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The weekend project: How to upcycle furniture with paint

Lois and Nick’s bedroom makeover in this week’s episode of Changing Rooms on Channel 4 stopped us in our tracks. We love all the customised pieces that make the room feel personal and asked our Content Director (a.k.a. paint guru Steph King) to show us how easy it is to add your own touch to your furniture. Watch the video below to see how she got on with her upcycled cabinet!

“Waste less, create more” is an adage that couldn’t be more important for supporting our sustainable future. Whether it’s recycling your old paint pots, reclaiming tiles to use in a project or upcycling furniture to give it a new lease of life, there are many ways you can bring revamping into your home. 

In this week’s episode of Changing Rooms, designer Micaela Sharp did just that, adding personal handmade touches to Lois and Nick’s tropical forest-themed bedroom (above). The star of the show was a striking feature wardrobe, upcycled with paint in a deliciously decadent rosy colour – Raspberry Diva, which really pops against the walls painted in Heritage Maritime Teal and woodwork in Teal Tension.

Our paint maestro, Steph King, was so inspired by Micaela’s painting furniture project that she completed a cabinet upcycle in the same dreamy shade. Watch the video and read on to find out how you can do it, too. 

You'll need


  • Dust sheets
  • Good quality decorators’ low-tack/clean-edge masking tape
  • Flexible sanding pad
  • Primer
  • Paint - eggshell
  • Roller and tray
  • Small brush

Perfect prep

1. Lightly sand the surface of the cabinet using a flexible sanding pad, this will soften the surface and help adhesivity. Wipe it down with a damp cloth.

2. Set the straight edges of your design with low-tack masking tape suitable for delicate surfaces, ensuring the lines are equal width across the surface. 

3. Using a small brush and gentle strokes, paint over the edges of the tape with the base colour to seal it. This will ensure a crisp line and to avoid the paint seeping.

4. Using a paintbrush, pop some primer onto a paint tray – Dulux Primer for Difficult Surfaces is your best bet. It’s suitable for furniture that isn’t made with real wood (like this IKEA “Billy” cabinet with Oxberg doors we’re painting).

5. Apply one coat of the primer using a roller, ensuring it is evenly distributed across the cabinet. Use the roller for larger surface areas, but a paintbrush for the corners and around the handles. Ensure you paint over the masking tape for a clean, crisp line. Leave to dry.

Colour the cabinet

6. Once the primer has dried, you can start adding colour. Using Dulux Quick Dry Eggshell in Raspberry Diva, and the same technique for the primer, paint the cabinet. Use a roller for large areas and a paintbrush for the corners, crevices and around the handles. Dulux Quick Dry Eggshell is perfect because it’s water-based so you can paint two coats in a single day (unlike solvent-based). Plus, it’s more durable and wipeable.

7. Leave the cabinet to dry for six hours, or overnight, then do a second coat. 

8. Remove the masking tape before the paint is completely dry, as this is when the tape is more flexible and won’t pull off any paint. Position in your room and admire.

Steph’s insider tip: For a bolder project, extend the design from the cabinet onto the wall behind to create a seamless “colour drench” effect.

Don’t miss the next episode of Changing Rooms on Wednesday at 8pm on Channel 4 – and stream this week's show here.

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