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Monday, 4 May 2015

Old into new ...

Last week I updated my FBook page with an image of a chest of drawers I had refurbished, and a young friend asked if I would run through the technique as it is something she feels she could do herself...
and she is really easy with modern products :D

I had this old 1930's utility piece which was useful, but getting really shabby.
The first thing I did was give it a quick sand to break the varnished surface. I made sure to use a damp cloth to wipe up the dust as I went (just to be on the safe side)

Next a simple coat of matt emulsion. I wanted the brush strokes to show as this adds texture through the tissue I used later, but you can make this layer as perfect as you want. 
 If your using a thick opaque paper the paint layer won't be seen, but I was using a very translucent paper by Papermania called Nature's Gallery.
 Now the magic ingredient...
A product from First Edition, Deco Mache glue AND varnish.)I got mine from The Range for £4.99)
In the "old days" you would glue on the paper, let it dry, varnish(with stinky varnish) let that dry , sand back then varnish again til you reached a satisfactory finish...
This stuff (and I'm sure there are other makes available) you do it all in one go!
Paint a layer of the "paste" onto the primed surface, gentle lay on bits of tissue, and paint over with the same "paste". 
 Be careful with the wet tissue as it will tear easily, so use gently strokes over the top.
Continue to add a bit at a time until the whole piece is covered.
 I did the same routine with the draws, making sure all edges were smoothed down.
I let the first layer dry thoroughly before applying another coat of the "paste" over the entire surface.
They recommend 3 coats (no sanding required in between), but as this is going in the bedroom I was happy to just use 2.
 This is a large chest of drawers, and I only used one pot of paste(with a little left over) So not expensive at all. It is also non toxic, and the smell is like wet emulsion, so not horrible to wok with at all.

As you all know I am a tad crazy, so I recommend trying a smaller project first lol.
And you don't have to use tissue paper, any thin patterned paper will do...even book pages(is eyeing up an old book case with that in mind). 
An old set of nesting tables would probably make a good first project...or a simple tea tray.

Enjoy :D XXX



  1. Oh, this looks so good! Thank you so much for the tutorial! The brush strokes through the tissue look really nice, and give it that hand-crafted vintage look. I think the USA equivalent of the same product is Mod Podge. if you want to try this again there are recipes on-line for home-made Mod Podge, which is basically watered down PVA glue.

    1. Yes we used to use PVA glue lol..but this stuff contains varnish too. That would be Mod Podge Outdoor :D

  2. What a gorgeous makeover!

  3. This is genius. I love how you transformed a utilitarian piece into a gorgeous piece of furniture.......fabulous darling. xoxo Oma Linda

  4. Nothing is off limits! GO!
    Next You Tube ! I see it coming! Bravo!!!

    1. BWAhahahahaha....not happening!

  5. This is something!!! Awwwww!!! :)

  6. Amazing, Gina! You've giving it wings!!!

    I will bookmark this to see if I can do the same (okay, something similar, since you IS the royal witchy crafter and all) with one of the Little Princess' toy chests. The thing looks like a mad cat was angry at it. But it's a steady piece and I hate getting rid of something nice and strong.

  7. amazing transformation.

  8. Gina, you are amazing girl! WOW! I love it! I love it! I really love it!!!