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Upcycling for Good

Upcycle furniture with wallpaper

Use colourful wallpaper samples to update a tired old piece of furniture easily!

Resene upcycling for good with Sarah Herring - Project 47

Step 5
Finished project

You will need: A small tallboy or dresser unit. This one had only one drawer and is designed to sit on a table top surface, but this method could work with larger units too.

Sandpaper, testpot brushes, builder’s fill and tools if you need to make repairs, pencil and scissors, wallpaper paste or appropriate clear drying glue, Resene Wallpaper sample of your choice – Sarah used Resene Wallpaper Collection 527865. You can purchase samples of many wallpapers at your local Resene ColorShop, Resene Quick Dry waterborne primer undercoat, Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen paint tinted to your choice of colour. Sarah used Resene Artemis, and new hardware of your choice.

Top tip: For extra detail, you could use wallpaper pieces along the inside panels of the drawer too, or inside the base of the drawer.

Prior to refinishing
 Shelf with wallpaper finished.

Step 1
Step one
If your drawer unit has a lot of sticky residue and damage, give it a good sand to remove any uneven surfaces. Once completely sanded, use Resene Quick Dry primer undercoat to prepare all surfaces for painting. Always remember to remove furniture hardware before painting!
Step 2
Step two
Apply two coats of your chosen colour to all surfaces of the drawer unit. Sarah used Resene Artemis. Sarah selected Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen as it is hard wearing and gives a nice matte finish which was perfect for this furniture. Always wait for your first coat to be completely dried before applying the second.
Step 5
Step 5
Step 5
Step three
While you wait for the final coat of colour to dry on the drawer unit, measure and cut your wallpaper sample to the right size and shape. Sarah decided to go with a large heart shape, cut horizontally so that it appears to ‘wrap’ over the front of the drawer.
Step 4 Step four
Step 5 Step five
Step 5 Step five
Step four: After the paint has dried, use clear-drying PVA glue (applied with a paintbrush) to glue the wallpaper heart down onto the top and front surfaces of the drawer unit. A plastic ruler or similar can be handy for smoothing out bumps and excess glue. Make sure you always check and mark exactly where you want to position your wallpaper before gluing it down.

Step five: Attach your new hardware to the drawer to complete the renovation. It’s amazing how with some bold block colour and a modern wallpaper application, a piece of old furniture can be revived and refreshed!

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.

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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.