Five of The Best

After the success  of last weeks post showcasing 5 of the best blog posts that I’d stumbled on I thought I would do it again this week! I’m not sure if this should be a weekly thing or just monthly… I’ll keep you posted!

This first item actually comes from a stationery/scrap-booking blog (who’d of thunk it, eh?). Technically it is a furniture makeover, being drawers and all, and I thought that it was the biggest shocker between the ‘before’ and the ‘after’. Afraid there’s no tutorial but pop over to Between The Sheets for more detailed photographs.

Source: Between The Sheets

The next piece isn’t a makeover but has full plans on how to make a great rustic cupboard. Shanty 2 Chic use theirs to store a coffee machine but it would be a great place to tidy away all those craft bits, paperwork or just about anything! I also loved the colour she used on the final piece.

Source: Shanty 2 Chic

This next piece is from Rustic Whites but is anything but white! I absolutely adore the colour used – it reminds me of the Antibes Green I used under the little spice rack – and makes me want to go bolder with colour in the very near future!

Source: Rustic Whites

Now usually I’m not a big fan of stenciling, not even when you design it yourself, but when it’s done as well as this find over on Art is Beauty, then I give it a big ‘Thumbs Up’!

Source: Art is Beauty

And finally, I thought this Ikea hack from Girl in the Garage was fantastic.. partly because I’m working on the same set of drawers but with a completely different finish but mostly because it’s so much more practical than using vintage suitcases and much, much easier to find!

Source: Girl in The Garage

Well, that’s it for this week’s Five of The Best, I hope I managed to find something you haven’t seen before? Shall I keep it going every Sunday night or do you think once a month is enough?

Watch out for this week’s posts on distressing using Vaseline, Mark’s Makeover, and my very own Ikea hack.

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

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