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Weekend Wonder - Trash to Treasure DIY Project

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by Angela Lindsay (subscribe)
Life is never boring with 3 males in the house and a dog. We have fun and we have a laugh, after all, that's what life is all about.Visit my blog at
Published July 9th 2014
Get ready to "upcycle"
Have a quiet lazy weekend at home? Why not unleash those creative juices and turn a piece of junk into something.

I often see articles or TV shows about DIY projects but always put it on the back burner. Last weekend, summoning the courage, with a lazy weekend at home, I decided to give it a go. An old Bali cabinet has been sitting in storage gathering dust over the years. Every time I move, it has been slowly falling apart almost ready to meet its makers.

I had finally cleaned out storage and so came the dilemma of what to do with this cabinet. I had a spot in the study for it but it didn't suit, and looked pretty daggy to say the least. Time for a revamp, or what everyone is now calling "upcycling", if not, it was off to the tip! With a clean up and a brush of paint it has gone from being an eyesore to a piece of furniture that has new lease on life, is practical and fits in with the rest of the room.

As they say, a coat of paint and tidy up can do wonders. All those treasures we have at home, no longer used because it does not fit or just no longer wanted. It is amazing too what you can find at garage sales, car boot sales or even what people throw out and leave on the side of the road, in other words, "one person's trash is another one's treasure".

What you will need:

Sandpaper and steel wool
Wood glue, pva is fine
Broom and shovel
Acrylic water based paint
Paint brushes, different sizes from large to one very small(good for painting around handles etc)
Plastic sheet and rags
Masking tape
Blackboard paint (I decided to paint a blackboard on one side of cabinet)
Small paint roller


To start give piece of furniture a good wipe down and dust, dusting away any cobwebs and bugs lurking around.

Fix/glue any parts that need replacing or falling off.

Lightly sand to give paint a good surface to stick to, sanding off any peeling paint.

Dust with little broom ensuring dust free. Wipe over with a damp cloth.

Mask up any areas you do not want to paint.

Apply undercoat to inside and outside of cabinet and let dry (in my case I did not use undercoat as I wanted to create a beachy rustic feel and have the original wood show through).

Lightly sand after undercoat and dust.

Apply top coat and pay attention to handles. Let dry. Rub edges back with steel wool if need to.

Tape up area for blackboard.

Paint edges of blackboard with brush and use roller to apply blackboard paint to board. Let dry and coat 2 more times.

The result: I am quite proud of my fresh, functional cabinet to stow my bits and bobs The world is your oyster as to what colours you choose, I chose white to create a relaxed beachy look in our study.

Other ideas include stencilling letters or adding sheets of music, words or pictures (seal, glue and then paint over.). My tip - take your time, don't rush and give it a go!

I am now looking forward to my next project, an old outdoor two-seater, picked up off the side of the road, just perfect for the garden.

Anything can become a blackboard

Beach inspired
Beach inspired
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