Revisiting a poor job

I thought you might remember a rather sad hallway table that Mark had painted but when I went back through the arhcives I hadn’t even blogged it. I think that it was so ugly I didn’t want to show the world! He had painted it a completely out of charactor  pinky purple colour, I think it was the same shade ad the bedside unit I did tell you about.

Ugly furniture
A Horrid colour at the best of times!

Then he made a bad job worse by using dark wax over the top and drawer front so those parts looked a little like this other nasty piece he produced…

Dark wax over White
OMG it’s filthy!

Once he had gotten that far even he decided that he had completely ruined the piece altogether and nobody in their right mind was ever going to buy it. I’m just grateful that he did stop there as it made my job of rescuing it a little easier!

Now, because I thought I’d already blogged it, I didn’t get a photo of it in it’s ugly purple dress – sorry!

But here she is with the rescue so far…

Repainted Furniture

I gave her a solid covering in the same mid green that I used on my console table makeover with the intension of using another old map to top it off and cover the nastiness completely!

Then I painted the bits Mark had already waxed and, while the paint was still wet, wiped them with a clean dry cloth to get a distressed look.

Painting over wax

I’m not 100% sure on the finish but I haven’t ruled out filling the details and covering with a map!

Using white wax

I waxed the whole thing with a white wax I have. I don’t usually use it because I’m not always keen on the results it gives, but in this instance, I quite like the highlighted details and that you can see the brush strokes.

Green Hallway table
At least now there’s a slim chance that someone might actually buy it! I really wish I’d taken a ‘before’ shot for you guys – it belonged in the hall of badly painted furniture!

Nikki x

Ikea Rast Makeover

Ikea Rast DrawersThis project was a simple one. I started out to do an Ikea Rast Makeover with their most basic chest of drawers. First off gave them a deep colour was in a hot pink paint. I love natural wood grain so I let it show through a little on this one.

Ikea Drawers

I changed out the original wooden knob style handles for something a little girlier but kept the handles for future projects ;)

black rose knobsAnd then I traced a large rose motif onto the top and (painstakingly) painted it black.

painted rose furniture

I think the overall look is feminine without being too sickly! My 9-year-old likes it because it’s pink. My teenager likes it because it’s modern and clean. Win, win!

painted furniture lydney

What’s your favourite Ikea makeover or hack? Do you enjoy working on new furniture or prefer bringing the old back to life? Feel free to share your projects in the comments section!

Nikki x

Mid-Century Table Makeover

In my bid to clear through the pile of unloved furniture that has been side-lined for prettier projects, and relegated to the back of my sheds, I pulled out this old coffee table. It was time for my mid-century table makeover!

Worn out coffee table

The top was badly stained and the veneer layers needed glued on one corner where the damp had gotten to it a little, but the overall size and shape was pleasing and I had a colour combination I wanted to try out.

Badly stained table top

I gave it a coat of a bright turquoise everywhere but the top. It took 2 coats to get it solid and the gap between the shelf and the top was too small to get my paintbrush in comfortably so it was a pain in the neck!

I gave the bottom section of the legs 2 coats of gold to add a little glam.

Gold table legs

I sanded the top lightly but it was so old that the nasty varnish rubbed off really easily. It was at this point that I started to doubt my choice of finish for it. I had planned on a dark walnut satin finish but the grain was so pretty that I considered leaving it light and just using a wax. I should have taken a photo here but I got carried away with the project and forgot!

In the end I stayed with my original plan and I’m glad I did, 3 thin coats of a satin finish stain and it was ready to go! I hadn’t used satin stain before now but it seemed easy and gave a lovely deep finish that should be harder wearing than wax.

mid century table makeover

Mark doesn’t like it at all. He said it was an ugly table before and now it’s just ‘not his thing’. Fair enough, we rarely agree on furniture lol. He took a long time to come around to my painting anything made of wood at all and, now he has, he likes the shabby chic finish and not much else, but this piece just wouldn’t have suited a farmhouse look. It’s sleek lines and thin legs begged for glamour and luxury.

Repainted coffee table

I like the way this piece came together but… do you think it needs a couple of gold chevrons on the top? The main reason I haven’t gone ahead and done it is that it looks so nice now I’m almost frightened to change it! I also worry that chevrons, although I think they’d fit with the look, might prove difficult to get even and neat. Also my gold paint is very stretchy when it dries so I couldn’t get away with taping it, or it might lift when the tape is peeled off!

coffee table makeover

So what do you think, should I chevron or not?

Nikki x

Ikea Moppe Hack

Apothecary drawers

I usually enjoy the challenge of bringing something old and unloved back to life but recently I worked on two pieces from Ikea. The first was this Ikea Moppe hack

Transform Ikea furniture

I used a dark wax on the carcass and various finishes on each drawer. One was painted blue over yellow and rubbed back, another painted red and distressed. I used pva glue to give a crackle glaze (as seen here) on one and 2 were covered with a vintage looking wallpaper and distressed lightly before giving a medium wax to age them.

Distressed Wallpaper on Furniture

The last drawer was painted yellow, ages with dark wax and then I used a transfer to put some swirly writing on it. Finally I added some dainty antiqued bronzed handles.

Antique brass handles
I fiddles around with the layout until it looked balanced…

Ikea Moppe Hack

I like the overall effect, what do you think?

Make Ikea look vintage

There are more than a few Ikea Moppe Hacks out there, perhaps you’ve got one you’d like to share?

As an unashamed plug, all of the handles are available in our shop (but not online yet I’m afraid!)

Next time I’ll show you what I did with an ordinary set of Rast drawers!

Nikki x

Can I Paint Veneer?

Today I am just checking in with a few snaps of something I finished this week and the answer to my question – can I paint veneer?

I bought this piece quite cheaply and in the back of my mind I was challenging myself to paint it as if it were wood. I had read that you could paint over veneer with chalk paint but I’d never tried it myself so I wasn’t sure if it was going to rub off or scrape easily.

As usual I didn’t get any before shots – the light inside was awful because there was a storm outside so I skipped the photos and went straight to painting. I gave it 2 coats of my own mix that is halfway between sage green and duckegg blue!

I dry brushed the inside with a slightly off white. 2 coats of clear wax to seal and protect and one of dark wax to add a bit of character.

DSCF6328
The weather was still awful so the photographs aren’t that good!

Use dark wax to bring out details

I like the inside but I don’t know if it will appeal to the mass market?

Dry brushing with white
On a positive note though… I didn’t notice any difference between the veneer and the real wood! I would definitely buy plastic wood (as my daughter calls it) again with the intention of painting it!

leaded glass dorr

Monday Makeover… Chinese Camphor Chest

Painted wooden chest

I mentioned that we had been given an old Chinese camphor chest last week and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.

awful paint job

As much as I would have loved to strip it back to wood and stain it a dark red or black the thoughts of getting into all those little nooks and crannies was enough to make me break out in a sweat!

Painted chinese chest
Someone else painted this!

Instead I opted for painting it with an acrylic satin black. It took 2 good coats to make sure I got all those little specks of white but it wasn’t as tricky as I expected.

I then gave the inside a coat of a lovely dark purple I mixed with a touch of red – I was inspired by the Pantone colour of 2015, Marsala – I was originally thinking red, but I’m happy with how the ‘marsala’  turned out. You can even still smell the camphor though it.

Usine marsala paint

It was a million times better than it started off, but there was still something lacking…

Then it smacked me in the face. It needed glamour. It needed panache. It needed… GOLD!

I dry brushed the tiniest amount of gold paint onto the top centre panel and it made all the difference. Now you can see the beautiful carving and it’s got a lot more of an oriental feel to it. It has gone from a painted disaster to something quite stunning!

Chinese camphor chest

I know that there are plenty of people who will be shouting at me for painting this piece and I totally agree that it was probably better before it was touched but after the white gloss it came with I had little option!

Some of you might have noticed little white flakes around the inside rim? Well apparently even when acrylic paint is touch dry it isn’t actually dry, dry! The lid had fused to the base and Mark had to force it open! I was loosing light fast, so decided to go ahead and take the shots before it was completely dark and I had to wait another few days before I was home in daylight! I will, obviously, touch it up before it goes on sale!

Hmmm. Does it need more gold?

Nikki x

Projects from Big Red Barn this week

I haven’t posted much recently so I thought it was time I shared some of the many projects from Big Red Barn this week!

Last weekend I was at an indoor flea market. It was freezing cold, I was starving hungry and there was rugby on the tv. I wanted to be home, which in my experience, doesn’t usually lead to good shopping.

I forgot to take my camera, and would probably have been too much of a brat to take photos on that particular day anyhow (and you all thought I was Little Miss Sunshine eh?). My only purchase was a guilded frame with a print of Lincoln Cathedral on board. The only upside to my miserable day was that it was a great bargain at just £4! I’m thinking chalk board?

Turn a £4 frame into a stunning chalk board

A couple of days later, and after a good feed, Mark and I went to the Malt House Emporium  near Stroud. Again, I forgot my camera (actually I forgot working batteries for my camera) but I bought a really obscure triangular chest of drawers that have been painted in a very thick coat of dark red gloss. I am hoping to display/store my furniture mouldings in it eventually.

Unusual Ethnic looking drawers

While we were in the area we did a quick tour of the charity shops of Stroud and I picked up a cute little jewellery box. I think I might throw down a blog challenge with this one – either specifically jewellery boxes or a more general charity/thrift store challenge.

Wooden jewellery box

Then Mark found me a chair at auction. It came as part of a job lot so worked out to be very cheap. I’ve already started painting it a dark grey but I keep changing my mind what colour to paint the fabric. I’ve wanted to try this method since I saw it on Pinterest way back last year (or the year before maybe?) so he earned himself some points that day!

How to paint a chair

The final project I am working on is a Chinese style camphor chest that Mark was given – yes, a true freebie! It has been painted in a pure white silk over a matt blue. It doesn’t look the best but it was FREE, and I have an idea of how I want it to look when it’s finished. This should be a quick fix so will probably be the first to be completed. Once it’s done I’m going to try selling it online before we stick it in the shop, as more of an experiment than anything.

Painted chinese chest
Someone else painted this!

I’m sure I’ve more to share with you but that’s enough for now! Check back again soon to see how they all turn out!

Nikki x
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