The lockdown brought out the artist in some of us, including many of the members of the Facebook group Majorca Mallorca, At Home Together, my old mucker Nicky Stixx included.
Nicky, who many will know from her days as a performer singing live around the island, was in quarantine with her family. She used the time to not only write and release her own version of the Spanish song “Resistiré” but also bake cakes, make plant hangers, make a floor cushion for her daughter’s bedroom and upcycle these rather funky church benches. You can go to the Majorca Daily Bulletin website to see Nicky’s version of Resistiré which has received more than 6,700 views and is great viewing.
How to upcycle your furniture
The good thing about upcycling is that there really are no limits to what you can create. It’s a sustainable, cost-effective option, and anyone can join the upcycling revolution and undertake a range of upcycled furniture projects – no previous skills required.
Interior designer and upcycler, Lynne Lambourne from Love Nellie has these tips for us:
· 1. Preparation is key to upcycling. Plan ahead and ensure you have the tools and equipment needed to do the job. Give all furniture a wipe down before you start, otherwise you could get an old cobweb stuck to your paintbrush! And factor in time at the end in case you need to make any corrections to your work. Sometimes the excitement of getting the job done can mean we rush things.
· 2. Be imaginative when you see old pieces. Old ladders make great places to display plants, and old washing machine drums make great outdoor plant pots. Creative ideas can give a new purpose to something that would have otherwise been discarded.
· 3. If you see a piece of vintage furniture for sale that you like, the chances are that you can find something very similar in a charity shop, or at a car boot sale. You may even find something similar in a family member’s attic! With a bit of paint and some imagination, you can create something beautiful at a fraction of the price.
· 4. Make sure you match the era of the piece of furniture with the style of upcycling. An old 1950s G-plan sideboard will never look good painted in pastels and then distressed to give a shabby chic coastal effect. Be sympathetic to the original style – for example, a piece like that would look great painted in a bold colour, or decoupage using geometrical wallpaper.
· 5. Spend a few extra pennies on good paint brushes. Cheap ones leave bristles in your work and don’t give good coverage. All good paint brands now have their own paint brushes which work wonderfully well together. Wrap brushes and rollers in tin foil or clingfilm in between coats to keep the brush moist and then clean them as soon as you’ve finished painting or waxing.
· 6. Collect old odd socks (clean ones, of course) as they are great to use to apply wax to furniture, providing they are not too fluffy, as any loose fibres will stick to the wax.
· 7. Have fun and be bold. There are so many colours to choose from and a wealth of ideas online to inspire you. There should be no end to everyone’s creativity!
F 8. Remove old drawer knobs first so you don’t paint around them only to find when you remove the old ones, the new ones are smaller and you have a space with no paint.
· 9. New products are launched all of the time which seem to make the impossible possible. For example, protective outdoor paints and sprays mean that you can be creative with outdoor spaces and create the look of an extra room in the garden quite easily. Think outside the box, gardens don’t have to be full of teak furniture! There are some amazing new easy crackle glaze products out there which mean you can age a piece easily. This is great news if you find second hand mirrors or frames as these can be made to look super expensive.
· 10. Once you have finished your pieces, make sure you protect all your hard work with wax or varnish to give it longevity. After putting so much effort into making something re-loved, give it the respect it deserves by finishing it properly.
· 11. Don’t be afraid to try and get started, there are no mistakes in upcycling – only lessons learnt.
There are lots of ways to give your piece individual character. Many upcyclers choose to fade their new coat of paint with sandpaper. Focus on areas that would be touched the most such as handles. For good quality wood pieces, you could also consider using finishing products such as waxes and varnishes.
Using spray paint can be an effective way to transform metal furniture and it’s much quicker than traditional painting. Wear a mask and remove any rust and chipped paint with a wire brush before sanding.
You can buy Frenchic paint from Estudio 3 in Portals Nous.
Article information sources:www.homebase.co.uk and www.housebeautiful.com