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One thing that has certainly been hitting the Insta channels is the return of upcycling furniture. Conscious buying on our minds and thoughts of how to improve our environmental impact is certainly making us rethink how we furnish our homes. One afternoon I decided to have a look around the local furniture Charity shops to see what I could try and Revamp.  I have always loved Mid Century but this time I was after something that I could improve and it became apparent that the shops were filled with 80’s replica cabinets. 

I’m not even too sure if real wood was even used in a lot of the pieces that I have seen I know that the glass used was just an acrylic plastic pretending to be glass. What’s that all about? anyway a fine figure of  80’s cabinetry was purchased with plastic style wood and faux glass for the price of 20 English pounds and £5 delivery fee. I had made sure that measurements were taken into consideration and also where it would be used once it had been transformed into a delightful piece that would sit proudly in our home. Glup, that’s what I am hoping anyway. Now I’m not to bad with a paintbrush but transforming furniture is a skill, so fingers crossed.


I had already decided how I wanted the cabinet to look and where it would go, it needed to fit in with my hallway colour scheme and not look out of place. A really flat finish on the paintwork was a must and the backing had to have a bit of a vintage vibe with a splash of gold. Farrow and Ball had just released some new wallpapers that were totally up my street. I went for one of the new metallic designs, bamboo, with its elegant tapered leaves and flourishing stems in burnished gold, combined with the new shade of Paean Black adding a touch of luxury and drama. Perfect. The paint I used was also Farrow and Ball Dead Flat in Paean Black. 

Let’s get this makeover started

First things first, get yourself prepared. you will need fine sandpaper, screwdriver, dust sheet, cleaning cloth, wallpaper paste, paint, wallpaper and a cup of tea.

Glass shelving out, easy.

Back unscrewed, not so easy but yep achieved without too much swearing. Have a drink of your tea to congratulate yourself on your fine DIY skills.

Start sanding down, just give it a really light sand with super fine grit paper. And don’t let the cabinet nearly fall over as I did. Cripes nearly a disaster after only half an hour. Once that’s done clean off with a damp cloth and finish your tea.

Pop the cabinet onto your dust sheet and then stand back and think, do I mask up or just try and cut in. Now that bit is really up to you; I went for just cutting in as, to be honest, I couldn’t be bothered with the faffing about with the masking tape.

Time to paint the cabinet, I used a Farrow and Ball undercoat, and that went on a treat, the paintbrush I used was one that I had picked up from Aldis supermarket middle Isle, a chalk paint one or sash brush.  You can pick up a set for £8.97 online.


Whilst waiting for the undercoat to dry which didn’t take long as it was gorgeous outside I stripped the old fabric off the backboard. Exciting. Lucky for me I knew that I would only require one width of paper down the centre of the board. Just to be on the safe side I did paint the backboard first with the Pean Black, mainly for the edges I didn’t want any of the board showing through. I left this to dry outside as well.

Whilst congratulating myself again and drinking a second cup of tea I noticed that the midges kept getting drawn to my freshly painted cabinet, dam those little tiny annoying insects. How rude. So I had to sand a few places down again and repaint. Lesson learnt, take the cabinet inside to finish the topcoat.

Cabinet now in the kitchen getting in everyone’s way, hahaha, with me making wet paint signs just to be annoying or funny, as I like to think I am.

With everything drying nicely, I have decided not to rush it and let it just get in the way for one night.

Day 2

Wallpaper paste mixed and ready to go as per instruction on the back. Wallpaper cut roughly to size and ready to be pasted.  Don’t think you can use PVA glue if you have forgotten to buy your paste, it doesn’t work, the proof is in the pudding as the old saying goes and I had the proof. Lay your wallpaper on a flat surface apply a generous even coat of paste, ensuring you work right to the edges of the paper and that no paste comes into contact with the pattern side, leave to soak for 10 mins until pliable. Make sure the paper doesn’t become too wet, otherwise it may shrink back as it dries. pop it onto the backboard and run a dry cloth over the top smoothing out any air bubbles.  Cut to size with a good sharp pair of wallpaper scissors.

Back to painting, check over your cabinet and start on the topcoat.  I left the front of the door till last.

Now for the exciting part, re-put the backboard on and stand back and admire your work.  I let everything dry properly before I popped the glass shelves back in. and left it a couple of days before styling.

The Key to the door

I thought to myself what does this cabinet need for a finishing touch, a tassel, easier said than done, no tassels in this house, but I did find a tassel earring, so the earing has been repurposed as well.

Well, I can honestly say that I enjoyed this weekend project and have learnt to love an 80’s throwback. It stands proudly in the hallway and it’s staying there.

I've always been visually minded and I've spent the last decade working for high street brands with home and interiors departments. I've been involved in both the sourcing and also styling of shop floors and displays, which has taught me a few tricks of the trade! I love all things interiors and embrace each and every trend as they happen.

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