Why should I upcycle?

Get ready to upcycle!- I guarantee it’s what you will want to do almost immediately after reading this. 

What is upcycling? 

Before we dig deep and find out why it is so important for everyone to try and upcycle, we need to know what upcycling is.

Upcycling is a creative way to reuse an old item; making them in to a better quality product with better environment value. It allows us to make use of used items indefinitely. Do not be mistaken between upcycling and recycling.

Upcycling Vs Recycling

Upcycling is reusing an existing (old) item by transforming it and finding a new purpose. Recycling is turning the product back into it’s raw form. It takes a lot of manpower, processing power and machinery for recycling to happen, often the quality of the product will not be restored- this is known as downcycling.


Why should I upcycle? 

There are many reasons why we should all be upcycling, after all it has some marvellous benefits.

  • The healthiest way to manage your waste- Upcycling reduces the amount of waste that is dumped into the landfills. Dumping unwanted items can be a concern for the environment, due to some materials containing dangerous chemicals that cause soil degradation. This can lead to water pollution and let’s not forget air pollution. Along side this landfills can be an eyesore.


  • Conserves the limited resources – Imagine the amount of good materials that are going to waste when dumped- mind- blowing. The materials dumped daily are precious, their supply can diminish. We all need to be upcycling to eliminate the need to use fresh raw materials.


  • Saves money- We all look for ways to save money, right? Upcycling is a fun and challenging activity, that minimises cost of production. Seems like a no brainer!


  • Encourages creativity and Innovation- Upcycled products are unique and quirky, different to anything you would find on the high street. This is what makes upcycling truly spectacular.


If you interested journey the fabulous world of Upcycling and want to find out more, check out Upcycle Tv  for everything upcycle. Upcycle TV are also a partner of the upcycle fayre 2021 – exciting! If this is something you would love to be part of, head over to Vintage Upcycle Fayre Wiltshire  for more information.

How to make a reclaimed wood feature wall
How to make a reclaimed wood feature wall

How to make a reclaimed wood feature wall

It is now September 2020, I’m trying to ignore the madness that is happening in the world and focus my energy on my projects, I am currently building a new workshop for Upcycle TV and I wanted a super cool backdrop for the channel.
I decided to make a reclaimed wood feature wall.
We had loads of scrap wood from all the renovation work that has been undertaken at the property, some of the timber is excess from the new building work but most of it is what was taken out from the previous occupier which was a Chinese takeaway.

How to make a reclaimed wood feature wall – Step by Step

1. I used CLS timber which fixed to wall by drill and screws – How to fix timber to a wall
2. These timber uprights were placed 600mm apart
3. The existing concrete was very unlevel so I used a long length of CLS to set the level at the bottom of the feature wall
4. Some of the wood used was from old pallets so we began splitting the boards
5. The next stage was to sort out all the timber into heights, I wanted each run of wood to be the same height
6. Start fixing the wood to the wall, ensuring that the wood overlays the wood fixed to the wall in a minimum of two points to ensure stability
7. Try to allow a careful balance of the distribution of the various coloured woods, for example; some of the wood was painted blue so this needed to be evenly placed across the wall
8. Working from the ground up all the way to the top of the wall

Video of How to Make a Wood Feature Wall
By Stuart Miles, Upcycle TV

This wall is going to be used for both the backdrop to my upcycle videos but also for professional business videos for https://developbusiness.co.uk so the setting has to be absolutely spot on, I cannot accept anything but top quality finish. There may be a TV that is used to display a logo or other information whilst filming so this also needs to be taken into account.

Pallet Wall Before
Pallet Wall Before
Pallet Wall After
Pallet Wall After

14th December 2020 – Update

The end wall with the window that you can see in picture two is now covered with OSB and I’m probably going to paint it white.

The next job on my list is to build a super awesome working bench and once complete, I can start making some really great YouTube videos for Upcycle TV, I’m really keen to get going now, it’s been a long time in waiting to get this workshop fully functional.

Most likely I will be putting a few tools on display on the OSB wall, this will double as much needed tool storage but will also look good when making Upcyle videos, however, if I am using the space for a studio for the business development videos, I can hide the tools from the shot. 3-4-The price of one 🙂

I will come back and finish this blog at a later date, hopefully, early January 2021 and I’ll be showing off the new workbench, if possible I will make a video of the design and construction of that.

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How to Get a Smooth Finish with Chalk Paint

How to get a smooth finish using chalk paint

It took a little to time and practice to discover how to get a smooth finish using chalk paint.
Once you know how to do this, it is fairly easy to do, you can follow my instructions in the video.

Video: How to get a perfect finish using chalk paint

1. Prepare your piece that you are painting – a good wash down with sugar soap first, I like to use the powder version and mix it a little stronger.
2. In most cases, when using a premium brand paint, you’ll only need a light key. If you are using primer and emulsion or a lower cost chalk paint then you might want to be more trigger happy with the sanding. This is why I prefer to use a premium brand paint – see link
3. Run a damp cloth over to remove any remaining dust.
4. Use a mini roller with a Hamilton Prestige felt sleeve.
These beauties are a proper game-changer. – BUY ROLLER SLEEVES
5. Between all coats, use a sanding sponge to polish until happy with the finish of the surface.

Repeat the process.

how to get a smooth finish with chalk paint
Using sanding sponge to get a smooth sprayed-like finish

Not everyone wants a smooth finish
Absolutely, it really depends on the piece in question but yes, sometimes you want to brush marks and imperfection – this video isn’t for you!

If you are wanting to get your paintwork looking like its been sprayed then, without doubt, it is the way to go. I haven’t yet found a better, more efficient way to achieve such a superior paint finish.

If you are a professional or aspiring pro furniture painter then this could be a game-changer for you and your budding business as not only is does it allow a fantastic finish to your work but it is quick and easy.

Hope that the techniques I show here will help you discover how to get a smooth finish with chalk paint.
If youve enjoyed this blog, check our our YouTube channel – UpcycleTV

pretty painted pink house black door
How to Paint a Upvc Door

How to Paint a UPVC Door

You can paint Upvc doors and windows and its actually really easy and extremely effective. In this written article, I am going to show you how to paint a Upvc door and what materials and tools you’ll need to do it.

In this video, I painted our back door from white to a lovely blue.

As always, preparation is vital. Here is a list of prep.

1. Wash the door down with hot soapy water, use a decreasing product like sugar soap and an algae remover if required.
2. A very light key with a sanding sponge or fine sandpaper
3. Clean the door with methylated spirit and wait until dry or dry with lint-free cloth.

Now you can paint – How to paint a Upvc door

I highly recommend using a paint such as Frenchic Alfresco or Dulux Weathershield Multisurface


You can use a mini roller and a paintbrush, I like the finish when using a felt roller ( see how to get a perfect finish using chalk paint ) and I’m a paintbrush snob so something like Purdy – It actually doesnt matter too much, depending on how fussy you are about getting a smooth finish but, this can be achieved by polishing anyway!

Once you’ve applied a coat of paint, polish out any imperfections with sanding sponge/paper before and wipe with a damp cloth before atarting the next coat.

How to paint a Upvc door – Repeat until you are happy with the finish.

I am reliably informed that adding Polyvine to a standard chalk paint will also work but, as of yet, I haven’t tried and tested this so I am not suggesting you do that. If you have any experience of this then please do let me know in the comments.

What Colour Should You Paint Your Front Door?
It really depends on your personal preference, the colour and finish of the building and the general surroundings.

Here is the colour chart for Dulux Weathershield Multisurface paint

dulux multisurface paint almond whitedulux multisurface paint blackdulux multisurface paint chic shadowdulux multisurface paint cotton creamdulux multisurface paint fresh sagedulux multisurface paint vallant greydulux multisurface paint green gladedulux multisurface paint hazelnut truffledulux multisurface paint pure brilliant whitedulux multisurface paint smooth flintdulux multisurface paint vast lakedulux multisurface paint warm graphite

pretty painted pink house black door

If you’ve enjoyed this article, you’ll probably also enjoy the blog about painting your patio slabs which you can read here

learn to build a chicken coup

Upcycle Books

Learn to Upcycle the Old School Way

Read a book!

Upcycle Books

There are millions of YouTube videos to watch and it is, without doubt, the best way to learn something, well, if the videos are well made.
However, there is still a place for the good old fashioned book, when you’ve had enough of looking at screens and stupid adverts that keep popping up, get a book, a coffee and just sit in a quiet space.
There are some super upcycling books out there, very useful for getting ideas and inspiration. Below is a link to Amazon with a list of books all about upcycling, go and treat yourself.

Upcycle Books on Amazon

furniture makeover upcycle books

“Transforming old and worn furniture into a gorgeous, modern statement piece can be intimidating, but Jen Crider makes it easy with step-by-step tutorials anyone can do. This book is packed with ingenious, approachable projects to turn old chairs, tables, sofas and more into gorgeous furniture. Jen’s style fits right in to today’s farmhouse decor, making the book appealing to a wide audience. Unbelievable before and after photos will blow readers away, especially when they learn how simple it is to create the effects themselves. Beginners can dive right in with quick tricks and techniques like applying stain for a luxury wood finish and using paint to make details pop. More advanced projects are accessible to all-levels with Jen’s super helpful step-by-step instructions and photos. With plenty of tips on selecting and repairing furniture, it’s easy to get started. Learn how to give a second-hand table that perfectly weathered antique look. DIY enthusiasts won’t believe how easy it is to reupholster seat cushions, benches, armchairs and more. Give any room a special handmade touch in just a few hours and on a budget with 25 exciting techniques. Before long, readers will be impressing friends on social media with their own amazing before and after shots. This book will have 25 makeovers, each with a styled photo plus about 5 step-by-step photographs” Source: Amazon

Furniture flipping, upcycling, furniture painting, makeovers, thrift finds – whatever you call your hobby or business, there are books out there for you. Whether you are looking for hints or tips on making money from upcycling or you simply want to learn new skills, reading a book is still a great way to learn.

If I haven’t sold you on books and you’re here for some amazing how-to upcycle videos then fair enough, this is “Upcycle TV” after all!

Here is my How-To-Upcycle playlist on YouTube

The playlist begins with Jack making a ladder from scrap wood, the funny thing about this video is that Jack doesn’t know what anything is called – See if you can spot how many times he says “one of these” LOL, all jokes aside, its very important to get the younger generations involved with upcycling and this is a great little project with a fantastic end result so well done Jack.


BBC’s The Repair Shop is a place where Britain’s most skilled and caring craftspeople rescue and resurrect items that owners thought were beyond saving. Their shared love of craft has helped hundreds of people recover and relive cherished memories, and inspired millions to rediscover their own prized possessions. The skill required to properly restore those items may be beyond most of us, but there are small things we can all do to care for the items we love the most. How do you replenish the stuffing in your child’s beloved, tatty teddy bear, for instance? Or remove a water mark left on your wooden table? What’s the best way to prevent your leather from cracking?

Direct from the Repair Shop’s ‘Workshop of Dreams’, this ‘make do and mend’ guide collects advice and stories from each of the show’s experts, to help you understand and care for those aging treasures and heirlooms around your house or gathering dust in the garage. Whether it’s wood, ceramics, leather or silverware, you will get to know your materials, tools and terms from Britain’s best, as the Repair Shop experts share their tips on restoring and conserving, reveal their favourite tools, and provide a series of small, manageable projects that help tackle the most common problems that occur in their given medium. Their book, like the show it accompanies, with help you safeguard your sentimental legacy for generations to come



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