Yes, I might have become someone who actually uses the term ‘upcycling’… but only where necessary. It is what it is – I did not only recycle something, but made it better than it was originally. Great!
My boyfriend and I were just walking home with an evening’s shopping in our hands when we came across a lonely-looking, scruffy white chair outside someone’s door. Now, it is a commonly known thing in London (and I’m sure elsewhere) that if you have something that you don’t want and may be of use to someone else, then you pop it outside your door and usually, come morning, it’s gone. Magic. Bikes, books, furniture and, yep, chairs, are all popular. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
What was great about our find was that it clearly had a good, solid structure, so we were optimistic that underneath the peeling, worn paint work there would be a lovely, rich, wooden chair. We wanted to transform the old chair, polish it up and allow the classic wood to work alongside the classic shape that was otherwise hidden underneath the paint. Et voilà…
Firstly we stripped off the old paint from the areas we wanted to expose then sanded this all down so that it was an incredibly smooth, even colour. We started with a rough, coarse sandpaper, and moved to a fine one by the end. We then continued to sand other areas of the chair which were rough and would show up under a new paint job. Next, we prepared for the funky paint work – as I said, we wanted to make this better than it was, so we went for a style which was both painted and exposed the rich, orange/brown wood. We wrapped masking take around the back posts, all carefully measured. This was certainly the most frustrating part. The sanding was time consuming, but if you put a film on (or a series of Friends) then you’re set. But this line of where the paint finished and the wood began had to be crisp and perfect, it was worth taking the time to do it correctly… and we’re pretty chuffed with the effect. The bulk of the chair was painted blue, left to dry for a day, painted a second coat, left to dry for a few hours. Then the masking tape was removed and the raw wood oiled. I hope this little post will encourage others to give their old chairs a face lift because with a little time and elbow grease you really can get a great product that you’ll be proud to have around!