Saturday, 30 June 2012

Little French bedside table

 Finished it! I had to strip the WHOLE THING as the orange wax was caked on and wouldn't budge without the use of nasty chemicals!
 I removed the little galleried top section before working on the top. I wanted to keep that oak but I made it paler with a wash of watered down F&B Skimming Stone. Then a coat of matt varnish.
When I could see what the finished colour of the top was going to be, I could choose my main colours to match.
I opted for the Skimming Stone as an undercoat and Charlston Grey on top as they suited the pale oak.

I'm really happy with the colour. Other pieces in the house are creamy coloured and I wanted this one to be a bit more masculine.

I dark waxed it, then took all the dark off with clear wax. As you do when you change your mind!

The little top bit was nailed and glued back before I waxed the top.

 It can't go into the bedroom until the wax stops stinking. I use Liberon waxes and they certainly clear the sinuses!

Boot sale tommorrow, it's going to be an early start as there's rain forecast for later on.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Experimenting with MILK PAINT

 It's been a frantic week with lots of stripping, painting, sewing and experimenting! Remember this shoddy little stool?
 Well, my Milk Paint arrived from Canada and I couldn't wait to experiment with it.
 Do I like it? Not sure...
It smells like sour milk. It took five or six coats and I still wasn't getting the opacity I was after so I gave up. Mind you, I was painting pale on dark stained wood. It's cracking is unpredictable and it ended up being very distressed in areas that I wouldn't necessarily distress due to it's flaky nature.
 The stool is by no means finished as the paint still needs sealing with wax or tung oil and the uplholstery needs to be completed with some braid or gimp. But you get the idea.

Do you think there's a market for this paint here in the UK? It's not as subtle as I'm used to. Is it too obvious for our reserved natures?
Apparently you don't have to distress it but I don't know what happens to all the flaky bits if you don't. I presume they will drop off anyway.
I'd love to know what you think!

I've got squillions of other projects to show you that are almost complete, including the cute little frenchy oak cabinet. Stay tuned!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Boot sale bargains!

 Well Fridays fleamarket was utter crap this week, although I did manage to score a bagful of vintage girdles from the charity shop so it wasn't all bad. They are destined for ebay.

Today's boot sale was a good un! I picked up this little oak bedside table for £18 to add to the, er, growing pile in the garage requiring work! We just haven't had the weather this summer for stripping things in the garden. I love the shape! And yes, it's very heavy and I took it home on the bus! Some people have no shame...

It's had an unfortunate encounter with a tin of orange wax at some point in its life! I got lots of advice on how to go about refurbishing it from the kind folk on the bus. We're a friendly lot here in Hitchin!
 A sealed roll of Laura Ashley's finest Summer Palace for £1
 Brand new baby Gap jeans with the tags still on for 50p!
 Cool growing hair Sindy with half her original outfit and the little bag for her growing hair! I've never seen one of these before!
 New courgette plant to replace the one my cats destroyed. They are good like that...
Butter wouldn't melt? Don't you believe it!
The husband is really not thrilled that I've added to the furniture stockpile no matter how french and gorgeous a piece is so I think I'd better do some garage reorganisation this afternoon.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Green door

 When we bought our home a few years ago, it hadn't been touched for 40 years! All the doors were the flush, 1950's/1960's variety and all of them were this delightful shade of green with a 40 year build up of tobacco staining. The walls and carpet were also green. Un-greening the house is my ongoing mission. This is my bedroom door. The other side is orange!
 Yesterday was a rare sunny day and I need a sunny day for door work. The door is removed and laid on a table in the garden and I measure and draw all over it. (This is another door.)

Then I cut all my pieces of wooden moulding with my mitre saw, glue and panel pin them on.

The most important part is caulk, all around the edges of the mouldings and the mitred corners! Take it from me, if you miss this stage your paint will crack. All along the mouldings! That's what happened to the first door I did! Wipe off excess with a damp cloth.
 A bit of primer, undercoat and gloss...
... and it's a vast improvement. The completed doors look better in real life and just kind of trick the eye into thinking it's a traditional panneled door. New handles from ebay complete the look. It's a lot cheaper than replacing all the doors! Also I'm pretty handy but hanging a new door is beyond me and I can tackle this.

Today I've been baking all day. One cake for the school cake sale and one for us. A great opportunity to use some of my vintage cake decorations! My daughter decorated the cake for me.

           It's my beloved fleamarket tommorrow morning if it's not tipping it down. Roll on Friday!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Mannequin progress and boot sale tragedy

 Progress is slow on last weeks boot sale mannequin but I have stripped off the bad upholstery and the underlying foam layer that was held on with sellotape! It had a really horrible smell which I imagine is febreeze or something equally vile so the whole thing got a good shower and scrub with washing up liquid. It smells better now. The carcass seems to be fibreglass. I spent hours yesterday covering her in new wadding and then draping various fabrics from my stockpile over her to see what works. Covering her was a real pain and much harder than I had presumed! Anything with lines would make the job harder as they would have to be straight, not pulled out of line and looking wiggly so I had to give up on ticking and tweed which I would have loved. (I've got a big thing for tweed!)

I had some vintage florals but then I thought they might look messy with anything draped over them. I don't want clashing so I decided plain was the way forward.

I've actually decided to go with hessian. It will go with everything and hopefully if I paint the legs black it will look a bit like the old (and valuable) stockman mannequins.
I just need to get some more hessian on tuesday so I can get to work...

The great thing about having blogged about her is I feel pressurised to get going with it. Normally she would sit around for months until my husband would get really pissed off and force me into action.
I did think about patchwork as a cover for her! I love vintage textiles and have quite a stash and it would be a nice way to use them but it would take a I figured hessian was the best bet.

 Todays boot sale was okay and I managed to get this little beauty for £4. It's an original 1960's model and in good condition.

 But I narrowly missed getting a set of old Avery scales from a sweetie shop for £17. Can you imagine my torment? They had just been sold and they fetch £100 on ebay. Sooo wish I'd got up sooner.
Picked up this little stool which is a nice shape. I'll paint the legs and recover the top. This also has an unpleasant odour and has been given a bath. The foam is hopefully drying out in the garden.

I've ordered some milk paint from Canada which I can't wait to try! Perhaps this stool will be my guinea pig.

Hope your weekend boot sale and charity shop adventures went better than mine!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

The day the Queen came to Hitchin

Not much going in around here by way of painting despite the sun finally shining again. We've been far too busy as the Queen has come to town. We waited at the station as she was arriving by Royal train and luckily the rest of our townsfolk had gone to the old market square so we had a great view. She was very smiley! I decided to take my daughter out of school for it as it's of historic and cultural importance and hopefully she will remember this day all her life. Happy times!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Car boot sale mannequin

Look what I scored at todays boot sale! It wasn't cheap at £25.00 and it's in need of some carpentry and a total re-cover but I'm smitten!

So, what to cover her in? A bit of Cath Kidston? Hessian coffee and potato sacks? Or perhaps an old French linen mangle coth.... Watch this space...

What would you do with her?

Painted mirror frames

The large mirror in my hallway of mirrors came from a charity shop for a few quid. It was garish gold with a hideous cardboard picture of a cottage stapled into the back. I pulled that out and gave the plastic  frame a good scrub in the bath.

I stippled on a dark grey chalk paint then rubbed over it with a candle followed by two paler colours in emulsion with less coverage.

Then I stippled  on some dark wax, pushing it into all the nooks and crannies, let it dry and buffed if off. 

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Welcome to Painted Style. This is a new blog for me to share my painted furniture makeovers and hopefully inspire others to pick up a paintbrush!