Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Step by Step Guide to Upcycling a Cupboard

I put a before and after photo of an upcycling project on my blog at the weekend and have been overwhelmed by the lovely comments and queries about it- thank you.

So as requested, here is what I did. I'm afraid I don't have any "during" pictures but I can tell you what I did and what I used.

I've already decided that the kitchen/dining/ family area in the new house will be soft neutrals.
I'm a huge fan of Laura Ashley, and have acquired lots of inspiration, and a rather long wishlist from their latest catalogue.

I love this cupboard. It's made from reclaimed wood and I've had it a few years, having bought it second hand. It's large and rather chunky and I thought I may have to sell it, because the new house (into which we hope to move within the next month or so) is a lot smaller and is modern, compared to the current house which is spacious and a barn conversion.
So I decided to get Laura Ashley paint and wallpaper and see what I could do.

The cupboard had a waxed finish so I used a sugar soap spray to remove all oils, waxes and grease. I wiped it off to leave a clean surface.
The whole cupboard needed a light sanding and then wiping down.

I used Laura Ashley emulsion in pale twine. A 2.5L pot was more sufficient for the three coats it took.

Because the panels on the doors are grooved, I cut a template from card which I then covered with wallpaper. I then used wallpaper paste to stick the cardboard on to the cupboard doors.

The wallpaper is "Oakshaw" in truffle and I think it's absolutely beautiful. I do love acorns.

I painted and wallpapered the inside. I stuck the wallpaper on directly with wallpaper paste. 

For the panels on the inside of the doors, I got a 100ml sample pot in truffle. It was actually a little darker than I wanted, so I mixed some of the pale twine with it until I was happy with the colour.

And finally, I added a pair of ceramic "Hannah" door knobs.

I haven't painted the internal shelves and I don't know whether to or not.

I'm so pleased with how it turned out. The materials would have cost about £100, including paint brushes, tray and the sugar soap. However, I everything I got from Laura Ashley had a 30% discount so was probably nearer to £70.
It took a good few days, but I now have a unique piece of furniture for our new home.
I have great plans for this cupboard in its new guise as a larder.

And this another much smaller project. I didn't take any photographs before I upcycled it, but this Lloyd Loom sprung nursing chair was, (again, Laura Ashley), duck egg blue with floral fabric.

I used the same pale twine paint and got a metre of Chiltern Floral fabric to cover the seat of which I needed less than half.

Love Liz x

The mid-season sale is currently on at Laura Ashley with some great offers on paints, fabrics, home accessories and furniture, so it's a great time to buy if you fancy a project of your own.



  1. I am seriously impressed with this transformation. And particularly clever to do the cardboard panelling trick! This was the kind of thing I would have attempted more of when I had a cottage but I don't feel my current house (new build) lends itself as well to this style anymore so I've had to adapt my style along the way. I did take my hubs old pine bookcase and did a off-white paint job on it (horrified husband) and then put it in one of my boy's bedrooms where it has been ever since and very useful it is for all books and anything else. I love a bit of upcycling.

    Despite everything that's happened, there's something nice about having a fresh start and being able to get your teeth into putting something like a new home together isn't there?

    1. Ah, thank you Sue x
      You're right yes. I'm so looking forward to having a blank canvas to make my own! x

  2. Loves this post. Fantastic job Liz. I shall look forward to seeing what you do with your new home I love a bit of interior design... Along with clothes. Lucy :-)

  3. Love this, I think the shelves make a nice contrast.

  4. absolutely gorgeous! I'd never think to do something like this but I might have to try a similar project in future! Can't believe how nice it looks for a DIY type job, you must have a hidden talent :)

  5. Fantastic job..given me the inspiration to do the same with an old 'lion the witch and the wardrobe' wardrobe in need of up cycling..thank you .

  6. This is brilliant. I recently up cycled an old chair by painting it with Annie Sloane chalk paint and reupholstering it with white and grey toile fabric. It looks amazing. I love the Laura Ashley fabric used on the Lloyd Loom chair

  7. This is brilliant. I recently up cycled an old chair by painting it with Annie Sloane chalk paint and reupholstering it with white and grey toile fabric. It looks amazing. I love the Laura Ashley fabric used on the Lloyd Loom chair


I love receiving your comments. Thank you so much for taking the time, Lizzy xxx

© What Lizzy Loves. All rights reserved.
Blogger templates by pipdig