How I upcycled my old TV Unit

If I’m honest with you, I’m a ‘buy new’ kinda girl. I have dabbled with upcycling in the past – spray painting the brass knobs on a G-Plan wardrobe and dressing table, changing the colour of some charity shop picture frames, refreshing the white, chipped paint on my daughter’s bed – but usually the pull of something never used before sucks me in.

We’ve done a fair amount of decorating lately (see my instagram for evidence) and as you all know, this costs (a LOT of) money and sometimes you have to take steps to keep costs down.

About 11 years ago when I bought my first flat, I purchased this pine TV unit for £6 on Ebay! I painted it white with chalk paint and, (back then I was into the shabby chic look), sanded it back a bit to let some of the wood grain show through.


I decided to have a go at smartening up said unit, using paint to match the now dark walls of my living room and adding some gorgeous new knobs, since despite looking rather worse for wear, it’s still a perfectly functional piece of furniture. I thought I’d show you how I did it. And if you’re not into upcycling – later on, I’ll also show you my favourite TV units on sale right now for under £300 too!


As you can see – the surface was very chipped and marked, so first (after laying the unit and drawer on a dust-sheet), I gently sanded all the areas I wished to paint with sandpaper.



I used 320 fine grit sandpaper – suitable for smoothing wooden surfaces. Once the area was suitably primed, I put some masking tape around the drawer to define the area I wanted to paint, so I’d get a nice crisp line.


Then, I used both a brush and a small roller to apply the paint. It’s recommended that you use wood paint for this, but as I had a fair amount of emulsion left over, I decided to apply two coats of this, followed by two coats of clear, matt varnish to protect against knocks and spills.


If you use a roller to roll out the paint, you will get a lovely smooth finish, rather than stripy brush strokes.

The paint colour is Railings by Farrow and Ball – an almost black hue which looks very smart!

I used two coats of Ronseal varnish…


…and then added some pretty monochrome knobs from Maisons Du Monde for that special touch.


Beautiful knobs add extra appeal

Make sure you measure the depth of the drawer front so your knobs fit snugly.


Below is the finished article, which I think will do rather nicely until the time comes when we build some units into the alcoves! I hope this has inspired you to give it a go!


And if not – for those of you looking for a NEW TV unit – here’s my best picks from what’s available now for under £300!

£299 • Madedotcom

Artic• £172.50 • Maisons Du Monde

Hugo • £249 • Swoon Editions

Lisabo • £95 • Ikea

Compo • £215 • La Redoute

Kat x


  1. rowanmorrissy
    March 27, 2018 / 10:48 pm

    I love the colour choice with the nobs! Such a great way to upcycle an item while you’re waiting to save for the perfect piece. I think you did a great job!
    PS: I’ve been loving your instagram lately!

    xo, Rowan |

    • March 28, 2018 / 8:43 am

      Hi Rowan and thanks for your comment! I’m so glad you like it – it’s made such a big difference to that corner of the room 😀 xx

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