Friday, 26 October 2012

Transforming a piece of brown furniture

In a former life I worked for a wonderful pair of guys who owned an antique shop in East Sussex.  I ran the shop for them whilst they were on buying trips in deepest France and they also taught me how to restore and paint (and carefully 'distress') pieces of worn out dark, unloved furniture.
I have written about these lovely guys before and they now own a company called FONTAINE based in Margate, Kent - they have gone from strength to strength and now 'hob-nob' with the great and the good at places such as the Battersea Decorative Antiques Fair 4 times a year - a far cry from when it was all hands on deck in the little shop in Hurst Green.
So, just to prove to myself that I've still got what it takes to make a little piece of furniture stand out from the crowd (and because I was sick and tired of looking at this next to my side of the bed) I set myself un petit project and turned this....

Lovely shape, rather dull colour

Into this rather nice looking bedside cabinet below....  My (or rather their) method of adding that certain 'je ne sais quoi' to such pieces is to :
A : Slap on (fairly carefully) 2 coats of EMULSION paint - easier to use than a gloss or satin finish and the brushes clean up very easily too.
B. Take very fine wire wool and some Briwax clear polish and apply all over the painted surfaces working over one area at a time.  Some parts you apply more pressure with the wire wool in order to get the paint to look more worn (or distressed as they say in the trade!).
C. Then you get some clean lint free fabric and buff up the surfaces to get a nice protective sheen on the piece.

See... easy peasy - one pretty little cabinet.


  1. It looks great IMO. There are quite a few wee shops that do what you have done with your cabinet in our city and I've often thought that I'd like to try my hand at it.
    I love chalk paint on the market where it requires no sanding or preparation, at least that's what Anne Sloan Paints company claim.

  2. Beautiful! I'd love to hear about any experience with Anne Sloan Paints. My daughter recently discovered this product and is considering it to paint her kitchen cabinets.

  3. Lovely. So many pieces have nice shapes, but the finish is bleurgh. Hope you're happy waking up to this!

  4. that's such a clever and fun DIY! the little dresser looks so cute now.


So lovely to hear from you....