for painting straight away. I removed the doors off the main assembly and the drawers. I used masking tape to cover the handles and the glass sections of the doors which I didn’t want to spray and then laid everything out on a dust sheet. When using spray paint it is important to wear a mask to protect yourself. I then shook the spray paint can as directed on the instructions and sprayed fine even strokes over the doors. I did a very light coat to start with and then after 20 minutes did another coat. So that I didn’t get paint splodges everywhere I made sure I was doing lots of little coats rather than one thick one.

All in all, it took about 4 coats to get the finish I wanted. I then left the doors to dry for a full 2-3 hours until they were ready to go back onto the oven. I then screwed everything back on and took the masking tape off the handles. It’s important to note that it take a full 24 hours to cure until you can use the oven again. The matt black finish now looks so much better than the bottle green it was before. My sister was so happy with the final result and so was I. It has brought a new level of sophistication to the room and blends so much better with the grey cabinets around it now. This was definitely one of the more riskier projects I have done but I am very glad I took the plunge as it is so worth it when you see the final product!

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Upcycle | Kitchen Cabinet Makeover

A few weeks ago my sister moved into her new house that she’s purchased with her boyfriend, huge congrats to them! They snapped up a gorgeous period property with a lot of character. Sadly, the previous owners had neglected it somewhat and it clearly needed some TLC. The room she wanted to tackle first was the kitchen. The units and cupboard doors were actually in very good condition. The only issue was that they had been painted with a white kitchen and bathroom emulsion paint so they weren’t in the best state. I knew that my sister wanted grey cabinets so we popped into town, bought the necessary tools and set to work on a Saturday lunchtime.

I usually work with chalk paint when upcycling furniture but as these were kitchen cupboards I knew we needed to work with a gloss paint so that they were more hard wearing and could be wiped clean when needed so my sister settled on the Wilko Mineral Stone cupboard paint. I firstly removed all the cupboards off the frames and took all the handles off. I then sanded down all the cupboard fronts as there were large splodges of paint and dirt that needed to go. After a brush down they were ready for painting. I applied the first coat with a foam roller and then used a 50mm brush to paint in the corners where the roller wouldn’t reach. They needed a good 6 hours to dry so we left them outside until the evening. We then applied another coat to the fronts of the cupboards and bought them inside to dry completely overnight.

Whilst the cupboards were drying we painted the frames of the units using a brush on the smaller sections and a roller on the large end panels. We only did one coat of this at the end of the day as we didn’t want a lot of dust being kicked up into the air and disturbing the finish of them. We then finished off with a second coat the next day.

Early the next morning we painted all the sides of the cupboards using a brush and left them to dry until about mid-morning. We then painted the insides of the cupboards using a brush for the cornering and a roller for the main area of the doors. Whilst they were drying I decided to tackle the brass handles that were originally on there. These were in good condition and apart from looking a little dated there was nothing wrong with them. There was 18 of them all together so buying new handles wasn’t an option when they can be £1.50 each and upward. Using my trusty old friend spray paint I set to work. My sister wanted a chrome finish to the handles so we bought this spray paint to use. After a light sand to clear the surface of debris, we laid all the handles out onto a dust sheet and sprayed them with an even coat. Once that was dry we then sprayed the underside of them too. Because the old screws were brass as well we decided to buy new ones at £1 for a large pack. The handles came out really well in the end and we were satisfied that they would fit in better with the new cupboard colours.

In the afternoon, once the cabinet doors had had 4 hours to dry fully, we began reattaching the handles. We then attached the cupboard doors back onto the frames and put everything back together. That was pretty much everything we needed to do for the cupboard makeover as using this paint you don’t need to varnish the furniture as it will cure and harden after 3 days. Now the kitchen has had a face lift my sister feels so much better about the whole room in general. I am so pleased with the effort put into this DIY and how fabulous the outcome is. It certainly looks better already and we can now tackle other areas of the room like that oven…

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Upcycle | Office Chair

If you follow me on Instagram then you will know that I am in the process of redecorating my spare bedroom. Fear not, once it has been completed there will be a blog post but in the meantime I thought I would post about each of the little bits I have done individually and then finish off with a room reveal! Part of the new bedroom needed to have a dressing table for me to store all my make-up and beauty bits and a desk for my other half to work at in the evenings. I will put up a post very shortly about these two items but before then I will tell you about the office chair I managed to upcycle for my boyfriends desk.

I don’t feel like office chairs are stylish enough these days and if you look for one online you will often find the leather tall backed ones with their cumbersome wheels and stands. However, I had seen a beautiful office chair on made.com but unfortunately I didn’t have the £200 spare to pay for it! I was looking at something a little like the below chairs.

Looking for a new project I trawled through eBay and Gumtree desperate to find an office chair I could do something with but I was having no luck. That’s when I saw the perfect project for me in a chair from Asda. It was £39 brand new and had removable cushions which meant I could do something with it and if I couldn’t then I hadn’t broken the bank. I decided to purchase the chair and let my other half build it – I know I am so very kind! Once built, he confirmed it was comfortable enough to work in our spare bedroom for him so I started talking through my ideas for it. He agreed I could go with a blue and copper theme, in keeping with the bedroom’s decor but still with a masculine feel to it. So I set about planning…

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I wanted to originally dye the cushion sections of the chair in a dark royal blue but I discovered that I couldn’t actually remove them so went to plan B. This was to use a fabric spray paint to dye the chair instead. I had read good reviews of this paint and settled on the Caribbean Blue colour. It was a bit lighter than I wanted but thought it best to go light and then I could always spray it darker if I wanted to. The paint arrived and I set to work spraying the fabric areas of the chair all over. When using spray paint it is always best to do the first spray on a piece of paper as it always comes out a bit spluttered. Using even strokes I sprayed the chair all over and then left it for 48 hours to absorb into the material fully. I then sprayed another coat and by the time I was done I had used the whole can. Once this second coat had dried I was really happy with the colour and consistency of the dye. The only thing was this blue didn’t quite go with the chrome legs it was resting on so next I tackled the base.

Using a copper spray paint (can you tell how much I love spray paint?) I turned the chair upside down and covered the fabric areas with a dust cloth. I then sprayed in even strokes the copper paint onto the legs of the chair. I did this in stages, making sure I turned the position of the chair around each time I painted so that all areas of the chair were covered. You might need to turn it upside down again to ensure it is all covered by the paint. With the copper spray paint I use, you can leave it only 20 minutes between coats so I was able to do the whole application in one evening.

Once I had sprayed the legs of the chair I was much happier with the result and my partner was impressed too! It just goes to show that functional doesn’t have to be boring and you really can spruce anything up!

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Farmhouse Table & Chairs – The Update

A few weeks back I posted about my farmhouse table and chairs upcycling project and you all loved it! Well I have a little update for you as I recently purchased 2 farmhouse style carver chairs to go at the end of my dining table. I managed to get these off Facebook for a mere £30 for the pair and the plan was to paint them in a different colour to the other chairs so that they would be an accent piece to the room. As they would be going in our conservatory which is quite neutral, I chose to go for a Duck Egg Blue colour to match the walls of our kitchen so that some of the theme from the kitchen would carry through to the conservatory. I bought my paint and then set to work.

The chairs themselves were in pretty good condition and didn’t need sanding all over just on the bottoms of the legs where they were a bit scuffed up. After a light sand on the legs, they were ready for painting. For this project I went with a larger 50mm Harris brush as there was a lot of surface area to cover with the chairs. For the first coat I painted it quite thinly as I didn’t want there to be lot’s of drips of paint or clumps of it so I thought a light coat for the base would be better in this case.

Once the first coat had dried I sanded it down with a sanding pad very finely. I never used to do this but I did it on another project and got much smoother results so I now sand down my projects between each coat of paint as the overall finish is of a much better quality. I then painted the second coat in the same way as the first. When painting items like chairs it is always best to paint from the legs upwards. I usually flip my chairs over onto a table so that any drips of paint go up towards the underneath of the chair where they won’t be seen.

Once the second coat had dried, I buffed it with my sanding block again. To finish the chairs and protect them from future damage I then applied a few light coats of clear matt varnish as I always do. I prefer varnish to wax as it is more durable and furniture such as chairs get so used over their time that I didn’t want to be doing touch ups every week. When the chairs were finished I put them at the end of my table and admired them. I was so happy with them but something just seemed off. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but then I realised that the existing chairs were not painted all over and some of the pine was exposed which was throwing my blue chairs off as there was just too much going on!

So I then got my trusty Antique White paint out and set to work painting over the pine sections of my other chairs so that they were white all over. Using the same method as above I painted two coats and sanded between and then applied two light coats of varnish. Once they were all done I was so much happier with the overall look! It’s important to remember that when you do projects at home you might come across things you don’t like or your original plan hasn’t quite worked out and this is more than okay. I am constantly looking at things I am not 100% happy about and changing them until I am. These little details are what make a house a home. Let me know if you love my new chairs as much as I do and if you are looking forward to the next post!

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Upcycle | Hostess Trolley

In the preparations up to last Christmas one of our trickier tasks was working out how to keep all of our food warm for the Christmas day dinner for 9 people. We looked at using an electric plate warmer so the plates were warm but that didn’t help us when it came to the food. However, a family member told me about these old school hostess trolleys that were used a lot back in the 50’s and 60’s. They are small cabinets that are heated to keep food warm so that you don’t have to hold the space in the oven. Well as soon as I heard about these I wanted one. I set about my usual search on Facebook, eBay and other platforms until I found one I liked on Gumtree. There are a few designs out there but the one I settled on looked just like a sideboard but it was heated so I went and picked it up from Amersham and started planning how I wanted it to look.

I already had my beautiful pine table and chairs and wanted this to still remain as the central piece of furniture in the room so I had to come up with an idea for this cabinet that would make it fit in but also stand out as it’s own piece as well. As it was heated and not just plain wood I didn’t feel comfortable sanding it down so I looked for a paint whereby it didn’t require sanding prior to painting. I’d heard about Annie Sloan paints before but never used them. I decided to give it a go and purchased a tub of the brilliant white as my table is white and I wanted the two pieces to go well together.

The first thing I did was to take the doors off along with the hinges and remove the trays from the top of the cabinet so that I was working with a blank canvas. I then gave the whole unit a clean ready for the first lick of paint. I began by painting the sides of the unit and then working my way around it until every section of the wood veneer had been painted. I also did the same with the cabinet doors and then left the whole thing to dry. After a second coat in the same areas the bulk of the project was done.

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I then needed to decide what to do with the top. Although the cabinet was going to be used to keep food warm, I also wanted it to work for me when it was switched off so that it had more than one function. I had some leftover marble contact paper and wanted to work it into this project so I decided to use it for the top of the cabinet so that when it was closed it looked more like a bar than a serving hatch. Happy with the marble paper on the top I needed to finish off the edges. I had some bronze paint lying around that wasn’t being used so using a tapered brush I lined the edges of each half with the bronze paint so that it looked more finished.

Happy with the rest of the cabinet I began finishing the doors so that I could start using this beauty. To continue with the marble and copper theme that I also have running through the rest of my room in other areas, I used the contact paper on the front of the cabinet doors and changed up the door handles to some far more modern copper knobs. Once I had put the unit back together I gave it a coat of furniture wax to keep it protected and then stood back and admired my handy work!

I am so incredibly proud and pleased with this purchase and project and everyone has commented on how gorgeous it looks in the corner of my conservatory. I placed an accented lamp and a copper ice bucket on top of my cabinet so that it brought out some of the features in this individual piece. Please let me know what you think of it and how you would have done it if you were me!

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Upcycle | Farmhouse Table and Chairs

One of the first pieces of furniture we bought for our house was our 6 foot dining table and 4 chairs to match. We managed to find these in a charity warehouse nearby for a bargain price and got them delivered the next day. The table was a traditional pine farmhouse style table and was very sturdy so we knew it would suit us well. the only complication was that it was a bit scratched up and heavily laden with coats of orange varnish. Knowing in the shop that it was solid wood, I had big plans for this new purchase and so began the largest upcycle I’ve ever done…

First things first, we needed to get rid of all that thickly painted varnish that just didn’t go. To do this we used a sanding mouse and just sanded to our heart’s content in the direction of the grain of the wood. To do the top of the table it took us about 2 hours because it was so heavily varnished. To sand down the legs of the table and the chairs we used sandpaper and a sanding block as a sanding mouse is too cumbersome to get into all the little nooks and crannies of the design.

Once we were happy with the finished look of the wood, we wiped everything down with a damp cloth and let the dust settle overnight. The next step was to paint the table and chairs to bring it up to a more modern standard. As the table was going in our conservatory that has quite an neutral theme, we went for a white chalk paint. White is easy to use as it goes with so many other things and using a chalk paint with a farmhouse table works well as it gives it that used look like it’s had a good life. We decided to paint only the legs of the table and chairs and then the top part of the backs of the chairs so that some of the natural wood came through as it is such good quality. Each section took two coats of paint with about 4 hours drying time in between.

After all the painting was done we varnished the painted areas with a clear matte varnish just to protect the wood from bumps and scratches over it’s life time. I did two coats of varnish on the legs and only one on the backs of the chairs as this area wouldn’t see as much usage. We left the rest of the chairs varnish free to give it a natural look and did the same with the top of the table. The only thing we did do differently with the table top however was that we oiled it with a clear mineral oil to protect the surface. My oil was from IKEA but you can get them in any decent DIY shop. The good thing about these oils is the wood soaks them up and stops the wood from cracking over the years. They are clear so don’t ruin the finish of your furniture and so easy to apply. You just rub it in with a soft cloth and leave it for about 24 hours.

Once this project was finished (after many weekends of hard work) we were so pleased with it. It is such a focal point to the house and everyone who sits at it says it is beautiful and sturdy too. Let me know what you think of the finished piece and whether you’ve upcycled your own dining table.

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Upcycle | Kitchen Bar Stools

One of my favourite things about our kitchen is the lovely wooden bar we have at one end of the room. This space is so useful for kitchen appliances, prepping meals and having late night conversations over a bottle of wine.

Of course, we needed something to sit on in order to have these drunken conversations in our kitchen which meant the need for some bar stools. I’m not a fan of the chrome gas peddled bar stools and besides they would not have fit in well with a “Country Kitchen” theme. Therefore I set about scouring the internet for some stools to keep me busy.

I stumbled across a pair of pine bar stools on eBay that I knew would fit in well with the rustic decor we had. I set about sanding them down all over so that the surface of the stools was rough and meant the paint/varnish would adhere better. I then wiped it down with white spirit to ensure no debris was left.

Here I was troubled with a dilemma. What colour to paint the stools? Our kitchen cupboards are cream, one main feature wall is blue and our other three walls are white. I thought the best option would be to start with a layer of white furniture paint and go from there. I originally wanted to paint the whole stools the same colour but after painting only the legs I really liked the look of it and decided to leave the top halves as natural wood.

Once one coat of white was applied and dried, the stools just didn’t quite look right. So I decided to continue with cream. I used this paint for my stools as I wanted a matte look due to the finish on our kitchen cupboards and fixings. After two coats of cream paint they looked ready to go. I then just needed to decide what to do with the top sections.

I have always liked the colour of natural oak so it was only appropriate to try and do it this colour with a wood stain. After it had dried I was really pleased with it and against the natural wooden worktop it looked really good. All that was left was to apply a coat of clear varnish to protect the wood and they were good to go.

Overall they fit into the decor of the kitchen very well and since being done we have had a huge amount of use out of them. We get comments on them all the time about how well they fit in with the general theme of the room and they come in extremely handy when we have visitors round and always tend to congregate in the kitchen! Let me know what you think by leaving a reply below.

Materials used:

White furniture paint

Cream furniture paint

Clear varnish

Oak stain

Upcycle | Kitchen Memo Board

Like any organisational freak, I love a good ol’ list. Something better than a list however is a big board for all your lists! My love of lists and all things organisational is the reason why I was so keen to get a memo board up in the kitchen. I didn’t want just any functional memo board though, I wanted it to look good as well.

Originally, I had my heart set on making my own from scratch but after finding one at the back of my local Home Sense store for a mere £20, I couldn’t resist. It had all the features I was looking for, a blackboard on one side, and pin board on the other. I’m not a huge fan of wipe boards as they can look too school-like but blackboards are so retro that it just works! The only problem with my fabulous find was the dark blue boarder around the edge. We have a duck egg blue wall in our kitchen that this board was intended for but the dark blue edging just didn’t work well with it. The blue ribbon on the pin board side was a fairly good match but I can’t think for the life of me why they didn’t paint the boarder the same colour?

Therefore, I got my thinking cap on and decided to make it work somehow as I was not going to be defeated that easily. The cupboards in our kitchen are cream and the board was going up onto a blue wall which meant that cream would help make it stand out nicely. For a moment I thought of painting it white but I couldn’t visualise it properly so stuck with the cream.

I like to use this paint for my projects as it goes on so smoothly and has such a nice chalky finish which I knew would work well against the blackboard. Luckily, both sides of the memo board were screwed onto the boarder so could be removed quite easily, saving me a lot of time rather than having to masking tape off the area. After removing them I sanded the frame lightly and gave it a wipe down using white spirit. I then applied two coats of paint until I was happy with the colour. I usually like to seal the furniture I’m painting with a clear matt varnish like this one to protect it. However, as this board was going to be hung on a wall, I didn’t think it was necessary.

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Overall, the new colour works so much better with the kitchen, i’m just slightly annoyed I didn’t take any before pictures now! I think memo boards like this one are a great tool for breaking up a large piece of space where you don’t want to hang any pictures or art work and they come in extremely handy for the weekly shop!

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Upcycle | Copper Wine Rack

When my partner and I bought our first home back in December 2015, one of the first purchases we knew we would have to make was a big ol’ wine rack! However, wine racks that not only look good but function correctly are in excess of hundreds of pounds. We really had our hearts set on a cast iron one much like this one, but as you can imagine it isn’t exactly purse friendly for someone who’s just bought a house! Therefore, I knew I’d stumbled across a bargain when I found this cast iron wine rack that holds 15 bottles in the back of the charity shop.20160827_184554 It was an absolute steal at £8 and all it needed was a lick of spray paint. For this, I used a Copper coloured spray paint as it was going in our Conservatory (where we have embraced an industrial/natural material theme). All in all, it was an easy, quick and very cheap DIY project at a mere £11. It fits perfectly under our stairs now as when Summer came around the wine was getting considerably warm! We get so many compliments on it and even though it was easy on the purse strings it certainly doesn’t look that way.IMG_20160827_185810