Have you got a forgotten piece of furniture lying around in the garage that you don’t know what to do with? Or maybe you’re one of those people who can’t help but keep an eye out for treasures in rubbish skips? Whatever the case, don’t miss out on this step by step guide for upcycling an old piece of furniture into a DIY play kitchen. The results are surprising!
To give a second life to an old piece of furniture all that’s required is a bit of DIY knowledge or some skills as a handyman (or woman). No matter how beat up it looks, it is possible to totally transform your item and give it a second chance. If you need convincing, just see for yourself how this old unit has been converted into a play kitchen for the kids.
Tools and materials
To turn an old unit into a play kitchen you will need the following tools and materials:
- Multi-purpose tool (for cutting and sanding)
- Staple gun
- Screw clamps
- Handheld sander
- Wooden plank measuring 1000 x 69 x 18mm for the oven door and another measuring 900 x 470 x 9mm for the skirting on the counter.
- 2 back plates measuring 800 x 400 x 5mm
- MDF board measuring 270 x 270 x 3mm
- Methacrylate sheet measuring 350 x 240 x 2mm
- Metal tray measuring 20 × 30cm
- Adhesive mounting tape
- 4 knobs and 1 handle
- 4 hinges
- Adhesive vinyl in red
- Spray primer and paint
Cost, time and difficulty
If you already have the tools required, the approximate price of the materials is less than £60. In this sample shopping basket you can purchase some of the necessary tools and materials.
This project will take at least a day to complete, given that the work is fairly detailed. For this reason, due to its medium level of difficulty, this project is recommended for DIYers who already have some experience of carrying out similar projects.
Step by step play kitchen for kids
To make this play kitchen we have upcycled an old unit. Thus the measurements and materials noted are based on the specific piece of furniture used. To make a similar one for yourself, just follow the steps below:
Step 1- Check the state of your unit
When you want to upcycle an old piece of furniture, first you need to check the overall state of the item, as well as repairing and replacing any damaged parts.
In our specific case we made the following repairs:
- Removed the legs to make the unit shorter and more suitable for children.
- Took off the back and other damaged parts such as the hinges, which were rusty.
- Replaced missing parts such as the knobs.
- Deep cleaning with alcohol to remove dust, dirt, glue stains etc.
Step 2- Sand the surface
Next, sand the entire surface of the unit with a handheld sander. In areas with beading or difficult-to-reach corners, use the sanding accessory on a multi-tool.
By sanding you even out the surface as well as improve the paint’s adhesion to the unit.
Step 3- Prime and paint
The next step involves applying primer and then painting the unit. If your item of furniture has beading or moulded parts, it will probably be quicker to use spray paint for this.
After applying a coat of primer and waiting for it to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions, you can paint the piece. We have chosen a light blue colour for the base and white for the counter top. We have also painted the surface of the backplate with blackboard paint.
When the paint has dried, attach the backplates to the unit, one after the other, using the staple gun.
Step 4- Make the counter top for the kitchen
To transform the top of the unit into a kitchen counter, just follow the steps below:
- Outline the section to be cut out to hold the metal tray, which will serve as the sink.
- Cut out the hole using the saw accessory on your multi-tool.
- Make a hole for the tap using the drill.
- Create the oven top using a sheet of MDF measuring 270 x 270 x 3mm. Paint it black then stick on hobs cut from adhesive red vinyl.
- Give the counter a granite look by stippling black and grey paint.
- Attach the sink, hob and a plank measuring 900 x 470 x 9mm as skirting, using the adhesive mounting tape.
Step 5- Make the oven door
To make the oven door we have used a methacrylate sheet and some planks of wood. First, cut the methacrylate sheet to your door size (35 x 24cm).
Next, cut two planks to 36cm long and two more to 11.5cm. Paint these black and attach to the methacrylate sheet with adhesive mounting tape.
Lastly, attach the handle and a couple of hinges to join the door to the unit. You will also need to attach 3 knobs to the top drawer to act as the oven controls.
Step 6- Attach the door below the sink
The final step is to attach the door below the sink. To do this, we replaced the original hinges as they were rusty. The new hinges are a bit bigger, meaning we had to make a bigger notch for them using the multi-tool. Once these adjustments are done, screw the hinges to the door and the unit.
Once you’ve completed all of these steps, this is what the upcycled unit looks like. Isn’t it amazing?
This play kitchen is perfect down to the details, and the young ones of the house will spend many a long hour enjoying themselves, inventing recipes or doodling on the blackboard.
What do you think about the transformation of this old piece of junk into a DIY play kitchen? We’d love to encourage you to give a second life to an old piece of furniture using DIY – here’s a link for more inspiration, featuring 11 ways to upcycle your old bits of furniture.