DIY - Upcycling


Hi Phil, Thank you first of all for your isolation decoration tips. I especially found the caulking one very helpful! I was wondering whether you might be able to give any tips on upcycling furniture and specific paint to use. Especially on awful veneer surfaces and whether sanding the veneer off is better than getting a paint that will stick. Any handy tips would be very much appreciated.

Phil's answer

Hi, Thanks for getting in touch, really glad you’re finding the video’s useful. That’s a really good question and to be honest it all depends on what sort of veneer you’re dealing with. Some surfaces won’t allow you to sand them (such as melamine) and will simply tear if you try to sand them. So I would first try in a discrete spot with some fine sane paper (120 or even 180) to see if you can sand enough to create a key (this is when you rough up the surface so the paint sticks better). Either way there are primers you can get that will ensure better adhesion. We have one that we sell and our painters like to use called Grepp but you don’t have to use this one – there are others out there.

One thing you do need to be cautious about is if there’s anything on the existing surface that might over time bleed through the paint and discolour it. Certain varnishes, oils and waxes can be particularly bad for this. Sanding will often remove a lot of this but to be sure of blocking it you can go for a super robust primer, something like this. Although I should add that this version in the red tin is shellac based (rather than water based) so gives off a lot of fumes and requires methylated spirits to clean brushes with. Make sure your work area is well ventilated it you decide to prime with this. 

Once you’ve got a primer on you’re good to go with your paint of choice. I’d recommend at least two coats and an eggshell finish is what would usually be used on furniture. I would always go with water based as it drys more quickly and is easier to clean up brushes afterwards. All our colours are available in eggshell in either 1 litre or 2.5 litre tins. Ideally a very light rub down with fine sandpaper between coats for the best finish. Do let me know how you get on!