Monday, 29 April 2013

Painted stairs revealed...

If you are thinking of painting your stairs, I have one bit of advice. Be prepared that it will take a looong time.
My stairs were in a fairly poor condition. Aside from the glue residue there were a great many dings, staple holes and screw holes to be filled. Then all the edges with the gaps and little crack marks needed to be caulked. Once primed, all the dings I had missed the first time around showed up really well so it was back to the wood filler. And sanding the wood filler and priming. Again.

All this before you can even think about paint. And I'm not a perfectionist. Well, I might be slightly but here I was not aiming for perfection. It's an old house and the last thing I want is a modern, perfect looking staircase.

I didn't sand the painted bits. You have to be careful with lead levels in old paint. I used my trusty Zinsser 123 water based super primer. It has high opacity (hence I got away with poo coloured filler; there was method to my madness) high adhesion (no sanding required) and stain blocking properties (useful if you have knotty pine.) What's not to love?

For the actual stair paint Angela at A Typical English Home highly recommended RONSEAL DIAMOND HARD FLOOR PAINT. ( Thank you Antonia for the tip off about Angelas post!) It's extraordinarily tough and has non slip qualities that your average gloss just can't compete with. An added bonus is that it's quick drying.

You can buy this online from Homebase. Homebase, I love you for this! Anything that prevents me from actually visiting  the big shops in Stevenage is very much appreciated. (B&Q - wise up!) Also don't be put off by the ''up to 20 days delivery time.'' Mine came the very next day.

This paint also comes in beige, tile red and grey.

So, do I like it? I think it's a huge improvement on the 'before' and I love the half  landing parts with the floorboards painted. I might have to add some colour at some point. And when I say 'colour' you know I mean beige or grey right?

But for now ...I'm done. We'll live with it for a while. In our slippers obviously...

I'll remind you of the before...

Of course, it's making that wall look filthy now. All the six year olds hand prints need painting over. That's often the way when you start these things...

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Gustavian inspired wine table...

Er, at least I think it's called a wine table...

Alrighty, the stairs are STILL not finished! Top tip though for any potential stair painters; if you are going to paint your way down the stairs and the only accessible loo is upstairs, you might want to go first.

Yes the stair painting is dragging on. All I can say in my defence is that the staircase was in very poor condition before I began this.
Also I have been a bit naughty. I just love starting exciting new small jobs and I'm not so good at finishing  long laborious jobs.

So, instead of actually cracking on with the stairs I thought, once the stairs are all white and gorgeous, the little table that sits in the corner of the stairs is just going to look shoddy and ruin everything. See how I talk myself into it being alright to start something new?

Here's the table in question...

Er, this was Christmas time.

I'm rubbish at remembering to take 'before' shots. I'm so keen to get stuck in.

As usual, here's my attempt at a 'before' shot. Excuse the first splotches of paint. Imagine they're not there.

Also please excuse the moshi monster infestation we currently have.

This table was picked up a few years ago from Oxfam in York. I always intended to paint it. I thought that with the white stairs, white floorboards on the half landing and the painted mule chest that I wanted a Scandinavian look. I'm a huge fan of antique painted furniture so I wanted to try and reproduce the look without the price tag.

Here we go...

I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I haven't used this technique before and I had to do it several times before I was happy. I didn't use chalk paint or primer, just sugar soap and tester pots of Wilkos emulsion. The sugar soap made an incredible difference to the shine of the wood, completely removing it. I just love texture in painted furniture.

Right, better crack on with those stairs...

Linking with Jennifer Rizzo: Fabulously Creative Friday

 Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed

 From my Front Porch To Yours: Treasure Hunt Thursday

 Funky Junk Interiors; Party Junk 185

 The Rosegarden at Malevik Saturday Show off

 PJH Designs

and Knick of Time Tuesday 

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Busy doing nothing...

Okay, so the stairs are still not finished. (Although thankfully we are past the excrement look.) The coffee table/bedroom bench isn't even started. I have been wasting my energy on other things. Like a futile journey to B&Q in Stevenage to collect some skirting boards that I didn't even have the strength to lift, let alone bring home on the train. I thought I had ordered one skirting board. Turns out it was a pack of 4.

The ironing pile is the biggest I've ever seen it.
The sun is shining and I should probably be gardening.

But I'm in need of a little sit down. So I shall distract you from my lack of accomplishments this week by sharing with you some recentish flea market/ car boot sale/ chazzing finds.

First up, this rug...

 Yes, it is wonky and yes, my bedroom skirting boards are half orange. And yes, that chest of drawers is half primed. Come on, concentrate on the rug!

I think it's vintage, and it's sort of hand made. I'll show you a close up...

That bobbliness I think is hand done. I can't remember what it's called...
Anyway, I hoovered it front and back and then washed it in the bath with Woolite. It wasn't really dirty but I'm a clean freak about second hand textiles. It was actually a stupid thing to do as the red colour bled. I spent ages trying to get the red out of the surrounding areas then gave it a rinse of salt water. I think that's meant to lock the colour in...? The rug survived and dried several days later.

At this weeks flea market I found this...

It's a sort of crate with a handle. Perhaps for people who REALLY love crates to carry it around with them rather like a rustic handbag? No?
I'm sure I will find some practical use for it and I'm also sure it will end up with lettering on it.

At last weeks flea market I found this...

a vintage airfix Christmas tree fairy complete with original wings and wand. Because vintage Christmas decs are not just for Christmas.

A set of 6 rusty old hooks...

I'm hoping to keep them rusty and build a cool er, rustic coat hook thingy with them. I just need a new jig saw...

And last of all...

Yes, it's another crate! With a sweet defunct telephone number on the ends...

and a name on the other sides. I have no idea what I will do with this. But I never let that get in the way of buying vintage crates with vintage writing on them. Especially if they are only £3.

Boot sale tomorrow! Happy weekend!

 p.s. It might be called a hand hooked rug.

Linking up with Magpie Monday at Me and My Shadow

and Op shop show off at Blackbird has Spoken

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

One for the cat fans...

I have a lovely wooden bowl...

It sits on the windowsill and is currently filled with ripped up tissue paper for decoupaging my mannequin (that has to be the most boring job in the world so it's going to take me forever to complete it!)

 Imagine my surprise when I walked into the living room and found Bad Bobby in my bowl.

And then, he carefully turned around and smiled for the camera!

He is very pleased with himself isn't he? I know my boys have several fans so I had to share this!

Stair progress?

The only wood filler I have is dark. Left over from this. And it doesn't last forever, it dries up.
So instead of buying new, I thought, lets be frugal and use this up first.



It looks like we have an incontinent puppy and we've run out of J cloths. I hope no one comes round...

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Sanding the stairs...

Well, if that title doesn't grab you, I don't know what will...

Sorry for my blogging absence. You'll never guess what I've been up to.

If you are hankering after a house full of dust, both upstairs and down, to make your spring cleaning really worthwhile, I thoroughly recommend sanding your stairs.

Offending glue covered step

If you're lucky your husband might come in when you're halfway through and start bitching about the state of the house.

I would just ignore him if I were you and plough on.

Flippin' gorgeous...

Before you start hoovering up the mess, you might want to countersink 20 or so screws that the previous owners needlessly put into the staircase...

Great. You're one step closer to the staircase of your dreams. Just several hours of filling, caulking, sanding, priming and painting to go.

Still no news of Mrs Bolden our missing school teacher. We are all hoping she might return to work on Tuesday. She is constantly in our thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Car boot sale in York...

My brother and I were up at 6.30 to hit the boot sale. What a lovely day it's going to be. It wasn't freezing for a change and the sun shone.

There must have been an auction yesterday as the boot sale was rammed. The best thing I found was a humongous set of Gaydon Melamine picnic/camping ware.

There's actually eight of everything apart from the cups and there are six of those. These are quite covetable among the camper van enthusiasts, and the vintage caravanners. I recognise them because we had some when we were kids. We had the Magic Roundabout set.

This lot was £8. A fraction of what they fetch on eBay...

I also found some unworn snow boots for my daughter to grow into. £2 a pair.

I stockpile good quality footwear for her so we never need to buy it at full price. I also got her a Disney Princess dress. Like we don't have enough of those!

We sped round the boot sale and went to a second one which wasn't even on. Stupid. We would've spent longer at the first one had we known. So that was a stuff up.

I'm sure we can fit in a charity shop or two whilst we are up here to make up for it. Happy Sunday!

Linking with Me and my shadow: Magpie Monday
and Blackbird has spoken: Op shop show off

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Ironing board insanity...

I've been desperate to make a new ironing board cover.
Yep, it's an exciting life I lead.
Our ironing board is semi on display in the kitchen so it has to be an object of beauty. But what to cover it in?
 I wanted something dark because I frequently spill water on the ironing board as I fill the iron and I didn't want the resulting water marks to show.
I wanted something vintage, thick and utterly splendid.

I spotted this fabric on ebay.

I KNOW! It's RED! Not neutral. Not pale. RED. I have clearly  lost my mind. But I do love this material. It's like a thick linen.
Here's the  tutorial I used.
There are several pages. I used elastic rather than string just because that's what I had. I bought some new ironing board padding and also sewed this inside the cover.

Wanna see my masterpiece?

And here it is at home down the side of the fridge...(those tiles AREN'T staying!)

See how it draws the eye away from the hole in the plaster? Cunning!

Red. My new colour. And doing the ironing will be so much more fun! (Won't it?)

My daughter and I are heading up north to my dads for a few days...

Linking with Me and my Shadow: Magpie Monday

Friday, 5 April 2013

Can you help?

If anyone has seen this lady, possibly in the Bedford area, possibly further afield, her family are very worried about her. She hasn't been seen since Sunday evening.
She is a member of my community. We are all praying for her safe return.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Using a paint wash on wicker baskets...

Remember this wicker basket I found at the boot sale?

Mmm, very nice but the orange just wasn't doing it for me. 

I mixed up in a washing up bowl 1 tester pot of F&B's Cornforth white and 3 tester pots of water. 
I used a brush to flood it into the wicker and let it run out. You have to cover every surface. 

And here we have it...

...mounted inside the pantry door. 

(Except really... the door is hollow, I can't put heavy things in it. So it's an oversized packet shelf! I thought the bottles looked better though.)

And there was enough paint left over to do another...

 And I even painted the inside of the pantry door for the photo! 
Blogging is good. I get jobs done just for you!

Oh, and vintage cot cat bed update? 

It's definitely a hit!