Monday, March 4, 2013

Upcycling with Catherine from Paisley Vintage

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Have you recently heard a lot of the word 'Upcycling'? 

Upcycling is a close cousin of recycling which has now been declared as a trend to watch out for in the coming seasons by home decor enthusiasts. Very simply, Upcycling is the process of remodeling discarded material that is classified as waste or junk into something more useful and usually more valuable that its original form. 

I came across Catherine King's upcycling studio where she remodels old furniture with a bit of paint, interesting design ideas and a lot of passion. I asked Catherine to share her story and some tips on upcycling old furniture at home. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did! Thank you heaps Catherine!


Hi Handmade Talks readers, my name is Catherine and I run a small furniture and homewares upcycling business called Paisley Vintage.

You could say I came into this business out of desperation. When I moved into my new home a little over two years ago, I looked around to see loads of ugly hand me down furniture that wasn’t me at all. And worse, I had almost zero budget to work with. So I started op shopping, doing the curbside crawl and DIY’ing to get the look I wanted for a price I could afford. (You don’t know the curbside crawl?? During bulk garbage collection I do a recognisance past any likely piles of junk, just in case they are throwing away something I can makeover! Yes you have to put any feelings of embarrassment aside!)


After lots of encouragement from family and friends I started selling my pieces online, via my blog and via Facebook. I love finding new pieces on the junk pile, thinking about what work is needed, what colour or finish would work best, and then dressing them up and sharing them with the world. I often remind people that life’s too short for boring furniture, and you can definitely see that in my paint and fabric choices!

Today I thought I would share a makeover I've completed recently. Lucky for me I walked into one of my local op shops just after they'd unloaded two trucks, and picked up these bedside tables. (BTW - it's worth making friends with staff at your local because they'll tell you what day each week the trucks do their unloading and will check out the back if there is something particular you are looking for)




I knew straight away what I wanted to do with them; I love the ombre and colour blocking trends that are popping up online and in magazines, and after the results I got from one of my favourites I thought I would try it, but with a little twist.




What do you think?  I didn't want to go too pastel as I was imagining them in a boys room. To me they just seem to have found the right combination of boy and retro!

Here's how I did it...
* I always give everything a good clean and going over. Both had gouges and one was a little chipped so I filled and glued and sanded till everything was perfect again.

* Two coats of primer are a must! I used Zinsser because I know it works, and then gave it another check over before I start painting.

* I applied thin coats, sometimes two, sometimes three depending on coverage. 

* I finished them off with a wipe on polyurethane by Minwax. It basically protects the finish. You can also use furniture wax.     

Here it is again, for one last look :)

So if you're keen on home decorating on a budget, I'd love you to come visit me at Paisley & Polka Dot Threads or on Facebook at Paisley Vintage. Look forward to seeing you 

Visit Catherine's facebook page here and her blog here


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