It would seem that upcycling, that lovely little act of making something lovely out of something otherwise probably considered ready for the rubbish tip is all the rage now. I was keen to see what this upcycling lark was all about. Little did I realise, but I’ve been upcycling other peoples old crap for years!! I thought I was just being savvy with the pennies and didn’t realise that this was actually a thing.
Now, in our first ever home, we had a little two up, two down cottage that left little space in the kitchen for a dining room table so hubby’s grandmother brought us a little scrubbed reclaimed pine one as a wedding gift which we teamed with a small church pew that my Dad sourced for us from a pub beer garden and two old pine chairs that hubby’s Mum got for us from the dentists waiting room where she worked (they were going to throw them out, she didn’t steal them or anything)!! so there you go that was my first upcycled dining table and chairs. a reclaimed pine table, a pub beer garden church pew and some dentist waiting room chairs.
When we moved into our second home which was much bigger and with dreams of starting a family, we wanted something really grand so we brought a big extending oak table and eight leather dining chairs. This was a mistake, neither of us really liked it, but we were offered it at a bargain price and we hadn’t found anything else we did like, so we brought it. We kept this table or a few years and it served its purpose well, but it was never really “us”.
When we moved into our current home, we really knew that this table and chairs did not fit the theme of how we wanted our home to look. So we sold it. Yep that’s right, we had three children and no dining room table and chairs. Soooooo, as a means to an end, we pulled the little old scrubbed pine table out of storage and used this once more. It was like going back in time. The only real problem being that it wasn’t really big enough for all of us to sit round together. And so began the great dining table and chair hunt.
I searched everywhere for just the right table. I found some beauties online, but they were just all so expensive. Lovely upholstered chairs in Laura Ashley fabric. But I had to be realistic here. I had three little boys, fancy was just not going to work for our family.
Finally, I thought I’d found the one on an online auction site. It was a do-er upper, but that was perfect for me. I won the auction with a winning bid of £50. I was thrilled. The only slight, very slight issue was that the table and chairs were not actually in my area. I contacted the seller and confirmed that I had won the auction and that it would probably be my intention to send a courier to collect, so I would need to know best time and days from her. Instead of the response I was expecting, I was told that she wanted the item to be collect in person only and that as such she had offered it to the other bidder who had been bidding against me. To say I was p*ssed off would be an understatement!!!
So we were still in some considerable need of a new table. In the meantime, I had purchased some Eames style dining chairs. I loved the colours of these and felt that they would be so practical with the little ones. Completely wipe clean 🙂
Then one sunny day we went for a family day out to the local Nature Reserve. Whilst there, I headed over to the plants for sale stall. Brought myself some lovely specimens and then I noticed that all of these plants were standing on a piece of tarpaulin which was partially covering up a table underneath. I uncovered the table further. It was a little battered and weather beaten, but it was perfect!!! In the most unlikely of settings, I had found “The One”.
I asked the hubby to go inside the gift shop and ask them if they would consider selling the table (there was no way I could pluck up the courage to do it myself). He felt a bit of a dickhead, but I begged and so he relented.
Apparently the table belonged to the Manager who wasn’t there that day. They took our details and said that they would get him to contact us.
A couple of days passed and the Manager duly did contact us with the amazing news that he would be willing to sell the table to us for the absolutely amazing bargain price of just £15.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hubby rushed over there and collected it right away before the man had time to change to mind.
Once the new table was home, Hubby and Beau set out sanding and cleaning the table. It was even better than I had remembered. It was a really solid and sturdy table and it bore a label stating that it was “Made in England”.
After the table had been sanded and cleaned, I set about painting the legs. I chose to use Rustoleum chalk paint in Winter Grey. Now I was unsure how the colour was going to turn out so I decided to buy a tester pot first at a total cost of around £5.00. And you know what, I am so glad I did because Rustoleum tester pots are so sizeable that I actually managed to paint the whole of the bottom half of my new table and the dining room mirror frame with just one tester pot!
After painting, I set the chalk paint with a clear wax of which I used two coats and then I buffed to the desired sheen. Now the wax didn’t actually cost me anything because my Mum gave it to me left over for a job she had previously undertaken.
So now I have my dream dining table and my total outlay for this……..£20.00.Yep you right that right, just a teeny weeny £20 quid. Happy Days indeed.
I’m living the up-cycling dream people, living the dream!!
So, next time you’re out and about, keep your eyes peeled as you might just spot that perfect up-cycling project for yourself.
Now, just to rescue my church pew from the in-laws garage and to set about restoring it to a thing of abject glory once more x