A simple guide to coordinating your charity shop finds

Posted: 23rd Sep 2019

Charity shops can be a treasure trove for anyone who wants to try their hand at upcycling

In most charity shops you'll find a little corner dedicated to homewares, where you can expect to find flowery tea sets, vases, figurines and even old toby jugs - remember them? One thing they all have in common is they are generally a bit dated in either colour or pattern - that's usually why they got handed in initially.

However, looking past this will reveal some lovely shaped objects which can still be transformed into some beautiful pieces - and that's where upcycling comes in, as all round creative junkie Cheryl Lumley and Rust-Oleum reveal...

"I want to stick to the simplest of colours for this project and go for white but still wanted to add texture so I’ve gone for a mix of gloss and matt with Rust-Oleum Universal All-Surface Spray Paint in White Gloss and Flat White for a different finish. The best thing about this spray paint is that it sticks to everything and has a primer built in, plus you can even hold the tin upside down to spray into those fiddly bits."

"I wasn’t sure exactly which pieces would work with each other until I sprayed them, but it all came to under £10 so a complete bargain, even if I don’t use some of them, it’s worth it to test out techniques for that price."

You will need

Objects to be painted
Dust sheets
Rust-Oleum Universal All-Surface Spray Paint in White Gloss and Flat White


1 Old items can be full of dust and years of greasy finger marks so make sure your pieces are clean and free from dust particles otherwise you won’t get an even finish.  Place outside on a large dust sheet, and make sure you wear a protective mask for this one.

2 Using Rust-Oleum Universal All-Surface Spray Paint, hold the can about 12 inches away from the object and using nice even strokes spray 2-3 thin coats on.  Keep the can moving and overlap each stroke slightly. Thin coats will dry quicker and give a much neater finish. If you do happen to get drips on then don’t panic, just use kitchen roll to dab off the excess and it will cover up in the next coat. It will take between 30-60 mins between each coat to be touch dry. The first coat will look speckly, that’s fine, if you try to get full coverage in one spray you’ll get drips.

3 By painting all of the objects the same colour you instantly create a collection, so you need to find the perfect place in your home to display them. It’s works best to group things in odd numbers and add height using books or boxes. If there are vases in your collection then flowers will create extra height too. Don’t go for tallest to shortest, mix up your heights. My bedroom mantle is quite shallow, but if you have a deeper shelf or surface then using the space to bring things forward and play with the space. I went for 3 pieces on either side of the mantle.

Tutorial courtesy of Rust-Oleum and Cheryl Lumley