Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The dining room floor is in...

The dining room floor is in! And what a difference it makes!

The house was built in 1960 and SOMEBODY thought it would be a good idea to lay black floor tiles in the dining room. How wrong they were.

In the seventies the family that lived here could take no more and carpeted the dining room, hall, stairs and landing with this...

(for good measure, they painted the walls and doors green too!)

Hmm, not my thing. We lived with it for a few years as other big jobs have taken priority, like replacing the condemned boiler, radiators that were so tall, they stuck out above windowsills (!?) and windows that were falling out. Not to mention rewiring, installing a shower and a new fire. In a house where EVERYTHING needs changing, some things have to wait!

We tackled the flooring in the living room and hallway just before Christmas. Then I bought more of the same wood to do the dining room. It's taken this long to change the wiring in there and lift the radiator off and on for redecoration.

But today was flooring day!

It's also been switch the broadband provider day so I couldn't work my computer for 18 hours!

I'm not going to show you the set up room until I have had the light replaced, painted the skirting and finished 3 little painting jobs. I need to swap the curtains for a longer pair I have to hide the pipes. That will take me forever to get around to as they need shortening.

But it is the dining room of my dreams. Everything is ebayed, second hand and painted by me so it hasn't cost a fortune. Even the floor was paid for with pay pal. Which makes it free. I know I'm lucky even having a dining room. There wasn't one in my last house.

I am persevering with my bread board display despite what everyone says. Yes the plates were very pretty. I'm not really after 'pretty' though. I am after 'rustic chunky vintage breadboardery.'
And you can't do that with plates.

Plus, if I don't display them there's no point having them and I will be forced to sell them. :(

I did take on board Max's advice though and add some more. I had quite a few squirrelled away. They are my weakness. I oiled two of them so they look a bit darker.

I'm in the process of painting out that folk design I did. It irritated me. It looked like a stencil and I hate stencils!

I will leave you with a sneaky peak at the window I'm working on...


in progress

Right, better get off the computer and get cracking...

Friday, 23 August 2013

Door dramas...

I've been looking for a door for about 18 months. I needed 4 panels all in a row, I needed cheap and local. I've looked on ebay but I just haven't seen anything local enough to avoid mega delivery costs. I didn't want to part with £70.

This is what I want it for:

There are lots of these door headboards on Pinterest. There's no headboard in the master bedroom (my husbands) so I thought this would be perfect. They even did one on Kirsties 'furnish your home for free' tv show. (Not the best we've ever seen though...)

I had to walk to the DIY shop the other day and spotted my perfect door outside someones house. I charged up the path and cheekily asked them if they wanted rid of it. They said if I came back later they might let me have it. They were trying to hang a new door with great difficulty and weren't confident to let the old one go just in case it became a mission impossible.

On my way home from the DIY store I spoke to my husband and accidentally mentioned the door. He hit the roof. He said it was his room and he did not want a door for a headboard. I said I'd been searching for one for so long and this was local and free. He just got louder. I said I NEEDED to do it as a creative outlet. This didn't help. I told him I wasn't asking for his permission and I hung up on him.

Funny thing is, he called me back five minutes later and was being all practical about how we'd get it home. He'd actually googled door headboards and realised I wasn't barking mad. He said he quite liked them!

So we duly turned up later at the house and they let us take the door. They even offered us a lift to get it home. I was too proud to accept. Besides we only had to stagger half a mile with it and it wasn't THAT heavy.

So stagger we did. We crashed into several shrubs but made it home.

my very own door

I'm sooo thrilled with my free door! Having Jason off my back about it is an added bonus. It's on the backburner for now as it's all kicking off in the dining room and that's my priority right now. But it will be a fabulous headboard between now and Christmas!

Mark my words.

Did you see the lovely Curtises post? Pop over and take a look as she looks utterly fab in the patchwork skirt. It's proof of karma that I got sent the door the same day she got the skirt.

A lottery win is also on my wishlist. Perhaps if I send her some more stuff, that will come my way too?

Have a lovely bank holiday weekend. I'm doing something very exciting (paintwise!) and if it works out I'll show you soon.
The dining room floor goes down on Tuesday. Not a moment too soon!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Botched carpentry and a plate rack makeover...

I've been tinkering with my new plate rack and I figured it might be time for another carpentry masterclass. Or, how not to do things as the case may be...

This was my inspiration:

Found on Pinterest (Vintage House blog)
 Whaddya know? It's a Swedish blog! No wonder it's so gorgeous.

What I loved about the first plate rack I found on eBay is the wooden rails to keep the plates from falling off, for example if your dining room is small and your guests leap up in a hurry, forgetting what's behind them on the wall. To spare those guests from the embarrassment of smashing all the china, a rail is a good idea.

The too small plate rack.

But nothing fit on this one. So onto the next plate rack, very much larger but without the clever rail.

 It's a disaster just waiting to happen.

So... here's how I added a rail to the new plate rack. I bought some wooden dowel. I winged it on the size but it would look good to have the dowel the same thickness as your shelves. Luckily mine was.

I measured (VERY carefully this time) and made sure my things would squeeze behind the rail. I used a Spade bit which has a nice pointy middle so you can be spot on with your hole drilling.

As my dowel was 18mm wide, I went for the 18mm spade bit. I asked the man in the DIY shop if that was right.
Well it wasn't right. I had to spend 15 minutes sanding the inside of each hole so that the damn dowel would go in.

When you use a spade bit the top side of the wood is lovely.

The bottom side gets all splintered. I don't care. This is being painted and that's what wood filler is for.

bottom side

 Hooray, the dowel fits! Eventually.
I cut the dowel 5mm shorter than it needed to be so that I didn't have bits poking out due to inaccurate measuring/rubbish sawing. The recess was filled so it would be smooth.

I also needed to add a small lip to the shelf to prevent plates from slipping through. Oh yeah. My plates aren't going anywhere! There's a groove for plates to sit in but it's in the wrong place for really fat plates. And I'm thinking of displaying something other than plates on this. And they are fat.

 So I took a piece of moulding. It's a bit of pine glass beading. So I popped this on with wood glue and thin panel pins. When using thin beading, the thinnest panel pins are the best. The thicker ones can split the beading. I've made this mistake before with my panelled doors.

old plate groove and new pine lip in front

Caulking the joins is the most important next step. If you don't do this you'll get cracks in your paint along every join. I've made this mistake too.

I'm a firm believer in just doing things and learning along the way! I think you remember by making mistakes.  I do anyway!

Speaking of mistakes, I also treated this plate rack for woodworm. Often if you buy things with evidence of woodworm, the seller will tell you they have been treated. Never take their word for it. I bought my reproduction French bed from a 'reputable dealer' ( let's just say they are a French furniture dealer in York with a showroom in London also) who assured me it was treated. Well, it certainly wasn't! You need to sort this sort of thing out well before you paint a piece.

I treated this one, went away for a week, and painted it with chalk paint. Grease marks from the oily woodworm treatment showed through the paint. It takes a long time for that woodworm killer to dry out! As I was in a hurry, I just went over it all in a stain stopping paint. Not ideal.


I used Polycell Stain Stop

and it was awesome. Just one coat and no more oil marks. (This is not a sponsored post.)

So, FINALLY time to paint!

I did a bog standard two colours of emulsion, sanding one back so the underneath colour showed through. And I thought I should perhaps try some Swedish embellishment. I turned to my furniture painting books and realised I'd made a bit of a booboo.

You know I like everything as pale as can be? Well it seems that in Sweden, this look is to be found in the 'fancy furniture.'

Posh stuff

I can't do 'posh' in this house as the ceilings are too low. So what I had to work with was more 'chunky country pine', more of a 'folk' vibe.

But all the pictures I found of that kind of thing are incredibly colourfull!

Oh dear, we can't have that!
Fortunately my Swedish dining room is a 'fantasy' Swedish dining room so I'm allowed to break the rules.
I've gone for a hybrid version.
Folky painting with pale colours.

I turned once again to the best painted furniture book ever written...

and found a design I liked.

I was worried it was a bit twee but now it's up, it's so small that I don't think it matters...

The problem I have now, is what to display on here. Are you ready for the big reveal?

The before:


The ironstone plates? (Yes I need another...)


Blue and white?

Or the reason I did this in the first place?

To display my beloved vintage bread boards...

And that 'belt and braces' rail and lip?


Unlike the rest of the room...

Ah well, you can't have everything.

Knick of Time

Family Home and Life
Funky Junk
Furniture Feature Fridays

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Dining room paint colour...

The dining room was painted in F&B Pale Powder some years ago. It's a really pale neutral blue and I really liked it. It needed repainting as it had got marked and had some holes where I'd taken things off the wall.

I fancied a change and something cheaper. I wanted something more sophisticated. I opted for a colour called Portland by Dulux Trade Paints. (Always go for Trade Paints if you can get them. They are far superior!)  It's one of the colours they have to mix with their paint mixing machine.

It's such a funny colour. It sometimes looks grey, sometimes greeny, sometimes beigey. I'm REALLY happy with the look of the walls.


Here's a shot of the wall being painted. The F&B is on the left. It's exactly the same lightness/darkness or 'value' (in proper paint terminology, I think...)as the Portland which is a pure coincidence.

Can you see the paint line? No, neither can my husband.

Portland is also the same colour I painted the outside of the house. I'd completely forgotten that I'd had it before. At least I'm consistent with my taste in colours. And it's always nice to have the inside of your house match the outside. Isn't it? 

 The radiator man has been to take off the radiator so I've painted behind it. The price we pay for see through vintage style radiators.

Once that's back up we can get the flooring guys in. In the meantime I've been working on my plate rack which has been a little problematic...

Back soon to show you how it turned out! And I got the COOLEST free thing today that I need to show you!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Car booty from York

You'll never guess what I found at yesterdays boot sale!

Continuing on with the patchwork theme...
The seller said it was vintage 60's. Upon closer inspection I realised it's probably made in Asia and not vintage at all.

Anyway it looks horrendous on! It's clearly a message from God that I must not chop up those curtains to make a skirt!

My other finds were more successful.

A pile of vintage kitchen linens...

An Ironstone gravy boat...

This is a tiny metal dustpan and brush for a child. Because you must train them at an early age to do the chores...

And last of all, and my favourite thing...

Not that I'm a big glove wearer...

...but I'm sure I can think of something else to go inside.

Anyhow, enough of all this shopping nonsense. I'm itching to get home, track down the radiator man and make some progress on the dining room! Time is passing fast and I need this room done before our visitors come in September. Mind you, there's nothing like a deadline to help me crack on.

Knick of Time Tuesday