Transforming Old Cutlery- Painted Wooden Handles

20 January, 2014

We’ve spent the last few days in a place called Thames- we think this could be a nice spot to settle eventually so we thought we’d check it out. We are working on Bert the bus- getting it ship shape for proper living, trying to do it all using second hand shops and MAN ALIVE we are having fun diving in amongst all the retro kiwi jumble.

We found a cool cutlery set- wooden handles, just like the ones my Nana had.


But I thought they could do with a bit of funning up so whipped out the paint to do a Pinterest job on them- you know the one.


Gosh, if only I wasn’t so slapdash and cheapskate. Instead of dipping the handles in the bottles for a nice thick, smooth finish, I just bought the primary colours and mixed my own so had to apply three layers with a sponge. (Well boring.) I lacquered them once I was all done with some lacquer I found in a rusty tin at the back of a junk store and it sort of took one of the layers of paint off with it.
Oh well, it looks alright and is at least a bit shiny.


So, some tips from all of this:

If you can afford it, make up small bottles of the colours you want so you can just dip the handle in.
Use tape to cover up the bit you don’t want painted- this crisp finish looks brilliant.
Use proper polyurethane to give a final finish over the whole thing.
Choose the colours you actually want, yeah? (I just sort of rolled with it and really regret that ice cream pink – ugh.)
Use pegs to dry them.


Who knows how long they will last- should be a little while because of the varnish, but we’ll see. Meanwhile they are looking TERRIFIC sitting amongst all these other crazy bits and bobs slowly filling up the bus.

Here he is again, this time with the awning out. We’re hoping that soon his inners will look as charming as his outers.


Linking up with the wonders over at Magpie Monday and Opshop Show off!

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  • Hattie 20 January, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Oh god it all looks so great – the cutlery, the bus, the sun… Where do I book my plane ticket?!

  • Jenni Baden Howard 20 January, 2014 at 10:28 am

    LOVE this idea – very much like the CK coloured vintage cutlery, but a DIY and really gorgeous in their own right! Inspired! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Kate Williams 20 January, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Argh! These are gorgeous! Just pinned it for later 🙂

  • Gina Caro 20 January, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    They look great, simple but effective 🙂 Love the bus btw

  • Joanna 21 January, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Oh, you’re in Thames! Hi Lucy, it’s another South Londoner in NZ, here. I’ve been reading your blog for a while, ever since I stumbled across your post about baby sleep when my daughter was younger. I’ve found your posts on parenting so encouraging, and more than once wished I knew someone like you in New Zealand. And now here you are, in the Coromandel, just down the road. Please move to Whitianga and set up a bush kindy – I know several people who would be interested in joining you!

    • Lucy 21 January, 2014 at 10:08 am

      No way! How amazing! Going to send you an email…

  • Lisa 21 January, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Wow, these look amazing. What an awesome idea, perfect for the camper! xx

  • Miss Thrifty 21 January, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Well, it just goes to show: despite being a Pinterest obsessive, I hadn’t come across these before. I think they look great – and the ice-cream pink one looks terrific, so ner! 😉

  • Shortbread & Ginger 21 January, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    What a great idea!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  • Max 22 January, 2014 at 6:31 am

    they look bloody brilliant, ice cream pink and all. and no, come to christchurch and set up a bush kindy whatever it is it sounds good, just been talking forest schools on the Canterbury natural parents facebook group-is it like the pre-school version?
    Max x

  • Painted Wooden Cutlery — Totally Green Crafts 16 May, 2014 at 2:09 am

    […] Ditch the plastic cutlery for your next BBQ and replace it with reusable wood handled utensils that you can use all season long!  Add a fun, colorful flair to your utensils with this Painted Wooden Cutlery tutorial from Lulastic! […]