I decided to fix up this piece of furniture – once my aunt's cupboard when she was a teenager in the Fifties (my mum remembers climbing into her older sister's cupboard when she was little and playing records on her big sister's wind-up record player), reincarnated for my sister, and a decade later for me, as storage in our wendy house, and now as our hall coat cupboard.
I'd thought of putting material on the cupboard doors, but wanted something really special, unusual and versatile (read expensive). While browsing a material shop, I got the idea of using lace, but finding something special enough, that wasn't shiny ice white and an ugly repeated pattern, was a challenge.
In my opinion, the only good use for net curtains is never their intended purpose – as curtains! I found the last piece on a bale, with really pretty flower vine running down it. After measuring the width of the doors and deciding how I wanted the vines to run on either panel, I attempted cutting the lace netting. Getting it perfectly straight was a challenge (specially with an inquisitive kitty who wanted in on the action!), so I folded it in half, and half again, and pegged it in an attempt to stop the slippery fabric from moving.
Preparation I got a piece of masonite to do a test piece to a) chose a colour (it was between white and an off-white-cream, which ended up making the lace look dirty), b) see whether the lace would work at all to create interest and texture at all and c) discover whether the paint would work as adequate glue to stick the lace in place. I enlisted a trusty helper to sand the cupboard down!
Painting First step was painting a layer of white undercoat, letting it dry, giving it a light sand until smooth before painting on a layer of white oil paint. Using oil paint meant I didn't need to varnish it. It went on very easily and gave good coverage (I suspect because of the white undercoat). I also didn't want it to be perfect gloss, but to have some imperfections, so I didn't do a second coat. One layer on the door panels, and I stuck the fabric on. Tip: work fast – if you do have to peel up and reapply the lace straight, do it fast. The paint seems to shrink the fabric.
Finishing touches The inspiration for keeping the refurbishment simple and classic, was really this door knob, which I wanted to be the feature. I love interesting door knobs, and found this one in New York at one of my favourite stores Anthropologie. I picked up the colour of the knob, by adding a hint of turquoise on the finishes, in all cracks and grooves. I hand sanded the edges to expose some of the wood to make it look aged and antiqued.