Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Painted Furniture Inspiration

One thing about writing a blog, besides having a journal of my projects, is the sense of community I feel here and that we connect and you give me feedback on my house, painted furniture and the DIY tutorials I write. Whether you like my style or what I do or not, I love hearing that I have inspired you to pick up a paint brush, or buy second hand furniture over new stuff, or try a new recipe.  I think sometimes people feel they just need permission to paint wooden furniture!

lilyfield life painted white furniture sydney custom painting

Some recent emails I have received are:

Polly - I continue to be inspired to buy some paint! I have a chest of drawers I think I'd like to do and I'm on the look out for a small desk, just love reading your posts because they keep inspiring me to get my hands dirty. Your sideboard is just lovely. 

James Maitland: Thank you for this page. I have a lot of furniture that needs to be re-loved and was scared about painting them because I always believed that the original wood grain was best, but I am so tired of it. I remember thinking OMGosh how could you paint a beautiful piece if furniture, but now my taste have changed and I really love the French look. I feel like I am going back on my morals by painting, but I really, really want to.

MelanieI've enjoyed reading your blog. I've never been to a furniture auction before and I am going to find one here in Hobart this year and go along in the hope of finding a beautiful mirror and then paint it. You've inspired me!

Janice from My Vintage Shed - I would just like to thank you for the inspiration and courage to start my first blog.  I always find bits and pieces at the markets and I am never quite brave enough to take the next step or always too busy but thanks to you my New Year resolution is to start on clearing my shed out and making hopefully beautiful pieces.

I've received many, many more comments and emails from you and they mean a huge amount to me and they are the main reason I continue to write this blog. Anyway, I thought you might like to see who inspires me and who I turn to in order to discuss all things paint and vintage furniture. These people listed below are all generous with their advice, creative and talented. They have my full admiration.

annie Sloan chalk paint
via email from Annie Sloan
Annie Sloan - Annie has been painting furniture for many many years and writing books on decorating and of course making her own chalk paint (which you all probably know is now in Australia for sale). Several years ago when I first started painting furniture in earnest I bought her book "Creating the French Look". I am so inspired by Annie's no-nonsense practical approach and her eye for colour.

lilyfield life painted white furniture sydney custom painting french armoire

The armoire in my son's room I painted using Annie's step-by-step guidance in her book.  Obviously her armoire is much more beautiful than my piece and I didn't use dark wax to age it but it was great to have instruction and inspiration from a master. If you want to learn how to paint furniture or even perfect your skills, I recommend you follow Annie's blog and buy her books (and her paint!). I think one of my happiest blogging days was when I saw that Annie Sloan was following my blog and facebook page. Wow what a blast!

miss mustard seed

Miss Mustard Seed: Even more than Marian's talent for painting furniture and creating a raft of fans copying her pieces across the world (me included at times), I admire her incredible sense of industry and tremendous work effort. This woman just does not stop! Everything Marian does is done well and her's is the blog that I admire the most. I also love her photography, her sense of style and her ability to write a great tutorial. She is living the DIY dream  - she blogs, paints amazing furniture, writes tutorials for a host of websites, wrote her own book and now has her own line of paint. One day I will make it to Philadelphia to spend some time with her.  If you haven't yet bought her book, it's fabulous and worth it.

Marian's bird cabinet on the left and my "MMS-inspired" bird bookcase on the right

miss mustard seed bird dresser lilyfield life

and then there is Sandy...

Sandy paint me white furniture gold coast brisbane

Sandy from Paint Me White is a close friend of mine, met through blogging and out love for paint. We talk most weeks and I think she is very lovely, down to earth, hard working and extremely talented. She is going from strength to strength in her business. Sandy and I spend a lot of time discussing the ins and outs of different paint techniques, chalk paint, waxes, furniture we've found etc. She laughs when she calls me excited over particular pieces saying "I just knew you would understand why I'm so excited about this (old cabinet/whatever)". If you are interested in learning more about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and you live in travelling distance to the Gold Coast then sign up for one of Sandy's workshops. You will love her and her beautiful furniture.  (Or if you are not into DIY, just go and buy some of her furniture from her studio on the Gold Coast or the WAC in Brisbane).

sandy paint me white gold coast brisbane furniture chalk paint

Cassie from Primitive and Proper is a very prolific furniture painter and blogger with a real sense of fun that comes across in her writing as well as her colour choice.  She is BOLD! We have plans for a night of cocktails together someday. It will be a hoot.  Cassie's use of colour inspires me to use more than white, limed white and grey!  Check out her blog for some great makeovers.

cassie primitive proper chalk paint

Cassie's sense of fun comes through in her home d├ęcor.

cassie primitive proper blog

Another blogger who I admire is Amanda from Reloved Rubbish. See this post for her round up of 2012 furniture makeovers and you'll see why I love her work.

union jack chair makeover

I also have to add that I am thoroughly inspired by Ness of Marley & Lockyer but not for furniture painting. Ness is so creative and she lives her motto of "You only live once, live beautifully". You can purchase her beautiful creations here.

Marley and lockyer clay tags

So there you have it: some of the fabulous bloggers who I admire and am inspired by.

I would love to discover more talented people.

Leave a comment and link below of someone whose work or blog you love and who inspired you.

Fiona xx


  1. What a lovely post Fiona , paying homage to such talented ladies ! Last week I did the Annie Sloan paint workshop with Sandy from Paint Me White. It was a great morning & lovely to finally meet her after following her blog for a few years. Im so inspired now , I will be getting into all my painting projects I have had sitting in the garage for so long. I hadnt heard of Miss Mustard seed , so Im going over there to check it out now. Thankyou for sharing.
    Karyn x

  2. wow! thank you so much for including me in this round up of amazing ladies! i am honored and will celebrate it with a cheers to you.... til one day when we can cheers together!

  3. fiona, I agree all the wonderful blogs you have mentioned are truely inspiring, I frequently visit them all. It gives us small newbies motivation and enthusiasm to continue doing what we love. Your blog has always inspired me and todays post was like a furniture painters gourmet.
    have a great day!
    Bec x

  4. I admire all of you who have the time, skill and patience to reinvent these pieces with such love and devotion.

  5. What fabulous blogs there are around! I must say you did inspire me to finally do some painting and I have almost finished 3 pieces, however instead of painting them white, as I have done in the past, I painted one black (very industrial!) and the others putty! I must try to find Paint Me White's Gold Coast shop - I have been to her Brisbane one. Oh, and I love your wardrobe (lucky you for finding a good one) and shelves - good work! :-)

  6. It's not just your pictures that are inspiring, it's the whole attitude you bring to painting furniture, and revamping the old to create something new. You're gleeful about it, you make it something fun, and you encourage everyone to have a go. I've been on so many blogs where they talk in high-flown and patronising terms about how amazing their own skills are - and you feel that you can only stand back and admire like in a museum or something, without feeling like you have permission to try it, too. So, thank you!

  7. You are such a sweetheart Fiona. Thank you. I love seeing your painted pieces and the advice you give and I am so inspired to try the chalk paint...more so that wax!
    Thank you for inspiring everyone. There are so many ugly wooden pieces about that can be totally transformed for a few dollars and some of your know how. Even if it is a beautiful old wood piece, some of that aged wax and it will look straight out of France!!
    Ness xx

  8. Thank you for mentioning me among the talented women in your post. It is an inspiring post and I am honored that you included me.


Thanks for taking the time to comment! Sorry if you have trouble commenting, you can always email me at lilyfieldlife@bigpond.com