For as long as I can remember I’ve loved making things and adding my own touches to things. I suppose I’m just that type of person. I look at old, discarded items of furniture and see that with some time, care and attention, they could be beautiful.
I love gardening and being outside in general and with being pregnant and having not much time to spare with a new baby afterwards, our garden was recently in need of some TLC.
I absolutely love galvanized pots and have recently bought some on E Bay and other antique websites. Two of my favourite vintage sites are Mabel and Rose and Pedlars. Some are tall flower-stall pots, French pails and others are laundry tubs with handles.
Whilst looking for galvanized tubs, I came across a wrought iron, foldable French bench on E Bay. I loved its rustic charm and was keen to bid on it. Luckily, I won the auction and collected it from a local estate manager. The before photographs here show how rusty and flaky the paintwork had become, but to me, it just adds to its charm. Old furniture is always so well-built, and made to last.
Then I spotted two, foldable vintage French bistro chairs which were also in need of some TLC. When I arrived in the Cotswolds to collect them, the lady had another two chairs which she wondered if I’d like, so I bought all four.
Preparing to Upcycle Garden Furniture
The first thing is to be aware that your piece of furniture isn’t going to look brand new. It’ll be perfectly imperfect. And this is what I love about upcycling. Each piece is unique.
Be prepared to clean your pieces of furniture first. Many will have been kept in sheds and garages, and like these pieces, may be covered in cobwebs. I used a wire brush to loosen and remove any flaky bits of paint and this also gives the material a rougher surface to stick to.
I chose a multi-surface spray-paint. The benefit of this is that the paint includes a primer which means less work to prepare the surface you’re painting. It also helps if the furniture you’re painting is a mixture of materials, such as the bistro chairs, which are metal and wood. If I used another paint, I’d need metal paint and paint suitable for wood. I chose ivory for the colour, as I felt white would be too stark, and I avoided a gloss finish as I prefer matt.
Using spray paint also gives a more uniform finish; you can build up light layers to give a more professional finish and using a paintbrush to repeat coats is time-consuming, especially on the bench, which is multi-faceted. I found this Painter’s Touch spray paint in B and Q and liked the ivory colour of it. I found more bottles online from Sprayster.com, and these were half the price.
I’m so pleased with the effect of this spray paint. It was easy to use and relatively cheap. I love that no-one else has these pieces of furniture but us.
The garden has been transformed with the addition of the bench, chairs and planters and I’m looking forward to a long summer enjoying them.
Thanks for reading!