Hope III: upcycling furniture is never straightforward

Upcycling furniture is never a straight forward road and creating Hope certainly wasn’t. Some caused by her, most caused by me!
Last week we left off and I had just finished the first coat on the front, painting the mouldings a dark, yet warm Gravel Road, blending it into the much lighter Fluff – both from Dixie Belle. So, obviously, when it came to the second coat, I would completely overhaul the colour scheme.

First, more mouldings.

This time it was time to attach some trim to the front, tying the whole design together neatly, I ran a length of the TR124 trim right along the bottom of the drawers. Alas, furniture upcycling is never straight forward my my trim was a little too large, overhanging a little bit. Luckily, I had used WoodUbend! I simply warmed up the trim when it has adhered, sliced, shaved and sanded the moulding until it sat flush with the original drawers.

a close up of overhanging trim being sliced
The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that the trim has been painted, but not in the Gravel Road we opted for the original mouldings. Keep reading on and we’ll get there. I did say upcycling furniture is never as simple as it seems.

We touched last week on form an function, I still wanted the drawers to work correctly, otherwise it makes the whole project a little redundant doesn’t it?

So, again, it was a case of warming them back up, slicing them flush with the original design and sanding them to create a smooth finish.
Slicing warmed mouldings with a Stanley knife
Painting time! As I’m a glutton for punishment it seemed only fitting that I would overhaul my colour scheme, it make upcycling furniture that little more fun, you see! I still wanted Hope to retain the aged look I was aiming for, but I wanted to inject just a little more colour into the design.

So, I picked a selection of Dixie Belle’s darker and lighter greens, even venturing into yellow to add a little brightness. Collard Greens, Mint Julep, Farmhouse Green and Lemonade would inject a little colour into Hope, with just a hint of Tea Rose adding a little femininity. The new scheme would really contrast against the dark colours of the decoupage.

The side of Hope with a new colour scheme - all part of the upcycling furniture journey
Like on the front, I created a frame with ornate mouldings, using the large 1394 mouldings to make up the top and the bottom. They were a little large as is, so they needed a little persuasion. I heat one up and just applied a little pressure on either end, just condensing the design a little bit. I held it in place until cool and then used it as a guide for the other four, two for each side…WoodUmaths!

Generally speaking, the mouldings take about the same amount of time to heat and cool – so you don’t need to be sat there for hours, just a couple of minutes.

A top down shot of the mouldings being bent so they would fit on the side. A pivotal part of this upcycling furniture project

So I wasn’t fiddling around with a small brush, trying to paint the newly shaped mouldings I elected to paint them before gluing them to the side of Hope. If you excuse the pun, WoodUbend mouldings can be painted before bending and heating, as long as you’re using a flexible paint. When upcycling furniture, it’s often much easier to paint your mouldings before working with them – it save you fiddling around after.

The mouldings were painted in Collard Greens.

Once the mouldings had been glued and the paint had dried it was time to add a little wax, opting for black Best Dang Wax which would both protect the chalk paint underneath and give the whole design depth. Whether you’re crafting or upcycling furniture, it’s always a good idea to use a little more wax than you need and then come back in and remove the excess. This way, you ensure you get a complete coverage and it really works well in picking out the more decorative elements of your design.
For good measure, I also used the wax over the decoupage paper, really emphasising the aged look.

SollyJo upcycling furniture by adding wax to the decoupage paper
Bling time! I find it hard to move away from at least some bling when i’m upcycling furniture and Posh Chalk pigments are perfect for adding a little bit of sparkle!. I’d already added the Byzantine Gold to the mouldings on the front and the ones on the sides were getting the same treatment.

Having already painted them in the dark Collard Greens the intricate detailing on the mouldings would show through brilliantly. Byzantine Gold is the dullest of the golden Posh Chalk Pigments, this would be perfect as a really bright, vibrant colour like Lemon Gold would look odd and really jar with the overall colour scheme of the piece.

The side of Hope after painting the mouldings with Posh Chalk Pigments
When upcycling furniture, when do you say when? There’s always the danger of adding more and more until the finished product looks, at best cluttered – at worst – garish. Well, it’s just a bit of experience really, i’ve made many pieces where I know I should have stopped before I did. So, get creating, get crafting and begin to feel out when something is done.

Hope was coming to an end, I didn’t want to overdo it. There were just two or three little final touches which I wanted to make. first up, a little patterning on the sides and the top with the Mystery Thorns stencil and more of the Byzantine Gold. I distressed the pattern before adding more of the black wax in order to tone it down a little – I didn’t want to detract from the amazing decoupage paper on the front.

Hope with the stencilling visible on the front and the sides
Next up, I painted to original hardware with more of the gold pigment before dry brushing with a little Violet and Green Fhthalo. Sometimes, when upcycling furniture it’s best to look to the original design and see what can be incorporated – it really adds that authentic flavour.

Lastly, I watered down a little Red Medium Cadmium Metallic Paste in order to use it as a paint. I painted the sides of the drawers in this vibrant red before adding a final touch of bling with the Raining in Paris stencil and Lemon Gold pigment. I know earlier I said the pigment may be a little much but as I was using it sparingly on a part of the design that isn’t immediately obvious, I could get away with it.

Close up of Hope with the drawers partially opened revealing the red sides and gold stencilling
That was it. Finally, finally she was finished. I think I would have gave up hope (sorry) if I did anymore. I’ve been upcycling furniture for years but this was one of the biggest projects that I’d even undertaken. I think it came out a beaut.

Hope is for sale! If you’re interested in taking this magnificent set of drawers home, contact us on info@woodubend.com

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About WoodUbend

The WoodUbend story began in 2018 when it’s founder Solly Jo discovered a new manufacturing process using wood dust. Heat bendable flexible mouldings for crafting, upcycling, construction and interior design. The WoodUbend story had begun.

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Sabine Schulz

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