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 ūüėČ

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

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

Five of the best… No 6

Hello my friends! I hope you’ve had a better week than me? I’ve been off my feet with a real nasty stomach bug so not a huge amount to report I’m afraid! I have saved up some goodies for you to check out though, so¬†let’s get sharing!

This first project id from Found This Painted That and I love the finished look. I also love her idea of using a quote from Dr Seuss – imagine the dreams you could have!

Hand painted headboard
Found This Painted That

The next project that jumped out at me this week is from Saw Nail and Paint. I fell for the amazing ‘streaky’ effect she has achieved using General Finishes paint – I wish I could get my hands on some to try!

Streaky paint effect
Saw Nail and Paint

I really couldn’t choose between 2 projects from The Curators Collection – but she has so many beautiful things featured on her blog that I could spend hours drooling at it! So, instead of stressing over which to use, I’m including both!

Distressed wooden Table
The Curators collection
Black and wood
Beautiful details

And last but not least is this fantastic example of milk paint being used over at Sweet Pickins Furniture. I am desperate to try milk paint but have to wait patiently for my supplies to travel all the way to the UK.

Chippy Milk Paint
Sweet Pickins Furniture

Hopefully I’ve beaten the worst of this bug now so can get on and finish painting my corner cupboard – lets call that one an experiment as I’ve never bought something made of¬†Formica with the intention of painting it… in fact I’ve never deliberately bought¬†Formica (plastic laminate)¬†in my life before this corner unit!

Take care til next time,

Nikki x

What Happens At An Auction

I was talking to a friend the other day about some of the great things you find at a general auction, as well as the trash that can sometimes sell for a lot of money! She said that she ad never been to¬†an auction¬†as she has no idea how to ‘do it’.¬† I figured that she couldn’t be the only one out there so I should maybe write a real simple guide to auctions.

First¬†rule is ‘be fearless’. They are there to sell stuff to you, so it goes without saying (but I will) that they are going to be welcoming and friendly (generally). It also means show no fear to the dealers you will come across – if they sense your nervousness they will sometimes try to intimidate you out of bidding against them – believe me I’ve come across it!¬† They will try to stand in front of you, jump bids up and stare at you when you bid. Laugh at them. Especially if you are buying for yourself and not to sell on. Dealers¬† need to make a profit so they have a limit they will go up to and no further so private buyers have an advantage here.

How to succeed at an auction

Turn up in plenty of time, especially if you haven’t been to a viewing previous to the actual auction. Once you arrive find out how much the buyer’s premium is – generally 15 – 20%, which is added to the final winning bid. Register for a bidding number (some places will charge a refundable deposit for your number) and then have a good look around.

how to buy at auction

Don’t get carried away! This is probably the hardest rule to follow – did you see what I bought by accident? Make sure that whatever you want is in an acceptable condition, with all necessary parts, without wood worm or dry rot (if relevant). Then set your price and don’t go beyond it! Often you will think ‘just one more bid’ but this can turn into another few bids and, before you know it, you’re paying retail for it! And don’t forget to include that buyers premium I mentioned earlier!

How to profit at auction
This sold for over £150 but the buyer plans on reselling it for £300

Also I should point out that you need to transport your purchases¬†within a¬†day or two (or you will be charged a storage fee), so remember your space and don’t go buying that beautiful Welsh dresser if you only have a motorbike to get it home.

Buying furniture
We had no room to transport this beauty home or she’d have been mine!

Some auctioneer’s will talk a different language (or it sounds like it)¬†so listen carefully or you could get caught out bidding more than you want to. And don’t be afraid to offer less than they are asking for – if bidding has slowed down and they are asking for the next bid to be ¬£50 feel free to shout ‘¬£47?’, the worst they will do is say no!

If you have an internet connection on your phone then use time between your desired purchases to check out eBay, Gumtree etc for current selling prices.

Once you have finished buying take your number back to the office where they will calculate your bill to include the buyer’s premium, and tax due etc.

Sometimes you will have to wait until the end of the auctions to collect your items but often you can gather them up and take them home to gloat over!

old telephones in an auction

So, what did I buy? At this particular auction I picked up a couple of chairs for a future project, 2 lovely candelabra, a new rug for my living room and 3 porcelain Disney figurines to go into my eBay verses Etsy experiment (coming soonish).

I’d love to hear of your auction experiences, good and bad.

Happy bidding,

Nikki x

Are you a follower of fashion?

Furniture fashion I mean, or interiors. Do you read all the glossy magazines and plan your home, or projects, according to what’s hot?

Pantone color of 2015
Do the industry ‘experts’ influence you?

I have to admit I don’t. Sometimes I will pick up a magazine when I’m shopping but usually a quick flick through, while I wait for Mark to choose a book, is enough for me. I very rarely buy one… I’d rather buy a little piece of cuteness in a charity shop or a new colour of wax.

So how do you choose? Is it the amount of work it will need to make it beautiful, or a charming little detail that catches your eye. Perhaps you are buying for yourself and need it to match your home?

interior magazines
Do magazines guide your tastes?

I’m an impulse buyer. Mark often says I like a thing more the cheaper it is but that’s not strictly¬† true. It is true that if a piece is going for a song I’m less afraid of taking a gambol on it but if I see something that I love, and can see it’s potential, then I will sometimes break the bank to have it.

So what makes you buy, I’d love to know? Is it budget or design? Is it saleability or potential?

‘Til next time,

Nikki x