I thought I’d share another old upcycle with you.
It’s customary in France to invite your neighbour round for an aperitif prior to dinner. It’s good to be aware of this custom as it is just that, a pre-dinner cocktail, and not an invitation to dinner. This can catch Les Anglais out as we tend to invite people for dinner or for a drinks party, but not for a brief drink. When my parents first moved to France my mother found herself embarrassingly in the situation of not realising that this was the custom and slowly coming to the realisation that she was doing something wrong when she started to notice the furtive glances at wrist watches and shuffling in seats. A guideline to not outstay your welcome is one to one and a half hours. It’s worth remembering too that you do not need to turn up to your hosts home with anything such as a bottle of wine, however if you do feel naked going to someone’s house with nothing in hand you can always take some home made produce, vegetables grown in the gardens flowers straight from your garden. These don’t necessarily have to be presented in special packaging either – as we may do back home as a sort of polish to a homemade gift (I wonder if we do that because we’ve lost the value of making things ourselves?). On another occasion my mother had brought a bottle of wine to her new neighbours as a. Christmas gift and was rather surprised to find, having opened the bottle, their gentleman neighbour went to his wine cellar with a hastily wrapped bottle in the paper shed just give him! Their masters of ‘waste not want not’ the. French.
How to Upcycle A Drinks Cabinet
In anticipation of inviting my neighbours round I wanted an appropriate cocktail cabinet which I could store all my spirits in. I found this old 1930s drinks cabinet and decided to upcycle it to suit my decor. Here is how it’s done.
- The first thing I did was carefully remove the back of the cabinet which had been covered in fabric that had aged badly. This allowed easy access to the interior of the cabinet for painting.
- Using Autentico chalk paint in Antique Pink I painted two coats straight onto the veneered parts of the cabinet. You don’t need any other prep with chalk paint, just make sure it’s clean and dry. Also this type of paint is very quick drying and on a hot day it can be dry within 20 minutes, giving you just enough time for a cup of tea or café in between coats.
- As well as benefiting from no preparation when using chalk paint there is the additional benefit when applying it tp objects with a a lot of glass and thin strips of wood such as this cabinet and that is that the paint’s texture is as it states, chalky. Therefore you don’t need to take too much care being precise as it’s very easy to scrape off any excess with a glass scrape quickly and easily; it just falls away like powdered chalk.
- To seal the paint I applied two coats of Annie Sloan wax. Just take some on a lint free cloth and apply it to an area of about 30cm circumference in a circular motion. Then take a second lint free cloth and buff it, using some elbow grease as my mum would say, to create a shine.
- Next lay the material you want to back your cupboard with, I chose a raspberry pink Toile de Jouy, and lay it out on a large work surface such as a dining room table. Lay the backing board over it and, using a vanishing ink seamstress pen, outline it’s shape. Then cut it out with pincer scissors to stop the edges fraying as you work.
- Spray the back of the fabric with fabric glue spray liberally a little at a time starting in one corner, lining it up and smoothing out any wrinkles whilst applying and then continuing to the next piece when satisfied.
- Next use a good quality staple gun to fix the board the cabinet and, if needed, then use upholstery nails to ensure it’s fixed well.
Voila! I’d love to hear what you think!