As promised, today’s post is how we went about upcycling our dated mahogany fitted wardrobes using leftover Crane Bird wallpaper from Woodchip & Magnolia and Nancy’s Blushes Farrow & Ball paint.
Romantic Whimsical Nature Inspired Bedroom Makeover – Up-Cycled Fitted Wardrobes
If you stopped by last week for the reveal of our Romantic Whimsical Nature Inspired Bedroom Makeover, you’ll have seen the horror of our inherited fitted wardrobes in our master bedroom.
With lockdown restrictions and on a restricted budget, it made sense to update them as cheaply and effectively as possible.
To be fair, apart from their dated aesthetic, these wardrobes were perfectly functional and in good repair. It was time to step outside our comfort zone and attempt our first large scale upcycle in our new home. We were more than a little apprehensive about how they would turn out. Thankfully, it has been the most rewarding and inspiring project we’ve undertaken ourselves.
What I loved most about having up-cycled these wardrobes is that we have ended up with a unique and bespoke design that compliments the rest of our bedroom. It’s the first thing we see when we wake up and they bring so much joy into the bedroom, we can’t help but smile.
How To Upcycle Your Fitted Wardrobes With Wallpaper & Paint
Up-Cycled Fitted Wardrobes – Remove Doors
First, you’ll need to remove all doors/drawers so you can sand, prime and paint the framework of your wardrobes.
It’s important to lightly sanded all the doors and framework. This helps the primer/undercoat adhere to the surface better and provide a key.
Up-Cycled Fitted Wardrobes – Changing Handles
If like us, your handles are dated, it’s definitely worth replacing them with new ones. Luckily, I had had the foresight to swap the Dowsing Reynolds Skyscraper Knurled handles from our old bespoke wardrobes for alternative ones and took these beauties with us.
We had to drill new holes for the new handles which actually was easy enough to do. You’ll need to fill holes made by your previous handles with a bit of poly filler and wait for them to dry before priming your doors/drawers.
Once you’ve drilled your new holes for handles, it’s a case of priming/undercoating the frame of your sanded doors. And, if you have any drawer fronts, like us, they’ll need doing too. We used Dulux Primer and Undercoat for wood because that’s what we had in our garage. To be honest, we hadn’t even thought about buying a specific primer/undercoat. I’m blaming the virus for this oversight as my whole focus had been on trying to get the paint for the walls and trim and the inevitable delays.
However, you should use an MDF with a solvent-based primer. I’ve seen Zinsser recommended a lot but there are others on the market specifically for MDF such as this one from Dulux. It’s supposed to give you a smoother finish. Because we’re novices at upcycling and in lockdown, we used what we had and are happy with the results. I guess time will tell as to how the paintwork will hold up, but so far so good.
If like us, you have mirrored doors, you’ll need to give the frame a light sanding and then masking tape the mirror where it meets the frame. Then you can prime/undercoat and then paint away.
As space was limited and (I’m impatient), I ended up painting on our balcony. I wouldn’t recommend painting outside on a hot sunny day as the paint dries too quickly and the end result wasn’t as smooth as the other doors.
I’m a bit adverse to gloss paint when it comes to painting woodwork. I’m not keen on its shiny disposition and prefer a more modern flat sheen. I’d chosen Farrow & Ball’s Nancy’s Blushes Estate Eggshell for our trim and main doors so used the same for our wardrobe doors/frame too. It took a mindnumbing 3/4 coats to get them looking good. That could be due to the primer we used…
Up-Cycled Fitted Wardrobes – Ready To Wallpaper Your Doors
Once all the doors were painted it was time to rehang them ready for wallpapering.
What’ll You’ll Need
- Pasting table – for measuring out your wallpaper on
- Pasting Brush – for pasting the door
- Paste The Wall wallpaper paste if like us you are using paste the wall wallpaper – This is the one that we used.
- Sharp scissors for cutting wallpaper
- Tape measure – measuring your door/panel
- Pencil – for marking the wallpaper for cutting
- Large Rule- We used a large Spirit level for drawing lines to cut the wallpaper
- Damp clean sponge/microfibre cloth to smooth the wallpaper out
- Wallpaper Tool – like this one here to help with cutting excess wallpaper off.
- Sharp Stanley type knife for trimming excess wallpaper
Measure & Pattern Matching
Before we cut any wallpaper, we made sure we had enough wallpaper for each of the panels. This included pattern matching at the top of each panel. Once we were sure we had enough, it was time to measure each panel out ready to paste the door and trim.
Before you even begin to cut your wallpaper, ensure your pattern matches at the top of each of your panels.
Measure each panel/door that you want to wallpaper. We added a slight overlap at the end and one side of each panel in case of any discrepancies. As we only just had enough for each panel, we couldn’t afford to take any chances in messing up.
Paste The Door/Panel
Using the wallpaper paste paste the panel/door.
Then starting at the top smooth your wallpaper ensuring there are no air bubbles using a damp sponge or cloth. Once you have the wallpaper in place, trim off any excess before moving on to the next panel/door. Repeat the process of measuring, matching pattern of the wallpapering ensuring that each panel starts at a specific point and so on.
Romantic Whimsical Nature Inspired Bedroom Makeover – Up-cycled Fitted Wardrobes
Wallpapering the doors was so incredibly easy and a lot faster than painting. We are already planning our connecting guestbedroom which has fitted wardrobes and will definitely be up cycling them as we have in our master bedroom.
Don’t forget you can check out our full bedroom makeover here for Part 1 – Before and here for Part 2 – The Reveal.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post on How To Upcycle Fitted Wardrobes. If I’ve tempted you to have a go yourself, it would be great to hear from you. It’s incredibly rewarding as well as a fantastic way of saving a lot of money in the process. If we’d replaced the fitted wardrobes with alternatives we wouldn’t have been able to have achieved such a bespoke look and would have been out of pocket by ££££!
Until next time, thanks as always for stopping by!
Don’t forget to pin to Pinterest for future projects…