Junk makeover show. Jay Blades is in Walsall, where he saves a Lloyd loom-style laundry basket, a tired G Plan reclining chair and an oak writing bureau.
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I LOVE these. What are these?
How do you make money for nothing?
The answer could be hiding in over 20 million tonnes of household waste
thrown out by us every year.
So, I'll just do a quick check for Granny's gold.
That's why reclamation expert Jay Blades
wants to get his hands on things before they hit the skip.
I've been a builder. I've been a philosophy student and now I'm
a furniture restorer. So I know more than most about transformations.
I revamp the old and turn it into the new,
and sell it on for a profit.
And with some of the country's elite designers and makers...
Why would you chuck these chairs out?
..he can transform his finds into desirable...
I've got to take my hat off to you, sir.
-You've done well, sir.
..and hopefully saleable items.
Now, that is supercool.
If Jay is successful, then he can hand the profits back
to the very people who had no idea
there was cash to be made from their trash.
Welcome to Walsall...
..where cars are queueing up.
Trash is being tossed and Jay is a man on a mission.
Each of his skip-savaging senses are ever-alert to seek out
-If there's profit to be had, I'm the man to sniff it out.
Jay has been given special permission to roam
the recycling centre on his quest to save three items
that he can rejuvenate or repurpose and
then sell on for a tidy sum. And do you know what?
He's loving it.
Oh, look at that! Now that's cool, isn't it?! That's really cool.
-Do you want a bucket?
-Oh, thank you, sir.
Look at that. They're lining up now.
-That's the one.
has someone told Jay he's meant to be SAVING items from the skip,
not chucking them in?
Terry's helping his partner's son, Scott, clear out his flat.
What? Hold on a minute, lads. Hold on.
-Hold on. How we doing? I'm Jay.
-All right. I'm Terry.
-All right, Terry?
Is it all right just to have a look at this?
Put it down. I think this is a little gem.
I suppose if you look past the well-worn, scruffy exterior...
No! Who am I trying to kid?
Tell me, what's the history behind this one?
Well, it's actually yours, Scott, ain't it?
-When did you buy it?
-I've had it years.
-How many years?
gave it to me. This one itself has been in a bedroom and not been used.
-So that's why it's being put out today.
-You say "this one".
-So is there another one?
-Just like this?
-Just like this, but not a recliner.
Hold on, are you saying this reclines as well?
-Wow! Do you know if it's a make or anything like that?
I think it's a G Plan.
You think it's a G Plan. Well, if it is a G Plan and I haven't seen
anything like this, it will be quite nice and special.
Hmm. Perhaps I was a little hasty.
G Plan are a British furniture manufacturer who came to prominence
in the 1950s. Vintage items can be highly sought-after.
This could be a little gem, after all.
It doesn't look very stylish now, but I believe with the right person
working on it, this could look really, really stylish. So, if it's all right you with guys,
what I'd like to do is take this and just show you guys what we transformed it into.
-It would be lovely, that.
-Is that all right?
-Yes. It would be nice.
-All right. Diamond.
Are Scott and Terry happy to see Jay make off with the armchair?
I think it's lovely to see the old furniture be remodelled.
I reckon Jay could clean it up, paint it,
perhaps a nice few pillows on it, and I think somebody will buy it.
I'm not so sure it will be as easy as that, Terry.
But what is Jay doing rummaging around down there?
Core, blimey! This is a great find. A G Plan recliner.
Wow! I've never, ever seen one in all the years I've been doing upholstery.
Let's meet the maker he's chosen to get creative with this little gem.
Say hello to Anthony Devine.
He has two decades of design experience and passes on his
knowledge to the younger generation at his school of upholstery.
His work is loud, proud, fresh... and, at times, furry.
If I was to say I had a style, it probably would be erratic.
Er, there's loads of ideas washing around in my head, and whichever
pops out first is the one normally that gets done.
Easiest thing is like a customer walking in,
gives you a bit of a design brief, gives you lots of freedom to be able
to kind of complete it and see it through. But the customer is
the one that counts more importantly than anything.
Just keep that in mind, Anthony, when Jay starts getting a bit fussy.
Come on now, up and at them!
Jay's got his first item tucked away,
but there are still two more to find.
He needs to stay vigilant if he wants to save another goody
from the claws of the crusher.
Mike is having a clear-out of his garage
and he's broken up his old oak writing bureau, ready for the skip.
-How we doing? You all right?
-All right, thank you.
-My name's Jay.
-My name's Mike.
-Why are you throwing that away?
Because it takes up a lot of space.
The only place I've got for it is in the garage.
-I've got a 30-foot garage. I've had two trips out today
and I've probably got another two more to come! I still haven't emptied it!
Oh, wow! Any more gems like this in the garage?
It was a good-quality item and it could be restored.
But unfortunately I've neither got the time nor the skills to do it.
-This is gorgeous.
Well, if it's all right with you, I'd like to take it.
I'd be delighted for somebody to have it and make use of it.
It was good quality.
Yeah. And you keep saying "was". It still is, Mike.
-It's still going strong, isn't it? Look!
This big, old bureau has been in Mike's garage
for the past few years. But before that, it was well-used.
I was loath to get rid of it. Several years, when we had it first,
my wife used it as a writing desk and I used it occasionally as well.
Yes, it's been very useful.
Not many people do writing any more.
So there isn't much call for writing bureaus,
but this can be transformed into something beautiful
cos I've got just the person to take this to.
Let's meet the man Jay's chosen to give this bureau a modern makeover.
Meet master craftsman Norman Wilkinson.
His attention to detail and skill, honed over years of experience,
is evident in everything he makes.
My personality is reflected in what I do.
I think I try to do everything to the best of my ability.
Everything we do, I think, looks A1. Everything I make is fantastic.
-Just like me.
-He does enjoy a joke.
I'm not sure WE enjoy them so much, but Norman 's so old school
that even the old school call him old school.
If I actually told you how long I'd been doing this,
it would give away my age. I still think I'm 21.
-In my dreams!
-Don't worry, folks,
his carpentry skills are better than his jokes.
They'll need to be, with this item.
He's grabbed goodies for Anthony and Norman,
but now Jay's on the hunt for his own item.
Will the junk in Peter's trunk appeal to Jay?
Whoa! Hold on a minute.
-How we doing? I'm Jay.
-So what you doing? Getting rid of that, obviously.
-This is beautiful. Why you getting rid of it?
-Well, it's old and...
It's not old, is it? How old is it?
It was me Nan's, so it's probably older than 60 years old.
Wow! But it's still going strong. It's not too bad, is it?
-Look at that. That's solid inside.
-We used to spend summer holidays
with my nan. She used to keep stuff in it.
-There was all... What, sweets?
-Little knick-knacks. Oh.
-Knick-knacks in there.
-OK. No sweets, though?
-No sweets. Little games and what have you.
So you can entertain yourself during a rainy day outside
or something like that. All right. Cool!
Jay suspects that Peter's nan's knick-knack box may
be made by a well-known manufacturer.
I personally think this is like a Lloyd Loom.
Normally they have a label on the back there.
But this is, yeah, it's kind of the same style of the Lloyd Loom.
Lloyd Loom furniture was made in the UK from the 1920s.
Mechanically woven with specially treated paper,
furniture like this is tough, resistant to damp and built to last.
What I'd like to do is take this, and if we transform it
into something, then get back to you and let you know what we've done
-to it. Is that all right?
Nice one! Cheers for that. Nice one. Brilliant! Thank you.
What does Peter think Jay will do with the basket?
I think he'll turn it into something nice.
You know, it is a shame to just throw it away, but...
we had no use for it at the time.
It could be a Lloyd Loom. It could be somebody else.
But the beauty is, these are really easy to transform and turn into
something really beautiful. So I'm happy that we've got one of these.
Let's see if I can turn it into a profit.
It's been a good day at the dump.
Jay has successfully salvaged three items.
Anthony will work his makeover magic on the recliner.
Norman will take up the challenge of the broken-down writing bureau.
While Jay will make the basket into something saleable.
I am delighted with what I picked out today.
Now it's time to turn trash into cash.
Manchester - a creative powerhouse that has produced musicians,
film-makers, artists and designers
that pushed the boundaries of popular culture.
Thriving within the city's creative whirlwind
is upholsterer extraordinaire Anthony.
His work is at the cutting edge of contemporary furniture design.
So I'm sure he'll love this old thing...
I've been told this one's quite funky,
but on the wrong side of funky,
so hopefully we can turn it to the RIGHT side of funky and leave
-with a good item.
-From junkified to funkified.
Anthony sounds like a man with a plan.
He has still to come face-to-face with Jay's little gem, though.
It's gorgeous, isn't it, I think?
But weighs a tonne.
Pull your britches up.
The G Plan brand undoubtedly adds a little vintage va-va-voom.
But this well-worn armchair is still in desperate need
-of Anthony's expertise.
-I've never seen one of these before,
and I think it's a no-brainer to save this one.
-It's really, really gorgeous.
-It's got real potential.
Mechanism still works.
It's basically, it's just what to do with it.
Well, the ideas are endless because it's quite a big space,
but I would prefer it to be toned down
because at the time of this being born, this fabric would have been
the height of sophistication, but now it's too busy.
I reckon one way to go with it would be just, like, make it a bit more
sophisticated... that was back in its day...
-sophisticated for today.
-For today. Yeah. I like the sound of that.
So, what colours are you thinking, then?
-The obvious one's grey, isn't it?
But I do want to add some element of colour,
cos I do like the buttons we've got on the side.
They are quite big. If we can have a button,
-a different colour or something like that.
-I knew you were going to say
-You know I have to.
The colour-contrasting button - a Jay Blade signature style.
That will look really, really cool.
I'm stood behind you shaking my head.
-You do realise that?
Come on, boys. Let's not fall out over a button.
So, what kind of budget are we looking at?
I reckon about £450, £475.
£450, I like the sound of.
I know there's a lot of fabric in there.
So if you need a little bit extra in the budget, I could push it up to the £25.
-Got to pay for your buttons, haven't we?
-I could probably sort you out with buttons.
But we need to digitally put a little "J" on there!
If you need more, let me know.
-What a gent!
-Thank you, sir. Very kind of ya.
It would seem Anthony is as smitten as Jay with this retro recliner.
Do a little drinks holder here.
And then obviously we're going to make it look pretty as well.
So I think this is quite good. I really quite like it.
Jay and Anthony have agreed a budget of £450,
with the possibility of another 25 quid on top.
Jay's biggest problem might be getting it back from Anthony.
SOOTHING CLASSICAL MUSIC PLAYS
From the hustle and bustle of Metropolitan Manchester,
to the quiet countryside of East Sussex.
Things move at a slightly slower pace in the village of Hellingly.
Which suits bespoke furniture Norman to a T.
He's as happy as happy can be,
working away in his little hidey-hole.
Seems a shame to disturb him, really.
The stuff you get from the tip,
it's quite fun. We've had a few bits and I'm thinking,
"Really? What are we doing?"
I'm sure Norman will love this old oak writing bureau, though.
So what do you think?
-You like it?
Oh, well. Norman's not impressed.
There's only one thing for it.
Time to turn on the charm, Jay.
If anybody can turn this into something great,
he's standing right here, isn't he?
Flattery doesn't get you everywhere!
Come on, it's got to reflect in the price?
-Well, we haven't got that far yet.
-All right, I'm just warming you up.
Warming me, are you? OK.
So what plans do you have for this delightful piece?
OK, that's failed too.
Norman may be lacking inspiration, but not to worry,
Jay's got plenty of ideas.
What I was thinking is just a modern desk.
Where you will have wires coming through the back to plug stuff in.
And I would like, if possible,
something that flips up so all of the stuff with a modern desk,
whether it is the laptop, smartphone, can just be stuffed
-inside the actual desk.
-Hide it, there you go.
Similar to what they used to do here.
They used to have a flap there that would hide all of that stuff.
You can't have a desk with drawers like this, so they'll have to go,
to be replaced by legs.
What do you want to hold the top with?
Lovely contemporary tapered legs.
So basically...fine tapered leg and then we'll get the oak,
we will strip it and get it as light as we can, we'll bleach it
-and do it whatever we need to do. We will make the flap.
What we have to do now is talk about price, then.
-Because all of that sounds really good.
-How much is that going to cost me?
-How much is that going to cost you?
Now we're getting down to business.
Come on then, Norman, what are you thinking?
Come on, Norman, I can't take this much more.
I could get that in showroom condition ready for sale
-I think that's a good deal. I'm happy with that.
-Yeah, I'm happy.
-As long as you're happy, I'm happy.
That's good. Let me know when it's done and I'll come and pick it up.
Wow, I'm really chuffed with that.
I believe Norman gets my idea just a little bit,
but hopefully he's going to turn it into something REALLY great.
Jay's idea to turn the bureau
into a computer friendly desk is a challenge for Norman.
Can he come up with the goods on a tight budget of £325?
Jay has dropped off the armchair with Anthony
and the bureau with Norman.
Now he's making his way to his workshop in Wolverhampton so he can
get cracking with his own item -
the Lloyd Loom-style laundry basket.
A lovely little box here. In its current state nobody would want this
in the house, but I'm thinking toy box for the little children.
So you can have a storage area in there for some of the toys,
and I've been inspired by these blocks.
Jay loves the bold, rich colours
and the geometric pattern the building blocks create
when put together. Plus, he just likes messing about with toys.
There you go. Let me turn them around.
There's my swan.
-How cool is that?
-Magnificent, Jay, magnificent.
Jay will paint a triangular pattern in vibrant colours on the basket.
Just going to give it a little rub down to get it prepared.
He's using a fine sanding pad to remove any dirt or grime
-from the surface.
-Get my painting jacket on now.
-Get ready to paint.
-Ooh, a painting jacket!
Oh, he even makes a scruffy, old jacket look cool.
First up, the base layer.
As this will be a child's toy box,
Jay's using mineral-based paint, which is solvent-free and non-toxic.
To apply the paint, Jay is using an oval paint brush
with extra-long bristles.
I find that this is really useful
for getting into all of the little nooks and crannies.
With the base layer dry, Jay can begin to apply
his background colour - blue.
I'm probably going to put about three coats on this.
So it allows the colour to do exactly what it's supposed to do,
which is look rich. Already, instantly, that is just looking...
..really quite cool, actually.
I'm sure Picasso would be absolutely proud of that.
He would say, "Jay, you've done really well there, son."
Who knew Picasso was a Cockney?
Blimey. To create the geometric pattern,
Jay is using tape to outline the triangular shapes.
If you had a flat surface, it would be a lot easier,
but I've got a surface that is made up of weaves, so
you just have to make sure this is really pushed down tight
so I get that clean line going straight across.
Achieving the smooth, straight line Jay's design requires on the bumpy
surface of the basket will be no easy task.
Jay is using paints and equipment he already had in his workshop.
But he has spent ten quid on an off-cut of vinyl.
He will use this to upholster the lid.
Let's make our way back to Manchester...
..where Anthony is struggling to reupholster
this big, old brute of a chair
in his attempt to give it a sophisticated new look.
This chair is a bit of a beast.
Every time we peel back, there is just another layer riddled
with more staples, and I know I should be used to it
-but this is trying my patience.
-Come on, Anthony.
There's only 4,372 more staples to go - give or take a few hundred.
And besides, if you stop now, it couldn't look much worse.
Perhaps we could describe it as the Mad Max makeover.
It looks like it's almost been...
apoco...acop... I can't even say it.
Oh, Anthony I think you'll find it's pronounced...apocalytic...
apocalopa...apocalystic... Oh, dear.
It looks like it just came through the apocalypse.
That's the one!
There are still plenty of staples to remove, but Anthony has come to the
conclusion that he and the armchair need some time apart.
I've decided to have a little break from the beast
and do the nice bits of the chair.
These are the two colours we've chosen.
This will be for the main body of the chair,
But we also want to do it sophisticated,
so we are going to add in aspects of this darker grey,
which I think will look rather nice.
Now, we've took all the staples out.
It's time to put them all back in again.
Anthony will begin his sophistication transformation
by reupholstering the footboard. For the first layer,
he's using high-density foam for cushioning and comfort.
The foam is stapled to shape a smooth curve at the sides.
The second layer is polyester wadding,
which removes the friction from the foam, while helping to maintain
the shape of the fabric.
And, of course, all the materials Anthony is using
meet UK fire safety standards.
I've kind of nicknamed this chair the Beast,
so here we have the Beast, and now we're starting to develop
the Beauty. So beauty, beast... Beast, beauty. Beauty, beast.
You're beginning to worry me a bit now, Anthony.
Beast, beauty. Beauty, beast.
I'll stick with the beauty.
Ditch the beast.
This is man versus chair in an epic tussle that will test
Anthony's upholstery skills and his sanity to the limit.
Beware of the Beast, Anthony.
Ah, the bright blue skies and lush green fields of rural Sussex.
In Norman's workshop, the oak writing bureau is awaiting
-his skilled touch.
-Tidy workshop, tidy mind.
Jay's plan is to transform this relic of a bygone era
into a desk suitable for use with computers and tablets.
So, Norman, where do we begin?
The first thing we're going to do with it,
we are going to be like a demolition yard and smash it to smithereens.
Let the carnage commence.
This may look like wanton destruction,
but Norman is actually breaking the bureau down
into its individual panels,
as he wants to use as much of the old oak as possible.
It's always satisfying smashing something up, isn't it?
It's quite good fun watching too.
When upcycling for sale, it is important to remember
the marketplace. There's not much call for a dedicated bureau
for writing letters.
However, a desk you can use your computer at has wider appeal.
Norman is using the drawer fronts to make the legs.
He is cutting them into 2½ inch wide strips.
We'll try and make the legs a little bit modern,
we'll cut them to a standard height for a table,
and then we will atually taper the leg both sides,
so it looks nice and contemporary and everything, and go from there.
When the strips are cut to the correct length,
Norman will glue two of them together to create each leg.
Just give it a quick sand just to...
Yes? Just to...?
-Come on, Norman, spit it out.
Take off any muck or anything.
So when we glue it up, it will hold lovely.
To ensure a strong bond,
Norman is using G clamps to apply pressure.
These will remain in place for 24 hours.
To make the desktop, Norman will use the sides of the bureau,
but first he has to remove the nails.
It's just making sure we get all the nails out so the saw,
and different things like that... It's a bit time-consuming,
but once we're there we can really start rocking and rolling.
-This one, we've got a hairline crack in.
We could glue it, so it's not the end of the world.
Using reclaimed wood like this
is far from the easy option, but for Norman it's all part of the fun.
I love old timber. I love the character in it.
You know, you get something old, something rubbish,
and turn it into something great.
Right now, Norman, to MY eye, all you seem to be doing is taking
someone's rubbish and making it even rubbisher.
Can't wait to see it when it's not a pile of dirty old wood.
It's all go with our artisans.
And also with Jay.
He's putting the finishing touches to his transformation.
That will be one really cool toy box.
This basket was tired, tatty and in dire need of TLC.
Now it's a fun-filled toy box.
Unable to achieve a smooth geometric line,
Jay developed his idea into a lovely mountain scene -
the triangles forming hills, trees and snow-capped mountains.
Jay added an eye-catching forest of handles on the reupholstered lid
using vinyl to ensure it's easy to clean after the kiddiewinks
have had their sticky fingers all over it.
This toy box will trigger the imagination and be a fantastic
addition to any kids' bedroom.
I've done it all, inspired by my dear friend Henry the horse,
who's come along to check out the forest. And I tell you,
he does love it. He wants to have a butcher's inside.
There's plenty of room for him and his mates. He agrees, it looks good.
Now what I've got to do is take some pictures,
get this online and get it sold.
Peter was just about to sling the basket in the skip,
-when Jay stopped him in his tracks.
-How old is it?
-It was me nan's.
-So it's probably older than 60 years old.
Jay set about transforming it.
For him, it was child's play.
The toy box was sold to Sixth Link -
a vintage and retro store in Shropshire.
The shop's owner, River, was well pleased.
Absolutely love how it's inspired by a small little toy,
and it's created such a lovely item.
Now Jay is in Brownhills in the West Midlands to catch up with Peter,
and tell him what became of his box.
-Morning, Peter. How are you doing?
-Not too bad at all.
Good on you. So do you remember the box that you brought down
-to the recycling centre?
-It's been in your family for a while?
Yeah, it is about 60 years old, I'd imagine, yeah.
Wow! So I was able to do something to it.
It was a little project I took on myself.
And I transformed it into a kid's toy box.
-Get this up the right way.
-Oh, that's nice.
Doesn't look the same, does it?!
No! I tried my best not to make it look the same.
So...painted it with some mountains
on the front and a little bit of padding on the top.
-Looks completely different.
-Yeah, it's lovely.
-And it was inspired
by Henry the horse, that's just there on top.
-Yeah, it looks nice.
-And I am pleased to tell you
I was able to sell it, and I've got
£35 profit for you, sir.
Thank you. That's nice.
So any ideas what you want to do with the money?
Well, I was going to put it towards a meal for the wife's 60th.
-That sounds good.
-That's what we'll do with it.
Bless you. Well, I might see you again at the recycling centre.
-And you take care now.
-Thank you. Bye.
Creating the toy box cost Jay £10.
He sold it for £45,
giving Peter £35 to put towards a birthday treat.
In Manchester, the drizzly, overcast sky
is reflected in Anthony's downbeat disposition.
Taming the Beast has proven to be an ordeal.
This chair has been a definite struggle.
Just been...almost, like, a career-deciding chair, this one.
But we got there.
We finished it. Just.
Yeah, so hopefully Jay will be pleased with the transformation.
The chair was Jay's little gem.
A vintage G Plan recliner that he hoped to give a little va-va-voom
with a sophisticated new look.
Gone are the drab and dreary browns, to be replaced by sleek and suave
grey. The wool fabric is luxurious and looks simply sumptuous.
As this is a recliner,
Anthony faced the difficult challenge of ensuring that
the moving parts look as cool when reclined as they do when upright.
He's succeeded! But it tested his skills to the max.
This chair has been transformed from beastly to beautiful.
One thing it doesn't have, though, is a colour-contrasting button -
Jay's signature look he hoped Anthony would add.
Anthony, you could be in trouble.
How are we doing, sir?
-All right. Are you all right?
-I'm very good. Very good.
I do like.
I do like. See, sometimes...
..less is definitely more.
This has got more than any other chair I've ever known!
I wish it was less!
-It does look cool. And this is wool, isn't it?
I think the real key was to try and lose a lot of its weight by getting
rid of that kind of heavy fabric, trying to slim it all down.
-Plus, make it look stylish.
Plus, you know, not make it TOO alpha-male looking.
Still the big armchair that it is.
Jay's loving it. Anthony has done a great job.
But has he managed to do it for the £450 he agreed with Jay?
-Did we come in on budget?
-To be honest, I've been on such a journey,
I can't even remember.
The one thing that would have taken it over budget, which we didn't have
enough in the budget for, is unfortunately we had to forget your button.
-I tell you the truth, I didn't even notice the button.
-I didn't notice it.
-That's what I thought, "He's not going to mention it!"
-No, I didn't notice it.
So yeah. It looks cool without the button.
-But you've got that detail there.
-Yeah, I mean, like, to be honest,
-that was one of the first bits I did to it.
-So we've come in on budget,
looks cool, I haven't got a button - but I don't need a button.
All I've got to do is sell it now. So, thank you, sir.
-I don't need it, after what you've done.
Wow, now that's what I call a transformation -
from a beast of a chair
to a slick, cool, grey and contemporary masterpiece.
Anthony has done it again. And he's taught me something as well.
You don't always need a coloured button on a chair.
-Or do you?
-You've missed your chance, Jay.
Fortunately, he didn't miss Scott and Terry,
as they were about to chuck the chair. What did Terry think Jay would do with it?
I reckon Jay could clean it up, paint it,
perhaps a nice few pillows on it.
I think you boys are in for a nice surprise.
Jay wasted no time in finding a buyer.
Boutique hotel Monachyle Mhor in Perthshire in Scotland
loved Anthony's work. And owner Tom couldn't wait to put his feet up.
Jay has travelled to Aldridge in Walsall
to meet up with Terry and Scott,
show them the transformation and hand over the profit.
-How are you doing?
-How are you doing, mate? You all right?
-So do you remember
the old, I think, G Plan recliner chair that you brought down?
Well, I was able to take it to a guy called Anthony up in Manchester, and
he transformed it into something quite beautiful, I think.
And here's what your recliner looks like now.
We have finished it in a lovely grey wool.
-Look at that.
-Yeah, it's nice.
-So what do you guys think of that?
Bless you. Pleased to say that we've managed to sell it,
and I've got for you guys £50 profit.
-So any ideas of what you might do with the money?
No. Perhaps have a drink!
Have a drink? Don't blame you! All right, well, I'll be off
-on my travels.
-Thank you very much.
-Have a nice drink.
-Take care and have a good one.
-OK. Thank you very much.
-See you later.
Anthony's labour and materials came to £450.
Jay sold the recliner for a cracking £500,
giving Terry and Scott £50 for a night down the pub.
In East Sussex, has Norman repurposed the writing bureau
into the contemporary desk Jay believed would have
-wider sales potential?
-I had to think about what we were doing
because of the base and the legs and things like that, but we've done it
and I think it has turned out really well.
I think we will get a good response from him.
I had to try and get into Jay's head and maybe what he'd do.
-But I think it's got the look.
-Inside Jay's head?
Who knows what's going on in there?!
The writing bureau was a relic of a bygone age.
Jay wanted to give it a new purpose,
so it could have a new lease of life.
Norman was lacking inspiration when he first saw the bureau,
but it's well and truly struck now. This is lovely.
He has taken Jay's concept and crafted a beautiful desk,
using only wood from the bureau,
finished with a clear varnish to highlight the grain.
It also accentuates the wear and tear of the antique oak.
These imperfections achieved over decades add character.
The desk is given a contemporary edge
with the colour highlights that Jay will definitely approve of.
And Norman has integrated a tablet holder,
which gives this desk a modern spin.
I'm impressed, but what about Jay?
-How are you?
-I'm very good, sir.
-Nice strong grip.
-Thank you, thank you.
-There we go.
-Where are we?
-Do you like it?
-That is amazing!
I remember the bureau looking like a bureau. Now...
That's amazing. I mean, look at it!
-You set the task, so we've done what you wanted.
-No, I set the task,
but sometimes I am a bit like, "Is he going to do it or not?"
but look at it, man. That is like... that is the whole bureau.
Wow! You've done it.
Proper, like, smashed it.
Done it. Like, oh, man.
I think it's safe to say he is quite pleased.
The legs are part of the drawers and we thought,
"Let's do the Jay touch." We got the legs painted inside as well.
-I've only just noticed that.
-And then we open it up.
Piece de resistance. Oh-ho!
So we tied the inside colour with the legs.
We made it so it can fit an iPad or a Samsung or whatever.
You've got the hole there for the charger as well.
This is really good. The yellow in the inside is an extra detail.
-More than happy days, mate.
I'm as happy as a bumblebee in the summer.
Going from flower to flower to flower. I'm pollinating,
and look what I've ended up with. Not a pot of honey. But that.
Look, I have to be honest, I have absolutely no idea
what he's talking now.
And when Jay thought he reached peak happiness,
it turns out Norman is bang on his £325 budget.
I'm going to get someone to pick that up.
-Thank you very much.
-I'm glad you're pleased.
-I am over the moon.
-If you're happy, I'm happy.
-I'm over the moon.
-More than happy.
-See you soon.
-All the best, mate.
Can't believe his response, Jay. I mean, it was great.
I'm glad he loved it. Makes the job worthwhile when someone shows
that much appreciation. I would say we smashed it.
Mike had owned the writing bureau for over 30 years.
He had started to break it up for chucking in the skip,
but Jay soon put a stop to that.
Several years ago, when we had it first,
my wife used it as a writing desk and I used it occasionally as well.
Yes, it's been very useful.
And now that Jay and Norman have finished with it,
it could be used for another 30 years.
The desk was sold to a vintage and antique shop in Kent.
Now Jay is back in Walsall to tell Mike what happened to the bureau
and pass on a little bit of profit.
-How are you doing?
-Not too bad, thank you.
-Good. So do you remember the old writing bureau?
Yes. My wife bought it, oh, years ago.
-Somewhere in Walsall.
-OK. Did she used to write on it?
Yes, she used to use it to...
Well, she used to stand in front of it with her music
and mark it all up and whatnot for her concerts.
OK. Well, I took it to a guy called Norman
and he worked his magic on this bureau of yours,
and turned it into a very sleek and contemporary...
-I really like that.
And this is all made from the writing bureau.
-He's done some yellow inside.
And also gave me some yellow legs.
Right, very good. Beautiful, really.
Especially the way the wood has come up, now it's been cleaned up.
-My wife would have approved of that.
She wouldn't have had a laptop in it. She would have had sheet music.
Oh, right! I'm pleased to tell you I was able to sell it, and I have...
£75 profit for you, sir.
Oh! Thank you very much indeed.
Any ideas of what you might do with the money?
Well, it's going to go to the palliative care nurses
who looked after my wife in her last two years.
-So that's where that'll end up.
-That's a good cause.
-Well, hopefully I might see you again.
-You take care now.
Norman charged Jay £325 to transform the bureau.
Jay sold it for £400,
giving Mike £75 to donate to the nurses charity
that cared for his wife.
With more than a little help from his friends,
Jay has managed to transform these dumped diamonds
into a pocket full of profit.
Three unwanted items that were destined for the skip have been
revamped into cool and stylish pieces.
Even better - they are heading for new homes.
Restoration wizard Jay Blades is in Walsall, West Midlands, and he is on a mission to salvage three items bound for the skip. Jay has his hands full repurposing a Lloyd loom-style laundry basket. Upholsterer Anthony Devine gets to work stamping his own unique style on a tired G Plan reclining chair. Master carpenter Norman Wilkinson has his work cut out upcycling an oak writing bureau.