Wednesday, 1 October 2014

DIY/ UPCYCLING: Chunk's Chest of Drawers

Practical things that involve using my hands and that thing most people have called patience has never been a specialism of mine, but since becoming a single mum very early on, I've had no choice but attempt to fix things and decorate our home.

Through doing this I've become a lot more confident and open to trying new, creative things on our very tight budget. Thankfully I came across so superb and informative groups on Facebook to help you do DIY on a budget and to do all things frugal.


One of the things that has caught my eye recently is upcycling furniture using chalk paint, and also using napkins or wallpaper to decoupage.

I've learnt quite a bit about what are the better ways to do these things from the thousands of people who have posted their projects on the groups and by watching the odd YouTube tutorial. So this week I finally felt ready to attempt my very first piece: Some chest of drawers for Chunk.

I found some second-hand pine chest of drawers for £15 (which were not fun to lug up five flights of stairs by myself I might add) and got some chalk paint from Rustoleum and some free Marvel wallpaper samples from a local hardware shop.

The great thing about chalk paint is that it's water-based, so there's no awful fumes which is a necessity for me as I do these things at night in our small flat when Chunk's asleep.
It also means that if when I spill it on the floor or on myself, it washes out easily just with soap and water.

So for the bargain price of £15, and a couple of hours per night for 3 days, this is what I managed to achieve:

upcycled chest of drawers marvel decoupage

Like it? I am SOOOOO proud of myself as I think it looks fab!
What's even better is that there is very little preparation needed and it hardly cost anything with the help of freebies like the wallpaper samples.
Chunk loves them because he loves Spiderman and Ironman, and I'm hoping they will still appeal to him when he is in primary school, but if not I will rip the paper off and upcycle again!

Here's how I did it:
step by step upcycle and decoupage
Steps 1-3

Step 1: Prepare the furniture by lightly sanding the wood down. Chunk enjoyed helping me with this bit! And unscrew the drawer handles so they're ready for painting.

Step 2: Using a brush or lint-free roller, use the Rustoleum Chalk Paint (I used shade Belgrave) and paint the furniture. Depending on the colour, the chalk paint rarely needs more than one to two coats as you can see in the photos above which is just using one coat.

Step 3: Once the paint has dried (which is impressively fast), do a second coat if needed.

step by step upcycle and decoupage
Steps 4-6

Step 4: Get a soft cloth or old t shirt and gently rub some Rustoleum Finishing Wax onto the wood in a circular motion. This is to protect the paint from scuffs and damage.

Step 5: Measure and cut the pieces of wallpaper and then prepare some PVA and water (50:50 ratio).

Step 6: Paste the wallpaper up onto the sides and the front of the drawers, and smooth out with a brush or your fingers. You can also line the drawers with wallpaper if you want.

step by step upcycle and decoupage
Steps 7-8

Step 7: Once dry, use Rustoleum Clear Sealant to ensure all the wallpaper is covered and protected on the unit and the drawers.

Step 8: Once dry, screw the drawer handles back on and voila!

Further tutorials

Over the next few weeks I'm going to be attempting other upcycling and decoupage projects, including Halloween glasses, decoupaging furniture with napkins, and renovating some bedside units in my bedroom, and I will of course be posting tutorials on here.

Let me know any tips or ideas you have, as I love being inspired!

For the purpose of this post, I was sent some Rustoleum products to review. No payment was received. All opinions are honest and my own.

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  1. If I was a kid I would be in heaven with this. It's one of those things you'd look back on in your childhood with fondness

  2. Well done! That hard work has paid off. Thanks for linking up to the #binkylinky

  3. They are fantastic! My 6 year old son has a Marvel bedroom, and these would look perfect in there. Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested

  4. It looks fantastic! Well done. I have a Marvel wallpaper samples that I am going to put into cheap frames for my husband. #pocolo

  5. This looks amazing! Well done x #PoCoLo

  6. wow they look fantastic i bet your son is so pleased with them well done on your first attempt they are brilliant i wish i was more creative #binkylinky

  7. And so you should be proud, these are AMAZING!! I am SO impressed. Well done. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo :) x

  8. oh WOW this is fantastic!! well done you, you did an amazing job!

  9. These look awesome you should sell them!!!

    Follow me too? Oh So Gawjess



  10. Lucas says - WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! I love this sooooooo much!!
    The Mother says - I am loving this idea so much. I am always looking at ways to jazz up Lucas's room and I so think I am going to be using this idea. AWESOME xx
    Thanks for linking to #minicreations

  11. Wow that looks fantastic - what a great idea x

  12. That is the most fabulous chest of drawers ever. Never mind the kids, I want it. Inspirational too, as I am not very crafty either.

  13. What a great idea, it looks fab #binkylinky

  14. I always imagined upcycling like this to be hard work but it looks really easy, I may have to give it a go! #triedtested

  15. That looks amazing... wish I had something like that as a kid!

  16. This looks fab - my little boy would love it!

  17. How awesome, I guess you could skip lining the drawers if you were short on your chosen paper and it can be updated to keep up with Chunk's passing favourites. With a little enthusiasm you can achieve anything. :-)

  18. WOW. I love DIY - though only when it's my choice as to whether I do it or not - but I've never tried this technique. It looks amazing. I hope the great result of this project has boosted your confidence even further.

  19. now that is such an amazing idea; and it doesnt have to be for kids either as you could use pretty floral paper.

  20. oh wow i love it, i might pinch this idea for my grandson

  21. Wow, that looks amazing, my son would love one of these.

  22. What a fantastic chest of drawers! I want this for my bedroom!

  23. I think that my husband and son will definitely love this great chest of drawers! Thank you a lot for such an incredible idea!


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