Want to upcycle furniture? This is the coolest (and easiest) idea we've seen

If you are keen to upcycle furniture look no further because this is the most transformative hack out there

Want to upcycle furniture? This is the coolest (and easiest) idea we've seen
(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Looking to upcycle furniture? Maybe you have an old chest of drawers that have seen better days, or a bedside table you spilt nail varnish on back in 2014 and are not just used to looking at the sparkly pink stain. Whatever piece of furniture you are looking to give an upgrade, this paint idea is the coolest we have seen in a long time.

The result reminds us of the very boho bone inlay furniture that's everywhere at the moment, and yes it's gorgeous but it's absolutely extortionate. And with the paint jobbie you get a very similar effect for a fraction of the price. 

Keep scrolling for the steps and head over to our DIY hub page for loads more projects you can get on with during lockdown. 

You will need:

Step one: paint your furniture 

We love the look of chalk paint, it gives a lovely rustic look to whatever you paint. Our favourite is Annie Sloan – the colours are GORGEOUS. The cabinet above has been painted in Graphite if you want to copy the look. 

For the best results painting your furniture, head to our guide to how to paint furniture and you will find some really quick and easy steps over there. Let your furniture dry before moving on to the next steps.  

Step two: get painting your pattern 

Depending on your artistic skills there are two ways you could go about this. You could take a really small paintbrush and just go freehand – we would recommend having a plan first, maybe using a pencil or chalk to plan out the design.

For the less light-handed among us, the answer is stencils. Annie Sloan also have some gorgeous, really detailed stencils that you can stick on your furniture to create gorgeous patterns. You use a really fine brush to fill in the stencils with a chalk paint that is lighter than the colour of your furniture. 

Annie Sloan upcycled furniture

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Step three: add some glamour with pearlescent paint 

This is the step we love. It's what makes the pattern look even more like bone inlay. You go back over your pattern with this gorgeous pearlescent glaze so it just has a slight shimmer. For this use a really thin brush, smaller than the one you used for stencils. Let it dry and voila, you can do it to every piece of furniture you own. 

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Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.