Thursday, March 20, 2014


Do you follow FatMumSlim on Instagram and if so, do you partake in the #fmsphotoaday? I am a bit hit-and-miss with it to be honest. Sometimes I'll look at the day's topic and snap a pic but often I don't get around to it. However on Tuesday, I saw that the topic was #fiveyearsago and it got me thinking about what I was actually doing five years ago. I hadn't started painting furniture and had never thought  about having a blog. Actually I probably was hard pressed to know what a blog was.

I had painted some furniture (white of course!) in our house and lots of walls and skirtings and a bank of built in cabinetry for our lounge room but I certainly didn't know anything near what I know now. I had two little kids, one still at home and one in Kindergarten and was definitely not concerned about making my house pretty - making it clean was a big enough stretch.

My main work at the time was my business consultancy and the odd project management gig. I still do both things now but I never look for work in that field (but never turn it down when it comes my way either) so it's very sporadic but enjoyable when I do it.

Funny how you can totally change your life and your career in a relatively short space of time. Five years ago, I was not furniture obsessed at all and hadn't started Lilyfield Life. I am so grateful to have found a passion that I'm good at, to be able to earn a living from and to be able to work flexibly from home so I can be with my kids after school. 

Thank you to all my customers and supporters. I am very grateful every day.

By the way, today is International Happiness Day, go do something that makes you happy even if it's just taking time out for a cup of coffee in the sunshine or cuddling your kids a little longer than normal.

Fiona xx

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Another pair of bedside tables!

I started painting these more ornately but then they decided to tell me they wanted to be all white...they could have told me before I'd painted two coats of a darker colour. 

Saying that, I think the white is perfect. These are such pretty and practical bedside tables. Good sized drawers for lots of storage, which if you are like me in an old house, you can never get enough of. Do we just own too many possessions these days? Obviously yes.  Our own bedside tables store our clothes that don't fit into our wardrobe. I've got mine jam-packed with painting clothes...which are kind of overtaking my whole wardrobe. Paint on everything these days.

I love the mouldings on these drawers - such a great shape. they are painted white with just very light distressing. If you wanted more you could easily sand off more paint and make it more dramatic. I'll leave it up to the buyer.

These have now been sold.

you can't really go past a white painted bedside table can you?

cheers Fiona

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Weathered Wash Finish French Chest of Drawers

This is one of those pieces that I could have easily sold unpainted as the before was lovely - a few scratches but definitely in very good vintage condition. It had matching bedside tables that were in almost perfect condition and I sold those unpainted as is and my friend who bought them was delighted and when she saw this wanted it as well but I had already sold it to Karen, who has been after a Lilyfield Life piece for a while. I actually had 5 people wanting to buy this French style chest of nine drawers - they are always very popular. So pretty and practical.

Here is the before photo of the drawers

and the after

Aren't the dahlias beautiful also.  So bold and bright - the perfect pop of colour against the muted grey of the drawers.

To get this lovely soft paint effect, I first cleaned the cabinet, removed all the hardware, lightly sanded then I painted the chest in ASCP French Linen and then waxed and washed with ASCP Pure White, wiping the damp paint off with a brush and rag as I went to get it a driftwood weathered effect. I then sanded and waxed again for extra smoothness and durability. The handles are painted white very lightly and waxed, pulling off some paint to show the metal.

One of my favourite things about this chest of drawers beside the beautiful scalloped front is the little jewellery receptacle in the centre top drawer. 

Karen bought this with the intention of putting it into her youngest two kids' room but when she saw the finished piece she has decided to rearrange her won bedroom to keep it herself. I would be doing that also!

Karen and her family drove from country NSW to pick up this beauty on Sunday and got caught going home in a big storm but luckily the piece was wrapped with about every spare blanket and towel Karen owned and they stopped about bought a tarp so it arrived home to Forbes all safe and dry. I'll look forward to seeing a photo sometime down the track when Karen has it all set up in her bedroom.

I've got lots of projects this week and 11 pieces of furniture in the next few weeks coming for custom paint jobs. I love that this little business of mine is growing and growing. I've got you all to thank for that and I'm ever appreciative.

Fiona xx

Sharing at Miss Mustard SeedFrugal FridayFrench country cottage

Friday, March 14, 2014

Painting ornate details - Antique French Bedside tables

When I showed photos of these beautiful bedside tables I finished painting on Wednesday, I had several people email and comment asking how do I paint the white detail.

I think adding a contrasting colour to the details makes the ornate furniture look a little bit extra special and gives the furniture a unique look. I paint the whole piece the base colour with my normal paint brushes and then with a small flat head artists' brush I paint the white on using a steady hand. I give it two  coats of white to ensure a relatively good opaqueness. If you want to achieve this look, do some research on old french furniture that have this two toned effete and you will find that you don't need to be perfectly neat. You don't want your furniture to look like it was mass produced in a factory (well I don't anyway!). My aim with painting these beautiful old pieces to to make them look like they were painted years ago in Europe and that they have an authentic look to them.

You can see from the photo above the difference the white paint makes. It lifts the whole piece, I think.  Adding the dark wax to antique it adds an even further air of authenticity. Below I've shown some detailed photos. You can see that the white detailing is not factory finish but from a normal viewing distance it looks beautiful.

Someone commented on Instagram that they would be scared to paint the detail a contrasting colour in case they ruined the whole piece. I say, it's only paint. If you make a mistake or don't like the effect you've achieved then just paint over it. As you get more experienced painting the details you will get better at making it look authentic. Take you time and use a steady hand. I find that sitting down while painting the trim helps a lot also.

These bedsides sold pretty much immediately from my facebook page and I then had three other people asking to be next in line so they certainly were popular. With their pretty legs, concave fronts and muted paint work I can understand why.

As well as dark wax you could also use an antique glaze on the details to age them.  These methods for aging the paint really soften the piece and make it very pretty.

Do you like the effect? Have you painted this french look before? Love to hear how you go about it also.

Fiona x

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

French style grey console

I have several projects on the go at the moment and am enjoying painting such pretty pieces. In the next few weeks I'll be doing a lot of custom paint jobs - transforming some pieces that people thought they would throw away until they found my work and I'm delighted to be able to help them make these old treasures better suit their homes.

The latest piece I have finished and it is now ready for sale is a lovely console. This would look fabulous in a hallway or lounge room. 

A gustavian grey console with grey/white washed top.
It's very pretty and you can see the timber grain through the paint. 
 Two drawers and shelf for good storage.
Dimensions are 112cm wide, 55cm deep and 82cm tall
For sale: email me for details or to inspect.

I need to clear some space so I have several other pieces for sale at great prices. Check out my for sale page for more details

Details of this piece are: 
Paris Grey and Pure White ASCP
ASCP Clear Wax


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Painted furniture projects

Here is a little peek at what I've got in the works at the moment. Lots going on here but not a lot all finished yet.

Beautiful antique french bedside tables:
Painted in a soft grey chalk paint with white trim and dark wax to give them an authentic antique look. The right one is finished, the left one still needs the detail painted and the waxing to be completed. These will be for sale soon.

A pair of large Queen Anne bedsides paint in a lovely French taupe chalk paint. I added the timber moulding to the front to make these a little more pretty. I am still to decide how i will finish them. My initial plan was t paint a white trim around the drawer and door and to highlight the moulding in white also but I kind of like them as they are. These are a fantastic size and offer very good storage also. These have already been sold.

I'm still working on the beautiful console table with carved legs and serpentine sides. I have this in my bedroom at the moment and love it there. I can just imagine sitting down at this to work in front of the window. I still needs to the top be painted as there was a crack in the timber and I've filled it and sanded it but not painted it.

I am finally finishing this beautiful tall mirror.

I also have two fantastic hall tables and another pair of three drawer bedside tables with lovely carvings on the front to paint. 

Lots going happy woman here.

How's it with you?

Fiona x

Monday, March 3, 2014

Enormous chalkboard

I've had this large frame sitting half finished in the corner of my dining room for months now. I can't even remember what picture was in it- a yellow canvas of some sort. The frame was originally gold with several chips so I painted it ASCP duck egg blue and added white to the detail then antiqued it with clear and dark wax. 

and below is where it sat half finished for months in my dining room. Too many half finished projects. Some times I'm a bit like a butterfly drawn to the light of new projects...leaving others half finished. This week I'm making a concerted effort to finish them.

 Originally I was going up keep this myself for when a shop for Lilyfield Life became available through Renew Australia but that is still dragging on and so I'm offering it for sale. SOLD. It's 140cm by 80cm. It is ready to hang.

Fiona xx