Kate’s Upcycling Projects in the UK: Upcycling a French Country Cupboard

In 2012 Kate moved in with the kids and daughter, Georgia. Georgia and Kate had some wonderful adventures in antiquing and vin-tiquing in East Anglia. This upcycling project was first featured on the Facebook Page for Twisted Wood, our furniture business in the UK.

Upcycling Projects from the United Kingdom: Our First French Piece

This cupboard was discovered one Friday morning in The Covered Pens at the Diss Auction Rooms of T.W. Gaze. We rescued this piece from rain damage and wood worm and hauled it up the stairs to its first home in the hallway of the base house at Lakenheath Air Force Base (where I had moved to live with Georgia and her family).

As a rule, pieces of French vintage or antique furniture sell for more than English brown wood, and this piece was not an exception. We had to bid higher than our comfort level (for beginners) to get this piece. And, we had no intention of re-selling it so no plan to recoup our investment and make a profit.


You can’t see what Kate Twisted Wood had to do on the folding stool (far right) but it involved a lot of cleaning and treating of the wood on the back and top of this beauty. Also notebooks propping up bottom of cupboard where foot broke off when we carried it from the van to our upstairs landing. — at RAF Lakenheath.


Bees Wax to rub into the wood which was very dry and splintery.


Exterior starting to shine (so much the flash is reflecting off the wood). Elbow grease!


Wood Glue to put the foot back in place.


Wallpaper added to shelves.


Upholstery and curtain fabric and sewing supplies stashed on the shelves.


Fabric stash for a couple of new “secret” projects.


Finished with Tim’s trophies and mementos replaced for safe keeping.

Twisted Wood: A Commitment to Up-cycling Old Wood with Natural and Traditional Restoration Products

As we spent many hours learning the ropes at auctions and trying our hand at repairing and restoring old solid wood pieces of furniture we (Georgia and Kate) learned to avoid restoration projects that involved too many volatile chemicals. We developed a preference for products that fed the wood and refreshed the finish versus stripping and refinishing. The wood worm treatment of pieces became routine but this is the last piece I treated for wood worm indoors. Outdoors with mask and rubber gloves became my rule!

We acquired some solid wood furniture pieces that were destined for paint. Our favorite paints became those based on older, more traditional paint formulations, like chalk paint and milk paint.

More about wood refreshment and furniture finishes coming up!

Warm regards,


P.S. I’d love it if you took a moment now to “LIKE” my Facebook page for UpCycling My Life. There’s a LIKE button in the sidebar to the right of this post. If you’d like to receive email updates from me, sign up in the sign up box also in the right-hand sidebar.

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About Kate Williams


Kate Williams is an upcycler — re-purposing the elements of her life (and things) to create something with better quality and value. Find Kate at work in the Pacific Northwest, USA, and East Anglia, UK. Upcycling: antique furniture and vintage home decor. Profession: adult & social learning specialist. View all posts by Kate Williams →

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