Renovating Furniture – The Miss P Way

Do you read the blog, Miss P? You should! I can’t even recall how we stumbled across each other in the blogosphere, but I was so glad when she joined us for the Fabric Fandango last year. I knew we’d be kindred spirits, and so it proved.

Over the past few months, Miss P – a pattern drafting expert and vintage aficionado – has blogged about her determination to get her home in order. I love it when blogs shift and change with a person’s life. This is the huge advantage we have over the book industry. What we do is organic and personal – we’re bound by no rules other than our own.

Recently Miss P shared blog posts about renovating wooden pieces of furniture. (She has a fantastic step-by-step here.) I was hooked! I’m the type of person who spots a discarded chair in the street and takes it home with her. I know all too well what a splash of paint can do, but when Portia started showing us all how to do it properly – and then offered to help me in person! – I bit her hand off.

I have a bedside cabinet that I inherited from the previous owner of my house. It’s small, inobtrusive, nothing special. Begging for a face lift. Here it is being sanded down in my back garden…

And here it is receiving its first layer of paint in Portia’s back garden…

Here’s the wax that makes all the difference…

And here’s the finished sheen…

I must give special mention to the new handles I bought. The original bedside cabinet had some of those little, round wooden handles that you can buy from any hardware store. So simple, so boring. I wanted something different to suit the simple lines of the cabinet.

I wandered through Finsbury one evening and came upon the most eccentric hardware store I’ve ever seen.

They had a whole box of handles that had clearly been rescued from items going to the dump. I bought a couple for £3 – though I think I was totally scammed. Come on, £3! Still, I think they really suit the cabinet…

So! Nothing to do with sewing, knitting or crochet – but creativity, without a doubt. I owe Miss P a massive thank you. I am slightly worried, though. She has a shed. Not my type of shed, with cobwebs and mice and rotten floor boards. A shed where a person goes to create – full of light and space. We sat in there with the radio on and chatted, with sunshine streaming through the open doors and her little boy intermittently coming to check on our doings.

Oh dear. Now I want THAT type of shed…

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23 Responses to Renovating Furniture – The Miss P Way

  1. Oh this is fabulous, Karen! What a lovely colour and I must say I admire your choice of bedside book – The Diary of A Provinical Lady is one of my most favourite books.

  2. Portia says:

    Karen those handles are soooooo great!! They’re exactly the kind of handles I would have if I didn’t have to consider J’s opinion on everything 😉
    I had such a lovely day and it’s great to see your little cubby all finished up and looking chic. Sheesh, you make my “shed” sound almost magical 🙂
    Big hugs

  3. Joanne says:

    Delightful! I am also a ‘skip dipper’ and have loved Portia’s ongoing furniture makeovers. £3 for a pair of handles like that? I say bargain mate – have you seen how much they are in Anthropologie? 🙂

  4. Maria says:

    Karen, please give more details about that hardware store. Thanks 🙂

  5. Roobeedoo says:

    Wax? On top of paint? Well now! There’s another project for the queue!
    Love your colourscheme and handles!
    Is there still an amazing hardware shop on the Lea Bridge Road around the top of Essex Road? I used to love browsing their many cubby holes for nails by the handful / chain by the foot etc!

  6. Marie says:

    Incredible transformation! I’ve been a long-time fan of Portia’s, but I too have particularly been enjoying her DIY posts. They’re so inspiring and informative. It makes me want to buy a house to renovate now!!!

  7. MrsC says:

    Karen I have this mental image of you biking across the countryside with the cabinet bungied to your carrier! Or possibly sitting crocheting on the train with it beside you. I am easily amused hehehe. How fabulous! I think we all need a shed like Miss P!

  8. Molly says:

    I also want “that kind of shed”. I went so far as to measure up the back garden to create a sewing studio out there but alas a workspace of suitable size will not fit. I had such dreams too… You might like this online course:

  9. Nothy says:

    I love the handles and the choice of paint colour. I wish I was more focused in this sort of thing. I decided two years ago to paint the kitchen cabinet doors and I still haven’t put them all back….

  10. punkmik says:

    Oh I had not followed miss P yet! thanks for that tip! I love DIY and doing up old furniture! Recently we mainly bought new things for our new home but once we have a bigger place in like 5 years I can start to take old chairs and cupboards home again from the streets, like I used to as a student! 😛
    We also have a great shop that up-cycles old furniture and it just turns out so pretty! Love your retro creation!

  11. That’s really cool. Love the colour and the handles.

  12. I’m inclined to agree that those handles would have been cheap at twice the price. They’re lovely. And what a rescue with that gorgeous colour. Excellent.

  13. PS: this is almost encouraging me to attempt such a thing with my sewing-room chair. Hm.

  14. I love what you’ve done, and what a gorgeous colour! I fabbed up a 70s orangey/brown wood bedside cabinet a couple of months ago; went for cream and new black twirly handles from eBay (fiver for them)… Have you checked out Annie Sloan chalk paint? It’s very matt, but you don’t need to prime and it loves having the wax on top too…

  15. Handle envy going on here too! Sweet makeover, really lovely 🙂

  16. Sarah says:

    Ooh, lovely job! The colour is so pretty and I really love the handles!

  17. Meg says:

    What a marvelous piece!! The color is stunning, and I just love the handles you chose! It turned out beautifully 🙂 I think we all need a shed like Miss P’s – it sounds like a fabulous creative space

  18. Pingback: Painting And Waxing A Chair | Did You Make That?

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