gerund or present participle: upcycling

  1. reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original.

“the opportunity to upcycle trash, or turn it into new products, was vast”

Definitions from Oxford Languages

Upcycling has been the rage for several years now but who has time to revel in all one’s desired creative projects; someone in lockdown, that’s who!

So it was during a time when staying at home had become the new norm and hugging ones friends in the street a veritable crime – what else could one do, but paint the pants off old bits of furniture.

Carrie Anne Lakeman of Painted Beautiful in the central market said “During lockdown and since I have noticed a significant upturn in sales of Fusion Mineral Paint. I quickly realised there was a need for people to be creative and keep themselves busy so immediately set up an online and delivery service which proved invaluable.  I have been really busy…!” 

I too jumped on the upcycling bandwagon and asked Carrie for advice.  She was brilliant and talked me through whether I needed to strip back my ancient (but not antique) dark wood bookshelves, I’d been intending to paint and never gotten around to, for no less than 10 years! Yes, I know – but with children, dogs, daily chores, work etc. – well you know how it is.

But looking for the silver lining – lockdown and less movement since, afforded the most wonderful opportunity for sorting out all sorts of pending household jobs, (some not so pleasurable).

Luckily, Carrie explained, Fusion paint is so good, many items only need a light sanding and that was the case for my shelves – no stripping with harsh chemicals, no sanding to within an inch of its former life and no undercoat – Yippee.

So after a ‘light’ sanding with a relatively fine grade sandpaper and then a wipe over with a damp cloth, I set to on the task of painting.  Carrie also recommended a suitable paintbrush and helped me choose the correct shade of grey.  Yes there are lots of shades a grey.  Some were too green, too pale, too dark for my needs – in the end we settled on ‘Sterling’ which has a slight blue tinge to it and matches perfectly with my left-over grey pelican Angel Strawbridge wallpaper (bought for a feature wall in our dining area) and to be pasted on the board behind the shelves. 

The paint went on so smoothly and gave such good cover I only needed to do two coats.  I contacted Carrie again to ask if I would need to varnish or put a topcoat on, but she assured me that no – if left for a ‘hardening off’ period for a few days – it would be absolutely fine.  Music to my ears.  The other fact about Fusion that impressed me, was it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals unlike many other household paints. Yay – another plus.

I’ve watched upcycling videos where wallpaper paste is used to affix wall covering on furniture – having none to hand I just used an artist’s spray on glue – it worked perfectly and as it takes a little while to fix hard – gives some wiggle time!

Job done – I found myself looking around the house for more tired pieces to paint.  Watch this space 😊 The Editor