Upcycled grandfather clock project


“Time flies” – that’s the motto that is etched in Latin on the top of my grandfather clock, or latest upcycling project, and in this case I really was having fun.  This has been one of the most rewarding projects I’ve done so far, and I owe it all to Art is Beauty Blog.

Ever since I came across Karin’s beautiful grandmother clock project on Pinterest,  I simply had to get one myself.   I’d always wanted one – I love old time pieces – so when I came home from work one evening to find one waiting in my dining room with a love note from my husband, I was absolutely thrilled – and already deciding on colour schemes. (I’m not sure if mine is a grandfather or grandmother sorry – how do you tell the sex?)


The transformation has been ever better than I’d hoped.  Using a couple of my own techniques, here’s how I got on…

First off the whole thing needed sanding down.  I waited for a sunny day and the first chance I got I hauled the clock outside. I used an electric sander with medium grade sand paper for the most part, but some of the fiddly bits needed to be done by hand.


After wiping off the excess dust with a damp cloth I left it to dry for a couple of minutes, and took in the rare sunshine.


Next step in the preparations was to mask the glass and any other features that I didn’t want to get paint on.  I decided to keep the hinges exposed as I was happy for these to blend in with the painted wood. (Plus they were really fiddly to cover!)


Now came the fun part!  I had opted for a lovely duck egg colour furniture paint from Wilkinsons.  It was well priced and I was suprised at how easily it covered the wood.  It only took two coats and dried really quickly.



In Karin’s grandmother clock project, she hand painted a design on the back of her clock, inside the chest.  I went for the cheat version and decided to use wallpaper.  I found this fun colourful design again in Wilkinsons (it was on sale and a steal at just £5 woo!)


First I measured the length and cut it to size.  Next I figured out the dimensions of the back and two sides and trimmed off the excess.

This bit was a bit fiddly, but I managed to wedge the cut out piece of wallpaper inside the chest, making sure it was flush against all sides.  I used a credit card to score the edges where each side met the other, to give a clean finish.



I debated for a while about whether I wanted the clock to actually work and tick.  To be honest, the noise kind of freaks me out (I’ve seen way too many horror movies).  So instead, I went for something a little bit more sentimental.

Since the etching on the top translates to “Time Flies”, I thought I’d set the time to 2’o’Clock, the time Andy and I got married.  Because the time really is flying and passing us by way too quickly.  6 months into married life already!  Where has it gone?


So there it is, a completely transformed grandfather (or grandmother) clock with just a lick of paint and a bit of wallpaper!


I’d love to see your latest projects – send them on Twitter @LoveinMindBlog


4 thoughts on “Upcycled grandfather clock project

    1. Thanks Donna. I’m really please with it. Itching to do something else now. Just found a great vintage tea trolley so I’m planning my next move for that!

    1. Thanks Karin. I’m thrilled with it. It’s now taking pride of place in our porch so its the first thing I see when I get home!

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