As much as I enjoy meeting customers and discussing paint choices, there’s no getting around the fact that each project is pretty much just one colour scheme. So, it’s always a treat to revamp a piece of furniture for a customer who wants lots of colour and a quirky new look. This happens periodically during the year but it all stems from that first makeover many years ago.

I was down at The Marina in Centre Park Road placing an order for spray paint. The shop was busy and I knew I had to kill some time before my order would be ready. So, I called into a second hand furniture warehouse with only the intention of spending thirty minutes of my time and not the €45 ( after haggling ) that I subsequently handed over.

I saw this slightly dirty & musty sideboard and thought to myself “ I could do a lot with this “. When I arrived home with the piece, my wife was less than enthusiastic about my plans. Once the musty smell was cleared, all was forgiven and my plans were entertained. Over the course of a week, there was a lot of sanding, painting and varnishing to be done. I knew I wanted plenty of colour for the drawers, so a trip to the craft shops was needed. A fan of colourful and carefully selected decoupage cards were carefully selected and applied to the drawer fronts. Some candy stripe wallpaper was used at the sides of the unit and the look was complete. To saw that it was now a beautiful swan might be a a bit of a stretch but it was no ugly duckling any more. 

The sideboard was a colourful and cheery addition to our home for a long time until we needed a piano, then space meant something had to give. The sideboard ended up going on holidays to Bunnyconellan’s Restaurant in Myrtleville while a new display unit was being commissioned for their hallway. After a short while, a couple having a meal there enquired about the piece and if it was for sale ?

A price was agreed and a delivery arranged to a storage lock up. The couple were in the process of doing up a house and everything that they owned was boxed up, pending builders finishing their new home in Kinsale. I wished them all the very best for the future but was a little sad to leave my furniture piece behind, a deal was a deal . 

Some years later, it made me smile to see my sideboard on the front page weekend section of The Examiner, taking pride of place in a lovely new home. It was doing exactly as it’s design, bringing a bright pop of colour to a cosy living space. I am very happy that I called into that second hand shop that day, it spurred me on to pick out and upcycle many more “ ugly ducklings “.