My first upcycling project using Rustoleum

Six years ago, when Michael and I knew we were serious, an opportunity came up for us to buy his parents house from them. Everything was going through and we were just waiting on solicitors, so we started to buy furniture for what was to be our new front room. One thing I absolutely wanted was a sideboard and I found the perfect one in Homebase (they no longer do it, but I’ve found the exact same one just by doing a google search).

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Sadly, the house fell through, which is a whole other story, but my lovely sideboard has been a permanent feature wherever we’ve lived ever since.

A few weeks ago, Alfie knocked a bottle of nail polish off it and on to the kitchen floor, which smashed and went all over the corner of the unit and resulted in it looking something like this!


I was initially gutted, but for such a long time I’d talked about painting it and trying to ‘upcycle’ it, but I’d always been put off as I was really worried it would go wrong so I just never did it. However, after having it for six years and coming with us during three house moves, it had definitely seen better days. Could this be a blessing in disguise?

Once I realised that there was no way it could be rescued, I did a bit of research (hello pinterest) and I decided that I wanted to paint it a grey colour because I’d seen a few other upcycled projects of items painted in grey and I loved them, plus I love grey and think it’s a colour that never gets old.

I decided on rustoleum chalk paint in flint which is a lovely shade – it’s not too dark, nor is it too light. Once I’d purchased it, I couldn’t wait to get started. The beauty of chalk paint, is you don’t need any prep beforehand, so no sanding or undercoat is required. However, because of the accident with ours, I did try to sand as much of the nail polish as I could.

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You can still see where the nail polish had been spilled, but it was much better than when it first happened. I also sanded the top as over the years it’s been used as a dressing table, a tv unit, a sideboard and an additional buffet table at parties. Needless to say, it was looking very tired and worse for wear. Once I’d sanded the problem area’s, I wiped it all down with a damp cloth to ensure there was no dust and got to work painting it.

I used a 50mm brush to put the first coat on and let it all dry before adding a second coat with a small sponge roller to get rid of the brush strokes. When using this paint, it recommends to paint in one long stroke, rather than keep painting over the same area. With the unit being so big, I did struggle to do this as the paint ran out before I’d got all the way across, which is why I ended up with brush strokes, but the roller got rid of those on the second coat.


You can see on the top if you look closely where it looks quite patchy and on the very bottom, there’s parts where I’ve gone over the edges. This was really easy to clean off, even when it’d dried, I simply used some wire wool and warm water.

I found the doors and drawer fronts to be trickier to do due to the detail around the edges, but I did find they didn’t need as many coats. Once I’d completely painted it all, I finished it off using the rustoleum clear wax using a dry cloth rubbed on in a circular motion.


I am beyond happy with the end result and it has definitely given me the bug for upcycling. I found the whole process really therapeutic and really enjoyed doing it.   I can’t believe my tired old dresser unit has been given a new lease of life – and there’s not a drop of hot pink nail polish in sight 😉


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