Showing posts with label French Country Style Furniture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label French Country Style Furniture. Show all posts

April 30, 2014

Hamptons Style Buffet and Hutch

I've just finished this large two piece solid pine buffet and hutch, and I absolutely love it!
It is a bit of a departure from my normal pastel retro cute style, but I was inspired to do this in a more classic Hamptons style after our recent trip to the NSW South Coast and Southern Highlands - Bowral in particular has some stunning shops and a fantastic antiques emporium called Dirty Jane's.

Here's how it started out...

I gave it three coats of Graphite Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, and the inside of hutch got five coats of Pure White. I've sealed it all over with clear wax.  In another departure from my usual finishing techniques I didn't distress this piece - well I did a tiny little bit on the white but none at all on the black.  I thought that the combination of the colour and the shape of this piece made quite a statement and any more going on would have just been too much.  Plus the Hamptons look I was going for is classic and understated, not OTT!

This piece is available for sale, $650. It measures 1100mm wide x 550mm deep x 2000mm high.
Pickup is from Lake Cathie NSW 2445.
For any queries or to view please contact

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November 26, 2013

How to get the French Willow Grey look using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Thanks to everyone that read my last post on How to have a great Market Stall, especially those of you that took the time to leave a comment here or on Facebook, thank you. It's a post I've been meaning to write for ages! I do have more to add to that post and will do that soon.

Tonight I'm showing you a couple of projects you've probably already spied in my market stall photos...
A trio of bar stools...
and a pair of side tables.
They started out like this...

I picked these pieces up late last week and set myself a rather mad goal to have them refinished in time to take to the market with me. 
I am nothing if not determined (my parents are smiling and nodding as they read this, lol!) and I worked hard, probably a little bit too hard, but got them done.  

I decided to try another way of getting what I call the 'french willow grey' look.  I absolutely love this look/colour - I think it works perfectly for beach house or French country style.  I've written about this before such as here (my most viewed post on my blog by seems I'm not the only one that loves this look, and I think Google is my friend on this one!) Using Annie Sloan Chalk paint to achieve this method is much easier, particularly if you want this look over your whole piece of furniture, as my other method involves stripping back your surface to bare wood first.  It is still my favourite look for table tops though, and one I've used lots!

To achieve this subtle, layered timeworn look, I painted on two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen, then did a top coat in Paris Grey (ever so slightly watered down - not really a wash, just a thin coat of paint, covering most of the base coat).   I distressed by hand, then clear waxed.  I could have added a whitewash layer, or a lightened Grey/White mix, or even liming wax, but for these pieces, I loved them like this. Dark wax applied sparingly would also add another many options, only limited by your imagination!
This would also work well to update your old yellow/brown colour basket ware into French willow grey - I'd suggest watering down both colours of paint for this, and I probably would add a whitewash layer for the top coat. I wouldn't worry about sealing with wax, these baskets are often a chalky texture.

These pieces didn't find new owners on Sunday, so they are still available for sale...please contact me if you are interested in purchasing them :)

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**) 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 many chairs do you have at your house?
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