Thursday, 29 September 2016

Easy D.I.Y. (no-sewing) Painted & Recovered Chair Makover.

Side Chair painted with a custom mixed cobalt blue colour and finished in Annie Sloan Dark Wax all over

Before & After...

Not bad for a €20 chair I picked up from the charity shop where I volunteer  (cat not included).

And if you want to add the 'Hygge' touch..   :-)

 The worn green velvet fabric was removed and then reupholstered with a fresh blue, off white and gray striped linen cotton mix fabric.

The paint I used is a custom mix from artists paints I had on hand but Annie Sloan has a chalk paint in Napoleonic Blue which would probably work out more economical as I have used Annis Sloan paints before and the can seems to last forever.  

Easy Peasy  and a great little starter project if you're into crafts and D.I.Y. like me :-)

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Finding Design Inspiration In Nature..

I can definitely see why a lot of textile designers look to nature for their inspiration. This tiny little insect has the most beautiful lime, yellow, green and brown combination. I spotted him on a leaf in our front garden and he seems to be taking on the colours of the leaf!  He was so well camouflaged I almost missed him.

 And if you look even closer he's also got a fascinating texture to his body as well. It's almost like a beaten copper effect.  I shot this photo while I was trying out my new DSLR Cannon EOS and after seeing the detail on this little guy I definitely think I'll keep it.
As my lovely father would say 'you just can't beat nature'.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Super Easy D.I.Y. Furniture Applique Technique

This is so easy! And inexpensive! You just need clay from any craft shop, mine cost about €3.00, pick the design you want to use as your mould and follow the steps  and photos below..
This is the table before all the palaver of painting and waxing etc. It's quite cracked in places and a lot of the veneer has chipped off so overall it's a good candidate for a makeover. Notice that at this point it has no decorative detail on the legs.

Below are some close up 'after' shots of the table after I applied and painted over the Appliques.

I took my table outside to get much better lighting given that it was such a beautiful day and ended up getting some great company to boot..

Here's some close ups of  the clay appliques during the process of testing out what shades of blue or green I wanted this piece to be.

Here's what I used to get this 'Carved Wood Effect'. One pack of wet clay (from any art and craft store).A rolling pin. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I used the graphite colour (for my base coat) I used Annie Sloan Persian Green mixed with other artists paints I had on hand to get the final colour I wanted but you can use any colour you like. Some wood glue. And for the design motif I used a decorative framed mirror to 'lift' the design for my carved wood look.  
Roll out a thick strip of the clay and flatten it with the rolling pin. 

You'll need something to get your 'carved wood effect look from'. I used the detailing from this little mirror I already had. It's curved so I had to straighten my applique out and patch pieces together to get the length I needed but this was easy enough as the clay is so malleable at this point.

I pressed the strip of clay firmly but gently onto the design and lifted it off carefully and slowly and then applied it to the legs of the table using the glue. 
And that's it. ( I know it's a completely different colour in the photo below because I used a light green colour on this table first but then completely changed my mind and went for the darker green colour. 

The clay is still soft at this point so I just carefully pressed the damp clay applique onto the wood and then worked the edges with my fingers into the sides of the leg of the table to make it look like it was 'carved' into the table. I then trimmed off any excess with a knife 

When it was dry I painted over the whole thing with the darker Annie Sloan Persian Green Colour and then gave it two coats of Annie Sloan Clear Wax. 

I dry brushed on some gold colour very lightly  for an extra touch using a gilding wax called 'Cire A Dorer' (see photo below)

Myrtle & Buttercup :-)

Thanks for reading and if you would like any more information you can contact me here.
You can use any paint you prefer with this project but I use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint as my base coat because you do not need to sand your piece first when using Annie Sloan paint. And the 'no sanding part' makes me very happy.  I then custom mix what ever colours I want after that and wax the piece all over with any good quality wax. But if you don't want to custom mix everything then just apply your clay design as above, paint with two coats of Annie Sloan chalk Paint and wax with Annie Sloan Wax for durability and shine and your done.
and that's it..



Monday, 25 July 2016

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

This was an old  pine chest of drawers where the varnish had turned a yellow/orange colour over time. To cheer it back up I gave it a quick and easy makeover with Annie Sloan 'Duck Egg Blue' Chalk Paint.  
It was an old piece of furniture but still in great shape. A few dings and scratches here and there but still very useful so once I painted it with two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint I waxed it with a coat of clear wax, buffed it up and I am quite pleased with how it turned out.  

 It's one of the many older orangey pine pieces we have in our home in Mayo and I love it now all refreshed again 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.  lol ..

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

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Easy D.I.Y. Verdigris Painted Closets..

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..
These laminated wardrobes are fine and sturdy and the size is perfect for lots of storage but after over a decade of looking at them my daughter wanted something completely different, something in the Boho Chic style, something more colourful and well, just not brown anymore. 
And here is the After....

Below is more of a true colour of how they  really look. The sun popped out for a few minutes (this is Ireland!!) so I grabbed the opportunity. 
Here 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 you can use any dark green paint you have on hand here as it's only another base coat to build on.
I only applied it 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 don't have a photo of the sea urchin as I threw out the tin but I do think any dark hunter or forest green colour paint would do. I  just used it as I had a tin left over from a previous project.

At one point 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 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. At first I wasn't. It was coming out a bit too 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.

I left it every now and then after applying each coat of paint just so I could come back and get a fresh perspective on the overall colour. 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,

When I was happy with the colour I waxed the whole thing for sheen and protection. 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.

One Thing To Note!
I tried out a couple of different gold paints and this was by far the best one (below) for sheen and texture and it had that beautiful antiqued gold look to it. I used this for all the stenciling.
Gilding Wax

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..

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Recovering A Torn Leather Chair With Fabric.

I found this old leather chair and had just the right piece of material in my stash of remnants to cover it with. It's completely ripped up but in such good shape otherwise. I would have left it behind only it was so sturdy, so comfortable and so well made that I  really just couldn't leave it behind now could I! 
So here it is below all 'newed' up again in chocolate and gold stripes, black painted, waxed and polished legs with a touch of gold on the tips.
I like that it's such a slim chair so it will fit in just anywhere. It would make for a nice little bedroom chair. I didn't even have to re-stuff this chair it was that perfect-other than the ripped up leather!

And Below we have Briggs modeling the gold and chocolate striped side chair.

A little detail photo of the tucking and pleating. And the gold dipped legs. Notice the arch on the seat which was a little more difficult because of its shape but which actually turned out way easier than I thought it was going to be.

And just so Baz doesn't feel left out!