Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Chicken Wire Cabinet

I am still wearing the scars of this project :)

I recently bought an old oak cabinet that was missing the front door panel. Something like that never scares me off and as a bonus it makes the piece more affordable as often other buyers often don't want to muck around with it. 

I thought I had a before photo but now can't find it. The oak timber grain was beautiful but it was very dark and dirty. I wanted to keep the grain visible so decided to white wash it. I made a mix of white paint and water so it is quite translucent and running and I started painting. to white wash you would normally need to strip your timber back to bare wood. This cabinet was so old and dry and the original finish had mostly disappeared so I gave it a light sand mainly to smooth out the timber grain and then I started painting. For white washing I paint in long strokes then wipe off after the paint starts to dry but well before it is fully dry. You can give it several coats depending how white you want it.  Once the cabinet was fully dry I also waxed it with white wax to further enhance the lightness.

I painted the interior in a Dulux duck egg that I had on hand.  It was a semi gloss that will hold up well to scratches and cleaning, and means I didn't have to wax the interior of the cabinet which I hate doing.

For the door I cut some chicken wire and stapled it in. Cue scratches all up and down my forearms. I looked like i had been in a cat fight. To secure it in place I used a million staples and then bent the sharp edges over using my pliers.

Lovely paneled details.

This piece would be lovely to store quilts in or in a bathroom full or white towels. It sold immediately and has already been picked up.

Have you used chicken wire in a project. Did you find a way to not get shredded?

Fiona xx

Friday, October 7, 2016

Magic of paint, recent pieces and happiness xx

I don't know why I love furniture painting so much - the whole process really thrills me: finding a piece I can see potential in, making repairs and often having to be Macgyver and work out how to fix something, coming up with a design or colour scheme, mixing the paint, the actual painting, sanding ...sanding ...I really lovely sanding ...finishing with wax and glazes...staging for photos and selling then meeting my customers and hearing their stories.  I really love every single part of it. 

I recently had a message from a reader Vicki who has started painting after finding me on facebook and she said "I must say seeing all of your work inspired me. I will never be as good as you but I have such a passion for transforming things now, so thank you". I don't think it matters how good you are, I think it matters how happy you are. 

I think that humans are meant to be productive - makers of things and producing physical items with our hands - whether its gardening, sewing, cooking or painting furniture having a productive hobby (or business) is very satisfying for your soul.

Here's a few recent makeovers:

These were lovely low Art Deco drawers but the old finish was quite dry and damaged so I sanded them down till they were nice and smooth and painted them in a lovely custom mix turquoise. I also replaced the handles with these nice chrome cup handles. These have sold and are being used in a cute little boy's bedrooms. 

This Balinese drawers below also received a custom mix of turquoise paint. A different mix to above but lush and deep. I really love this colour.

I found some lovely vintage style handles while I was away road tripping. As soon as I got home this afternoon I decided to try them out on these drawers. I love them on it. Originally I had crystal handles. 

Balinese chest of drawers so never quite perfect but all drawers slide easily and a gorgeous pop of color for your home. These would look fantastic in a kid's bedroom.
84w x 90h x 44d cm 

I also have available this lovely vintage French chest of drawers. I have painted this in a custom green grey mix (Annie Sloan) that i think really does justice to this old piece. Very authentic. I had a friend say she's seen a very similar piece in a book on french furniture.

AVAILABLE: This is a divine vintage French oak chest of drawers that I have slaved over. Lots of care, time and a steady hand required for painting this piece in a traditional Rococo finish. The colour is a custom mix Annie Sloan chalk paint. A sage green grey that is perfect for this old French piece. Beautiful for anywhere in your home. Solid timber and beautifully made (and painted of course 😉)
100w x 48d x 82h
Pickup Lilyfield

I have lots more pieces to share - I've been working on furnishing a florist for a long time blog reader. It opens next week and I can't wait to share with you.

Have a good day. 
Hope you get to do something you enjoy.
Fiona xx

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Holidays and horse riding

Hi everyone, I had a lot of trouble trying to upload this post from my phone but when I wrote it , it was Sunday night, so here goes anyway.......it's Sunday night, we are all relaxed after a gorgeous weekend staying in a lovely apartment in Melbourne for the weekend. We just had Phil's sister over for dinner (roast chicken and vegies) and the kids are now reading in bed and we are relaxing in the quiet. Divine.

We found a great apartment on AirBNB and we will definitely come again. It was comfortable and well stocked. The guy Ed has thought of everything. How beautiful is it.  The link is at the bottom of this post if you are looking for a lovely place to stay in Melbourne. Mention Lilyfield Life for a 10% discount. 

This house across the road is amazing. I love the duck egg blue window trim. I never would have thought of that as a good trim colour but I love it against the grey. 

We had a nice little morning routine with a walk in the botanic gardens followed by coffee from Entrecôte - all we were missing is our dog Charlie :(

On the way to Melbourne the kids and I spent a few nights in Bright (as we drove down and Phil flew). I took the kids horse riding for a day at Bogong horse adventures and we all loved it (although my legs are still a bit sore). It was definitely a high light of the trip.

The ground was so wet and the horses spent a lot of time wading through puddles - but the lovely thing was that the countryside was just so green. It's actually the greenest I've ever seen it. Even the Hume highway was beautiful and lush. And it was lovely to see my kids enjoying the ride so much and managing their horse so well. I was a proud mum. 

There's nothing like a holiday to rest and relax and make you feel inspired to start work again. I have a couple of pieces to paint this week but won't fully get back into it all until the kids are back at school. 

Enjoy your Sunday night xx

Ed's place in South Yarra is here

Monday, September 26, 2016

A Modern Black Console - mixing it up.

Good morning. It's school holidays here and I've no school lunches to pack and no children to get out the door (well I have the children till but they can sleep in) so I'm sitting down with my coffee to write a blog post in my quiet house.

Modern timber console painted jet black chalk paint by Lilyfield Life

This black console table was picked up yesterday. While it is much more modern than a lot of my pieces, I really liked it. I was actually surprised by how many people said "that's not Lilyfield Life!". Even my sister commented. When I bought it, the timber was very dark and the mahogany Balinese stain was very marked. I stripped and sanded to top back to raw timber and waxed it until it was silky smooth. A friend who also paints furniture felt the top and said "wow it is so smooth". I know its hard to tell when buying and viewing on the internet but my finishes are always extremely smooth and silky and you won't feel brush marks or any roughness. I love sanding and love a smooth finish.

Modern timber console painted jet black chalk paint by Lilyfield Life

For the base I used a jet black chalk paint, two coats and then top coated with clear wax. Phil and I both loved this console more than we expected to. It looked great here at the bottom of our staircase. The buyers were very happy with it.

Modern timber console painted jet black chalk paint by Lilyfield Life

Always good to do something a little different.

I also have a lovely timber MCM style chest of drawers for sale. 
These gorgeous campaign drawers have been buffed and polished and the timber looks beautiful. There is some splitting between a couple planks of teak but I have used melding brackets internally to rejoin them so it is all solid and secure. Splits aren't particularly noticeable. Solid timber and drawers on timber sliders. Brass hardware and mounted campaign corners.
90w x 46d x 74hcm
Pickup Lilyfield

MCM Campaign drawers by Lilyfield Life

Hope you have a good day. It looks like it's going to be a lovely one
Fiona x

Modern timber console painted jet black chalk paint by Lilyfield Life

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Springtime and Painted Furniture

Good morning, I've been remiss blogging ebcuase the photo mechanism (picasa) that I used for blogging has been retired and it's taken me a while to sit down and research how to upload photos. Finally sorted it this morning. Hopefully...

Spring is definitely here and our garden is recovering from winter and months of neglect. We are also enjoying fresh cut flowers from the markets. How beautiful are these ranunculi. 

This is the wisteria outside our kitchen window at the moment. Such a splash of colour.

Our orchids are doing so well this year also. 

I have been painting and selling one or more pieces of furniture a day which is fantastic but a bit tiring. I'm looking forward to a break. It's such a logistics battle for me, moving furniture every day in my small space. I dream of a warehouse :) I was trying to rent a garage in a block of flats opposite our house but the owner of the block isn't interested despite there being 5 empty garages. Such a shame.

This is a sweet little serpentine cabinet I painted recently. It was in pretty bad shape when I bought it. The varnish was very degraded and it had heaps of scratches etc. I decided to paint it in ASCP Duck Egg Blue and distress it gently. Just a simple paint job but pretty.

I also picked up this gorgeous rattan chair and gave it a new life with paint and antiquing wax. I've actually painted this exact chair before and both times was tempted to keep them but hey, how many chairs do I need?

enjoy your day
Fiona xx

Friday, September 9, 2016

A gentleman's press, a console and my antiques booth

On Wednesday I was home all day and managed to finish several pieces. I love a day when I don't have to run around too much and can get some productive hours in of painting.

I finished this lovely fitted gentleman's press. I adore cupboards like this with either shelves or drawers inside or a mix like this one. I painted the exterior in a lovely taupe that I mixed using ASCP French Linen, Paris grey and white. The drawers I painted in a seafoamy duck egg that I mixed from ASCP Duck Egg, Louis Blue and White. The hardware on this piece in lovely. The handles lie very flat so the doors shut nicely.

I also painted a sweet vintage demi lune console. These are always a lovely addition to a room with a bowl of flowers on them or an ornament.

I was talking to a friend this week about how I got started as a furniture painter and shared with her these photos of my booth in an antiques centre that I got asked to be in when I was just starting out. These are some of my first painted pieces. Claire said it looks like my house - what can i say; my style is my style :)

The antiques centre was literally at the end of my street and I just loved having a booth there. Unfortunately the guy who ran it was quite dodgy and it eventually went into receivership. A lot of people had trouble getting their stock but. I'd already seen the writing on the wall and had given up my space. I was selling most of my stuff here on my blog anyway. (Thank you to you lovely customers and readers). I wonder if anyone who is reading today has been here this long?
Fiona xx 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A couple of little Armoires

Good morning! We have a couple of tired kids this morning. Jonty danced in the Dancesport Challenge last night making it into the finals for salsa. We were so proud of him and his partner Katie, and of all the kids participating from our school. They all looked gorgeous and had worked so hard. That's my boy in the middle :)

I've had some lovely furniture to paint lately. Two little french style cabinets - armoires that if I'm totally honest were excruciating to paint but a lovely result.

This lovely glass cabinet is still for sale. Details below. I have painted in my special French green grey finish. I really love this colour. For many years I have searched for a paint similar to one I saw on a beautiful old french cabinet. This colour is the closest I have found and i always love it on a piece.  It is a green based grey and very subtle. It's the colour I painted the cabinet in my lounge room that people always comment on and love. The cabinet I could have sold 100 times over but I don't want to part with :)

if this doesn't sell I will happily keep it also.

french style armoire cabinet by Lilyfield Life

The inside is painted with a white satin paint and the exterior in a french grey chalk paint, distressed and waxed.  Painting around all the glass is not something I enjoy ;)

This is just a lovely piece of furniture that will look great in any room. I would love to see it in a bathroom packed with rolled white towels, pretty bottles of bubble path and perfume and little wicker baskets filled with makeup :) but seriously it's going to look fabulous anywhere 😍
The lock works if you need to lock away your pretty things :)
76w x 46d x 160h cm
Pick up Lilyfield

french style armoire cabinet by Lilyfield Life

french style armoire cabinet by Lilyfield Life

in progress below.

french style armoire cabinet by Lilyfield Life

The second french style cabinet has already sold. Off to a little girl's bedroom. I painted it all in a bright white satin enamel and left it undistressed. I thought it would be perfect for a baby's room so made it all clean and white. 

french style armoire cabinet by Lilyfield Life

french style armoire cabinet by Lilyfield Life

I have a few more lovely pieces up this week. Working hard and loving it. 
Hope you have a good day
Fiona xx

french style armoire cabinet by Lilyfield Life