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'up cycling' a cupboard unit - ideas please?

(6 Posts)
happynappies Tue 30-Apr-13 10:57:30

I'm moving dd out of the nursery to share with her older sister, so youngest dd can move into the nursery. Needed to re-organise clothes storage etc, and dh spotted an old rickety 'dresser' that was in the kitchen when we moved into our house a few months ago. It is quite tall but narrow, with glass panelled doors at the top, a drawer in the middle, and wooden cupboard doors at the bottom. I was thinking I could remove the glass panels and replace with fabric? and possibly paint the rest of it, replace the handles on the doors and cupboards, and possibly insert a 'hanging rail' in the top cupboards but:

Not sure how to go about inserting fabric panels - do you make them like curtains, on some sort of 'wire' or do you just stick or staple the panel in?

Not sure what kind of paint to use so it doesn't look like a complete bodge job - its not a solid wood cupboard, bit thin but think it could be painted.

Would it be difficult to find a rail to fit or do you saw them to size?

Any other ideas? I really want it to look clean/simple/professional rather than sort of amateur which could be a problem, because I've not done this before!!! Any thoughts gratefully considered.

GrandPoohBah Tue 30-Apr-13 12:16:37

I think it's up to you with the panel of fabric - some people create a screen using net-wire, or you could use a staple gun on the back, or maybe affix it to a frame and then replace the glass with the frame by removing the dowelling?

Annie Sloan paint is apparently very good for painting furniture.

amazonianwoman Tue 30-Apr-13 12:54:22

Agree Annie Sloan paint is great. Otherwise prime with something which sticks to any surface (Zinsser Bin or 1-2-3) then use normal paint.

And yes you can get a hanging rail which you can cut to fit. I adapted one from the local hardware shop, cost less than a fiver including end brackets, to make a coat cupboard. You just need a small saw to cut through either wood or metal.

happynappies Tue 30-Apr-13 14:03:18

Thank you both, that is reassuring... I will look into the Annie Sloan paint, and will get to the hardware shop in town to see if they have a hanging rail. I'll see what I can do about the fabric - need to 'make good' the slightly rickety doors first, when I take the glass out of the doors they may just collapse!! Might need to reinforce the internal shelves, or even cut some more out of wood, but slightly out of my depth here. Dh will be rolling his eyes when he hears of this project!! Thanks for your advice!

betterwhenthesunshines Tue 30-Apr-13 18:44:11

Go for it - if it's for a child's bedroom it doesn't need to be perfect! If the doors feel a bit rickety without the glass, you could always get some thin MDF cut the same size and fit this into the space instead of the glass. If you still want the fabric look, then cut a piece of fabric and either spray mount it to the front of the MDF before you put it in, or cut the fabric larger and fold it around the edges , although you'll have to deal with theraw edges which you will see once the doors are open. It depends on how much the frame overlaps the glass?

I've painted with bog-standard emulsion before. You do need to sand and prime, but then you just put a light neutral wax over the top to seal it. You could put a different colour on underneath first and sand through the top coat along some edges if you want a slightly distressed look. This can be very subtle if you choose 2 colours that are different tones of the same colour, but go for an obvious difference or it can look just like streaky paint!

betterwhenthesunshines Tue 30-Apr-13 18:45:59

Also I'd put the rail in the bottom cupboard and the shelves in the top or you will spend the whole time bending down to see what's at the back of the shelves. Hangers are easy to reach lower for.

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