So... Christmas is coming. And we all want our homes to look the best for the family and friends coming to share the special day! One of the ways to check everything is in order in time for Christmas, is to take a walk around the house with a pen and paper and make a small list of anything you want to get sorted before the big day.
What to look for before Christmas
Here is are list of what to check around the house. Some of which can be sorted so easily and can also cost very little. Doing a few small things can have a big impact on the way your home looks!
Wobbly Cupboards -
Check your hinges aren't broken or rusty. Get a toothbrush to clean grained wood.. by giving them a good clean they can look brand new!
Marks on doors or walls-
Little hand prints/ scratches etc. And if you cannot remove a scratch or mark, get some more artwork up. Or a new pic of the kids!
Check your internal doors and skirting and coving. Not the nicest job doing the glossing but it can make the world of difference to your home. Don't forget to check the bathroom!
Wobbly Chair Legs
You don't want Aunt Sall falling off during the turkey dinner! - Or maybe you do!
Don't forget to polish the chair legs as well as the table.
Polished/ Waxed dining table
Ready for guests to feast on. If a standard table polish isn't good enough to remove starches or marks, then get yourself some wood wax or wood stain. It can transform a wooden table. If you have bigger scratches or chips, there are other products out there to help heal your furniture. Such as, Pens, Chalks and Sanding equipment.
Any DIY is finished (Or hidden if not finished).
No-one wants the husband's push bike building hobby staring at them! Upcycle something old to store things in and can be a great feature in a room! Or if your Unfinished DIY is a upcycle project, get some cheap Christmas looking fabric from a store and cover it up!
Clean and undamaged Handles or knobs
- Replacing your door handles/ knobs can transform a room. Quite often this is the first thing they see when entering a room.
Make sure they are not missing or broken! People will always nosey around your bathroom, either to occupy the time or just because Aunt Sall is nosey! Also make sure your bathroom lock is functioning properly, even the wine you have won't make walking in on Aunt Sall less traumatic!
Above everything, have the best Christmas time with your friends and family!!!! And truly once Aunt Sall has had a couple of glasses of red, she won't care that you have a kitchen cupboard missing or a mosaic of child sized handprints in the landing! ; )
So where do you start with your upcycle?I'm going to break it down into three small steps for you -
- Where to buy furniture or items to upcycle
- Where to buy materials
- How to care for your upcycle
Where to buy items to upcycleYou want to make your expenses as low as possible, especially if you're looking at selling your refurbished item. To do this you want to source your furniture smartly. Here are some ideas -
- Family and friends wanting to get rid off old or unused items
- Car boot sales
- Ebay/ Gumtree / selling sites
- Facebook marketplace
- The local tip
- Charity shops
- Local shops for wooden crates
Cleaning your upcycleWhen cleaning most items, you will just want to use something gentle such as warm water and mild detergent and a soft cloth. Always try this first and if it doesn't remove any stubborn dirt then there are other stronger cleaners out there, but you do want to try and avoid these as they can cause damage (I suggest testing a small area first). If you need to use something harsher than a soft cloth, then steel wool is a good option or you can use a toothbrush; just don't rub too hard! Once you have chosen your desired cleaner, use gentle up and down strokes following the grain of the wood. You must wait for the material to dry thoroughly before moving onto the next stage.
Priming your upcycleThe first thing you will want to do is to sand down the surface, make any chips, marks or peeling paint disappear to a smooth flat surface or the best you can. This also creates a rough surface for the paint to stick to and will last longer. It will also remove any scratches or chips or at least make them less obvious. Use a clean, dry soft cloth to remove any dust the sanding has created. There are many different brands and types of primers out there. Primer helps to hide imperfections and create a smoother finish. Most well-known stores will have a wood primer and it will say on the tin how far it will go. There will always be people there to help assist you if you need help choosing the right one. There are some that only require one coat as well which will make the step quicker. Always make sure the primer is fully dry before moving onto the next step.
Painting your upcycleThere are a few different ways to paint your item, so try and use the way you think will be easiest for you. Spray paint, tinned paint, brushes or rollers. Whichever way you choose, just make sure you get a good brand. Apply thin layers and allow to dry thoroughly in between coats. I normally do 2 or 3 thin coats. You can lightly sand in between each coat making sure you remove all dust before applying the next coat. Doing these steps should ensure the best quality results.
Finishing Wax/ Finishing Lacquer your upcycleNow you don't want all of your hard work priming and painting to not be protected the best way you can, do you? So the best way to do this is to get a good branded finishing wax and use a soft cloth to rub it on your furniture. The instructions on the tin will tell you how long to leave it to soak in. You normally then rub it off with small circular motions. Some brands suggest doing this process twice.
How to care for your upcycleIf you want to keep your upcycle at its best for the longest period, then my best advice is to gently dust very regularly. Keep it out of the sunlight if you can, as it may fade the colour over time. Sometimes, things can get spilt onto our creations; if they do, go through the gentle cleaning process mentioned above. When your item is an antique and you are unsure of how to care for it, please speak to an antique specialist and they will be able to guide you. If you are slightly worried, always test a small area at the back or inside to see how it will react. If you get stuck or you are unsure of something, give us a ring and ask us 01252 786510. or email [email protected]