Upcycling Furniture Challenge

Before Christmas Valspar paint challenged me to upcycle a piece of furniture using their standard wall emulsion and their primer. I was sceptical of the durability of using wall paint on a piece of furniture that was going to be getting a lot of wear and tear but went with it as if it worked (which it did, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this post!) it means that we can use up all of those unfinished paint tubs lurking in the garage/under the utility room sink. I’ve put together this little upcycling guide to show you how easy it was to change up the look of a piece of furniture and 2 months on after a Christmas of plenty of use is still looks great!

  • Firstly you need to make sure the item is completely clean and smooth. I was lucky as we’d previously had the church pew stripped professionally, this is worth considering doing if you’ve a large item of furniture that has been varnished or painted many times over the years. For smaller items or items that haven’t been painted too heavily a light sand down should do the trick. Next wipe the piece of furniture down with a clean cloth and some soapy water. Make sure the wood is completely dry before moving on to step two. Paint a coat of primer or undercoat all over the item of furniture and leave to dry fully. If, like me you’re trying to get a cool, matt finish on a warm, orange toned item then it’s worth purchasing a primer in the colour tones specific to the end result you’re trying to create. I used a Valspar primer that was mixed specifically for the paint choice I’d gone for but I’ve also used Farrow and Ball primer on past projects and that works beautifully too.LMHPEWUPCYCLE4
  • Once the primer has dried you’re ready to get the colour on the piece of furniture. Paint in thin coats to get a professional finish and let each coat dry completely before adding the next. When painting on top of a primer you should generally only need two coats, a third maybe necessary for particularly bright, vibrant colours. As I wanted the pew to fit in with the calm, monochrome look of our dining area I chose a dramatic, almost black shade of grey, this was also by Valspar and the colour is named Downing Street. LMHUPCYCLEDPEW3
  • Depending on the finish required there are a few different options for the final step. I wanted a solid, matt look so chose to leave the pew unvarnished or waxed and since it was painted at the end of November it hasn’t chipped or scuffed at all, despite being used lots over Christmas and being positioned right in front of a radiator which has been in full use. If you wanted an extra layer of protection a light varnish or wax would do the trick. Alternatively, for a more worn, rustic look you could rub down some areas with light sandpaper to look aged and finish with a wax over the top. LMHUPCYCLEDPEW2

What upcycling projects have you been working on currently? I’d love to see!

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N.B: This post was a collaboration with Valspar paint. All words/opinions are my own.

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Natalie Lockwood Interiors has been showcased at Grand Designs Live and Ideal Home Show as well as being featured in national newspapers and magazines.