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

Amazing Dresser Transformation.

Annie Sloan Dresser

It’s Saturday morning as I write this. Mark is enjoying a well deserved lie in, the kids are doing their own thing and I’m still in my pj’s with a nice cup of coffee and a plate of shortbread! I’ve just given a little table it’s first coat of red paint and, while I’m waiting for it to dry, I thought I’d share some photo’s of a dresser that Mark has been working on for a couple of weeks.

It was very ‘bog standard’ when he bought it at auction, but he had a vision of what he wanted and set about it fearlessly.  He started with Annie Sloan (TM) Barcelona Orange straight onto the varnished surface, force dried it with a hair drier (he’s not a patient man), then over the top with Antibes Green.

It was heavily sanded back to emphasize the distressed look and then given 2 coats of dark wax and polished within an inch of it’s life!  We used Briwax as we like the way it actually takes off a little of the chalk paint as you use it and takes out any sanding marks you might leave.

With the top, Mark sanded off most of the varnish before aging the wood to a beautiful silver. Unfortunately he hadn’t removed quite enough of the varnish (like I said, he’s not a patient man) and the effect was patchy, but he gave it the dark wax treatment and it actually turned out great!

I’d love to hear your comments on the finished piece – I think it might be our marmite dresser (love it or loath it!).

Now for some pics…

Bare pine dresser top
The whole thing started out as bog standard varnished pine.
Annie Sloan Paint
Tools of the trade
Barcelona Orange
Barcelona Orange
Green over orange
Green over orange
Sanded Back
Rubbed back
Dark wax
Dark Wax Going On
Crackle effect
Force drying can cause paint to crackle (Tut coming soon)
Repeat everywhere!
Repeat everywhere!
Patchy top
The top before dark wax

 

Finished Dresser
With a few props, in the window of the shop!

 

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

0514141104

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