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I’ve come so far since I entered the Rust-Oleum ‘Make it Yours’ competition 2 years ago and won. My business is going from strength to strength and it seems giving up my career in buying was a good idea. I love that I can say my job is to create beautiful one off pieces of furniture for people to enjoy in their homes for many years to come — doing something good with things that people think are only fit to throw away!
Here are a few of my favourite projects that I have recently completed.
I was given an old broken dressing table mirror by my Aunt. It sat for months in my workshop, as I didn’t know what I was going to do with it. Then it came to me. I had seen a lot of chalkboard pieces going around on the internet at the time and thought it would be perfect for a similar treatment. I first gave it a good clean and sprayed the whole piece using Rust-Oleum Metallic Spray Paint in Copper.
Next I taped off the top section and used Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Paint in Black. I thought there was something missing, so I found a lovely stencil (on eBay for £3.99) and, after taping off around the stencil, I used Rust-Oleum Painters Touch spray paint in Black Satin to add a final touch to the piece. I was thrilled with the end result and now it’s useful again.
It was coming up to my son’s second birthday and rather than giving him presents purchased in a shop, I wanted him to have something that I had put some real thought and love into. I set about deciding what he would like and remembered he loved a rocking horse we had seen when we were on a trip to Brighton. So I looked on various websites and managed to find a lady selling a vintage one on eBay for just £15! When I arrived to collect it she had a child’s table and chair outside by the rubbish bin so I asked her what she was doing with them and she said I was welcome to take them for FREE! I was so happy, I had found two wonderful presents for my son that I could turn into beautiful gifts for his birthday.
When I got home I started to think about what I could with each piece. I decided that the rocking horse could do with some colour. I gave it a good clean and sanded it down as it was very dirty and all the old paint was chipping off. I painted it first in Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Furniture Paint in Antique White, then taped off each section and painted the seat in Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Furniture Paint in Duck Egg and the bottom section in Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Furniture Paint in Ink Blue. To finish I used Rust-Oleum Furniture Finishing Wax in Clear to seal. I was so pleased with the end result.
For the table and chair I didn’t want to paint it conventionally, so I decided as my son loves drawing I was going to make the top into a chalkboard for him. I sanded the whole top down as it had paint on it from the previous owner. I then taped off the edges and painted the legs in Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Furniture Paint in Antique White. I painted the chair in Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Furniture Paint in Duck Egg, this way the set matched with the rocking horse perfectly. Once the legs were dry I applied 3 coats of Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Paint in Black to the top surface. My son’s face on his birthday is something I will never forget. He was so excited and still uses these pieces daily which fills me with some much happiness as I know I created these for him. A good tip when using the chalkboard paint is once dry use a piece of chalk to rub all over the board section and rub off, this seasons the board before you write your messages on it.
Finally, a customer came to me looking for something a little different — “Not just your ordinary chest of drawers”. I managed to find these gorgeous vintage style drawers in a charity shop for just £30! We decided to go for a lace effect design using Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Furniture Paint in Belgrave and Rust-Oleum Metallic Spray Paint in Bright Gold.
I first gave the drawers a good clean using sugar soap as they were very dirty and smelly! The drawers were sealed shut as they had been obviously been in a damp, cold environment so I kept them by a heater for a few days to loosen them which worked a treat!
Once I had removed the handles I got to work painting two coats of Belgrave on the drawers and shell of the unit — already they were looking lovely and new. Once dry I used a net curtain, which I purchased from eBay for 99p and secured it to the drawer fronts using masking tape. I then sprayed the gold paint evenly from left to right until all the drawer fronts were covered. I left this to dry then carefully removed the net. Crystal style handles finished off this piece perfectly and to date I think it’s one of my favourite pieces I have ever done.
So, these past two years have been a wonderful rollercoaster ride and I hope it continues long into the future as I am fully enjoying this new career path. Getting up each day and creating unique furniture transformations is amazing and I am so proud of what I have achieved so far.
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