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Upcycling for Good

Painted books

Turn your old hardback books into beautiful decorative pieces using Resene testpots.

Resene upcycling for good with Sarah Herring - Project 69

Paint your old books

You will need:

Prior to refinishing Before / after
Painted decorative booksFinished project

Top tip:  The best thing about this project is that the book contents can still be read at any time and the books can simply be popped back into their original sleeves if you wish later.

How to upcycle old books with paint

Step one:  Sarah found these hard back novels at her local Salvation Army family store. She chose six books. This project works best if the books are approximately the same height/width/depth.

Choose your books and remove all of the cover sleeves and store them somewhere safe. 

Step two:  Apply one coat of Resene Quick Dry primer undercoat to the outside of all the books. Allow to dry.

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Step three

Step three:  Choose three Resene testpot colours to create an ombre effect. It’s easy to do this by selecting three graduating shades from the same Resene paint colour palette. Sarah chose Resene Gondwana, Resene Summer Green and Resene Edgewater.

Paint two coats of paint onto two books in each of your chosen colours.

Step four:  Once all the books are completely dry, arrange them into two groups. For each group arrange the books from lightest to darkest shade. Wrap some rough twine around the books to bundle them together and tuck in some decorative fake greenery.

These beautiful book bundles look great as unconventional bookends or just as a statement piece on your shelves! They are a fun and easy way to add a pop of colour.

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Upcycling for Good

You can find a huge range of treasures, from ornaments and picture frames, to furniture and toys at your local Salvation Army store that you can easily upcycle with a little Resene paint and some imagination.

"Our Family Stores are full of treasures generously donated by members of the public. We value these donations and try our hardest to re-purpose and sell as much as possible. We’re all about re-using and recycling, so teaming up with Resene on Upcycling for Good was a perfect match. Resene’s products and tips are a natural fit with our pre-loved furniture and accessories, which are usually great quality but could sometimes do with a lick of paint to ensure they fly off the shelves.

Each year, nationally, our stores save 16,000 tonnes from landfill. This initiative increases the value of the donated product, improves the range of goods for our customers, and furthers The Salvation Army’s mission and Resene’s community activity.” Gareth Marshall, The Salvation Army's National Family Store Manager.

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