Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Painted French Oak Sideboard

I'm posting tonight as tomorrow morning I'm jumping on an early plane for a weekend away. I'm heading to Adelaide for a weekend with my friend Janie. I've booked a room over looking the beach and looking for a great weekend and some time swimming in the ocean. It's always good for the soul... and so is my friend Janie. She's one of the happiest people I know. She always a huge smile and is one of those people who always make you feel so special.


Jannie has a styling business (The Style Directive) and is taking me clothes shopping. She's made me take photos of myself and send her - she initially asked for underwear photos but I sent one in gym gear (actually my painting gear) as I didn't want to break her phone:) OMG I don't know if I can cope with this but if anyone can find me clothes to suit then it's Janie. We may just need alcohol also. Wish me luck. Shame I haven't lost 10 more kilos! I've lost 5 kgs so far but have kind of stagnated for a while. Need to step it up again before summer comes.


Anyway before I start to pack tonight (swimmers, tick, sarong, tick, sunglasses tick) I thought I'd share a french oak sideboard that I was commissioned to paint for Samantha. This is going to be one of those pieces that some of you will cry out "Quelle horreur! Why is she's painting French oak!! Sorry but Samantha bought this piece specifically for me to paint. She a lovely Lilyfield Life fan and wanted me to an authentic rustic antique look. She opted for ASCP Coco with ASCP Old White in the recessed areas and antiqued with dark wax. Here are some photos I snapped with my iPhone but when Sam moves into her new house I'll take proper photos. 

This is just when I popped over to show Sam the colour. I actually removed the doors to paint as I didn't want to paint over the hinges. They are so beautiful. We did however decide to paint over the key back plates as they are more brassy. 


Two coats down but it appears very light here but ASCP Coco is actually browner than this. A shade darker than ASCP French Linen.


I then painted the recessed mouldings. It was easier the paint all the edge around the lip then paint the Coco over the white on the very edge.  A hard decision is always working out which bits to highlight and what not to. I think it's a very personal thing and decided to make this sideboard not too fussy - just rustic.


Here it is below all painted but not waxed. I know a lot of people find it useful when I share my process in photos step by step. Hopefully it helps you.


and finally with the waxes on and all finished.





I'll share better photos when it's in Sam's new house and looking all styled and finished.


have a great end of the week. I will be :)

Fiona xx



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Emperor's Silk Side Tables

I've been a bit absent lately on my blog - work got busy, I had to make a lot of decisions for the house renovations but mainly a beautiful friend of mine unexpectedly died. The world is a little less fun and shiny without him in it. I'm okay but I worry about his wife and children and the great gaping hole he has left behind.


It seem trivial to share my furniture makeovers after writing that paragraph but I've got to start back somehow. So today I'm sharing some beautiful side tables that my neighbour, Marg, recently asked me to paint in ASCP Emperor's Silk. She had seen the little carved table I painted recently and just feel in love with the deep red. 


The side tables were actually a lovely gold colour before painting but they had a couple of huge cracks down them and Marg wanted a bold pop of colour in her new guest room. 


When painting with red you will often need several coats of paint and these tables were no different. After fixing the cracks, I painted in ASCP Graphite first ion the tops to give a real depth to the red but the rest of them I just painted three coats of ASCP Emperors Silk.  Marg didn't want them waxed but something more durable so I gave them three coats of a beautiful poly acrylic sealer and then to bring out the details I used some antiquing wax. It's subtle but made them much more authentic.


ASCP Emperor's Silk really changes colour with a sealer on it. It's so beautiful and deep. I think these tables look fabulous especially in Marg's beautiful room.

Our house renovations are rocketing along. I'm looking forward to sharing some more details soon.

Have a great day and remember to make a decision to have a positive outlook and be happy. Life is all too short sometimes.

Fiona xx

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Giveaway Series

I am always so grateful for all you beautiful supporters of Lilyfield Life. As this hobby turned business grows and grows I am meeting more of you and appreciate all our interactions on and offline. As a little thank you, I've put together a series of giveaways over on my Facebook page that will run weekly until Christmas. 

I want to share with you some of my favourite things so first up is 5 beautiful silk peonies.


to enter click here and follow the prompts. 

I have a set of these flowers myself and you will recognise them from my furniture styling. These are some of the most realistic fakes I've ever seen. Postage available worldwide.


Good luck! 
and thank you 
Fiona xx




Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Limed Elm Bedside Table

I hope everyone survived the storm in Sydney and along the coast last night. I came home from quoting on a job last night and the roads were awash with rain. I'm sure some local houses will have flooded. Fingers crossed for you. Our building site survived okay. The roof didn't blow off which is always a good thing :)




One little project I didn't share yesterday was a little elm bedside table that I decided to give a limed look to. Liming is like a whitewash, but a method that that allows the natural grain and features of the timber to shine. 



Traditionally liming timber was done using lime or bleach to give a faded weathered look. An easy way to replicate this without using caustic chemicals is to use liming wax. For this table I used Porters Lime Wax.  I did a post a while ago about making your own liming wax but to be honest this stuff is better and probably even works out cheaper. It even smells beautiful.


Liming wax works best on open grained timber such as oak and elm. The open grain will give the wax some where to settle.  It is very easy to apply. clean your surface and then I just applied with a lint free cloth (I used a chux wipe) and work the liming wax into the grain. Then take a clean cloth and wipe the excess off in the direction of the grain. Additional applications will increase the whiteness of your finished piece.



I love how it enhances the beautiful timber grain, giving it an old weathered look.




This is a very easy makeover for a little coastal charm.


I'm off to take the kids to school then to continue painting Kristen's hutch. Stay warm, friends!

Fiona xx






Tuesday, October 14, 2014

In the works

Good morning! As I write this post, my living room walls are going up and a 300 kilo steel beam, that will support the upstairs of the house, is being levered onto steel posts. I have to head off to do another onsite custom painting job but I wanted to stick around for a little while to see the builders hoist the steel beam into place. It's all looking fabulous, amazing and rather large.


Today I'm just sharing a couple of projects that I've been working on. I have several pieces of furniture scattered around the place that I am working on concurrently. I find that this is a much more productive way to work rather than painting one piece fully and then starting on the next.


I love the shape of this cupboard. It's massively heavy and has some beautiful details that i hope to enhance and give justice to with paint. Below you can see it in progress with it's first coat of a custom mix pale putty colour. This piece will be for sale. (although Phil says he wants to keep it so we'll see)


I've also just finished these side tables for my neighbour. She's decorating her guest bedroom and wanted a pop of colour. I'll share a full before and after post with details later this week.


I am also painting an umbrella stand and a marble topped sideboard for Nicole (who bought the black hall table I posted recently about). Nicole is loving the black finish I do so these are also going black. How nice is this heart detail on the umbrella stand?


Finally the best part of my week (even though ti's only Tuesday) was finishing painting Marianne's hutch. When the lead light doors and new handles are on I'll share a full detailed post and photos but wow I love this transformation.



I've finished my morning coffee and will go check on that beam now. I'm about to start painting another huge hutch but this time in a lovely pale taupe so hopefully it doesn't take as long as Marianne's.  I need a good neck massage already I can tell you!


I'll post photos soon of progress of the above buffet hutch - this one is for my friend Kristen. She asked me to find her one for her new house and within ten minutes I'd found her one, bought it the next day for a great price and then had my delivery guys pick it up and bring it to her house a few days later. Love a quick turn around. Now just to get it painted so Kristen can finish her unpacking.

have a good day. 
Fiona xx





Monday, October 13, 2014

White bow front drawers and a concrete slab



On Friday I finished painting this lovely sweet chest of drawers. I've painted it in a custom white mix of homemade chalk paint. I wanted a lovely soft white for this piece and I love the colour I created. I will definitely be using this mix again.



This chest of drawers is solid timber and very beautiful. It has a couple of dings and scratches (a lot I was able to sand out) but I don't mind them as they show it's age. The handles are my favourite part.






The waxed finish is very smooth from lots and lots of sanding. I know sanding is unpopular with a lot of people but trust me  - it makes a huge difference to your finished work.



This lovely mirror is for sale. I had it on hold for someone but now can't get in touch with her so I'm offering it for sale again. Email me for dimensions and pricing. It's solid timber and a beveled edge. 

In less pretty but equally exciting news we had our concrete slab for the living room poured on Saturday. It's very exciting to see it all take shape. 





Phil's been laughing at me because I've already mapped out where the furniture is going. 

What else would I be doing!

Fiona xx

Friday, October 10, 2014

A black hall table, morning walks and spring flowers


Nicole asked me to find her a nice hall table that I could paint black for her. She wanted something a little fancy and formal. I hope she loves it.  

Below is the table when I found it on eBay.


and now after painting. (I used a matte exterior black paint and primer in one.) I really love paint for a quick transformation! But you already know that :)


How amazing is the detail on the back! Nicole said she wishes she had a glass wall to place it against.


I rescued these flowers from our rubble of  garden. Shame to be building through spring when normally our minute garden is so pretty.  It's such a building site. We stupidly thought that the grass area would remain untouched but it's now covered with a builders' toilet, scaffolding, timber, tools etc. I am managing to keep a lot of the flowers and plants alive on the borders but we'll definitely need to replant the grass.


Phil and I have been going on a morning walk every day lately and it's just lovely out early. I thought you might like to see some photos. We are so lucky living next to Callan park and the water.  It's about the only time we get to chat uninterrupted, living in such close quarters with the kids. I think it's a habit we'll definitely keep up. I may be even turning into a morning person! 

How could you not love it with scenery like this:




Wishing you a great day and happy weekend
Fiona xx