A chalk paint upcycle ‘how to guide’ – TV unit

I hate dusting! and the glass corner TV unit had been the bane of my life since day 1 – you could dust it and then 2 minutes later it looked dusty again! So when we decided to redecorate our lounge it gave me the perfect opportunity to get rid… Hunting high and low, I knew what I wanted but with the price tags of new units being a few hundred pound too much I put on my creative thinking cap and set off on the hunt for a bargain!

Before I go any further I want to say that you too can upcycle furniture – it doesn’t take much in the way of equipment and I don’t have any special training or experience, its all self taught!


What you need:

  • Corner TV unit
  • Sugar soap
  • Chalk paint – I used Annie Sloan chalk paint, Paris Grey (£18.95 a tin)
  • Wax – I used Annie Sloan clear wax (£8.95 a tin)
  • Danish Oil – I used Wickes own brand (£10 a tin)
  • Sander
  • Washing up sponge
  • Cloth
  • Old rag\tea towel
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint stirrer
  • Copper drawer handle
  • Screwdriver

What you do:

I found this slightly beaten up and bedraggled unit on eBay at a steal for £20 and only a few miles down the road – I started to get rather excited!

I couldn’t believe how heavy it was, it was heavy solid wood, definitely well made and hard wearing and much better quality than the stuff you buy from shops new these days – another perk of upcycling old furniture.

Step 1: Give the unit a quick clean with some sugar soap and a cloth and let it dry.

If you haven’t heard of this before you can buy it from most supermarkets or hardware shops, it’s fab at cleaning off any grease and dirt from most surfaces, including wood.

Step 2: Out comes the sander! Mine is nothing special, I have a small handheld corded one that cost less than £40. Sand the top, top of the drawer so it looks nice when you open it.

Step 3: Wipe the unit over to get rid of the dust its time to whip out the paint. I love chalk paint, its so easy to use (see my chalk paint tips post). Paint 2 coats on all the sides of the main unit and the drawer, allowing the first one to dry in between.

Step 4: In the words of the master in the Karate Kid “Wax on, wax off!”.  Once the paint is completely dry, apply two coats of wax, allowing the first one to dry in between. You can do more layers of wax if you wish – the more layers the more hardwearing it will be.

Although you can get special wax brushes, I recommend using a simple kitchen sponge to apply the wax and a clean old tea towel or rag to wipe off any excess.

Step 5: To protect the bare wood I used Danish Oil, this is much better than using the wax as it will protect the wood much better. To apply, just use an old clean cloth and rub evenly into the wood along the grain. Again, a couple of coats should do it.

Step 6: I brought a new copper draw handle off eBay and screwed it on to replace the old one that was falling off! Just screw on and your done!

Overall cost for the project including buying the unit = approx. £30! Saving at least £400 on the brand new unit I had my eye on in the shop!!

Note I did not include the cost of the sander and estimated the cost of the paint etc. used, not the cost of the whole tin as I had tonnes left for other projects!

Thanks for reading, I hope this helps you get an idea of how to have a stab at upcycling your own furniture! I am more than happy to answer any questions – just comment or drop me an email.

Done something similar or has this post inspired you? I’d love to see your end results!

Gina x

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