How I Recycle Old Furniture Easily

How I turned this piece of Furniture into this piece of Furniture- Easy Upcycle 

Whether you call it upcycled furniture, recycled furniture or repurposed furniture, there is just something about taking an unused possession and giving it new life. I made sure to put the word Easy in the title because I finished this in a few hours in one day. One day! I love projects like that.  I also made sure to make the Decoupage as simple as possible. For instance, you can buy the pretty pink fairy rose paper right here: While you’re there, please check out my other papers. I design my papers specifically for decoupage, transfers and mixed media work. I even let you know it’s ok to use my images to sell your work-as long as you are not mass producing anything. If you’re selling at craft shows, or on Etsy-or in other words using your own talented hands to create, then have it at! I am adding more and more designs every month. I can’t wait to get to the Coast and snap up those nautical themed images. I will spend a whole day just taking pictures. O.K. I will break for a latte and some food, but that’s all. 

Simple Decoupage and Easy Painting on furniture

As you’ll notice in the video I used this brush  and I would say that I can’t begin to tell you what a difference this brush has made, except that I can! This is the beauty of the blog post, I can add so much more in here than I can in the video. This brush is firm, it’s sturdy and it’s perfect for applying chalk paint or the wax that goes over the chalk paint ….but wait!!! I am often asked if it’s advisable to use wax over decoupaged chalk paint, and it is n o t. You can apply the wax to the rest of the piece of furniture that you are repurposing but you would want to stick to a matte varnish over the decoupaged part(s) of your furniture. Like on this Stool, you would only want to add wax over any part of this stool underneath the seat top. By using about 3 coats of this varnish, You can protect the decoupaged surface for years to come. I have been trying out varnishes as well as Decoupage glues for years, and if you want a totally flat matte surface, this is the stuff. 

And what can I say about chalk paint? From the velvety smooth finish that goes over your project to the simplicity of painting it on, I mean come on, I don’t have to sand anything??? I couldn’t believe that when I first got this paint. After using it for years, I can say that it’s all true. Once in a blue moon I’ll hear someone who says that they do not like chalk paint. I doubt they have ever used Annie Sloan’s chalk paint, since the color selection alone is amazing. Annie’s paint is not that readily available though. I have to travel a half an hour which isn’t so bad, to buy it, but before that? I had to travel at least 2 hours to buy the paint here in my state. I think you can order it online and that’s even more expensive so I wouldn’t go that route. Instead I experimented with a lot of other chalk paints and found this one by Home Decor to be a very good option. Folk Art has done their homework and created this nice sized smooth chalk paint in a lot of very pretty colors. No sanding required. I know I have already mentioned that but I used to spend hours and sometimes a whole day sanding an older piece of furniture. Not only was it time consuming but my arms got sore. It was probably a good workout but I would rather stick to my yoga. 

I know I’ve mentioned the painting and the top coat (varnish) but let’s go into the decoupage a little bit. Did you ever notice that sometimes people will give you instructions and say, “It’s so easy!” Yet what they don’t realize is that since THEY have been doing something for years, it IS easy to them. I hesitate to use the word easy for that reason. The decoupage process of today is easy though. I suspect that some people think it’s a complicated art form. It certainly sounds highfalutin. While decoupage can involve some very intricate cutting of patterns, the decoupage that I teach is of a much more practical nature. I also like to make things simple. I want to enjoy myself-not get frustrated. That’s why I have started my own line of papers also. For this week’s project I used this paper,     and you’ll notice that I have several other papers you can use. Since the paper is tissue paper, it’s a bit more sturdy than napkins but not quite as thick as regular paper, making it very easy to work with. You cut out the image and paste it down. That sounds really simple right? There are a few more tricks to it but even if you don’t think your first project is sheer perfection….it will not take long before you feel very talented. The best part though is you will create and have genuine one of a kind pieces of furniture. I always did so well when I sold my furniture through boutiques, consignment stores and word of mouth. The biggest hassle was schlepping it to the destination. Some pieces took a couple of months to sell and more than one boutique went out of business before a piece or two sold. That meant I had to then cart them back home. Luckily my husband’s business requires him to have pick up trucks. I was hooked after I found a lovely old vanity in a Salvation Army store. The surface had crayon scribbles all over it, a few kids stickers that were half on and half off, on it, and a few decent scratches. Those were the days before chalk paint when I spent a few days sanding. I also had to use very hot water to first soak off the stickers, then remove the tacky glue left behind. I used a trendy (at the time) soft yellow paint, then decoupaged the surface using a botanical print with matching colored flowers over white lattice. I paid 7 dollars for that piece. Seven Dollars! I sold it for 300 dollars. I was then hooked on decoupage and upcycling. Of course I began to decoupage everything else that I could get my hands on, and as you can see, I am still working on furniture pieces. Here are the other items you’ll need to complete this project. The Fine artists brush set link that I list is for a set of brushes to apply your decoupage glue and it costs less than six dollars. You don’t need (or want) an expensive brush to apply your glue. All of the links below go through Amazon so if you’re a Prime member you get free shipping. 

Decoupage Glue                                                      

80 grit sanding block (to age the piece)                  

Fine Artists brush set                                               

Chalk paint brush (listed above)

Chalk paint                                                                

Liquitex Matte Varnish (listed above) 

Decoupage scissors                                                  

Saran Wrap                                                               

** Felt Guards                                                           

** Chalk paint Wax                                                    


** = optional.. If you’re going to use the chalk paint wax you will need two separate brushes to apply the chalk paint, then the wax.  You can watch the video here!




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