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 :)
Linking up with:


  1. Love the color combination! Your finishes always look amazing!

  2. Very nice - I like the 2 tone color scheme. So how do you get the finishes so smooth? Is it the wax you use?

  3. Me encanta¡¡ ha quedado preciosa¡¡

  4. Great color combination. I love the touch of green. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  5. Love the colours Karen - that green must be your signature!

  6. I love the pieces Karen! I once used the same green on a stool. I don't remember if I used 1:1, but it was very similar. It's a beautiful green.


  7. Hi Karen, I featured you at the party this morning! And you inspired me too. Today I mixed up some Antibes Green with some leftover aqua paint and created my own cottage green for a dresser I was working on. It turned out great! Thanks so much for sharing!