Thursday, May 9, 2013

a little Cabinet in French Country Style

I have been painting some of my finds from last week and really enjoying the shape of the beautiful furniture. This little cabinet was made in Italy and imported to Australia. I think it is such a sweet practical piece and have enjoyed making it over in a French Country style. 

If you want to see my inspiration for French Country style, see this post. I just love this two toned look - a mix of classic neutral and white. I find it very pleasing to the eye and interesting without being too bold and showy.

French hand painted furniture Sydney

I painted the entire cabinet with two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk paint in French Linen and then painted the trim with ASCP Pure White. When painting the trim i just did it quite quickly and not in a thick coat - almost dry brushing it. I then got a slightly damp cloth and distressed the trim so some of the wood peaked through.

French hand painted furniture Sydney

Once the paint was dry, I gave the whole cabinet a coat of clear wax (I used Howard's Feed N Wax), lightly sanded it then set to with the Annie Sloan Dark wax to antique it - I think I am improving with this process. See my earlier attempt here on my little bookshelf makeover.  My husband hates this antiqued effect , he doesn't like how it looks old (you've got to laugh..."yes, babe, that's what I was aiming for") but I am growing to like it.

French hand painted cabinet furniture sydney Lilyfield Life

I used two of the vintage porcelain crackle handles that are made in Limoges, France from my precious stash. I love how the colours of the handles perfectly match the paint.  I've got to sidetrack here for the moment because every time I write Limoges, I have great memories of a hilarious car trip with two girlfriends when I was 26 -  we spent a month driving though France and Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, Belgium and ending up in Amsterdam. Anyway one day we'd started the morning doing a le Mans start in Le Mans (as you do) and then travelled south only to get very lost in the outskirts of Limoges, probably because we were young, silly, hungover and laughing too much. Anyway we finally found our way out of the maze of roads and spent a pleasant few days in the beautiful Dordogne Valley. The markets there are too die for. I definitely want to go back someday.

Anyway back to the handles - I bought about 40 of these for a very good price on eBay as someone was doing up their French Provincial kitchen into a modern style and didn't want them any more. I don't understand those choices but I love a bargain like that. Thank you.

This cabinet is for sale and has great storage with the shelf and then a spacious cupboard below. It is actually on little under mounted wheels so moves easily but these can be removed if you don't want them. Dimensions are 80cm tall, 80 cm high and 40cm deep. Message me if you are interested.

I will have a few more pieces coming up over the next few days so don't forget to check back or please share my blog or facebook page with your friends if you know anyone looking for furniture - I really appreciate your support.

by the by - does anyone know how to empty the water out of these old siphons?

vintage homewares sydney
john downton paintin

happy days to you all
Fiona xx

Cabinet- bought at auction
Paint - Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen (I bought last year in America)
Trim done in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White (provided to me by Annie Sloan)
Clear Wax - Howards Feed n Wax
Dark Wax -  Annie Sloan Dark Wax (provided to me by Annie Sloan)
Framed Painting - by John Downton of Quandolo Point, near my hometown
Vintage Siphon - my parents
Glass Cloche and Candlestick - Bed, Bath n Table, The Works
the little iron birds were a gift
the Pure Merino wool cable knit throw I bought on sale from Themes, when it was shutting down


  1. Gorgeous as always Fiona. Love hearing about travel tales too x

  2. love the color,simple understated details, and the hardware!

  3. Fiona, I love the styling you have done with the cabinet as much as I love how you have painted it. It is so beautiful. Thank you for writing about how you achieved this look also.
    I agree I love hearing more about you and your travel tales
    Beth x

  4. What a lovely piece! Love the French gray and white. Gorgeous detail in those knobs too!

    You are a powerhouse of painting furniture. x :)

  5. You've done a really beautiful job in this one. Well done. I think you've nailed the French Country look!
    have a lovely day,

    1. thank you - this piece has really grown on me as it's sat in my hallway. I will have to try this again.

  6. Looks beautiful Fiona - I love how you done the highlighted bits in another colour.

  7. Simply divine - your work just gets better and better
    love Mary

  8. You have done a beautiful "French" job. Must remember to keep a closer eye on ebay for interesting finds!

  9. What a bargain with your knobs! They are perfect for this cabinet. I love how you have shared the process and where pu got everything. Thanks. I am sure this one will o quickly

    1. I love these knobs, Kirrily, they were a great find.
      much appreciated.

  10. Beautiful! I have used this paint before.. such a lovely color. The knobs are perfect!

  11. So.... I have this sideboard that would look just perfect made over like this.... ;-) xx

    1. You want me to come over and do it? very happy to - you can pour me wine and we can chat while I paint!

  12. Wow - you are the master! That is magnificent. Love the paint colour you chose and the finish is beautiful. Lovely styling and photos too. You put me to shame!

  13. I once asked that same soda siphon question in an antique shop and was told, you live with it! I have lived with it. No mould or grottiness has eventuated thank goodness.

    1. thanks Veronica - this bottle has had water in it for years so i'm sure won't go mouldy - i just thought it would be good to clear it pout but yes I can live with it.
      thanks for your lovely comments

  14. so tranquil and charming.

    visiting via MMS and would love to have you come visit us back

    have a wonderful weekend, lovely blogger.


  15. Great looking chest, Fiona! It seems like a versatile piece and I love the colors you used on it.

  16. Gorgeous finish in the chest, so pretty. Such a great piece that can be used anywhere. I would love for you to link up to my Inspire Me party that is ongoing. - - - - Hugs, Marty

  17. Thanks for this very useful info you have provided us. I will bookmark this for future reference and refer it to my friends. More power to your blog


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