Upcycling An Old Cupboard

Posted on 3 min read

Upcycling An Old Cupboard

There’s been a great BBC television series here in the U.K. over the past month or so called ‘Money For Nothing.’ It always starts with the presenter, Sarah Moore, at a public waste disposal plant. She keeps an eye on what people are throwing out and when something of interest catches her attention, she goes into action. It might be a well worn wax jacket or a sad looking wardrobe that has been left to rot in the corner of a shed for the past 30 years. I think my favourite, so far, has been the half sawn leatherette sofa!

Is She Mad?

Prior to the object being thrown into the skip/dumpster, she makes her move onto the unsuspecting owner and asks permission to take away their junk to be upcycled. It’s worth watching just to see some of the expressions on these bemused faces. You can almost hear their thoughts of “What on earth will she do……?” “Is she mad……?”

There’s Always A Profit

The broken down items are taken away and supported with an army of experts from metal bashers to carpenters to bagmakers and welders, she always upcycles the ‘junk’ successfully. There’s always a profit to be made too, which is handed back to the original owner. A nice touch.

A Labour Of Love

Which brings me to my wife, Debbie and the interest that the series has sparked in her. Our neighbour was getting rid of an old cupboard. You can see what it was like in the photographs. We needed storage in our bedroom and this was the ideal item. After removing the four castor wheels and the doors, she set about sanding the whole thing down. I think many people would have given up at this stage, but she was on fire with enthusiasm and had a clear thought of what she wanted to achieve.

Paint And More Paint

The next step was to wipe it down and vacuum any remaining dust. The first coat of paint was added, Rust-Oleum in Homespun, chalk paint. Then another two coats were painted on top. Add to this a coat of the same paint in Clotted Cream. Next process was to add a distressed look to the finish. This was achieved by rubbing areas of the top coat of paint away using a damp cloth. The paintwork was then sealed using Rust-Oleum finishing wax which was polished to reveal a nice sheen.

Job Done!

The door panels, shelves and back were covered using Graham and Brown Super Fresco Beige Striped wallpaper. She wasn’t sure what adhesive to use and tweeted Sarah Moore who kindly replied that she uses diluted PVA glue. This was also used to coat the paper twice as a sealant. The door handles were given a polish and after a little help from myself, refitting the doors, the upcycling job was complete! It’s funny Debbie thinks it’s a chip off the old block as her father was a painter and decorator.

For followers of Twitter, Sarah Moore she can be found here

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12 Comments
  • Sue W
    August 4, 2018

    Well done Debbie! What a super job. I watch that program too, the outcomes are amazing. Daughter Sophie and I visited a junk shop a couple of years ago, a junk shop with a difference they were turning old into new and using chalk paint. Sophie’s artistic side was awakened and as I was a little tired of some of my dark polished wood furniture, I gave her the go ahead to ‘do it up’. Can’t do it right now but tomorrow I’ll try and show you some pictures.
    Bet you’re really proud of Debbie!

    • Trev Jones
      August 4, 2018

      Thank you, Sue. Yes, she has done an amazing job on the cabinet and yes, I’m very proud. I’d love to see your photos of your daughters work with your furniture. It’s an amazing transformation from something that may otherwise have ended at the dump.

  • Hope
    August 4, 2018

    Bravo to Sarah!!!!🏆

  • rugby843
    August 6, 2018

    Very nice!

    • admin
      August 6, 2018

      Thank you as always, Rugby

  • gc
    August 12, 2018

    Truly a Herculean labor of love. Great job.

    • admin
      August 12, 2018

      Thank you very much, Gerry. It was indeed, a labour of love and has spurred on more projects for the future.

  • roninjax
    August 30, 2018

    I enjoy seeing new life from the old. Excellent work bringing the cupboard alive with flair and beauty.

    • admin
      August 31, 2018

      Thank you, Ron. There’s another one coming up soon that I will be posting.

  • librepaley8
    September 2, 2018

    Hooray for chalk paint, it’s revolutionized upcycling. Btw, love your subtitles, the second one especially made me laugh.

    • admin
      September 2, 2018

      Thank you very much, librepaley8. Glad it made you laugh too




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