This week’s post comes from a globe-trotting couple who’ve supported Secondsguru from the get-go and we are delighted to welcome them back in our sunny city! Priya and Push are budding D-I-Y craft enthusiasts, who have mastered their craftsmanship in crafting witty puns and providing light entertainment to their friends, when they are not busy earning a living at Carlsberg and SpacesGenie respectively.

Drab to Fab |Weathered furniture gets a new lease of life in this easy DIY project. From sun-burnt teak table to a Grecian blue patio delight!

So it’s finally official, we’ve moved with bag and baggage from Hong Kong back home to Singapore. The past week has been spent setting up our new home – and as with most life changes, this one also motivated us to take another look at the stuff we have and purge any unnecessary things. While the purge definitely felt good, the accompanying phenomenon of the “Diderot effect” **– not so much!

The Better Half, being the architect he is, was looking at all things with a critical eye and wanted “Just the perfect look” for every corner. Luckily, much to our satisfaction, most of the things fit in like they were made for this place. But there was this one offensive piece of furniture which was a bit of an eye sore.

I still remember walking in the sun in 2008 to procure this piece from Scanteak – for our balcony. “The teak wood weathers well”, the salesman told us and eventually, sold us. To be fair, it did stand the test of time being outdoors in the hot sun, rain and the Hong Kong winter. Unfortunately, after 8 years of the outdoor torture, the wood looked, to put it mildly ..…. “weathered”. And The Better Half was, and I quote, “Done with it!”

I had almost agreed to say goodbye to these guys, when I met my lovely friend Anuja, one of the founders of Secondsguru. She inspired me to try upcycling – not only did I find the inspiration and the tips and tricks for making this happen on Secondsguru, I also got a couple of cans of paint loaned by Anu. (To be clear – free paint is not a usual service provided by Secondsguru, this is only for very special friends ☺).

Supplies from Daiso: sandpaper, gloves and a flat brush. The combination of paints Priya and Push used to blend a Greek blue
(L) Supplies from Daiso: sandpaper, gloves and a flat brush. (R) The combination of paints Priya and Push used to blend a Greek blue

Anyway, armed with my enthusiasm, off I went to Daiso – bought the sandpaper, gloves and paint brushes. With the free paint, the 2-dollar brushes and the furniture on Death Row, this was a low risk project for me. I woke up bright and early today to attack the project while the upcycling bug was still biting. Even roped in The Better Half to join me in this endeavor. I have to say, what he originally lacked in enthusiasm for this, he more than made up for with his skill with the paint brush. He even gave me tips along the way on how to “go against the grain for best results”.

Bonding over the crafty weekend and posing for kids!
Bonding over the crafty weekend and posing for kids!

The unexpected and wonderful side-effect of this joint project was great family bonding as we all huddled around listening to Coldplay and painting to our hearts content. After much elbow grease was used, we were SO happy with the results. Even the kids commented on how great the table and chairs now look.

Viola – presenting the Greek-chic, upcycled patio furniture. The blue and white look great against the blue skies. I have red cushions to add a pop of color and now just need to add yellow and white flowers to really bring out the Greek chic. Uh Oh, Did I just unleash the Diderot monster again…… Watch this space!

Weathered wood of a teak table restored and painted - as good as new!
Feeling at home in our new balcony!

**Diderot Effect is so named after the philosopher who was gifted a beautiful scarlet dressing gown, and sadly, its rich look was completely out of tune with the other possessions he had. So he ended up upgrading his other belongings slowly and steadily to match the grandeur of this scarlet gown… an endless spiral that led him to debt. That’s right, consumption is a vicious circle!







  • That’s amazing guys! Well done….

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