Resene Paints - home page
Upcycling for Good

Retro kitchen artwork

Take retro inspiration from old kitchen utensils that you can no longer use and turn them into cute and quirky artworks!

Resene upcycling for good with Sarah Herring - Project 46

Retro kitchen finished.
Finished project

You will need: Four old kitchen utensils, the more retro the better!, two frames large enough to fit the utensils you’ve chosen, testpot and detail brushes, painter’s masking tape and scissors, hot glue gun or other super strong adhesive, Resene Quick Dry waterborne primer undercoat and/or Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer.

Resene testpots in your choice of colours. Sarah used Resene Alabaster, Resene Balance, Resene Charlotte, Resene Half Moonbeam, Resene Fringy Flower and Resene Perfume.

Top tip: For a bit of bling, try using a range of metallic finishes, such as Resene FX Copper Fire, Resene FX Blast Grey 1, Resene FX Gold Dust and Resene FX Rose Gold.

Retro kitchen before.
Retro kitchen finished.

Step 1
Step one
Remove the glass from your chosen frames and set aside. Sarah chose two modern box-frames, but you could easily use second hand frames instead. You will need the backing boards for painting only. Apply one coat of Resene Quick Dry waterborne primer undercoat to the backing boards and leave to dry.
Step 2
Step two
To prepare the utensils for painting, make sure they are clean, and in the case of wooden objects you might like to give them a light sand with some sandpaper to smooth off any obvious splinters or damage. Sarah did this with the wooden spoon and mallet. Then apply a coat of Resene Quick Dry primer, or if you have stainless steel objects that paint is unlikely to adhere to easily, apply Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer. Leave to dry.
Step 3
Step three
Once the utensils are primed and dry, you can begin to paint them in your four chosen testpot colours. Because this project has a kitschy, retro theme, Sarah chose four Resene colours that invoked memories of old 1950s kitchen appliances: Resene Charlotte, Resene Half Moonbeam, Resene Fringy Flower and Resene Perfume. Apply two coats of colour to each utensil using a detail brush.
Step 4 Step four
While you are waiting for the utensils to dry, you can get onto painting the backing boards from your frames. Apply two coats of Resene Alabaster as the background and leave to dry.
Step 4 Step four
While you are waiting for the utensils to dry, you can get onto painting the backing boards from your frames. Apply two coats of Resene Alabaster as the background and leave to dry.
Step 5
Step five
Once the paint has dried on the backing boards, measure and mask out a chevron pattern with painter’s tape. The trick to getting a nice clean finish when painting masked patterns is to make sure you press the tape down firmly. Avoid overloading paint on the brush. Apply two coats of Resene Balance to the exposed areas, and wait until the paint is dry before removing the tape.
Step 6
Step six
Decide on the placement of your utensils on the backing boards and fix them down using super strong glue. Sarah used a hot glue gun. Even though some of the utensils were quite heavy, it worked well. Once the utensils have been secured to the backing boards, return them to their frames and display in your kitchen! Or maybe even your retro caravan!

Upcycling for Good

You can find a huge range of treasures, from ornaments and picture frames, to furniture and toys at your local Salvation Army store that you can easily upcycle with a little Resene paint and some imagination.

"Our Family Stores are full of treasures generously donated by members of the public. We value these donations and try our hardest to re-purpose and sell as much as possible. We’re all about re-using and recycling, so teaming up with Resene on Upcycling for Good was a perfect match. Resene’s products and tips are a natural fit with our pre-loved furniture and accessories, which are usually great quality but could sometimes do with a lick of paint to ensure they fly off the shelves.

Each year, nationally, our stores save 16,000 tonnes from landfill. This initiative increases the value of the donated product, improves the range of goods for our customers, and furthers The Salvation Army’s mission and Resene’s community activity.” Gareth Marshall, The Salvation Army's National Family Store Manager.

View more projects

Resene Paints Ltd

Resene Paints Ltd   –

We would love to hear from you if you wish to use Resene's images, information and ideas for social medial, blogs, newsletters and other media use. Please email and let us know what you need, what it is for and how Resene will be acknowledged as the source of the content. We are happy to assist with most requests.

Our vision is to be respected as a trusted, ethical and sustainable company and acknowledged as the leading provider of innovative paint and colour technology. View Resene’s profile, Quality Policy, Environmental Policy and Health & Safety Policy.

Any personal data, such as name, address, phone, email details, supplied to Resene for the purposes of receiving newsletters, orders etc will be retained by Resene Paints Ltd and used only by Resene Paints Ltd and its trusted agencies for the purposes of communication/promotion/providing service to you. We do not sell, trade or otherwise transfer your personal data to outside third parties. If you wish to opt out of communication from Resene please complete our contact us form. View our full Privacy Policy.

Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.

View Videos