Our long-held plan to convert the downstairs study/ spare room/ junk room into a usable dining room is becoming a reality. We have talked the talk for lord knows how long- time for action!
Working on this project has helped me to hold onto a sense of purpose since being made redundant in September. It seemed a great idea to use my newly found free time to create something positive.
I am very keen on upcycling and rescuing second hand or pre-loved furniture and we have been lucky to find some fabulous pieces. Today I have finished working on one of these pieces – a small wooden cupboard which will become our cocktail/drinks cabinet; a place to store glasses and bottles and the ideal display area for the vintage glass soda syphon ( pictured) we found at a car boot sale and the champagne/ice bucket we picked up on holiday at a vintage emporium in West Bay, Dorset (the setting for TV drama Broadchurch).
The cupboard was purchased from Second Time Around in Banbury, a charity furniture restoration project that recycles unwanted or donated wooden furniture. The project provides training and volunteering opportunities to promote social inclusion and independance for adults with learning disabilities. There is a lovely shop next to the workshop which sells furniture, mirrors, vintage and antique accessories and also a coffee shop to refresh you while browsing.
Back to the cupboard. I have had to do very little work to the exterior apart from a clean and polish. I used a traditional beeswax polish from Cambridge Traditional Products. It smells incredible and the wood really glows after just a couple of applications. The interior was painted with Annie Sloan chalk paint in cream, and rubbed back to show the grain before receiving two coats of clear wax to seal and protect.
When I first saw the cupboard, I was attracted by the metal rods in the doors, and decided to make a feature of them. I used a roll of imitation gold leaf purchased from Wrights of Lymm. As I have never tried gilding before, I had a go on a lamp base with some copper leaf sheets…(that’s another blog post). The distressed effect was achieved by applying the adhesive size with a cotton wool ball for a patchy finish. It was great fun to do and turned out well for a first attempt, don’t you think? There is quite a lot left on the roll, now I find myself eyeing up the curtain pole and picture frames….somebody stop me!!