Upcycling with Decoupage and Chalk Paint

Well the charity shop saw me coming with this cabinet! Never one to resist a challenge I snapped it up, rushed home and used it as a bedside table (on big hubby’s side of course) for about three months – he’s not aesthetically sensitive like me. Then I got to work upcycling with decoupage and chalk paint.

old brown battered cabinet
What? It just needs a bit of love.

I did thorough research which mostly involved browsing Pinterest and starting a bedside table board. I decided I wasn’t quite confident enough to go for freehand painting so would have a go at decoupage – sticking paper to wood, how hard could it be?

First to prep and paint!

prepping the cabinet for upcycling.
I gently removed the damaged veneer with a wallpaper scraper.
cabinet ready to decoupage
All clean!
cracked veneer
Now to sort out the chipped bits.
cracked veneer filled with wood filler
I covered with wood filler.
cracked veneer, filled and sanded smooth ready to paint with chalk paint.
Let it dry for about an hour to dry before sanding it smooth.
cabinet painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey
Then three coats of chalk paint, in the sunshine!

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey as I knew it would cover the veneer, it would compliment the light grey bedroom walls but most importantly I had some left over in the shed from my shelving project. (I have since used the rest of it on my vintage dressing table)

Big Hubby did get a call from Hobby Craft when I was trying to choose from their large selection of decoupage paper, I gave him the options of maps, ducks or trees. He laughed and chose ducks. (I did visit The Range where the paper is cheaper but the selection was very small and the craft section is full of screens blaring out ads on a loop – I’d rather pay an extra £1.81 and not get agitated)

Deco Mache paper for decoupaging the cabinet
Big Hub was furious  – apparently they’re not ducks at all!

I then spent a very satisfying evening watching Monty Don on TV with a glass of red wine while sticking bits of paper to the top of the cabinet because, well, I don’t get out much.

decoupaging the draw front
Rip, glue, stick, repeat.

I finished the top and draw but despite trying to smooth out the paper it was full of bubbles and the thing is, there’s a fine line between rustic and s**t. This was not looking rustic. Maybe upclycling with decoupage and chalk paint was not as easy as I thought it was going to be.

front of draw up cycled with decoupage paper and chalk paint
It’s late, there’s bits of paper everywhere, Monty and the wine are gone and this looks rubbish…

So to bed, after all, I was going to have to scrape it all off in the morning and think of something else grrrr.

At some point in the night the decoupage fairy must have come and blown the bubbles away! When I woke up it looked lovely. I finished the door and gave it four coats of glue making sure it was dry between each layer. Just for luck (and because Big H has been known to be a bit clumsy)  I finished it with a coat of Annie Sloan clear wax.

Upcycled cabinet having a final coat of wax outside in the sun
You just rub the wax on with a cloth – it took minutes!

I would not advise anyone who’s a bit OCD to do this kind of decoupage as the random patterns you get with the rip and stick method would drive them crazy but I’m really quite pleased with it.

Finished cabinet! Upcycled with decoupage paper and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey.
I might have to move it to my side of the bed.

PS: I’ve started a little blog of whimsy and panic about the places my mind wanders to when I’m painting, digging and hammering. You can read my thoughts here


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