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Home » Activity Holidays » Upcycling Furniture 2023


This is a fun and creative learning experience all about bringing new life to tired furniture and making it lovable again. You’re guaranteed to be amazed at what you’ll learn to do with a lick of paint. It feels really good, but be warned, it’s addictive!

You’ll be expertly guided through the process of furniture upcycling. From choosing suitable second hand furniture, designing your piece, repairing and preparing your furniture for painting, to learning about the different types of paints you can use including mixing your own chalk paint, practicing decorative techniques, refining your brushwork skills and protecting your work! You’ll learn the techniques required to achieve a clean, flat finish for your furniture, including graduated colour. We will explore how to distress furniture for a shabby chic antique look, including paint layering, dry brushing, splattering, using broken colour, washon/wash-off, rubbing back, wax resists and crackle effect. For a funky or retro look, you’ll be shown how to use masking tape to create sharp linear designs. For added embellishment, you’ll practice using stencils, how to decoupage with napkins, maps and paper, where to use gilding wax or you may wish to try some hand painting. Finally you’ll learn how to finish and protect your furniture with a soft furniture wax or a varnish.

By the end of the course you’ll leave with your finished furniture, a couple of pieces of wall art and fully equipped with all the skills and knowledge needed to confidently use paints and waxes on your own.

To see pictures of the course please visit our gallery

Dates 2023

All of our holidays run for 5-nights from Sunday to Friday and start from £979 per person.
The above is based on single occupancy. A £100 per person discount is applied for art, craft and activity guests on a shared occupancy basis.

May 7th to 12th 2023
July 2nd to 7th 2023
October 29th to November 3rd 2023

If you’re coming on one of our holidays and would like to bring a friend, partner, or member of your family, then we have you (and them!) covered. Accompanying guests will enjoy full board catering and shared accommodation with you. We also have a full programme of day trips and activities on offer for them. Please add them and day trips at the checkout stage.

How to book
To book online, please click on your preferred date above.
For any questions or to book direct please call 01877 382 991 or email mail@gartmorehouse.com
If you have any questions, you may like to take a look at our FAQs but if you have any further queries, please contact our team directly.

Payment, Terms & Conditions
A 25% deposit is required to secure your booking. Full payment is due 3 months prior to arrival. For art, craft & activity holidays booked within 3 months of course start date, full payment is required at the time of booking. Art, craft & activity holidays are subject to availability and subject to change.

Each holiday will be lossely themed as follows

Meet and greet

We will work on 2 pieces of upcycled wall art to practice decoupage and stencilling. This will introduce you to antiquing, wax guilding, crackle glaze and varnishes.

Sourcing second hand furniture and how to spot an appropriate piece for upcycling. Start work on your furniture, checking for damage, repairing and preparing for painting. You will then design your pieces and plan the process. Start painting and practice brush skills.

Continue working on your furniture. Design plans often change as your piece evolves.

Adding decorative details and protecting your work with varnish/wax. Celebrate your amazing work.

Check in is from 4pm where you will receive a warm welcome from our team.
Once you are unpacked and settled, we invite you to enjoy some tea or coffee and home baking in the lounge where you can relax after your journey.
If you have never been on a holiday like this before, we understand how anxious you may be. That’s why, come 6pm, everyone will gather in the lounge for the Welcome Talk and Meet & Greet, giving you the chance to meet both your fellow guests and your tutor before the start of the course on Monday. Your tutor will talk you through what to expect from the week, discuss what you would like to achieve during your stay, and answer any questions you may have. 
From there, dinner is served at 6:30pm in the downstairs dining room.

Monday to Thursday
Throughout the week, tuition runs from 10am to 4pm with regular breaks for tea and coffee so you can relax and have a natter with your fellow guests about everything you’ve been up to so far.
All your meals are served in the dining room.
Evening tea and coffee is available in the lounge at 9pm.

Check out by 10am

What’s Included

  • 4 days of specialist tuition from Rose Hall
  • All tools required for the course. Please bring two small pieces of wooden furniture with you. See the kit list tab for more details. 
  • Full board catering
  • 5-nights accommodation
  • Complimentary transfers from Stirling train station are available on the arrival and departure days (pick-up from the station at 15:30, departs Gartmore House at 10:00). Transfers from Glasgow or Edinburgh Airports are available at an additional cost.

You’ll have access to all required tools and equipment, including resource books, paints, brushes, waxes, stencils, decoupage materials and varnishes.

We kindly ask all participant to bring the following:

  • Please wear an apron/old clothes in the knowledge that they may get covered in paint!
  • Two small pieces of wooden furniture with you. e.g. a nest of tables, an occasional table, a side table, magazine rack, a trunk, box, cabinet, a bedside table, coffee table, magazine rack, 1-2 dining chairs, a stool, or a small cabinet. These can be sourced for you, on request from the tutor in advance, for an additional charge of £15 per piece. Anything personal you would like to incorporate. eg. handles, pictures, paper, wall paper, transfers/decals


  • A small to medium sized picture/mirror with a flat, wide frame for decoupage/stencilling. If you do not have a frame, your tutor will supply a frame or wood offcuts.

Your tutor, Rose Hall, will be in touch before the start of the course to make sure you come fully prepared.


Tutor Rose Hall

Rose Hall is an artist, professional upcycler, entrepreneur and an enthusiastic facilitator. She trained at The Hampstead School of Decorative Art in Victorian & contemporary paint techniques, including marbling, wood graining, stencilling and broken colour effects.

She worked as a commercial decorative artist for over 10 years in Edinburgh, before her passion and concern for the environment brought her to co-found a not-for-profit, Upcycled World, where she taught upcycling and reuse skills to the local community. Currently she is CEO of a charity, EcoArt, that unites creativity and sustainability to raise awareness of environmental issues.

“Throughout, upcycling furniture has been a constant”. Rose explains, “Upcycling has always been a part of my life. Initially from necessity; poverty is a great creative driver, where at home, painting brought cohesion to mismatched gifted furniture and later to studies, employment and teaching furniture decorative techniques. It brings me great joy to engage with the creative journey, mine and others”.

Find out more about Rose at EcoArtCharity and UpcycledWorld.
Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

  • ”Thanks Rose, you were great, making me feel really comfortable and putting my mind at ease when I thought I’d made a terrible mistake. As you said, “They’re no mistakes, only learning opportunities”.” – Anne Rogers, Edinburgh
  • ”What a wonderful way to spend time. Relaxed and creative. I love my table transformation. Totally recommend this class.” – S. Hommer
  • ”Rose’s extensive knowledge of her subject is evident with lots of helpful tips and quick methods. Delighted.” – Mary Charmers
  • ”What a wonderful class, I’m off home to get the paint brush out and carry on. Thank you for your patience and colour recommendations. The only thing I would change is, more time.” – Mrs Rachael Thomas, Peeles

Please note: The above reviews come from past workshops and courses run by the tutor out with Gartmore House.

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