Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A pair of French style coffee tables

Bronte beach in Winter

Winter in Sydney is sometimes just amazing. A late post from me today as this morning my friend and I took our boys to Bronte to do the coastal walk and for lunch. A stunning day to be alive and well in Sydney. I need to do this more often I think. Actually there's a lot of things I need to do more often - like hair cuts and exercise :)

Bronte beach in Winter

Bronte beach in Winter

So good to walk and talk and see the boys run ahead and play silly games. 9 year old boys are goofy and gorgeous.

Early this morning I finally finished a pair of french style coffee tables that I bought ages ago from an estate sale in Point Piper. They are so lovely - vintage solid timber - and I bought them when we were still renovating in case the suited our house. In the end I don't need them so I've painted them to sell.

A pair of French style coffee tables ASCP Old Ochre and Black. Lilyfield Life

A pair of French style coffee tables ASCP Old Ochre and Black. Lilyfield Life

The base is painted in ASCP Old Ochre and the tops are painted in black paint that is scrub-able and durable - no need for worrying about taking care of a waxed surface with these. Use them as a coffee table together or as lamp / side tables. 

A pair of French style coffee tables ASCP Old Ochre and Black. Lilyfield Life

70cm square and 44cm high. 
Solid timber and in extremely good condition. 
$350 for the pair which I think is great value but make me an offer as I don't have room to store these. Although I do think they look fantastic in front of our lovely toile sofa but we are not ready to part with our other coffee table so these are for the taking.

Fiona 

A pair of French style coffee tables ASCP Old Ochre and Black. Lilyfield Life

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

ASCP Paloma is underrated

Lilyfield Life flowers, paintings

A lovely local customer, Fiona, asked me to paint her old oak dressing table that she had bought for £50 in London years ago. She loved it but her husband absolutely hated the dark timber. She thought if she had it painted then perhaps he would like it more. Fiona was putting it her daughter's room and initially thought of ASCP Paris Grey but then I showed her ASCP Paloma and she was hooked. I love Paloma for girl's rooms as it's not girly pink, it's a warm sophisticated grey/mauve and I think will still look good for an older teenager. I don't like decorating kids rooms so that you need to change the decor every couple of years. Who's got time for that!

ASCP Paloma vintage dressing table and bedside tables Lilyfield Life

The dressing table had lovely mouldings added around the drawers and the beautiful barley twist detail on the mirror struts and legs. We decided to not distress or add any other details. The paint and wax was enough as is.

Fiona also asked me to paint some Mexican/Spanish bedside tables that she wanted to use in her daughter's room also.  They had been water damaged on top the and were pretty knocked about so I gave them a very thorough sanding. It wasn't possible to remove the centre tile so I used a little timber putty to smooth it out somewhat and I just painted over it. I tell you, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint sticks to pretty much any thing!

Bedside tables before - Spanish style

We swapped out the iron ring and blue knobs for crystal ones. Below you can see ASCP Paloma when it is unwaxed - the drawer on the right hand side is waxed and is a deeper colour. The paint looks quite grey still.

ASCP Paloma bedside tables Lilyfield Life

Once it is waxed it turns a deeper mauve. These photos were taken a few weeks ago when the weather was quite dreary so it's hard to capture the true colour - the top photo of the furniture all together looks quite bright and the one below is more muted. Annie Sloan decides it as a "soft warm neutral taupe grey" but it really does read more purple/lilac than taupe.  Either way it's a colour I find very easy to live with. 

ASCP Paloma vintage dressing table and bedside tables Lilyfield Life

Have you painted anything with ASCP Paloma?

Also can you believe the difference in these bedsides! they seriously don't look anything like the before photo, do they? Fiona was so happy with how it all turned out. She reckoned that her daughter now has the best room in their house.

I love happy customers.
I love paint.

Fiona xx

Monday, June 29, 2015

A pretty vintage desk

Sometimes pieces don't sell as quickly as I'd expect. This beautiful piece took a few days to sell - and I know that sounds completely ridiculous but I price my furniture to sell quickly. I know if I had a shop I could charge more and be happy with things sitting around for weeks if not months . Working from home I would prefer to finish something, sell it quickly and free both my physical space and my head space to move on to the next project.  I often have people ask me for desks so when I saw this one a few weeks ago I grabbed it.  It needed a fair bit of work as it had lived a hard but useful life.  Nothing a sander, zinsser sealer/blocker and my paint brush can't sort out.


With seven drawers it offers loads of storage. I think a little girl would just love this in her room - or pop it in the corner of a living area to do your bills and browse Pinterest :)


The timber top is walnut and is lovely. For the base I mixed the softest grey which is so delicate and neutral.  To get this colour I mixed white, grey and a beige - so I suppose the resulting colour is a pale greige.  Although I think it still reads as grey.


I also styled this a bit differently initially but then I hated my unpainted skirting boards and that data point in the background so I moved it all around and photographed it again.



So I'm not sure if it's because it's tax time or I've just missed the mark with this one or if I just have too high expectations on how quickly my furniture will sell but I was a bit surprised when this didn't sell immediately. Anyway it's sold now and I definitely need to learn to be more patient. :)

many thanks to all my lovely customers who let me keep on painting!
Fiona xx



Saturday, June 27, 2015

Petite French Side Table

ASCP French Linen - Petite French Side Table. Lilyfield Life

Hooray for the weekend. I have a pretty full on day today so I'm just popping by here quickly with a tiny little makeover for you - just a tiny little piece that would be a perfect bedside table for a small room, or lovely in a corner somewhere. I've painted one of these before but it was more ornate - this once has less ormolous on it and it's a little more rustic.


ASCP French Linen - Petite French Side Table. Lilyfield Life

Painted in ASCP French Linen and waxed, it's for sale for $115. SOLD
 Dimensions 70cm tall, 40 cm wide 30cm deep.


Don't you just love how I style my furniture? Ha ha  - basically I run around the house grabbing all my (the same every time) pretty things and dump them down... I think I need to get some more props and give my bowl of lavender a rest.


ASCP French Linen - Petite French Side Table. Lilyfield Life

Let me know if you are interested in the side table.
Wishing you all a lovely weekend
Fiona xx

Friday, June 26, 2015

I didn't get to take good photos...

Earlier this week I picked up a fantastic vintage cupboard. Not something I would make great profit on but a piece I loved all the same and that I knew my customers would love. I took a few quick snaps when I finished painting it (heavily distressed and very rustically painted in ASCP French Linen) and just before heading out the door to my son's AFL training, but had planned to take better photos again as I knew the photos didn't do it justice.

vintage industrial cabinet Lilyfield Life

As you can see I've just plonked it down on top of the console that needs painting and behind the chair that needs upholstering - not a great photo.

My oh it's such a great cupboard.
Solid Oak and those pigeon holes inside!

vintage industrial cabinet Lilyfield Life

I said to Phil I think it's a piece that won't sell off the internet and especially using those photos but rather someone will see it when they come to the house and they'll fall in love with it.

vintage industrial cabinet Lilyfield Life

...and that's exactly what happened yesterday :)
Renee came for a furniture paining lesson and took it home with her as well.

I also sold my armoire that's been sitting in the corner of my lounge room. Just when i got it all looking exactly how I wanted and when I've 99% decided that I just may keep this piece.

French Armoire Sydney Lilyfield Life hand painted

Oh well that is the life of a furniture painter. 

I'll just have to find something else for this spot. 
Vintage treasure hunting is such a good sport, don't you think?

Fiona xx




Thursday, June 25, 2015

ASCP Graphite Serpentine Drawers..again

This year is flying by - I can't believe it's almost school holidays again. Last night at AFL training one of the dads was asking if we are doing anything for the holidays and I mentioned that I have to dig a pipe up in the backyard. He cracked up laughing and said most people say they are going away...oh my poor kids. LOL. Seriously though they are both booked in for sporting camps and even a cartoon drawing course and we'll have some nice relaxed days doing stuff in Sydney together. I'll probably hire a backpacker to dig the hole in the clay soil for the plumber to move the gully. It will be good not having it in the middle of the yard acting as a trip hazard.  Anyway on to the painted furniture! 

When you have been painting furniture for a long time you come across the same pieces again and again. It's especially good when you sold the first painted piece to a high demand and you know that people will just love that you have found and painted a similar or the same piece again.

A few years ago I bought and painted a lovely set of french style serpentine drawers. I've had people ask why "serpentine": they are called serpentine because of the shape of the front. Bowed drawers are when they are just convex, serpentine is when they sweep in then out in the centre.

Here is the piece I painted a few years ago.

ASCP Graphite Serpentine Drawers Lilyfield Life

And then below is the chest of drawers I hand painted earlier this week.  Exactly the same but with different handles.  I toyed with painting it a beautiful turquoise or possibly ASCP Old Ochre - it sat in my carport for about 6 weeks while I kept going back and forth - but I just kept coming back to how sophisticated this piece looks in graphite and I couldn't go past it. I also decided I just need to paint it and get it out of my carport and into someone else's home. Sometimes I can think too much about everything pieces. 

ASCP Graphite Serpentine Drawers Lilyfield Life

I can tell that my application of wax over Graphite has improved in the intervening years.

This piece is Australian made and it's rosewood - generally it was finished with a very red varnish that highlights the rosewood. I just have to paint these pieces as that red is disgusting :)  The photo below doesn't really show off the red in all it's glory.

ASCP Graphite Serpentine Drawers Lilyfield Life

This piece was snapped up quickly from my Lilyfield Life facebook page. I'm always a bit slower getting pieces on to my blog than to Instagram and facebook. If you are looking for any specific pieces for your home then feel free to email me or call me on 0405766445 and I can let you know what's coming up in my studio or source something for you.

Fiona xx

ASCP Graphite Serpentine Drawers Lilyfield Life


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Painting Buddha - now that's something you don't read everyday!

I never thought I could improve on Buddha but in this case I think he's been remarkably improved. Oh Buddha grey paint you are the saviour indeed!

How to paint a garden statue - Lilyfield Life

My friend's partner, who is Buddhist, brought Buddha back from overseas - I think Dubai. It's made of some sort of resin, My friend just hated it - so white, so gold - and asked me what could be done with it. I suggested painting because, as you know, I think paint fixes everything tones things down.

I stated hand painting in ASCP Graphite but the folds of the statues gown were too difficult to get my brush in and it was all taking too long. 


So I decided to spray it. I found a spray can in my shed of galvanizing zinc rich primer - this primer doesn't actually need to be sealed and can be used as a top coat. It's such a gorgeous matte finish that doesn't mark with touching like a lot of paint does. Very high performing. Two coats sprayed - so quick and easy. God knows what I originally bought it for, possibly some rusty old garden furniture or maybe left over from our house renovations but it's been put to good use now.

How to paint a garden statue - Lilyfield Life

How to paint a garden statue - Lilyfield Life

I never thought I'd say it but I'm pretty sure that I improved on Buddha!

My friend can make peace with him... or hide him among the plants in their garden.

Fiona xx

How to paint a garden statue - Lilyfield Life




Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Restoring & Painting a Vintage Table

I sometimes am surprised by how dried out old timber furniture is. Does anybody take care of their furniture anymore? In a way, it's all the better for me as I'm able to buy furniture more affordably to fix up and pass on to you lovely people.


This old timber table was particularly dry but solid and a lovely shape. I had a customer who had been asking for a small table to use as a craft table and I thought this would be perfect. I told her my vision for the piece and asked if she'd like first option to buy it. I wanted a beautiful peacock blue on the base to contrast with what I knew would turn out to be lovely warm timber on the top. Nicola thought that sounded fantastic and perfect for her colourful home.

I cleaned off the cobwebs and even the obligatory chewing gum stuck underneath. It always makes me gag a little. I can't even guess how many years it had been there for. I then flipped the table upside down and sanded the legs and apron smooth and started painting. For this project I mixed AASCP Aubusson Blue and Provence and added a little bright turquoise acrylic paint I had on hand from another furniture painting project. Once I had applied two coats of paint and it had dried I sanded smooth and applied hemp oil to give it all a lovely sheen and to protect the paint.  I then turned my attention to the top.


The top needed a lot of sanding to remove the old varnish and smooth out the timber grain.  You can see above it is quite patchy. I wanted to remove every single last piece of that old orange varnish and get down to the raw timber.  I have a lot of blog posts on sanding timber so you might like to read a couple of them here and here. Once the timber was completely raw and perfectly smooth I applied a good coat of ASCP Clear wax and buffed it up to a silky finish.  The good thing about not varnish this table is that it can always be easily refinished - just a quick sand and apply more wax will keep it looking beautiful.



Look at that sheen on those lovely legs.  A little table all ready for a new life and one very happy customer.

Sanding and oiling/waxing (FEEDING) is such a good way to refresh your timber. These old beauties get very thirsty.  Just like us old beauties :) 

Fiona  xx


sharing at 
www.missmustardseed.com
www.frenchcountrycottage.net

Monday, June 22, 2015

Life and Latest pieces

Good morning! I hope you are refreshed froma  lovely weekend. We had a lovely, relatively quiet day yesterday - in between picking up a divine french sofa and friends dropping in, shoe shopping for our daughter etc we also had some quiet family downtime snuggled in front of the fireplace.


Last week was a good and interesting mix - birthday celebrations, my mother in law visiting, the kids performing (dance) at the Seymour centre two nights (proud Mummy moment, beautiful happy kids), doing some recruiting and interviewing for a business consulting client and of course PAINT! There's always some painting happening here :) It makes me so happy.

and these roses my friends gave me make me happy too..


and cake...cake makes me happy!


Phil and Sasha made me this pear and vanilla cake for my birthday. The first time Phil ever made this cake was when Sasha was a tiny baby. My aunt and uncle were coming to visit and I was having trouble settling Sasha so Phil said that he'd organise afternoon tea. When she was finally asleep I came out to find the table nicely set and this amazing cake in the centre. I really thought he'd nicked up to the beautiful patisserie in Balmain and bought it. The man is a master in the kitchen.

I bought this mirror a week ago and thought of keeping it but Phil didn't really like it so I sold it to a lady who wanted it painted. 



Alexis has bold blue wallpaper in her front entry that she inherited with the house and so we thought that painting the mirror ASCP Paris Grey would tie it in with the wall paper.



I painted these french style bedside tables - the outside is ASCP Paris Grey and inside Greek Blue for a little pop of colour. I also lightly distressed them and used a little dark wax to highlight the details and add some dimension.





This vintage table had a makeover. It's hard to believe that it's the same table as the timber was just so dry. I'm going to do a detailed blog post tomorrow on how to do this.





I also painted Buddha here below - not something I ever thought I'd do. I'll share my process and the paint I used later this week. It's a fantastic paint for outdoor projects. So quick and easy and the most beautiful durable finish.


That's pretty much it for last week...I crashed early on friday night. We went to dinner at my sister's and then I was up putting the kids to bed at 9pm and Phil was putting a movie on for us but I couldn't resist crawling into my own bed and never made it downstairs for the movie. I almost never am the first to bed.  Feeling much more refreshed today and looking forward to another productive week.

Have a good one and thanks for stopping by.
Fiona xx