Furniture Painting - a revival

Long, long ago in what feels like another life, I used to have a passion for decorative paint techniques, upcycling and renovating unloved pieces of furniture.  Whilst in labour with my first child this is the book I was reading between contractions!

I rag rolled and sponged my way around our house and when our bungalow became a house I kept a piece of wall as a souvenir of those early sponging days, my first attempt was the baby's nursery, the one I was in labour with all those years ago.

Now I'm going full circle and going back to doing what I love, starting with a furniture painting workshop, just for fun and to dip my painted toes into the water again.

So off I took myself to a 3 hour Furniture Painting Workshop locally, leaving the 3 year old with daddy who took the morning off then took her to nursery at 12, leaving me free to not rush back madly as I usually do.

Emma Burt from Love House Interiors offers a range of workshops in her Southwick (near Brighton) studio to create artistically finished shabby chic furniture and signs using chalk based paints.  I had seen these types of paints around but never had the chance to use them.  She uses the Autentico brand which is a no-prep paint that can be used straight onto most surfaces including varnished without the need to sand first, music to my ears as I had imagined a cloud of dust and a lot of elbow grease!  

Follow my Painted Furniture Board on Pinterest

We were asked to bring along a small piece of furniture to work on. I took this sorry looking piece of furniture that was part of a nest of tables, long forgotten in my garage.  I had wanted to take one of my pine bedside tables that I will paint to co-ordinate with my bedroom, but wanted a test piece to practice on first.

The table was quite dark but the paint covered really well even on the first coat, this coat was dried with a hairdryer, then a second coat applied and dried again.  Emma then showed us some nifty finishing techniques using sanding blocks, sandpaper, waxes and varnish to achieve the shabby feel.

So a little sanding was required but really minimally just to smooth the surface and make it clean and also to add those shabby distressed look touches.  I didn't go too crazy with mine, just outlining the edges and corners and a few other light touches, I will be more bold with my next piece!

We then applied the wax to infuse moisture into the paint and wood, this brought up the colour amazingly well too.

At this point you would finish off with a protective layer of varnish although I didn't have time so bought some paint, wax and varnish to finish off the piece and get going on my next masterpiece!

I came away from a very relaxed and enjoyable workshop with an old, forgotten piece of furniture which now has a new lease of life and now fits into my decor.  Upcycling at its best!

Love House Workshops, bespoke furniture and interiors can be found here.

Valentine's Day Gifts

Valentine's Gifts

Lolita Heart of Gold Glass £18.00 John Lewis
Ikea Stool £7.00
Harrods Chocolates £13.95
Jo Malone Candle £39.00
Petal Heart Frame £8.00 John Lewis
Bertie Jack 'Love Birds' - £45.00
Aveda Inner Light Moisturiser £24.50
ChloBo Scallop Heart Silver Bracelet £135.00

A selection of gifts for Valentine's Day that I would be more than happy to receive!  

The stool may seem a strange choice but it will be part of a future project.  I love this glass range too, so unique and how good would fizz look in them!

Skincare is always on my radar and Aveda is one of my all time favourites for skin and hair.

How cute are the lovebirds and who wouldn't love chocolates and a new bracelet.  I am a lover of picture frames and always have new photo's to fill them with but the candle has to be my favourite, love the lavender fragrance.


Bedroom One - The Decorating Begins!

So! The lady decorator starts decorating bedroom 1 upstairs today! I've taken some before photo's, the skirtings are on, the coving done, doors in and furnished and the most of the walls have been lined. The room is a decent size, 13 x 6 by 15 x 10, although the photo's make it look smaller!

It is rather novel to have a completely empty room, no furniture to move, no carpet to cover, just a blank canvas and the reason for this is that we took our 1930's bungalow, lopped off the roof, went up and out (back extension) and changed it into a house, sounds simple but it has been anything but! It has been years in the doing as we have had to stop twice for lengthy periods and one of the many reasons I started the blog was to get on with it and get it all finished.

I'm still deciding/finalising the wall colour (yes I know, she's coming today!), I love pastels and I love blue and would have one shade or another flowing from room to room if I could.  And it seems that that pastels are making their way back, although they've never left my palette. We've done grey in other rooms in shades from light to battleship but now want softer colour hues.

Aqua is another absolute favourite, I love pale tones which create a light and airy space. I want to create peace and serenity with softer colours but also with a clean, crisp, fresh feel.  I am still also toying with the idea of painting the whole room in a shade of white and accenting the room with colour and accessories, although this room is south facing and gets an amazing amount of light already and I really don't want to wear sunglasses to bed!

I've made a paint mood board of my colour choices, decision time!

And once finally finished, this is definitely a room with a view, taken in the summer but every day takes my breath away, the view makes all the hard work and delays worth it and you can see where my love of blue comes from!