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Upcycling for Good

Paint a child's rocking horse

Take a classic rocking horse and modernise it with colours from the Resene KidzColour collection.

Resene upcycling for good with Sarah Herring - Project 52

Finished project rocking horse
Finished project

You will need: Sandpaper, testpot and detail/small brushes, old cloths suitable for wiping excess stain, Resene Quick Dry primer undercoat, Resene Colorwood testpot in your choice of colour - Sarah used Resene Dark Oak, Resene KidzColour testpots in your choice of colour - Sarah used Resene Zappo and Resene Solid Gold, clear drying PVA glue, gold glitter, Resene Aquaclear.

Top tip: For something a little different, turn your rocking horse into a zebra by painting it with black and white stripes, using Resene Nero and Resene Alabaster, or turn it into a unicorn by adding a soft rainbow horn.

Prior to refinishing
Retro kitchen finished.
Finished project
Step 1 Step one
Before beginning work on a second-hand item like this (especially when it’s a children’s toy) it is important to check its structural integrity, and look for any loose screws or parts that need repairing. Give it a good clean then a light sand by hand. Apply one coat of Resene Quick Dry primer undercoat to the body of the rocking horse. Always make sure you have wiped away all of the sanding dust before you apply any paint!
Step 2 Step two
Apply two coats of your chosen colour to the body of the rocking horse, allowing dry time between each coat.
Step 2 Step two contd.
This rocking horse was red, which is a great classic colour, but Sarah decided to modernise it by utilising some of the Resene KidzColour paint range. Sarah chose Resene Zappo, a cool purple that wasn’t too girly so it could still be enjoyed by either boys or girls.
Step 4 Step three
Once the paint has dried, rejuvenate the wooden frame using Resene Colorwood stain.
Step 5 Step three contd.
Apply the stain using a clean testpot brush and wipe off any excess with a clean cloth. Some areas may require a bit more product than others but continue until you get a nice rich finish all over.
Step 6 Step four
For a fun paint effect add a touch of Resene Solid Gold in a spotty pattern with a small paint brush. Dot gold spots in a cluster on the nose/tail/feet and taper them off. This is a nice way to add a bit of sparkle to the rocking horse.
Step 7 Step five
To finish, and for a bit more sparkle (because you can never have too much), Sarah mixed a small amount of Resene Aquaclear with gold craft glitter and painted it onto the seat of the rocking horse. Stirring the glitter into the Resene Aquaclear gives a really fun galaxy effect when dry.
Step 8 Step five contd.
Resene Aquaclear is a protective finish for stained timbers. Apply two coats (without glitter) to the rest of the stained timber to help protect the finish.

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.