Before & After… Tall Contemporary Drawers

I was offered these drawers by a trader friend of mine who needed the space in her shop. She wasn’t charging me a fortune and there was something about the shape and styling in them that appealed to me. They were well made but modern and I knew straight away what I was going to do with them. Mark, on the other hand, hated them!

Great shape but very 1984!
Great shape but very 1984!

I started off with 2 coats of red chalk paint (my own mix) and then turned the laptop on and fired up Pinterest. I needed a free swirl that I could use to decorate the front and, sure enough, Pinterest delivered!

Then I turned to Block Posters to transform it into a PDF and transferred it onto the drawers (I will be writing a tutorial on the method I use in the near future). It wasn’t quite as bold as I wanted so I went over it with a Sharpie and then sanded back just a little so it wasn’t too sharp.

A quick coat of wax varnish and they were ready to stick online… only now Mark likes them and wants them down the shop!

The graphic makes the difference!
The graphic makes the difference!

Before & After: Dark Wood Console Table

I thought I’d share a quick B & A with you this beautiful Sunday. I bought the original dark wood table from a friend who runs a house clearance and second hand store. It was a boring piece that had sat in her shop for a few months so she was pleased to see the back of it – and it fitted my shopping search for something I could complete in an afternoon and test my new paints out on.

Dark Wood Console Table
I got carried away and started painting before I remembered to take the ‘Before’ shots!

I didn’t sand or prime it at all as I wanted a true test of the paint I’d just made up. The first coat of red went on a dream. The paint was very thick so there were brush marks in the texture but it went on well so I decided that one coat would be enough. I gave it a rudimentary clear wax (Rust-oleum) and then painted directly over that with the blue I’d just mixed up.

The blue was a LOT runnier and I was worried that it would take a few coats to cover such a strong red. Boy, was I wrong! It went on an absolute dream!!! One coat and you had no idea of it’s secret red undercoat 🙂

I like its simple elegance
I like it’s simple elegance

Once it had dried I rubbed it back a little on the legs and a bit heavier around the edges and top of the table, until I got the look I was after. Another 2 coats of wax and a good polish and I was done!

I’m really pleased with the results and the finished piece is available to buy on our Showroom pages or our Lydney shop. £45

Drumroll…

I wanted the red to show through, but not too much!
I wanted the red to show through, but not too much!

Table for sale

Distressed table top
I like the way the top turned out!

As always, I welcome your opinions!

Nikki x

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.

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