Article Photo

Upcycler Wendy creates funky furniture

16 Jun 2022

Old pieces of furniture are often unrecognisable once Auckland artist Wendy has given them a makeover. Sanded, painted, decked in florals – Wendy is passionate about giving everything from shelves to antique writing desks a new lease of life.


This piece was created with Resene FX Chalkboard Paint on natural American oak. The design was projected onto the piece using an old OHP by Wendy.

“I have been upcycling furniture for many years for myself and friends, and for the past year and a half as a small business: Wai o Taiki Furniture Redesign.” Wendy sells her own redesigns of hand selected second-hand furniture, and undertakes commissions to makeover the customer’s own furniture to their design brief.

“I’ve also been upcycling donated furniture for Habitat for Humanity in Panmure as a volunteer for the past two years. This helps get a better price for some items to help with their charitable work, which is helping hard working Kiwi families have drier, warmer homes.”


“I used Karen Walker Chalk Colour paint in Resene Buttery White. The oak was limed using Karen Walker Soft Wax with some of the white paint added.”

Wendy says she loves to take good quality vintage furniture looking a little tired and unloved, then redesign it so it can be loved again. “I find items in op-shops, on Facebook marketplace and also recycling centres. Some of my best pieces have come from the side of the road.”

Recently she’s started to experiment with more Resene products. “I’ve always used Resene FX Chalkboard Paint because I love the colour and how well it adheres. I also use the Karen Walker Chalk Colour paints, and have tried the Resene FX Faux Rust Effect. I’ve used the Resene Woodsman colour range too, to give a coffee table a new lease of life.”

“These drawers were a commission piece. Resene Buttery White wasdry brushed and washed with mixed paints on the edges, and waxed to finish.”

Wendy says she aims to make each of her pieces funky and quirky, experimenting using texture, colour, decoupage and furniture transfers. “My values include being sustainable – hence using low VOC products wherever possible, keeping things out of landfill, staying local and delivering in Auckland using an electric van.”

Find Wendy: Wai o Taiki Furniture Redesign

Published: 16 Jun 2022