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Upcycling Bookcase for nursery - made by demo

This week we've got a guest blog post from some local Ladies here in Seaford, East Sussex, who have started their own business 'made by' - see their facebook page here, upcycling furniture and creating gorgeous keepsakes and skirts.  Being interested in upcycling / recycling (particularly home furnishings, I love moving house!) I decided to ask them to do a blog post on how to upcycle something for your LO's nursery.....I'll hand over now to the very talented Michelle...

Hi my name is Michelle, and along with two of my friends we started a little group called made by... It began as an excuse to spend time away from the children to chat and sew. As our stash of items grew, we decided to sell them at a local craft fair.

Our crafting has always come from a need within our own lives first. That's how we got into up-cycling furniture as Karen had a bit of an accident at home, her hair was badly burnt by a fire in her grill (it could have been a lot worse!).  To cheer herself up she purchased some Annie Sloan paint (as you do, this is why we're friends!!!) to paint her dining chairs. Her addiction began that day and since we've all become a little obsessed with painting and up-cycling tired and unloved bits of furniture. Cheeky wipes has kindly asked if I would share with you, a little how-to on painting a piece of furniture.

As it happens I had just found a small bookcase that I wanted to paint for my boys room, so here we go... Here is the bookcase complete with sliding glass doors.

I love the little legs but the wood finish and glass doors weren't going to be suitable in the room. I started by removing the doors. At this point I would also check for any issues within the piece. Any damp/mould would need to be removed and sealed. Any unwanted holes or scratches should be filled with polyfilla or similar

The joy of the Annie Sloan paint is that NO sanding or primer is required!! Just a little wash with sugar soap and light sanding if filler was applied or the surface is very rough. This bookcase was in excellent condition so I only had to sugar soap 

Let me talk to you about this paint. It's a water based eco-friendly chalk paint. It can be used on any type of surface- varnished wood, metal, melamine and even stone. You will also need the Annie Sloan soft wax to seal and protect the paint. For the bookcase I used the French Linen grey, as the colour darkens when the wax is applied I mixed the paint with the old white colour, as I wanted a paler grey. I just mixed it in an old plastic tub until I had the colour I wanted. As the paint is exposed to the air it starts to thicken so you can add a little water to get a smoother consistency.


Next... paint. I use a synthetic large bristle brush. Annie Sloan does a large round brush but it's expensive, although the round brush is a little easier to get into the details on a more intricate piece. The coverage is amazing and a little goes along way. At this point you will need to decided the type of finish you will want for the piece. As this was a mid-century item I wanted a good, smooth coverage of paint with only a little bit of shabby chic roughing up. If you want a more textured surface don't add any water and one coat may be enough. Once the wax is added any imperfections and missed bits will become very apparent so don't be too precious and go with the flow. The paint will dry very quickly and another coat can be applied as soon as the first coat is dry to the touch.

Once you've added as many coats as the piece needs (For the bookacse I did two) the wax can be applied. The wax can be applied using a brush or a cloth. I use a j-cloth. This is the hardest bit of work in the whole process, as some elbow work is required to rub the wax into the textured surface. The wax will show any textures in the paint and some of the paint will wear back a little, again go with it, it's not a perfect finish. The paint colour will also darken at this point. In the second picture above, you can see the darker patch where the wax has been applied.




Using a sanding block and very light sandpaper (I used 0 grade) knock back some of the edges. This is going into a boys room and will naturally get bashed and knocked in time so I want it to look already aged. I then waxed a little more over the sanded areas. Sanding once the wax is applied gives a more natural and subtle finish, it also helps to contain any dust.

 Upcycled bookcase annie sloan

Here is the finished bookcase in the boys room. We love it. I've put the glass doors away for now until the boys are older.