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

Five of The Best… No 8

I haven’t had much blog time this past couple of weeks and I have really missed it! I’ve decided to take a bit of ‘pressure to publish’ off myself and will only be running ‘Five of the best’ once a month. It also means that I can bring you 5 truly inspirational pieces rather than 5 ‘nice’ blog posts. I hope you don’t mind?

I am considering other ideas to run in the missing slots – a ‘show me your project’ link-up, a makeover challenge between bloggers, a ‘test the tutorial’ and a few other, not quite formed, ideas. I’d love your opinions and feedback if you’ve got a minute to comment or email?

I found this first piece when Jonna a Lovely Rubbish started following Big Red Barn. I always have to check out other people’s bogs when they follow me (or even comment) and the very first thing I saw was this fantastic Chippy chair. Now, I think I mentioned before that I’ve got a ‘bit of a thing’ for chippy style paint jobs at the minute? Well this piece really made me desperate to have a go myself.

A heavily chipped chair
Lovely Rubbish

I’ve been saving this one for a couple of weeks so I hope not too many of you have seen it already – that being said I love Nicole’s blog (Re-design in a day)and you should all be following her too lol!

Shabby chic corner unit
Re-design in a day

Ever wonder what to do with the extra drawers that seem to breed at the back of your storage space? (or is that just me?). I loved this range of furniture from the designers at sagi.

 

sagi

Redo It Yourself is a blog I have delivered straight to my inbox where I always read it, so I rarely visit the blog proper when I really should! There’s a lot there to keep me drooling but I particularly liked this piece because it’s a practical piece of kitchen furniture that has been made to look elegant and truly ‘chic’.

Redo It Yourself

The final piece for this month is from Bad Rabbit Vintage. I saw this picture on my pinterest feed and just had to click through to see the whole project. The patina achieved is simply stunning!

Bad Rabbit Vintage

Well that’s this months Five of The Best, I hope you found something you liked? Next Sunday I will be bringing you some fab freebies so please do follow so you don’t miss a thing!

‘Til next time,

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

The Christmas Window. Or What happend to the rocking chair?

White rocking chair

Just last week I wrote a post about an adorable little black rocking chair that we were considering painting white to go into our shop. We actually debated to and fro for a couple of days – Mark even sent me a text message after I’d been in bed for 2 hours (and was fast asleep!) asking if he should just start painting!

In the end we bit the bullet and went for it! We used some paint that we have developed ourselves (very exciting post about this coming soon) and gave it just 2 coats of white. Amazingly it covered really easily, although the bumpiness is even more apparent now it’s a flat white colour.

It will be P E R F E C T in the window of the shop, BUT my love for it has diminished just a little 🙁 It’s no longer quirky or cute, it’s a little lacking in the character department to be honest.

White rocking chair
The chair!

What it is, is peaceful.  And if you read the original post you know that’s exactly what we were aiming for.

Candleabra

Sorry for the poor photos,  I was having difficulty getting the camera to focus through the window and I couldn’t use the flash!

White Window

 

What do you think?

Jpeg

 

Before & After: Dark Wood Console Table

I thought I’d share a quick B & A with you this beautiful Sunday. I bought the original dark wood table from a friend who runs a house clearance and second hand store. It was a boring piece that had sat in her shop for a few months so she was pleased to see the back of it – and it fitted my shopping search for something I could complete in an afternoon and test my new paints out on.

Dark Wood Console Table
I got carried away and started painting before I remembered to take the ‘Before’ shots!

I didn’t sand or prime it at all as I wanted a true test of the paint I’d just made up. The first coat of red went on a dream. The paint was very thick so there were brush marks in the texture but it went on well so I decided that one coat would be enough. I gave it a rudimentary clear wax (Rust-oleum) and then painted directly over that with the blue I’d just mixed up.

The blue was a LOT runnier and I was worried that it would take a few coats to cover such a strong red. Boy, was I wrong! It went on an absolute dream!!! One coat and you had no idea of it’s secret red undercoat 🙂

I like its simple elegance
I like it’s simple elegance

Once it had dried I rubbed it back a little on the legs and a bit heavier around the edges and top of the table, until I got the look I was after. Another 2 coats of wax and a good polish and I was done!

I’m really pleased with the results and the finished piece is available to buy on our Showroom pages or our Lydney shop. £45

Drumroll…

I wanted the red to show through, but not too much!
I wanted the red to show through, but not too much!

Table for sale

Distressed table top
I like the way the top turned out!

As always, I welcome your opinions!

Nikki x

Amazing Dresser Transformation.

Annie Sloan Dresser

It’s Saturday morning as I write this. Mark is enjoying a well deserved lie in, the kids are doing their own thing and I’m still in my pj’s with a nice cup of coffee and a plate of shortbread! I’ve just given a little table it’s first coat of red paint and, while I’m waiting for it to dry, I thought I’d share some photo’s of a dresser that Mark has been working on for a couple of weeks.

It was very ‘bog standard’ when he bought it at auction, but he had a vision of what he wanted and set about it fearlessly.  He started with Annie Sloan (TM) Barcelona Orange straight onto the varnished surface, force dried it with a hair drier (he’s not a patient man), then over the top with Antibes Green.

It was heavily sanded back to emphasize the distressed look and then given 2 coats of dark wax and polished within an inch of it’s life!  We used Briwax as we like the way it actually takes off a little of the chalk paint as you use it and takes out any sanding marks you might leave.

With the top, Mark sanded off most of the varnish before aging the wood to a beautiful silver. Unfortunately he hadn’t removed quite enough of the varnish (like I said, he’s not a patient man) and the effect was patchy, but he gave it the dark wax treatment and it actually turned out great!

I’d love to hear your comments on the finished piece – I think it might be our marmite dresser (love it or loath it!).

Now for some pics…

Bare pine dresser top
The whole thing started out as bog standard varnished pine.
Annie Sloan Paint
Tools of the trade
Barcelona Orange
Barcelona Orange
Green over orange
Green over orange
Sanded Back
Rubbed back
Dark wax
Dark Wax Going On
Crackle effect
Force drying can cause paint to crackle (Tut coming soon)
Repeat everywhere!
Repeat everywhere!
Patchy top
The top before dark wax

 

Finished Dresser
With a few props, in the window of the shop!

 

Retro Prints… chic or kitch?

Whatever your views on the rise of the retro revolution there’s no denying that if it was ‘in’ when your mum was setting up house then it’s going to be making a comeback in the trendiest of apartments now.

We found these sweet little prints in the corner of a charity shop, buried under various other prints of days gone by. There was something about them that Mark couldn’t set down so he decided to bring them home – perhaps in the hope that he’d find a space on our walls where they’d fit just right!

Retro print
Pretty little girl from the 60’s

Unfortunately (for him) they just didn’t fit with our current  décor so they are in our showroom and available to buy! At the moment they are in their original frames with no restoration or updating.

Retro print of boy
Sweet little boy from the 60’s

Both prints bare the signature of famous 1960s English artist Dallas Simpson. They measure 7″ x 13″ including the frames.

Dallas Simpson Prints
Charming!

If you are interested in buying these sweet little prints we would like £15 for the pair, plus actual postage to your address. Email  nikki@bigredbarn.co.uk . Of course you are welcome to call into our shop in Newern St, Lydney, GL15 5RA. to check tem out first.

Shabby Chic Sign Tutorial

Hello! I hope this cold weather isn’t slowing you down? It’s taking the paint a little longer to dry than normal but that just means I have time to write you another quick tutorial. I’ve had the photos for ages but only now have I got the time to share it with you.

Shabby Chic Signs
Really quick and simple!

I started by finding a couple of planks taken from a reclaimed pallet. Be careful when taking pallets, if possible, ask whoever owns it. They will usually be glad to get rid of them but check all the same.

Pallet wood
A small part of my stash!

Once you have some suitable wood cut it to your desired shape and size. If you are going to stencil or use a transfer (look out for another post regarding this) of a word then make sure your sign is long enough to fit it on!

shabby chic sign

As you will soon discover I L O V E my power tools so used an electric jigsaw but an ordinary hand saw would work just as well. Then I brought out the big guns. No electric sander for me, not when I have my angle grinder!!!

Angle Grinder for sanding
My favourite tool ever!

Now there’s a real knack to sanding with an angle grinder but playing with a piece of scrap wood or a ‘rough’ project, like this one, is a great place to start. Be gentle and ‘stroke’ the wood, using just the weight of the tool and no more. I will try to get a video of this but it probably won’t be ’til the spring now!

Obviously you can sand by hand or using an electric sander but where’s the fun in that??? You also get results super fast using the angle grinder.  (I guess I should warn you to wear goggles, clamp wood securely but you know that already, don’t you?)

Cleaned with an angle grinder
The larger piece was sanded in 2 minutes!

Then I forgot to take a photo of the paint I used but it was an Annie Sloan in a pale lilac/blue colour. I had some stencils from another project but couldn’t find my stencilling brush. If you don’t use them a lot then it’s probably not worth buying one and you can get good results by wrapping an elastic  band around a small brush to hold the bristles tight together. If you can sacrifice the brush then you can trim it to get a flat head.

Stencil Brush
Improvised Brush

 

Stencil on Wood

Once your paint has dried you can add wire or string to hang, or mount your sign on a stake in the ground. If they are to be used outside you should give them a good coat of suitable varnish.

Toilet sign

Since doing these signs I’ve come up with a couple of different methods of applying the writing that are more versatile and easier to apply so check in again soon for that tutorial!

Nikki x