Learning Saturday…



Everyone busy at the workshop

Today I have been on a ‘Furniture Recycling’ workshop run by local charity  Work Link Project, funded by Leicestershire County Council Waste Management. What a fun four hours which went far too quickly.

Before pic



The leaflet said you could take something from home to upcycle or choose something there; I took along an old Ikea stool which had definitely seen better days. It is a frequently used stool as it is so handy to move around but it had paint splodges over it.

There were seven other people there when Karen and I arrived, of which most had brought our own thing. The range of furniture to upcycle was vast – a selection of tables, bar stool, bathroom cabinet and shelf unit.

Deb the tutor introduced the session and gave a brief over view of what the Work Link Project is about before introducing some of the furniture that had been upcycled by the volunteers who work on the project. Luke was also introduced as he works as a volunteer and was here to help today (he was brill). Colours, paint and finishes were discussed in some detail with everyone having a clear idea of their required end result.

Recipe for Chalk Paint – 2/3rds Emulsion Paint to 1/3rd Calcium Carbonate/Plaster of Paris

Next was the paint mixing  (not for the faint hearted when Luke brought the drill mixer out!)

Sieving the Calcium Carbonate


Creams, greens, pinks and blues were all measured, mixed and remixed until the right colour was achieved. Luke was very careful whilst he was mixing, the same cannot be said about Deb who managed to spray me with magnolia paint! LOL

The couple behind me were attempting to upcycle a couple of tables they had picked up from a car boot but had to move out of my way as I was sanding down my stool. Dust was going everywhere!

Karen had bought a pine bathroom cabinet from a charity shop which she wanted to upcycle with a nautical theme to match her (soon to be) freshly painted bathroom.

Karen choose blue paint to go with her theme


Everyone was busy rubbing down, painting, drying off with a hair dryer or planning their next move. I chose to do my stool in two colours – baby blue and cream which meant taping off sections of the stool which I wanted in the different colour. A quick tea break whilst the first coat dried and then back to it.

Taped off

Time just ran away and before I knew it people around me were packing up and ready to leave, I was still drying mine with the hairdryer. Karen very kindly came and gave me a helping hand as I find patches where the cream had gone over the blue and vis versa.


There were some fabulous finished products that had been distressed and waxed within the four hours, mine still needs a final rub down and a wax before it is complete. Can’t wait to have another go…watch out wooden items I’m on your case. Jx




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