October 19, 2013

Seafoam Doily Chair

Well, this week finished better than it started...on Monday our bedroom flooded due to a blocked drain in the shower. Pulling up the carpet and forking out several hundreds of dollars to a plumber and a carpet layer wasn't how I planned to start my week!  These things happen though and it was all fixed by Thursday which meant I could focus on finishing some painting projects.
This chair was one of the items I finished, and I am really pleased how it turned out.  Once again I've been playing with mixing Annie Sloan Chalk paint colours, this time it was one part Florence to twelve parts Old White, which made this lovely light seafoam colour.
Because it's just a single chair (I don't have any others to match it), I wanted to do something a little different to it to give it some personality.  I decided the Doily Stencil I bought at Spotlight a few weeks ago would do the trick!
Because the chair seat has a bit of a moulded shape to it (it's not completely flat) it was a bit tricky to spread the stencil out nicely, but my daughter was my willing assistant and helped hold it down while I dabbed on the Old White paint. It only took a couple of minutes, and how exciting is it pulling a stencil off to reveal the design!
Can you see the darker green peeping through in these shots?  That's Florence - I used it full strength as a base coat before I painted on two coats of the lightened mixture. 

Lots of sanding, clear wax and buffing gives the chair a gorgeous sheen :)

I also finished a desk for a client that you can see in the above shot - I will be back with a post about that later...right now I am going to try and finish a French Linen coffee table that I posted a peek of on my Facebook page last night.

Have a lovely Saturday everyone!

October 11, 2013

Grey Washed Beach Vintage Dining Table

Well the school holidays are over and we are into Term 4 - hard to believe the next time school holidays come around another school year will be over, and it will be Christmas time!

Yesterday I had my first full day in my workshop in almost 3 weeks and loved it.  I've got quite a few projects in various stages of completion and it was nice to get further along with some of them...I even finished one...this table I started on quite a while ago.
I didn't take a full before shot, mainly because I had to take the table top off the base to get it home, then I painted the base before reattaching the table top (it made it much easier to get at without hitting my head, always a bonus!) The base is painted in my favourite custom shade of vintage green - Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg + Antibes Green (1:1).

Here is a photo I shared on Facebook once I had painted the base:
The whole table was that golden brown colour previously - yuck!

I attempted to strip it with my heat gun but the sticky varnished finish wouldn't budge, and since it has been pretty hot lately and bush fires are always a risk here I worry about creating sparks with it, so I went with paint stripper in this case. Once it was stripped and dry I sanded it smooth before painting on some watered down Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen.

I did three coats, sanding in between each one.  The second and third coats are a very slightly lighter colour (lightened with Old White).  This gave it a lovely subtle colour variation - so subtle I am not sure if you can even tell in my photos!

Last week I got a visit from Fiona of Lilyfield Life and her family, which was lovely.  We've chatted via email for a while now, and we finally met in person last December in Sydney. Our kids are a very similar age and get on like long lost buddies, even though they've only seen each other twice now - I love how kids do that. We both have an 'S' girl and a 'J' boy - funny!  Of course we also have furniture refinishing in common and there is always plenty to talk about...especially over a bottle of bubbly!
Same colour paints using different techniques to give different finishes that go well together without being a perfect match
 Last week was the first time Fiona had seen my furniture in the flesh and she was very complimentary about my finishes (thanks Fiona!)  She was impressed with how smooth I got my pieces, and it got me thinking - I guess most of us mainly see painted furniture of others online - blogs, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram etc. You can't tell from photos what something really looks like up close in person, what it feels like, how well it has been refinished, or what the actual colour is like. Some of it is better than it looks in photos...and some of it is probably worse!
I've had many people feel my furniture at my market stalls and ask how I got it that smooth, like they couldn't believe that type of finish can be achieved with a hand painted product...but it can - I do it, with the right preparation, products, and of course, experience and elbow grease!
I've been told many times that my pieces look better in the flesh than in photos.
Hmm, yes, my photos. I know they are not the best, but it's the best I can do - we all have our strengths and photography isn't mine!  I only have a little Sony digital camera that is almost 5 years old.
My husband is the one in our family really interested in photography, and is hoping to get a DSLR in the next few months (then learn how to use it!) Once he does, I will be the designer, painter and stylist and he can be my photographer :) I'm not sure I have the patience or the will to learn to use it myself...but then I don't like stuff to beat me, so we'll see...
If you are thinking of commissioning me to do paint something, or considering purchasing something I've painted, by all means, come and view my work, look at it up close, feel it. Because my photos really don't do it justice :)
Restyled Vintage pieces can be viewed Wednesday to Saturday at La Bella Petite Boutique in Taree NSW, or by appointment at my workshop in Lake Cathie, NSW Australia.

The chairs in this post are not for sale, but you can read more about them here.
The table has just been sold but I am always happy to do another to order :)
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October 3, 2013

French Willow Grey Whitewashed Chairs

Earlier this week I was having a bit of a switch around of my home (as you do) and decided I needed a couple more chairs 
(if you knew just how many chairs I already have in my home...

 (**cough** it's more than 30 **cough**)

...you might think there is something wrong with me...)

But I did NEED two more, and a trip to my local Salvation Army Op Shop solved that...I found a pair of these for $6 each - perfect!
Sorry but this is as good as it gets for a 'before' shot - one chair with paint on it already, and no seat!  The seats were loose so I removed them and painted them separately before reattaching them.
My love of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen continues - I wanted a real French country style willow grey worn look for these chairs, and ASCP French Linen is the perfect base shade for this look.

I gave each chair two coats of French Linen, then made a wash of French Linen and Old White (1:1) and watered it down just slightly.  
With this look/effect it will never be exactly the same each time but that is the beauty of it...the best way I find is to literally just slap the paint on quickly and confidently and don't over think it!

These photos show one chair (on the left) after sanding/distressing (before waxing), and one (on the right) before sanding/distressing.  Sanding the chair tones the 'wash' right down and makes it softer and more mellow.

Here they are completed with a coat of Annie Sloan Wax in Clear. The roses are the very first to bloom from my garden this Spring...they were buds the day before, I was amazed at how quickly they opened!

Ok...I have to ask...how many chairs do you have at your house?
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