Five of The Best No 3

I am overjoyed to report that normal blogging has been restored (almost) and that from today I should be back to bringing you regular posts a few times a week (I hope). There have been several things holding me back this past couple of weeks – I’ve had a lot of hours in my ‘real’ job, I moved from the free to the self hosted and my old faithful estate car broke. Not just a little broke but full on, never going to move again, turn it into something useful like a baked bean can kind of broke!

Thankfully everything seems to have calmed down again this weekend. I managed to buy a little car that will get me around without relying on other people’s kindness and a friend at work has asked if I can swap a couple of shifts so I will actually get an extra day off this week!

Enough of my ramblings… I still managed to find a few great projects around the interweb to share with you. So, without further ado…

My first piece was found on Hometalk, it’s by Just The Woods. I’ve only just discovered the site but will be talking about it later this week. I love the silver detail on this piece and would almost start drinking wine just to have an excuse to own it!

Silver on wood

This next piece isn’t a furniture makeover but an absolutely stunning work of art discovered by Found This Painted That and then she does her own and gives details in a very clear tutorial so we can all have a go.

Amazing Book Art
Amazing Book Art

None of us have a perfect track record and sometimes there’s a project that just doesn’t go well for us. Find out how things turned our for Laura at Finding Home when she tried to make these cute Valentines Hearts she found on Martha Stewart

Crayon Hearts Valentines Craft
Martha Stewarts Crayon Hearts

I LOVE this piece I found while catching up on some old posts from Petticoat Junktion. You see so many ‘tastefully’ distressed pieces it’s great to see something that has really been worked over!

Very distressed paint effect
I love how distressed this piece is.

The final piece for this week is an ugly little side table that had a badly damaged top. Beck over at Beckwith’s Treasures did a fantastic job in replacing the tops but I’m not sure of the dark stain on pine, but that’s just my personal preference.

Wood stained top
Pine stained with dark oak

I’d like to thank everyone for letting me share their work. If you seen something amazing recently that you feel should be on 5 of The Best then drop me an email – and I’ll have a look.

Coming up this week: Mark’s Monday Makeover (you could help settle an argument), my first Ikea hack (closely followed by my second and third!) and a console table that gets a great new look.

‘Til next time xxx


Distressing with Vaseline (or My Auction Fail!)

You would think that when you spend a lot of your time trawling around auctions, looking for pieces to work on, that you would never get caught up with the excitement and buy badly, wouldn’t you? W R O N G. I was at my usual hunting grounds a few weeks back when I heard the auctioneer say ‘Large wooden mirror, heavily carved’ and my heart skipped a beat! How had I missed this piece? Why didn’t my built-in radar hone in on such a delight? So I bid. Without examining the piece or knowing what I would do with it (mirrors always sell), I bid and bid until I had won that beauty.

Scrub that.

I bid and bid until I had won that cheap, plastic framed eyesore. but you are obliged to buy so I brought it home, and when I repainted my chimney wall I put it up – simply because we needed a mirror.

How to paint plastic

When I started to research new ways of distressing wood I thought that it would be perfect to try the Vaseline (petroleum jelly) method on as I couldn’t take sandpaper to the plastic frame (been there, done that, failed!).


I generously rubbed the petroleum jelly over the high spots of the ‘carving’ and set about it with a rich buttermilk colour chalk paint. With it being plastic I needed to give it 2 coats to get a pretty solid finish.

Once dry I wiped it gently with a sponge scourer – if you try this make sure the scourer won’t leave marks behind, I bought a white one just for this job! Nothing happened. so I put in a bit of elbow grease and the dark started to show through in tiny specks.  It took quite a bit of scrubbing to get any effect whatsoever and, to be honest, I really don’t think the petroleum jelly made any difference whatsoever!

Mirror Detail


Perhaps it was just the wrong piece, or maybe I didn’t use enough of the Vaseline? I have to admit I was disappointed. I may even attack it later with some vinegar to see if it has the desired effect. I haven’t given up on the piece quite yet and, when I grouped it with some other mirrors for the photo I was quite happy with the overall look of my chimney wall.

Grouped Mirrors

Now that’s where this post was going to end, but I wasn’t ready to give up on this method just yet! So out came the brushes, the Vaseline, the paint (and something to paint)…

Bare Pine Bathroom Cupboard

I put rather a lot of the petroleum jelly (Vaseline) in the areas I wanted to rub back. I had already planned for this piece to have quite a distressed effect so wasn’t too worried on the outcome.

The paint really didn’t want to stick to the greased up areas, as you can just about make out in this photo.

Vaseline under paint

Only the slightest bit of rubbing (once the paint is 99% dry) and it wipes straight off!

Paint doesn't stick to vaseline

It worked brilliantly! I imagine it could only be used when you want quite a heavy distressed look, as it’s not very controllable, but in this instance it was just what I had hoped! Success at last with this method of distressing.

How to distress with vaseline

Distressed with vaseline

Painted Bathroom Cabinet

So glad I didn’t give up after the first try of this method. I’d love to know if you have used this method and how it worked out for you? Drop me a line and let me know.

Nikki x