Sunday, 21 May 2017

Home Decor and Upcycling with Chalk Paint - Writing Desk


Hi all!

If you've been reading our posts over the last few years you will have seen that I bought my own house 2 years ago. It has been an extreme learning curve and I've put my all into it...including making and upcycling things.

Buying a house is generally a big deal, but especially so when you buy it by yourself - admittedly with hindsight I might not have done it but I did and therefore have had to watch my pennies at every opportunity.

It has definitely made me more talented in lots of ways though - house projects are always on the go and I've tried out many new techniques such as chalk painting and papercutting. I'm going to talk about papercutting in a separate post because it's going to take me a whole post to share those pictures, today I'm going to share some of my projects with chalk paint.


When my grandma died I kept a lot of her furniture, it was all solid wood and there some really good pieces that would be extremely useful and save me a lot of money, albeit they were very dated.

Some of the pieces were convenient to keep, others I already knew I couldn't wait to upcycle.

This is the state of my living room when we borrowed a van to get them all to my house - they took up the entire living area!

Upcycling with Chalk Paint

Upcycling with Chalk Paint

I think my favourite piece is the writing desk/bureau, i remember this being in my grandmas house and her and my dad using it all the time. I don't have the space nor the requirement to use it as an actual desk (although if I had the space I probably would have kept it that way!) so I knew my only option was to make it into something I would use otherwise it would have to go.

I'm sure if you know me well enough, there was only one option.........it had to be a dressing table! ere it is when we stored it in my nans garage:

Upcycling with Chalk Paint

I couldn't wait to get started and knew exactly what I wanted to do. Nothing too difficult, my plans involved a lick of chalk paint (Rustoleum's Anthracite) and some new handles (bought these from Home Sense).

I took all the drawers out and washed the bureau with some warm soapy water and let it dry. This is quite important to make sure there isn't any grease on the wood before painting, otherwise it can affect the finish. You can sand the piece of furniture beforehand if you want but this was in great condition so wasn't necessary for me.

I just got stuck in with the paint and switched between painting the unit itself and the drawers:

Upcycling with Chalk Paint

Upcycling with Chalk Paint

Upcycling with Chalk Paint

It took a fair few days to do this with each coat needing a few hours to dry, I left it 24 hours between each coat but obviously needed to move them around to get all sides. The drawers ended up being propped against other pieces of furniture to dry at odd angles so I could paint the next side and so on.

It took a couple of days to complete two full coats but I wasn't letting that deter me!

Once the painting was complete then came the wax, I've never done this before so I just winged it but made sure the entire piece of furniture was covered and polished as best as I could.

I also wanted to change the handles on the drawers, this required the use of a wood effect filler to fill in the holes from the old handles as they were slightly larger and had two holes each. The best thing about this filler is that you can sand it, so once I'd filled the holes and let them dry (before painting) I just had to sand the excess away.

When this was all complete I just needed new holes to be drilled through the drawers and could attach the new handles.

The finished piece looks like this:

Upcycling with Chalk Paint

What do you think???

If I say so myself I'm pretty proud of my first chalk paint project, and even though this was done almost two years ago (eek!) it's still in the same state now and only has one chip where I dropped something onto it.

Here's a comparison of the old and new:

Upcycling with Chalk Paint
In future I will need to do some touch ups and definitely reapply the polish to stop any further weathering of it but I'm really pleased with it.

I use the drawers to keep some documents in and also palettes and beauty products, the main dropdown section is used to store my every day make up, brushes and palettes so is generally a bit of a mess but that's the best part about closing it back up again! I'll add a photo in when i can take one next.

I've done a few other pieces too including a blanket chest and a set of bedside drawers to match these for my bedroom. I've painted a fold out table and plan to get some chairs from a boot sale to paint up with them for my living area and have done some other chalk paint projects with various colours. If you'd like to see more of these let me know and I'll happily share them with you.

I've got a palette project for the garden which is in progress, it's mostly finished I just need to add some more plants and flowers for some extra colour first!

Do you like home decor posts? Have you been working on any chalk paint or upcycling projects??


Let me know as I love seeing them!


L xxx


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1 comment

  1. I love it, and knowing it was your grandmothers will make it that much more special to you too. One of my relatives passed away a few years back and I kept some of her vintage furniture and bits of clothing and it means so much to me now. She would have loved seeing it all up cycled and they are some of my favourite pieces. Can't wait to see some more of your up cycling soon :D

    Abi xo

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