Furniture Fun

Furniture Fun

With the shabby chic trend in full swing Up cycling has been the thing to do.

Everything gets Up Cycled, vintage is back and miss matched is way the only way for boutique coffee shops to look.  But aside from being popular it’s also a great way to save money.

Earlier in the year I had family coming to stay from overseas, the corner of the living room had long been source of irritation to me, it was technically supposed to be the “office “ area but I think dumping area more accurately described it.

There was a desk, that in desperation to make look nice I’d put a matching book case on top and turned into a dresser. In fairness that bit looked ok it was the pile next to it that really let the room down.

A stool with a printer on top sat in the corner on top of it piles of paperwork.

For a long time I’d had the idea that if we built a unit to fit the recess it would effectively be an office in a cupboard, neat tidy and out of view. What’s better is I could make the top look nice and finally have some where to home my turntable.

There were however several problems to the built in unit which were causing delays, damp in the outside wall meant we were reluctant to seal it in a cupboard and even with that sorted the other issue was finding someone to actually build the unit.

So with the family visit looming I abandoned the idea of building one and started looking at buying a sideboard.

Seeing as I had a large gap to fill (2 meters) my options were limited and expensive. I searched furniture shops, closing down sales and online with no success. Buying new I was looking at upward of £500 for something that wasn’t perfect. Online there was nothing that met the size I need that could be delivered in a timely fashion

So I started searching second hand shops, Facebook market place and gumtree, I didn’t worry what it looked like just that it fitted. I looked for good quality so that I could sand and paint it.

Eventually I found a sideboard that was the right dimensions but it couldn’t have looked further from what I wanted, it was dark wood with a very high gloss finish. It was however solid wood and as I kept telling my husband had it potential. So, very reluctantly, my husband (who hated it) forked out the £70 for it.

With home Up-Cycling projects on the rise there has been an increase in demand for paint to go on any surface, for fool proof paint that will give a quality  finish with as little preparation as possible; in other words cheat paint.

This is what I was looking for,  ZINSSER B-I-N SHELLAC-BASED PRIMER SEALER was recommended to me by a professional painter and decorator.

Use a roller or paint bush to apply the Zinsser primer it dries quickly ready for you to paint.

So after sanding the sideboard to give it a key we used ZINSSER B-I-N SHELLAC-BASED PRIMER SEALER this primer goes on practically any surface to give you the perfect base to paint.

It can take a bit of practice to get used to as it dries quickly so I’d recommend using it on a hidden patch first just to get the hang of it.

Zinsser retails for approximately £20 a tin but is well worth it as it enables you to paint on practically any surface.

It dries to an off white that you can then paint whatever colour you choose.

The finished product was better than I could have hoped for. We made a hole in the back so we could pass a plug though for the printer, for a fraction of the price I had a sideboard that could hold all my office equipment.

Rocking Chair Project

The next up cycling project involved a rocking chair.

Again I shopped for the product just being the right size and price and I didn’t worry about what it looked like.

I found one locally and collected it for £25.

When I got it, it was painted in thick blue chalk paint with a light gold spray finish.

The chair was wrong colour for what I wanted but I was able to quickly cover the blue with Zinsser Bin spray primer.

I set it up outside on a dust sheet and started sanding it, which was hard given the fiddly nature of it and by the end I looked like a Smurf. (I’d definitely recommend using a good dust mask )

At first I tried to paint it with a ordinary primer and it quickly became apparent that it wasn’t going to work. Anyone who has tried painting over chalk paint will understand as I painted the chalk paint kept coming back through also I’m not a painter and decorator and painting the spindles with a brush was proving very tricky.

I began to feel I’d taken on too much and that I was never going to get it finished in the little time i had set aside.

Looking round I found an old spray can of primer that had been left by one of the many workmen to work at our house over the years and started experimenting on the underneath side of the chair, it was amazing.

Within a few seconds I’d been able to apply a coat of primer that completely covered the blue next I tried the spindles, this worked so well as it gave me a smooth white finish to paint on, no bush strokes and more importantly no blue showing through.


The primer gave me a beautiful base to paint on.

I wanted a good quality paint so I choose Farrow&Ball and because I basically wanted an off white I choose Strong White, which is a white with a warmth to it.

Because the primer had covered the blue so completely and left such a good surface to paint on, I was able to get away with only coat paint.

I dread to think how long I would have been there with a paintbrush if I hadn’t found that can of spray.

The finished chair.

I definitely feel the Zinsser spray primer saved me a lot of time and made for a better finish.




To shop the rest of the look

Side table by Habitat

Sheep pelt available from Dunelm Mill

Cushion from Matalan

Lamp from Homebase

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