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

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

Updating Forgotten Furniture

Sometimes I buy a piece of furniture, fix it up and get it down to the shop within a week. Sometimes. More often I’m already working on something, have a customer commission or there just isn’t room in the shop, so the piece gets stored. Now there’s 2 types of furniture in my storage, the type that I can’t wait to get out and work on and the type that keeps getting pushed to the back.

This piece has been pushed to the back so many times it was starting to look like a permanent fixture in the shed! I really wasn’t sure how to make it ‘mine’ and, to be honest, I had no intention of working on it this week. I asked my daughter to go fetch me a long narrow coffee table from the shed as I knew just what I wanted to do with it. She came back with this…

Oak Console Table
Not very exciting is it?

So the upshot is that I decided I’d have a go at updating this piece of forgotten furniture.

It took me an age to get all of the gunky brown varnish off the drawers but with a little chemical help and a lot of elbow grease it did, eventually clean up ok.

How to strip using Nitro Mors
Please be careful when using chemical strippers

While the chemicals got to work (several times) I gave the carcass a couple of coats of a lovely dark sage green paint (one of my own). I also decoupaged some ceramic knobs (tutorial to follow).

Use tissue paper to cover plain knobs
Lydney is where our shop is!

Okay, the drawers don’t look a lot different but, up close, the dark wax is a much nicer finish. It was nice but not stunning. Then I added a vintage map to the top and distressed it slightly in all the right places and WOW! It went from being a piece I was avoiding to a piece I wanted to keep for myself!

Painted Oak Table
Lightly distressed on the legs and edges

 

Old map of Severn Estuary
The antique map shows the area we live in!

 

Details of console table
I lined the drawers with leftover map

Maybe I should go to the back of the shed again soon – who knows what other treasures I might find!

Refurbished Table Lydney
It’s in the shop already!

Come back again tomorrow to see what I found in my recycling bin!

Nikki x

Before & After… Tall Contemporary Drawers

I was offered these drawers by a trader friend of mine who needed the space in her shop. She wasn’t charging me a fortune and there was something about the shape and styling in them that appealed to me. They were well made but modern and I knew straight away what I was going to do with them. Mark, on the other hand, hated them!

Great shape but very 1984!
Great shape but very 1984!

I started off with 2 coats of red chalk paint (my own mix) and then turned the laptop on and fired up Pinterest. I needed a free swirl that I could use to decorate the front and, sure enough, Pinterest delivered!

Then I turned to Block Posters to transform it into a PDF and transferred it onto the drawers (I will be writing a tutorial on the method I use in the near future). It wasn’t quite as bold as I wanted so I went over it with a Sharpie and then sanded back just a little so it wasn’t too sharp.

A quick coat of wax varnish and they were ready to stick online… only now Mark likes them and wants them down the shop!

The graphic makes the difference!
The graphic makes the difference!

The Unloved Corner Cabinet Top

Occasionally we will buy a few items bunched together as one lot at an auction. This piece came with the dresser that Mark gave a complete makeover to a few weeks back.

It’s the top of a mahogany corner unit similar to a few others we already have in stock. Mark put it straight into the shop to fill a gap and we forgot about it.

The other day when we were starting our spring fling clear-out of unwanted stuff at the shop Mark said to take it over the road to the charity shop. It’s a well made piece with no faults, and still has the original key with it, so I couldn’t give up on it so easily.

Mahogony corner cabinet
Quite uninspiring

Once it was in the corner of my living room I set about finding the look to vamp it up a little in the style department. I knew I wanted something bright and fresh – a complete contrast to the dark finish it originally had. Then I found some stunning wallpaper while shopping for another project…

Butterfly Wallpaper
WOW!

I’d always wanted to try papering the inside of one of these things and this was my chance. So home I came with the paper and, after a bit of faffing around, I managed to mix a beautiful shade of duck egg blue that matched it perfectly.

So I painted it all over with two coats, not minding the glass as this cleans back easily. Then I set to sticking the paper in which proved a lot more awkward than putting it onto a wall – think back to trying to put wallpaper in your dolls house and you are on the right tracks!

Wallpapered corner cabinet
I just love the paper!

Once that was done I had to decide on a finish for it. I didn’t want it distressed, I wanted the main feature to be the paper background, so I gave it a thin coat of wax varnish I’ve been wanting to review for a while (post coming soon). The finish wasn’t a luxurious as wax but it makes it a more durable piece that will withstand a little abuse.

Painted Mahogany Corner Cupboard

It’s already back in the shop, Mark changed his mind about giving it to charity for now!

So, which do you prefer, the traditional mahogany or the bright finish?

Nikki x

Five of the Best…

I’ve read some great blog posts this past few weeks and thought that if I love them then you might too? Okay, you probably already subscribe to a few (if not all) of them but they are really worth checking out – if you haven’t already!

I might try to make this a regular Sunday night thing, if nobody minds?

First up is this  from Ferpie and Fray. It was great to read about a transformation that all went to plan!

Loved this no hassle transformation at Ferpie and fray

This next piece is NOTHING like how I would have painted it but isn’t that part of what makes sharing great? I love how it turned out and I’m sure her client does too. See the before and after at This Delightful Life.

I always read posts from Phoenix Restoration and really love her work. This piece struck me because of the great use of colour.

Love a lot of her work!

This post from Me Myself n DIY made me laugh so hard! She talks about the 6 stages of failure we have all gone through (or something very similar) when working on that ‘pig of a project’ that comes along every so often!

This post made me laugh so hard – we’ve all been through it!

And finally… I was intrigued by this post as I have been itching to paint fabric chairs for about 6 months now and just haven’t found the right piece! See how the Interior Frugalista copes with this project on a tight schedule

I have always wanted to try this!

Of course I have read a tonne of great posts but had to set a limit and 5 seemed about right. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Nikki x

Mark’s Table Make-Over

Blogging has really helped me to keep motivated this past few weeks and the post-Christmas blues haven’t been able to take hold. It has also made me try new things (like distressing with vinegar) and revisit methods I haven’t used for a while (watch out for a post about crackle finish using pva glue).

In the hope that it can have a similar effect on Mark I am going to try to include a post once a week of what he’s been working on. Most of it shouldn’t need any explaining but, if you do have any questions, please leave a comment and I’ll answer every one.

This week has been about refinishing a cute little nest of tables. Mark loved the blue and red table I told you about not long ago, so used the same colour combo on the tables. I found a wonderful wallpaper, that looks like old books on shelves, to go under the glass that finishes them off beautifully!

Nest of tables
You find these quite often at auction
Glass topped mahogony tables
Nice legs 😉
Red painted table
First red
Table painted blue
Then Blue…
Distressed table leg
Rubbed back just a little…
Cleat wax over chalk painted table
Add some clear wax
Walpaper behind glass
Put your wallpaper in…
Table reveal
Ta-da!

I really like them, but of course he based them on one of my pieces and I chose the paper so I’m going to be completely biased!

’til next time,

Nikki x