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!
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The Unloved Corner Cabinet Top

Occasionally we will buy a few items bunched together as one lot at an auction. This piece came with the dresser that Mark gave a complete makeover to a few weeks back.

It’s the top of a mahogany corner unit similar to a few others we already have in stock. Mark put it straight into the shop to fill a gap and we forgot about it.

The other day when we were starting our spring fling clear-out of unwanted stuff at the shop Mark said to take it over the road to the charity shop. It’s a well made piece with no faults, and still has the original key with it, so I couldn’t give up on it so easily.

Mahogony corner cabinet
Quite uninspiring

Once it was in the corner of my living room I set about finding the look to vamp it up a little in the style department. I knew I wanted something bright and fresh – a complete contrast to the dark finish it originally had. Then I found some stunning wallpaper while shopping for another project…

Butterfly Wallpaper
WOW!

I’d always wanted to try papering the inside of one of these things and this was my chance. So home I came with the paper and, after a bit of faffing around, I managed to mix a beautiful shade of duck egg blue that matched it perfectly.

So I painted it all over with two coats, not minding the glass as this cleans back easily. Then I set to sticking the paper in which proved a lot more awkward than putting it onto a wall – think back to trying to put wallpaper in your dolls house and you are on the right tracks!

Wallpapered corner cabinet
I just love the paper!

Once that was done I had to decide on a finish for it. I didn’t want it distressed, I wanted the main feature to be the paper background, so I gave it a thin coat of wax varnish I’ve been wanting to review for a while (post coming soon). The finish wasn’t a luxurious as wax but it makes it a more durable piece that will withstand a little abuse.

Painted Mahogany Corner Cupboard

It’s already back in the shop, Mark changed his mind about giving it to charity for now!

So, which do you prefer, the traditional mahogany or the bright finish?

Nikki x

Five of the Best…

I’ve read some great blog posts this past few weeks and thought that if I love them then you might too? Okay, you probably already subscribe to a few (if not all) of them but they are really worth checking out – if you haven’t already!

I might try to make this a regular Sunday night thing, if nobody minds?

First up is this  from Ferpie and Fray. It was great to read about a transformation that all went to plan!

Loved this no hassle transformation at Ferpie and fray

This next piece is NOTHING like how I would have painted it but isn’t that part of what makes sharing great? I love how it turned out and I’m sure her client does too. See the before and after at This Delightful Life.

I always read posts from Phoenix Restoration and really love her work. This piece struck me because of the great use of colour.

Love a lot of her work!

This post from Me Myself n DIY made me laugh so hard! She talks about the 6 stages of failure we have all gone through (or something very similar) when working on that ‘pig of a project’ that comes along every so often!

This post made me laugh so hard – we’ve all been through it!

And finally… I was intrigued by this post as I have been itching to paint fabric chairs for about 6 months now and just haven’t found the right piece! See how the Interior Frugalista copes with this project on a tight schedule

I have always wanted to try this!

Of course I have read a tonne of great posts but had to set a limit and 5 seemed about right. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Nikki x

Mark’s Table Make-Over

Blogging has really helped me to keep motivated this past few weeks and the post-Christmas blues haven’t been able to take hold. It has also made me try new things (like distressing with vinegar) and revisit methods I haven’t used for a while (watch out for a post about crackle finish using pva glue).

In the hope that it can have a similar effect on Mark I am going to try to include a post once a week of what he’s been working on. Most of it shouldn’t need any explaining but, if you do have any questions, please leave a comment and I’ll answer every one.

This week has been about refinishing a cute little nest of tables. Mark loved the blue and red table I told you about not long ago, so used the same colour combo on the tables. I found a wonderful wallpaper, that looks like old books on shelves, to go under the glass that finishes them off beautifully!

Nest of tables
You find these quite often at auction
Glass topped mahogony tables
Nice legs 😉
Red painted table
First red
Table painted blue
Then Blue…
Distressed table leg
Rubbed back just a little…
Cleat wax over chalk painted table
Add some clear wax
Walpaper behind glass
Put your wallpaper in…
Table reveal
Ta-da!

I really like them, but of course he based them on one of my pieces and I chose the paper so I’m going to be completely biased!

’til next time,

Nikki x

Distressed Paint Effect Using Vinegar

Use something we all own to get a great distressed finish
Use something we all own to get a great distressed finish

I’m an old-fashioned kind of girl who finds a method that works and sticks to it. That means I can spend hours, days even, gently rubbing back paint to get just the right distressed finish required.

Recently I’ve been thinking that there must be an easier way? I believe in doing the job right but if there’s a way to do it right and quickly shouldn’t I be using it? Sure enough there are lots of ways people distress their furniture I hadn’t even considered so in the next few weeks I’m going to be trying them out (or some at least) and sharing my findings with you, dear reader.

 

White Vinegar for distressing
This cost pennies

This first method uses something most of us keep in the pantry… vinegar. I decided to opt for distilled or white vinegar as I didn’t want it to stain the paint in any way.  Obviously I didn’t have any distilled vinegar in my store cupboard so that meant a trip to town and another hour out of my day!

Anyway I already had this cute little shelf unit (spice rack maybe?) that I found in a charity shop a few weeks back. It is pretty featureless so will rely on having a good paint effect to give it some oomph.

Charity shop spice rack
You will often see pieces like this in charity shops

I started with a quick coat of Annie Sloan’s  Antibes Green, as I had some left over from an earlier project. As always with this colour I was tempted to stop there, but then I’d have nothing to share with you, so I gave it a quick wax using Rusto-leum clear furniture wax. Then it got 2 coats of my own deep lavender (okay, I’ve got to come up with some cool names for my paints) and left it to dry thoroughly.

Antebes Green
I just love this as a contrast colour
Little French Paint Co
My own mix over the green

Once dry, I just dipped my microfiber cloth in the vinegar and wiped it over an area. Nothing happened. I rubbed a bit harder. Nothing happened. Then, as I was showing Mark how ineffective it was, a huge streak of the lavender rubbed clean off!

Distressed with vinegar
This big chunk wiped off in one go!

I think the knack is to almost soak the paint in vinegar and give it a second to soak in. I’m really glad I took the time to wax after the green or I think it would have wiped off at the same time – the wax was just enough of a barrier to protect it.

Once I got the hang of it, it was so easy! I wouldn’t want to use it on everything because you just don’t have the same control as you do sanding by hand, but if you want a beat up, rustic look then this is great.

Vinegar distressing
You need a gentle touch until you get used to it!

In the interests of science (or maybe just because I’m still a wee bit sceptical) I’m going to try a similar experiment using plain water and another using something like lemon juice so I’ll keep you updated – be sure to follow us so you don’t miss a thing!

Finished piece after a top coat of wax varnish
Finished piece after a top coat of wax varnish

Tune in next week to see how I got on using Vaseline to distress a mirror in my lounge, and please let me know if you’ve heard of a method of distressing you’d like me to try, and review!

The Christmas Window. Or What happend to the rocking chair?

White rocking chair

Just last week I wrote a post about an adorable little black rocking chair that we were considering painting white to go into our shop. We actually debated to and fro for a couple of days – Mark even sent me a text message after I’d been in bed for 2 hours (and was fast asleep!) asking if he should just start painting!

In the end we bit the bullet and went for it! We used some paint that we have developed ourselves (very exciting post about this coming soon) and gave it just 2 coats of white. Amazingly it covered really easily, although the bumpiness is even more apparent now it’s a flat white colour.

It will be P E R F E C T in the window of the shop, BUT my love for it has diminished just a little 😦 It’s no longer quirky or cute, it’s a little lacking in the character department to be honest.

White rocking chair
The chair!

What it is, is peaceful.  And if you read the original post you know that’s exactly what we were aiming for.

Candleabra

Sorry for the poor photos,  I was having difficulty getting the camera to focus through the window and I couldn’t use the flash!

White Window

 

What do you think?

Jpeg

 

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