It’s not just a trend, this upcycling thing is part of a lifestyle. I love the creativity of working with Mezzie and Frank Chalk Paint, as well as the practicality of restoring tired old furniture. I was pleased to bring back to new life an old stool using their Thredbo White Chalk Paint.
I grew up in a family where waste was not tolerated – you know the lines, ‘eat all your dinner or you’ll have no dessert’, ‘save all the scraps and we will feed them to the chooks’. Mum darned the holes in the socks of my father and 5 brothers, she turned their collars so that they all got double the wear out of any one shirt. All this mending and she really hated sewing, but it had to be done!
Mum was a great one for recycling everything but she also had a wonderful strong sense of style. She loved antiques, which she collected over decades. In her 60’s she took up Furniture Restoration and French Polishing. Over the years she just about single handedly furnished the homes of my brothers and me – the poor in-laws didn’t get much say in it! Luckily her taste was classic and she restored dozens of very beautiful old pieces for us.
Well, even Mum knew when an old piece needed updating with some colour. My last project for her was a bathroom stool. Collected from the side of the road (by Mum!) it had absolutely had it – wooden and with good bones but haggard, pitted and with split wood down its sides. It was the perfect size for Mum though and she could see the potential for a strong comfy stool for her to steady herself in the bathroom. She asked me to update it and I set to work on it happily.
A thick undercoat in Mezzie and Frank’s Bondi Blue was first, then top coated in pure Thredbo White Chalk Paint. I then sanded it back to reveal all those imperfect pops of perfection. This is the thing about chalk paint and distressing furniture – it is in the imperfections that the greatest beauty is exposed. Scratches and pits result in gorgeous shapes and textures. The furniture communicates with me as I work on it, revealing stories of its history, of the people who have communed around it through its life.
Mum’s bathroom stool, newly coloured and set with wax became the essential item in her bathroom, a resting place for her to safely towel dry.