12 Easy Furniture Hacks courtesy of Houzz

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Wallpapering furniture – The Result

I had decided to upcycle an old cupboard, and finally settled on a fantastic Colefax and Fowler wallpaper called Snow Tree which has brushstrokes and graduations of tone in the background. As a first attempt I decided just to wallpaper the inset panels and then to do a paint effect to match the background of the paper on the rest of the wood.  I figured that if it went wrong I could remove the paper do a simple repaint…

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Snow Tree by Colefax and Fowler

Here are the results, I am pretty pleased with it.

You will need: Charcoal, Original and Olive Chalk Paints (Annie Sloan) Clear Wax Earthborn wall Glaze Wallpaper paste Wallpaper Scissors Kitchen sponge Paintbushes How to:

  • Apply a coat of base colour over all of the wood that will be visible.  Being chalk paint, I only needed one coat and it adhered straight to the existing varnish without any need for sanding down.  Plus it dries really quickly which is a bonus!
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Base coat applied to all areas that will not be wallpapered

  • Measure your wallpaper for the panel sections, give it an extra inch all over in case the piece is old and not even in its dimensions.  Cut pieces, then one by one put paste on them, wait 5 mins for the paste to soak in well before hanging, and then stick to piece.  Smooth well with a very slightly damp cloth, and cut off excess paper where needed with sharp scissors.  Smooth down well again and allow to dry.  I left mine for about 3 hours as we had the heating on.

Stage 2: Papered and painted with base colour

  • Mix up a separate small pot of a lighter version of the base colour with some white paint and water and start to randomly dry brush and streak it over the base coat using just the tips of the brush.  At this point it looks quite brutal but do not worry.  I did mine in a similar pattern to the wallpaper background.  Allow to dry.
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Rough dry brushing with a lighter tone

  • When dry, dilute some of the original base coat colour with water so it is quite runny and put it onto a plate.  Then dab a kitchen sponge into it so there is just a little on the sponge and start to work it in small smoothing circles on the painted areas of the cupboard.  This softens the highlights you made before without removing them.
  • Work away at the piece until you are happy with the effect.
  • Highlight any mouldings with a complimentary colour, I used Olive as it picked out the green in the leaves of the wallpaper.
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Highlights picked out in complimentary colour

  • Once you are happy with the piece it is time to wax and glaze it.  As the Chalk Paint is totally matt and the wallpaper had a very slight sheen I needed it to all have the same finish.
  • Wax the painted woodwork and buff to a sheen.  This creates protection for the paint, and also very slightly darkens down the paint, even with a clear wax.
  • To protect the wallpaper I used Earthborn clear wall glaze, and roughly brushed it on so the strokes again matched the wallpaper’s background.
  • And voila, the finished cupboard.  The sheen is the same all over and close up it is hard to tell it is wallpaper and not hand painted flowers:

Cupboard Reinvention

I owned a scruffy victorian cupboard, and had used it for general dumping for a while.  It looked a bit sad, so I decided to have a go at making it into something more exciting.  I wanted to turn into into something that looked like a faded old french shop fitting.  I found some excellent template signs at The Graphics Fairy.  These are a variety of french worded signs that you can print out in reverse and use as transfers for the below method.  You need to print the transfers on inkjet printers as that ink can transfer onto your chosen item.

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First of all I painted the cupboard in a mixture of ‘Mizzle’ by Farrow & Ball used on the tops and door panels and ‘Duck Egg Blue’ by Annie Sloan on the sides and door frames.  It looked very pristine and bright, but I was going to add coloured wax after so knew it would darken down when applied.

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I then used Modge Podge, (this is a US glue product available from Hobbycraft in the UK, but you can use PVA as a substitute diluted about 2 parts water to 1 PVA).  I coated the front of the transfers with it so they were saturated.  This then was stuck onto the panels, smoothed on very well on the areas of font and left to dry hard overnight.

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In the morning, I soaked the paper with water so it was sopping wet, and very slowly peeled it off.  It leaves an imprint of the print showing the right way around.  After it thoroughly dried I sanded it back to make it look faded and old, I then waxed these areas very gently with clear beeswax.  I then waxed all the other areas of the piece with clear beeswax, and then rubbbed in much darker bison wax into all the cracks and crevices.  This gives a patina of age and use.

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The finished cupboard looks so much better and it was an interesting process to try out.