Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Easy DIY From Plastic Scales to Vintage 'Antiqued Metal' Look..

I bought these plastic scales to try out an idea I had in mind for a while now.  I was trying to see if I could make them look like an old metal scales. My technique needs a bit of tweaking though. They may be a bit to shiny here and there and I still need to paint the numbers back on.  I want to do a bigger project using this technique so rather than take on a large scale project I thought I'd try out something a little small scale first. 

I took off the plastic cover with the lovely neon €5.99 sticker on it first. I don't think they would have had plastic back in the day so away with that..

This is a better close up where you can see the old painted cast iron look I was going for...



Monday, 25 July 2016

Quick and Easy Chest of Drawers Makeover with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint..

This was an old yellowed/orange-y pine chest of drawers so I gave it the quickest ever makeover with Annie Sloan 'Duck Egg Blue' Chalk Paint.  
It was an old piece of furniture in great shape. A few dings and scratches but still useful so I just gave it the once over and am quite pleased with it.  

 It's one of the many orange-y pine pieces we have in our holiday house in Mayo and I love it in the Duck Egg Blue colour. Amazing how it brightened up the room once I painted just this one piece so I will definitely be painting the rest of the pine pieces.  It kinda helped that it was a sunny day and I was able to take it outside to paint it while being serenaded by the local sheep baahing nicely  to me in the background:-)

 I might have gotten a little bit carried away but I painted the lamp too! 

Sunday, 24 April 2016


Get your flower crowns on. 

Festival or not they just look great. Anytime.Any age!As demonstrated here by the fabulously stylish Nana Marie:-)
Don't worry she's got her  festival wellies sorted too.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Easy DIY On How To Get A 'Verdgris Patina' Effect With Paint (over wood and glass)..

After I posted these verdigris Painted Built-In Laminate Wardrobes a while back a few people asked how I did them so here is a post on the how to, what's involved, what paints I used etc.  There are numerous different ways on the internet on how to do it so do google and have a look which is what I did and this is the technique I came up with eventually to get the result that I wanted.
   Here's the before..
And here is the After....

Below is a photo of supplies needed but I'll list them at the end of this post.

First off I painted out all the wardrobe doors including the frosted glass with black chalk paint. Any chalk paint would probably do but I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Graphite  (this also acts as a primer).

I let that dry completely before I applied Dulux Sea Urchin Green from Woodies but only in patches at first and 'while it was still damp' I started to apply tiny amounts of the Coeruleum Blue with a medium sized soft bristle brush and just rubbed it into the damp sea urchin green to get that blue/green look of aged copper. I was happy with this colour combination so I finished the rest of the wardrobes this way. I don't have a photo of the sea urchin as I threw out the tin but I think any dark green paint would do. I had a tin from a previous project and I didn't like it as it was waaaay darker than I imagined it would be. It was really more of a dark forest or hunter green colour. So I thought I'd try it out for this project and it turned out to be perfect for  setting down that first layer of green.

At this point when I stood back and looked at it I felt it had turned out way to blue so this is where I added the Green Chalk Paint in Plaid. I worked again in patches with the same brush just working a tiny amount of green paint in all over  in patches here and there and really rubbing it in.

Now comes the Prussian Blue Paint. I used very little of this but it made a difference. Using the same brush I applied the Prussian Blue with light feathery strokes. Just tiny amounts on my brush was all I needed to add an extra shadow of colour.

From here I just stood back and eyed it every few minute to see if I needed to add more Coeruleum blue here or chalk green there or a little more Prussian and so on and I kept doing that until I was happy with it. I wasn't. Now it was all very dark. So long story short I mixed a tiny amount of white paint |(I just happened to have white chalk paint left over from painting our kitchen so I used that) with the green chalk paint and with a damp lint free rag I started rubbing this in very lightly and thinly in circular motions in patches all over the wardrobes. And I liked it! It kind of added highlights.  You can see the highlights below, very lightly rubbed in and hardly noticable but very effective. (Picture below is before waxing and before I gilded the handles). See how dull the chalk paint is without wax. But don't worry it comes to life when it's all polished up)
I went away to do something else after each coat of paint just so I could come back each time to get a fresh perpective on the colours. Sometimes I was very happy with the result. Sometimes not. No worries though as nothing is sealed yet and all these layers are a good thing especially for the aged look. I just added more white to green if I wanted a lighter cloudier look. Or more blue to areas that were too light etc,
Remember none of these layers of painting over mistakes are wasted as this is all adding to that aged copper look we're after.

When you are happy with the colour you can wax the whole thing. I used  Clear Bees Wax  and a thick waxing brush, Again I think any clear wax will do but I had this on hand and it worked out just fine.  It smells though! So open your windows.

This is a close-up I took during the process so you can see the layers of  Green Chalk Paint over the Darker Green Colour and also the Coeruleum Blue and then the Gold.  
One Thing To Note!
When I was testing out the gold paint I discovered that it came off a little when I was polishing the waxed finish. The gold takes about a day maybe more to harden and dry completely. I ended up waxing and polishing the whole wardrobe and then I stenciled and added all the gilded touches to the doors and handles afterwards.  The gold didn't need to be waxed and polished as it already had a lovely sheen to it when it dried. But I did however wax over the gold on the handles as they will obviously get a lot of use. I just waited a few days to buff them.
Gilding Wax

When I got to the last step of applying the gold paint (it's actually a gilding wax) |I stencilled first and then just splotched on the gold here and there with a very small brush.  The photo below is  awful and quite dark but it shows up where I applied the gold in random spots, on the edges of the door panels and around the edges of the handles.

Supply List:
-Chalk Paint - Graphite, I bought mine in Sonoma Gift Shop, Ennis but Woodies carry a brand also. I just haven't tried it.
-Dulux Sea Urchin (or any very dark green paint) I bought mine in woodies.
-Folk Art Grotto Ultra Matte Acrylic Paint 'Plaid'.  I got this from Art & Craft Co, Ennis.€9.95/236ml.
-Coeruleum Blue, Acrylic Paint from Art & Craft Co. Ennis.€5.50/75ml.
-Prussian Blue, Acrylic Paint from Art & Craft Co. Ennis. €5.50/75ml.
-Any Clear Wax. Woodies or any hardware shops.
-Medium brush & rags to apply layers of paint.
-Small brush (I used an eye shadow brush- it's all I could find at home and it worked just fine) to apply the gold.
-Large brush to apply wax and rags to buff it.
And that's it!
Hope this helps you but if you have any questions just ask and I'll gladly answer them for you.
Happy Painting..

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Painting over Frosted Glass/Built-in Laminate Wardrobes

I'm not quite finished this whole room yet but I'm so happy with how these doors turned I decided to give them a separate post on the blog. I wanted to get rid of the built-in look of these wardrobes (below) so I decided painting them was the way to go. For the room itself I am going for an Eclectic Bohemian style.  And laminate with frosted glass does not a Bohemian Style Room make. So something a little more rustic with maybe an aged and worn patina was needed. Something more organic that looked as if it had always been there! (Plus I just don't like the see through glass effect)

This is before I waxed and polished.

On doing some research (stalking the web looking at other peoples stuff) I decided I'd really like the verdigris or aged copper look,  so next stop the art shop to get my paints. I also picked up a stencil there and some lovely gold paint which gave me the perfect antique gold look I wanted to add a little something extra.
I didn't want my stencil design to be too uniform so I played around with it a little on some sheets of paper first flipping it on it's side and placing it mirror image etc. to look at my alternatives. I ended up liking this configuration  'below' the best.

Going to an Art Shop  as opposed to purchasing online was very helpful to me in this instance as I got great help from the guy working in the shop. He knew so much about the different paints and colours and showed me a chalk paint I'd not seen before. Which I bought, used and loved. 
I wanted to do a gold stencil over verdigris on the glass panels but didn't know what paint to use to get that aged antiqued gold leaf look I was after and he found just what I needed.
And here it is..

I love how the waxed fiish over the chalk paint shows up beautifully when it's caught by he sun. The waxing protects and strengthens the chalk paint finish but also adds that lovely sheen

I thought about changing those handles too but I think I got away with just painting them. I was hoping to make them look as if they were aged copper (and not stainless steel)
This is before I waxed and polished.

Below - Painted Stainless Steel Door Handles

I'm so happy with the way the gold stencilling turned out. I tried two different gold paints and liked neither of them so the guy in the Art Shop suggested one that would be perfect for this project.
When he went behind the counter and bent down to reach for something underneath I immediately knew two things. One. This is going to be exciting and two, it's going to be very expensive. It was like he was bringing out the Holy Grail of all paint finishes! I was like a child in a sweet shop. I was wrong about one thing. This little pot of gold was magic alright but not as expensive as I expected. It cost  €10.00 and most definitely a little goes a long long way. For this project I used quite a bit and probably only used half the pot. Lucky me to find that very helpful  'and patient' guy in the Art Shop (I really was like that child in the sweet shop!)

So this room is almost complete and I can't wait to post the finished product soon. If you would like to try this painting technique yourself I have a separate post Here  showing how I did it and what paints I used etc.
Happy Painting Everyone..

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Dark & Dreary to Bright & Cozy

Hi, my name is Marie and I am so happy to be featured on Remodelaholic having been inspired by Remodelaholic to update our dark kitchen and we are so happy with the result. My husband and I moved back home to Ireland from America with our three children sixteen years ago and made our new home here in County Clare.

While we lived in  the USA  I studied Interior Design and soon after graduation our three children were born (one in each of the states we lived in). They're all grown up now which leaves me with a lot of free time to get back to my passion for all things Interior Design. So, here I am back again and our house is my target. After a decade and a half of decorating neglect it's in serious need of updating so starting with the kitchen, my blog is like my scrap book. It gives me motivation where I'm excited to post and share each 'Before and After' makeover project and also to get a ton of inspiration from other blogs out there. Let the fun begin!

First room to be redone was  our Kitchen and here is a photo of the finished result..

AFTER...     I still want to change out the floor tile, counter tops etc. and I've since recovered those Bar Stools  NO SEWING INVOLVED!!  see the 'after 'Here .
The Peninsula is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in 'Provence' with a Dark Wax but I am changing it to a Dark Grey like the French Doors and I would love Liscannor Slate tiles for the floor.

Below is another before..

And After.


It's so important to do a little prep work so you get a really professional result so filling in any nail holes or cracks is a must. Our walls were deep red so priming was also a must.  After that it's plain sailing. I bought Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in 'Old White' for the cabinets and we had Pavol, a family friend do the painting. He didn't believe me at first that there was no need to sand when using the chalk paint you just need to wash the cabinetry first with sugar soap to remove any grease or grime especially from around the cooking area etc.

It's by no means finished. I'm in two minds whether to knock out the wall behind the kitchen table and put our main dining table there. There's a long living room behind that wall so it would flow nicely from kitchen to dining room to living room. Plus there is a working fireplace in that room which we light all through the winter and it would be visible from the kitchen also making for a really cozy set-up! (That's why I didn't finish painting the table and chairs there- I really need to make my mind up!)
Here are the Pine French Doors before being painted dark Grey and walls primed and ready for Parisian Cream by Dulux.

And here are some more after shots!

ANOTHER BEFORE.   Crappy photo from my mobile phone:-)
Pavol took all the doors off to be painted and before the wainscoting went up we had an electrician install another set of electrical outlets as this spot gets so much use with laptops, phone charging not to mention electrical kitchen appliances.
And here it is all prettied up with wainscoting installed and the doors back on and extra electrical outlets. I just love it!
I absolutely love all the brightness of our kitchen now but not wanting it to look too clinical I added in some rustic elements like lamps, baskets, terracotta and vintage planters etc.

We replaced the old wooden knobs with beautiful Hammered Pewter Hardware which made an amazing difference.

I added a wing back chair here to create a cozy reading nook.

And some little details to bring it all together..

It's only Paint and new door handles but it feels like a brand new kitchen to us. Definitely worth it!

Just one more before and after. I promise that's it then.

Thanks so much for looking, now to get started with the rest of the house ..

The following is a breakdown of approximatley how much it all cost:

-Kitchen Cabinets painted with three tins of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in 'Olde White' @ approx €27.00      Per Tin.  

-Kitchen Cabinet Door Handles x 26 @ €4.99 per handle are from Woodies.

-Walls were primed with primer first and then painted with one 2.5 litre can of Dulux Easycare Washable  Matte Paint in 'Parisian Cream' @ €35.99  Per Tin. Also from Woodies.

-Back Splash wainscoting was painted with a washable paint 'Brilliant White' from Woodies

-Back Splash Wainscoating is also from Woodies. I cannot remember exact pricing but it comes in panels  for I think around under €20.  I used about four panels.

-Entry Doors were primed first with Zinser Bin Primer and then painted over with 'Brilliant White' non  yellowing white paint.