Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Paint-by-Numbers Makeover

"A makeover is taking what someone has and way maximising it to their best advantage" Cher Horowitz, Clueless.

I know Cher's talking lonely teen with bad hair and no fashion sense, and I'm talking boxy 50's bedside cupboard, but a makeover is a makeover and every girl cupboard deserves one in our  my opinion.

O.K. Clueless references used and abused, time to shut-up and let the pictures do the talking...


(had to write that because I'm linking to Lakota's Ta-Daah Tuesday...although I reckon it's worthy of a ta-daah anyway, don't you?)

lamp, vintage Scanglobe (made in Denmark)
smile cloud cushion, hand-made (in Australia, by Annabel)

please note the neat, straight edges.

I am notorious for failing at anything to do with lines. Straight accurate ones ie. So it was with trepidation I cut into the old paint-by-numbers with a Stanley knife! (yes Anthony) Not only is it a perfect fit, I still have all my fingers! No Band-aids required.

Right, down to business.

Every good makeover needs some inspiration (unless you're a natural born creative - like some clever people I know!*)
This one was was inspired by Janet Lee's Paint by Number table Topper which appears in her book

local library comes up trumps. again.

And (because all the before and after makeover pros share their secrets. Ha-ha!) here's a list of the stuff I used:

you might want to skip this bit...

sand paper and elbow grease (I am too funny!)

Zissner Smart Prime primer (Let me tell you I am not a one trick pony, no sir-ee! I've been making-over lots of furniture lately, and the Zissner really helps the top coat to stick, and it also does a great job of hiding what's underneath)

left-over Dulux Aqua-enamel from our skirting boards etc, in Australia's favourite paint colour, Antique White U.S.A.

a good squirt of PVA.

a pile of telephone books to hold the p-b-n in place while it's drying.

too many to count coats of Boyle matt finishing spray.

and lastly (and this stuff's a revelation!)
I polished the paint-by-numbers top with Gilly Stephenson's Carnauba Polish. This stuff is not only made in Western Australia, it smells divine, and provides a lovely protective finish. I've used it atop quite a few pieces of furniture that I've painted with acrylic paint and it really helps it stand up to the knocks and scrapes of life. Rub it on and buff it off. I'm going crazy with it. It's cheap and you can order it online.

The last thing I did was line the shelves with old wallpaper samples. Gotta be beautiful on the inside as well as the outside, right?

a makeover = a second chance at life

(Nothing shallow about my makeovers. Not papering the sides though!)

I'll end with this awesome hand painted, paint-by-number wall. My little cupboard pales in comparison.

Using this as their inspiration:

  Scott and Cheryl White turned this:


(all pics and info via Design Sponge, click here for more)


p.s. do you think I should paint the little cupboard's legs a nice bright colour? or leave them as is?

p.p.s. tea towel to come...

Linking up with these creatives too. I'm talking people like this *

and oops, I didn't know you were meant to include a tip...crikey, a tip from me! Ummmm, just do it I suppose. Even if you think it might turn out badly. You could be wrong, it just might be fab (like my table - not up-myself, just pleased with how it turned out)


  1. Kylie, I love it! It looks so great and with no loss of fingers either! I am jealous and I want one. I think you should paint the legs the same colour turquoise as the pond/puddle part of the PBN.

    Adore the PBN wall too, can only imagine how long that must have taken.

  2. The PBN makeover can be classed as a huge success - absolutely love the PBN you used to top the cabinet and I really like the wallpaper samples lining the shelves inside too :-)

    Jem xXx

  3. Looks great! Fab idea for using old painting by number pictures!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  4. Oh my goodness Kylie! That looks so good! Well done it came up so well! I agree with Lakota, the blue would look great on the legs and tie in with the gorgeous quilt too :)
    That wall is awesome :)

  5. Oh Kylie well done its just fabulous!!!! The colours are so good with the lovely bed and monster. Yip I am with the lovelies above, blue legs would be great.
    Love v

  6. I'm with the blue as well, it will make a nice touch! You have done a great job Kylie for your girl! Also that wall is amazing, as is the new banner pic, I feel at home already! xxxx

    Ps I already had a hanger put aside for you in my mind, even b4 you commented on my post! I will get knotting! ;)

  7. Very cool, love the new header photo too :)

  8. Love the PBN cabinet! Fabulous!

  9. Love the 'after' shot of your latest little make over. And that wall, how cool is that.
    Your gifted LGB's arived safe and sound, Thank you so very much for sending them.

  10. Love it until I'm sick.

    It looks fantastic. I thought blue legs too, but they have to be the same blue as the lake/pond in the paint-by-numbers ... draws the eye.

    Phone Steve and ask him what his opinion is. (I shouldn't say that should I? Hugs of a protective kind).

  11. Love, love, love :0)
    Kylie this really is a bit spooky! Wait till you read the "how to" post on mine. I have a very similar "revelation" wax that also smells divine but has a typically British name, lol :0)

  12. Love it! Very cute cushion too!I agree papering the sides is painful.

  13. Now that is thinking out of the box...great job. xx

  14. Looks fantastic, I think some coloured legs would be intriguing. I want a paint by numbers mural too!

  15. Love your work, although that wall mural is pretty impressive too. I had exactly the same thought about the legs matching the pond. melx

  16. What a great makeover! LOVE it and yes, paint the legs. Lakota's right - that blue in the painting is fab.

    Also love your bedding - hugely.

    And like the new header photo. That room is wonderful.

    Oh I just love everything about this post.

  17. aahh Lucy it looks fabulous ;-)) You could paint the legs another colour any one would go in that room ;-)) Love the top you did a great job. That book looks interesting to really like the front cover. Enjoy the rest of your week, dee xx

  18. I just did a post about my Daughter's room. After reading your post I now want to redo it. And the table? I was like, where ever did you find that. And then I see you made it. AMAZING!!!

    Love the custom artwork too. I had a custom wardrobe made for me when I was a child. I keep wishing so badly I'd kept it to pass down to my daughter. It was a little red riding hood theme with the artist painting my face for little red riding hood.

  19. What a fun makeover! You did a great job...and without loss of life or limb too! Impressive.

    Speaking of impressive...that PBN wall is amazing.

  20. Fantabulous Kylie, all the other clever girls have already said paint the legs the turquoise blue colour, so now I have to come up with an original comment! I love the globe, but just want to know if her room is always that tidy?! S:)

  21. My gosh!!! I love it.
    It's so sweet I kinda wanna find myself a little cupboard now. =D

  22. Hi Kylie, im on a stupid lap top that wont let me access your email address. Im so sorry i wrote your name down wrong i knew it wasnt't right when i was doing it, it took me 3 hours to write that post and get the words right i just couldn't think right. I have changed is now so thank you for letting me know ;-)) dee x

  23. Wonderful job, Kylie, and all without accident or injury too! You exaggerate your clumsiness, I'm sure, I imagine you to work with great precision and accuracy! I will go with all the other suggestions of blue/turquoise legs ( i thought that immediately, felt very clever, then saw that a squillion others thought the same thing... Not so original after all then!)
    Ta-Dah indeed!
    PS. Still counting.... Don't think Littlest can actually count that high! xxxxxx

  24. Safety first -- unless it gets in the way of great crafting. Loving the idea of PBN makeovers. Mind whirring. No surface is safe.

  25. I love little cupboards with intersting legs on them (not sure about the colour question though). It all looks amazing together. Great job!

  26. That is too cool and yep to the pool blue.
    Btw, so pleased you got the towel and you love it. Roll on summer so you can use it .. I can say that cos ours has been pants and I'm ready for the next one I think!
    Kate xox

  27. Oh Kylie, it is fabulous!!!! I love it. Maybe a little splash of turquoise on the legs would look pretty nice too, otherwise it is prefect as it is. You are too clever! T x

  28. Beautiful job Kylie. Absolutely love it. I just finished painting my little table with contrasting legs. This one tho I would leave as is because the tabletop s so fab I wouldn't want to take focus from it..that's my two bits worth. I just love it like it is.

  29. Oops I accidentally hit publish and I wasn't finished offering my two bits... My second bit haha is that I think the knobs are a lovely bit of interest as well. Blimey I almost sound like I know what I'm talking about. Have a great weekend! Leax

  30. Kylie, love the paint by numbers top, how clever are you!

  31. WOW!! This makeover turned out brilliantly Kylie. I am so in love with it and definitely think you should consider painting the legs in the turquoisey blue.

  32. *siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh* so inspired right now...

  33. Great makeover on your nightstand - the paint by number top is so cute!

  34. Aaahhh..... have been trying to leave comments every which way with no luck but tonight I must have touched the magic button. Intrigued by the Woobinda article but didn't have it in the UK, as far as I know, so feel like I've had a deprived childhood now. Also love the paint by numbers cupboard. Did you go for the blue legs? Oh, and glad you got out of that sticky/scary situation a few weeks ago.

  35. this is exactly where i last ended up, here on your blog, and i intended to return and frankly it only took me a small month to do so.
    i nodded all the way through your post and then flew back to an op shop where i'd wondered if i would buy a painted-by-numbers, or not. i did and it's lying atop a small cabinet (doesn't fit as yet) and i'll project it away. one day. but your tip came in SO handy, and p-b-n will now forever be linked to you.
    image on my p-b-n is lichtenstein castle in germany. right. had no choice there, i'm afraid...