Baby Blue Dresser/Changing Table

I found this lovely furniture transformation online today and just had to share it with you. Have a good look around her blog, it’s full of fantastic information and interesting projects!

Nicole Scott-Howe for: Re-Design In A Day

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I found this piece at a cute store called Haywoods Variety (https://www.facebook.com/HaywoodsVariety), in a small town on the Northern Neck called Urbanna, VA. I grew up in Urbanna so it fun finding this piece in my home town. To give you an idea how small this town is, there are no stop lights!

Anyhow, when I saw this dresser I immediately thought it would make a great dresser/changing table for a nursery.

0514141102aWith two small and two large drawers, I knew there was plenty of storage space for diapers, onsies, lotions, etc.

0514141102And, the top is large enough for a changing pad for the baby.

OK, I realize it’s hard to imagine a baby on this dresser, but trust me its going to look great!

0519141622So the first thing I did was get out the sander and sanded the top.  It’s looking better? Right?

0519141548I then painted the drawers a…

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Retro Prints… chic or kitch?

Whatever your views on the rise of the retro revolution there’s no denying that if it was ‘in’ when your mum was setting up house then it’s going to be making a comeback in the trendiest of apartments now.

We found these sweet little prints in the corner of a charity shop, buried under various other prints of days gone by. There was something about them that Mark couldn’t set down so he decided to bring them home – perhaps in the hope that he’d find a space on our walls where they’d fit just right!

Retro print
Pretty little girl from the 60’s

Unfortunately (for him) they just didn’t fit with our current  décor so they are in our showroom and available to buy! At the moment they are in their original frames with no restoration or updating.

Retro print of boy
Sweet little boy from the 60’s

Both prints bare the signature of famous 1960s English artist Dallas Simpson. They measure 7″ x 13″ including the frames.

Dallas Simpson Prints
Charming!

If you are interested in buying these sweet little prints we would like £15 for the pair, plus actual postage to your address. Email  nikki@bigredbarn.co.uk . Of course you are welcome to call into our shop in Newern St, Lydney, GL15 5RA. to check tem out first.

Shabby Chic Sign Tutorial

Hello! I hope this cold weather isn’t slowing you down? It’s taking the paint a little longer to dry than normal but that just means I have time to write you another quick tutorial. I’ve had the photos for ages but only now have I got the time to share it with you.

Shabby Chic Signs
Really quick and simple!

I started by finding a couple of planks taken from a reclaimed pallet. Be careful when taking pallets, if possible, ask whoever owns it. They will usually be glad to get rid of them but check all the same.

Pallet wood
A small part of my stash!

Once you have some suitable wood cut it to your desired shape and size. If you are going to stencil or use a transfer (look out for another post regarding this) of a word then make sure your sign is long enough to fit it on!

shabby chic sign

As you will soon discover I L O V E my power tools so used an electric jigsaw but an ordinary hand saw would work just as well. Then I brought out the big guns. No electric sander for me, not when I have my angle grinder!!!

Angle Grinder for sanding
My favourite tool ever!

Now there’s a real knack to sanding with an angle grinder but playing with a piece of scrap wood or a ‘rough’ project, like this one, is a great place to start. Be gentle and ‘stroke’ the wood, using just the weight of the tool and no more. I will try to get a video of this but it probably won’t be ’til the spring now!

Obviously you can sand by hand or using an electric sander but where’s the fun in that??? You also get results super fast using the angle grinder.  (I guess I should warn you to wear goggles, clamp wood securely but you know that already, don’t you?)

Cleaned with an angle grinder
The larger piece was sanded in 2 minutes!

Then I forgot to take a photo of the paint I used but it was an Annie Sloan in a pale lilac/blue colour. I had some stencils from another project but couldn’t find my stencilling brush. If you don’t use them a lot then it’s probably not worth buying one and you can get good results by wrapping an elastic  band around a small brush to hold the bristles tight together. If you can sacrifice the brush then you can trim it to get a flat head.

Stencil Brush
Improvised Brush

 

Stencil on Wood

Once your paint has dried you can add wire or string to hang, or mount your sign on a stake in the ground. If they are to be used outside you should give them a good coat of suitable varnish.

Toilet sign

Since doing these signs I’ve come up with a couple of different methods of applying the writing that are more versatile and easier to apply so check in again soon for that tutorial!

Nikki x

Kidney Pains.

Firstly let me say that this isn’t a proper tutorial.  There’s no step by step detailed instructions, I can’t remember exactly what paints I used, and the photos aren’t the best either. (I’m really selling this post, eh?) That said, I wanted to share one of the first commission pieces we got into the shop.

It was from a couple who turned into a very loyal customers and, have since put a lot of business our way.

Mrs M. called in one day with a rather sorry looking kidney shaped table…

Kidney Table
Mrs M’s Table

As you can see, the top is badly scratched and stained. What you can’t see is that one leg was hanging off!

Table leg
Loose joints make for wonky tables!

But there was some beautiful detailing…

Table Detailing
Heaps of potential there

So we set about gluing, clamping and making it stable.

Sash clamps on the table legs
Some strong glue and long clamps

Then we gave it a couple of coats of Craig & Rose in a rich cream shade.

Painted Table

After a generous covering of Annie Sloan’s Soft Clear Wax we rubbed it back on those beautiful legs.

Lightly distressed leg detail
Lightly distressed details

Maybe you have a piece of furniture just begging to be loved back to life? Look at it in a different light and give it a go! I’d love to see what you come up with.

‘Till next time,

Nikki

Sorry, it’s sold!

Painted Dolly Pegs

I hate having to tell people that the piece they are asking about has been sold already. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE it when someone sees beauty in a piece I’ve worked on, and it’s FANTASTIC when they love it enough to buy it. But when someone calls or emails to ask if we still have that stunning chest of drawers or really pretty side table and I have to say no, I can feel their disappointment!

It’s not even like we can reproduce any of our pieces. They are almost always second hand, found at auctions and second hand shops, and each piece seems to suggest it’s own colours and finishes. Just because it worked on one oak table doesn’t necessarily mean it will work on the next!

Now, I’m not telling you this to encourage you to buy it when you see it (although if it is beautiful, functional and affordable then I don’t see why you wouldn’t!) but because the following photos are of pieces we have worked on in the last few months before I started this blog.  Unfortunately we only took the photos for our own records so they aren’t quite as ‘arty’ as we’d like, but hopefully you will get the idea.

As always I’d love to hear your opinions on our choices of colours or how we’ve finished the pieces. Just leave a comment – I promise to read every one!

Painted Dolly Pegs
One of our best sellers! Funky, hand-painted Dolly Pegs.

These painted dolly pegs make a lovely spring time display. Sadly our supply of these dried up and, until we find them cheap enough, we have sold all but one set!

Pallet wood table
Pallet wood table

This table was great fun to work on and taught me lots about using an angle grinder to sand and shape. Watch out for a tutorial on making one of these sometime soon!

Orange & Green Cabinet
Stunning!

The orange under green combination used on this wheeled cabinet works so well I always want to keep whatever we’ve painted with it!

Drop leaf table
A new twist on an old table

This old barley twist table was one of the first pieces Mark painted – it took me a few months to convert him from ‘You can’t paint oak’ to ‘what colour shall we do this?’ LOL!

So what do you think? Too wild or not wild enough? It’s sometimes hard to judge between what we’d love to do and what we’re pretty sure will sell but sometimes what we love sells and that’s what makes us really happy!

Thanks for reading,

Nikki x

Hello Reader!

This isn’t an entirely new blog. In fact, I’ve had the WordPress address for a couple of years now and written a few posts along the way. To be fair, it wasn’t a great blog. I thought time was my greatest enemy – I have a family, a part time job and a business I run with my partner, Mark. But that’s a pretty poor excuse… I still found time to do the things that I loved, updating and redesigning furniture, making beautiful craft items for our home and learning new techniques and tricks to improve and build our furniture business.

Shabby Chic Mirror

Then it dawned on me… I should be writing about these very things that I love doing! It also meant that I could ditch our old web site in favour of an ever changing, ever evolving blog! No more ‘updating’. No more trying to keep on top of product pages. No more fighting against a Google site that just didn’t want to do what we needed it to.

So here I am, taking the first step to making something new and exciting. I have so much I’m bursting to share with you. So many things I want to show you. And more than a couple of things I’d like your opinion on!

Join with me on this little adventure Reader. Come join in my experiments and learn new things with me. And do join in, please say hello., I really can’t wait to meet you!

Nikki x