Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Sneak Peek: What Doesn't Make It On The Blog Part Two

It's back!!

Another look at what I get up to OTHER than redesigning furniture. 

Oh who am I kidding?!! Over half of these pics are furniture related...I guess its obvious what I'm passionate about! ;-)

Looking back at my posts...most of them are furniture Before and Afters, which is great, but I thought you may like to see what else I get up to (as well as ONE Before and After just for you). :-)

Here we go...

Some finished dining chair backs I've been doing in this gorgeous Warwick fabric. There are 10 chairs!!

At the movies...I had the whole place to myself!! I watched the new Star Trek and it was really good, surprisingly!

I picked up two of these retro stools recently at an op shop, perfect for our kitchen island...and teak!!

A good friend of mine from Adelaide came to stay over my birthday weekend and we took the girls to the nearby zoo for a day. This is her feeding a wallaby, so cute!!

Tone and I pulled off all our weatherboards where the paint had blistered (18 months later!) and it now has new weatherboards put on and is ready for paint. Guess who gets to do that ;-)

A close up of something I've been working on.

An ombre cake I made for our youngest's third birthday. It was a kind of practice run for the one I'll be making for her party this Saturday.

Last but not least...a chair before

and after!

There you have it.

A taste of what else goes on around here...and also why I've been a little slack on the blogging front. :-)

Hope you are having a wonderful week,

Courts xx

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Before And After: Side Table In Abigail Ahern/Murobond Notting Hill

Way back in November I think it was, I did a Masterclass with Abigail Ahern - which you can read about here if you're interested - and was given a goodie bag which contained a sample pot of Notting Hill.
This paint was a collaboration between Abi and Murobond, and I gotta say...I love, love this colour!!

What do you think?

I was given this little retro side table (Thanks Karl!) and it had been painted brown in the past which I stripped off, sanded and then went to town with my Notting Hill.
Here's the before -

I also changed the handle over to a bone, striped one that I found locally.

I think you'll agree, after scrolling through the many glorious photos I've provided you with, that this one is now modern, useable and just plain cute ;-)

Oh and this one is sealed with satin poly, which is why it has a lovely little gloss to it. Yes I ventured away from my usual beeswax for this one. I also did not make chalk paint for this one either!
Will wonders never cease?!

Hope Your weekend is covered with awesome sauce!! ;-)

Courts xx

PS. Its for sale!!
Furniture Feature Fridays

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Before And After: DIY Chalk Paint In Mint - Shelves

Oh chalk paint, how I love you.

The plan for this piece was to heavily distress the mint paint work and change out the hardware to bone knobs which I found locally.
It turned out perfectly and I'm so happy with it - hopefully it's owners are too;-) This colour was the subtlest of the choices I suggested and I think it's perfect and will work well with the neutral colour scheme they have.

It was bought originally a few years ago - possibly 10-15 - and was a rustic piece with surfaces that were rough and its joins were imperfect, but all meant to be that way.


But now its smooth as silk to touch and still a little rustic but in a more modern way.

I also painted the wooden bench in an almost white color and sealed with beeswax.
This bench was made by a local 'mens shed' and had already been primed, which made it an easy one ;-)
These two will be in an entry way together in a gorgeous, brand spankers new home!!

My Fast Six Deets

1. Clean the piece first for maximum paint adhesion. I have an air compressor always on hand so I use that to blow any dust/webs etc away, then go over with a baby wipe or two. Yes I do ;-)
2. Mix up a batch of DIY chalk paint in the desired color.
3. Paint on two coats of chalk paint - allowing it to dry of course and a really light sand in between coats.
4. Use 240 grit sand paper on a mouse sander and go over the whole piece, except for the ply back. I used the mouse because I wanted to heavily distress it but still have a little control over it, an orbital would have been too powerful and I would have lost that control.
5. Re-sanded over areas where I wanted more of the timber to show through, still using the mouse with 240 grit.
6. Applied beeswax, let it touch dry then rub off with a clean cloth. Smooth as silk!!

Any questions? I won't shoot you, I promise;-)
Seriously, email me any questions you may have with a project you are or want to do. Photo's are always helpful, saves you having to type a novel!
I'm happy to help.

Courts xx
Furniture Feature Fridays

Monday, 6 May 2013

Giveaway Winner!!

Congratulations to the lovely Kylie from Lucy Violet Vintage who is the winner of three of these gorgeous bulb decals!!

I used Random.org to pick out the winner for me and these are going to a beautiful home. Kylie almost subscribed to real living too, just to get these decals!

Congrats Kylie! Enjoy!!

Courts xx

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Our Home Tour Part Two: The Office

Welcome to part two of our home tour - the office!

Our office - like every other room at our place - is a work in progress. You'll only see one side of the room at this stage as the other side is pretty much the girls toys. Not that pretty to look at and lets face it...we just want to look at pretty pictures right?!

We plan to reclaim the other side of the office back from the girls. Its kind of turned into a playroom which was never the intention but...go with the flow and all that. :-)
It was always going to be a library/office and that is still the plan...one of these days!

Anyway - enjoy!!

My side

Tony's side


Yes that is a beautiful, antique oval table that has been cut in half for our desks! It was one of the first things we did when the house extension was complete. And it was completely un-planned!
I found the table at my favorite antique shop and had no idea where/what I was going to do with it, but I just had to have it :-) I paid about $400 for it, which is a lot for me and as soon as I got it home (2 1/2 hour drive!) I knew what its purpose would be. And now it's one of my favorite things in the house!

For the record, I do not class this as orange pine (my pet hate)! It's really old and is possibly kauri or baltic pine. It has so much wear and character that just isn't found on 80's orange pine furniture. I could never paint over that :) The legs are made out of a completely different timber, not sure what that is. They are almost mahogony-ish?
Anyway, its a unique piece/s and I'm all about the one-offs ;-)
(I felt I needed to explain that seeing as I tend to go on about orange pine a tad!)

Oh and if you missed part one of our house tour, you can see that here.

Hope you're weekend is going swimmingly!

Courts xx

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Before And After: Provincial Table

You know, my Nan used to say to me a lot when I was growing up - 'No one shoots you for asking!'
Which I guess is along the same lines as, 'there's no such thing as a stupid question' etc. It is something I've always remembered - mind you, she did fairly drum it into this shy granddaughter of hers ;-)

Why I'm telling you this is because before I started this project, I happened to run into an expert in all things timber/product related and asked lots of questions. I picked his brain, basically. And I'm so glad I did as it changed how I would have gone about this (and other) projects, if I'd just gone full steam ahead.
The main things I asked  was about staining and sealing. I had only ever refinished table tops back to natural and sealed with oil or wax, I'd never stained a dining table before or knew what the most durable sealer would be over stain on something that gets as much use as a dining table does. There are so many products out there, it can be a little overwhelming!

But before I get to all the technical stuff, take a look at this gorgeous table! It belongs to a client but is staged at my place on a very grey, gloomy day...hence the darkish shots :-)

And the before-

Looks like a million dollars now doesn't it?!

So for those who want the technical details...read on!

For everyone else...please go and enter my very first giveaway by clicking here (Closes Sunday May 5th!) You could win some awesome wall decals and at this stage...you are in with a good chance as there are not many entries yet!! ;-)

The base of this table is painted with DIY chalk paint (no sanding beforehand!) and sealed with beeswax. The top is stained walnut and sealed with satin poly.

Let me break down a little more the staining and sealing process - for those of you still with me - and what I learned :-)
(some of this I learned a while ago, some more recently)

So, here in Australia, there are stains specifically for pine and some for hardwood. It is important to make sure you know your timber and choose the right product. Yep, made that mistake already.
I pretty much always (except if someone with 30+ years experience tells you different!) follow the directions on the tin. I apply with a cloth and rub in the direction of the grain.
One of the big, big things I learned is that timber is a natural product (who knew?!) and therefore is unpredictable in how it takes stain. Sometimes, parts of the timber will soak up more stain and look darker and other parts don't seem to take it in much at all.

After I had finished this step on this table, I stood back for an overall look...and panicked.
I thought it looked a little patchy  and contemplated going over again with another coat of stain.
This is where I spoke to Chris from Mitre 10 here in Horsham who reassured me that this is a normal characteristic for timber and isn't that why we choose timber - for its unique qualities?
Well yes...yes it is.

So I forged ahead and started...


And what I learned is that the most durable finish for a dining table (over stain) is two coats of good old poyurethane in satin or gloss finish.
And the best way to apply it? With a foam roller (which will kinda disintegrate after a bit, so have a few on hand) doing small sections at a time, then going over with a brush and finishing with a wet edge.
A wet edge means that when you stop at the end of each section, it needs to be a thick edge that you stop at, not a blended edge like you would if you were painting.
Then start the next section - foam roller, go over with a brush, until the whole thing is done. If you notice and small areas you've missed, don't go over them, you can pick them up in the next coat. You generally have to wait 12-24 hours before you can do the second coat and it's best applied in a closed off environment, because any dust flying around is for sure going to land on your beautiful finish!
And the patchiness that I thought I saw? Gone. Vanished into thin air after the first application of poly. It does say on the can of stain that its true color is not fully revealed until it has been sealed - I forgot to trust in that.

I hope this has been helpful if you plan on doing any staining or sealing, and if you have any tips for me...let me know in the comments! I love to learn!!

And I want to give a HUGE thank you to Ron from Wattyl, Chris from 'mighty helpful' Mitre 10 and my good friend Felicity for all sharing their knowledge with me and stopping me from freaking out too much! ;-)

Courts xx
Furniture Feature Fridays
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