Thursday, July 30, 2015

3 ways to paint a coffee table

Hello Strangers!
Oh I have been painting up a furniture storm lately. Last week I had 13 pieces of painted furniture leave my studio and I also ran a furniture painting workshop so to actually sit down and write about it wasn't going to happen.  I'm here now though and I have four coffee tables to share. I painted them three different ways and it's amazing how different they look.

I bought four coffee tables recently - two matching pairs. I thought it was a great opportunity to paint them all a little differently. As the coffee tables were all brand new I decided to leave the tops timber and just paint the bases. When I do this to make it very neat I remove the top of the coffee table from the base so that I don't have to cut in and it keeps it all looking very professional. A bit of a hassle removing and replacing the top but I think the end result is worth it.

The first table was snapped up by Gail who had attended the furniture painting workshop and saw them all sitting unpainted in my carport. She asked me to paint it the same as a cabinet I had in my studio. A french country look in a beautiful greenish taupe.

I painted the details in white and then waxed and used an antiquing glaze I had made to darken the crevices. It was also slightly distressed for a soft hard rubbed look.

My neighbour's friend has asked me to keep an eye out for a square coffee table so I offered the first one to her. As it was going to live in a trendy inner city apartment we decided to paint the base a semi gloss black with the details rubbed back.

It's so hard to tell with these photos but in real life the rubbed back sections showed up a little better. Especially hard as I took the photos in the evening under overhead lights.

A facebook follower saw these and asked if I had any more coffee tables and yes I still had two more although they were slightly different.

Lisa asked for her base to be white and distressed. It looks so fresh and pretty this way.

I then had one more coffee table and due to the over whelming love for the french country one on my facebook page I decided to paint it in the french country theme again. It was bought very quickly.

So which is your favourite? I am still undecided as I honestly could have any of them here. My own coffee table still remains unpainted!  On my to do list :)

Fiona xx

Saturday, July 25, 2015

I swear I'm her number one fan...Laura Matthews moving sale

Years ago when I worked in the city when I needed a creative escape from the corporate-ness of my career, in my lunch break, I would go to little art galleries and soak in the beauty.  I completely and utterly fell in love with a painting by Laura Matthews called Pressure - I could not afford the painting but I still have a photo of it on my phone and still look at it from time to time. Anyway the years went by and I realised Laura's (then) studio was in Rozelle literally around the corner from my house so the next time she had an open studio I went along and introduced myself. I was such a fan and came across as so gushy and fan-like. Anyway we got on well, then over the next couple of months we bumped into each other at the supermarket, a cafe, in the street. I swear I wasn't stalking her...

Several years later I was in a position to be able to buy one of her beautiful art works that I have hanging in my dining room. It's my window to the countryside and I love it so much.  Her use of paint and layers amazes me. Phil and I are still such fans, as is everyone who comes to the house.

even had a feature in several magazines

Anyway fast forward many years, and I am now lucky to consider Laura as a lovely friend. She is moving studios next week and this weekend is having a final moving sale from her studio behind the red door in 1 National Street Rozelle. It's just tucked behind the Cook's Grocer and she will have the red flag out to welcome you.

I adore these ones below - who am i kidding I adore all of them :)

It is your chance to pickup an amazing painting at a great price. Look, I will admit that I tend to rave when I start talking about Laura's paintings but they really are hard to capture in a photo. I can guarantee that the trip to Rozelle this weekend will be worth it and she is a gorgeous person to meet anyway.

Let me know if you go, I'd love to hear what you think. Say hi to Laura for me or you might even catch me there..

Fiona xx

Friday, July 17, 2015

Embellish Atelier Rozelle front Window!

Catherine from Embellish Atelier in Rozelle contacted me recently saying she follows me on Instagram (@LilyfieldLife) and that she would like to feature some of my furniture in her front window. An artist in Residence. Would I be interested?

That would be a yes -  Not only does Catherine have a lovely shop filled with her amazing hat creations but it's right on Victoria Road by the bus stop so it is fantastic exposure for my painted furniture.

The sideboard is for sale so drop in sometime and see it or treat yourself to one of Catherine's creations.

I'm very grateful for this lovely opportunity
Fiona xx

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Black, Black and more Black Painted Furniture

Well the kids are happily back at school after lots of fun on the school holidays, the house is very quiet without them and I am back into the furniture painting. I have been working on a custom job for a lovely couple who are moving from their family home in Mosman to a place close by the beach in Manly. They have a lot of colourful furniture from their travels but in the new house they are having a monochromatic design so I have painted eight pieces for them in black and white.

This old desk had been stored in a shed for years and was fairly dirty and water damaged. I did a lot of sanding to prep it for paint. I love how it has been transformed with the black paint. Such a beautiful low sheen on these pieces. I'm very happy with how they have turned out. So are my clients fortunately :)

The chinoiserie console below will be used in the house's entry hall - it was a traditional red lacquer. I didn't take before photos of this job but I think everyone knows the style of these.

There were also three Balinese cogs that are used as side tables. These were timber and some needed fixing as the cog parts were loose. I just liquid nailed them in place. Pictured also is a huge bell that I spray painted black. The bell was red and blue and heavily distressed. Not the best photos of it all but those cogs weigh around 90 kilos each so I wasn't moving them far for a special photo.

These drums below were bright yellow with green and red on them - I handpainted a primer coat and then sprayed the top coats. there were many many coats of white paint to cover up all the strong yellow paint. These drums will have a glass top made for them and will be used as bedside tables in a white coastal style bedroom. When the house is all styled I'll hopefully be able to share some photos with you.

I also have some beautiful black bedside tables to share (already sold) but I'll leave that for another post. This weekend Phil and I will be making some quince paste from those quinces. Good to be able to fully utilise the photo props!

If you want to learn more about getting a beautiful finish with black paint read here.

how to paint furniture black like a pro

I'm off to have coffee with a vintage loving friend then to pickup a fantastic hall console from Paddington. I'm really excited about this piece - I've only seen it in photos but I think it's going to paint up very nicely.

Fiona xx

Monday, July 13, 2015

Painted French Furniture for House Styling

Late last Thursday night my friend Marg popped in to buy some furniture. Marg is a stylist and had a job on with some long term clients and she wanted some of my furniture for it. She bought quite a few things including a couple of pieces that I hadn't even started so I had a busy night and morning getting everything finished for Friday 2pm when she needed it for. I got it done in time but had sore hands by the end.

Deconstructed French accent chairs - Some people don't get these chairs - they think they need to be finished but the whole point of these is to show the beautiful antique hessian (under) seat. Personally I love them and they are even quite comfortable to sit in. As accent chairs (used in corners of rooms) it's not as though you would be sitting to long in them anyway.

Here, below, is one in the corner of the house that is being styled for sale. The house is quite modern so Marg wanted some of my furniture in it to soften it and add some authenticity to it.

Marg also wanted a neutral coloured chest of drawers to balance out a bright red doona cover on one of the beds. I actually had a vintage chest of drawers on original castors in my car so I hauled it out and started painting. I also reupholstered the little french chair below for another of the rooms in the house for sale. It originally had purple velvet that was so dirty on it.

Here's the chest of drawers in situ. Marg still has to style the room and when the for sale listing is up I'll share the professional photos with you.

The little chair I upholstered in vintage French ticking. I inherited a lot of material from my mum who was a keen quilter and I found this in the stash of fabrics.  I thought this would just be a quick job as i didn't want to paint the chair as the patina on the chair was beautiful. However the wadding of the chair was all lumpy so I ended up stripping the chair back to the frame and applying new webbing etc. It took a lot of time but the results were worth it. I could have kept this little chair as I love it. For the time I just used some of the fabric and made some welting out of it by folding, ironing and sewing it. The photo below is a little fuzzy but I really didn't have time to take good photos (actually edited to say if you click on the photo it will open clear - it's the upload display)- it was a morning of go, go, go.

So that was my Friday! Luckily the kids were booked into a cartoon drawing day so I could work freely. Friday morning, I also had a delivery of a van load of furniture (7 pieces) to paint black for a couple who live in Mosman and are designing a monochromatic house. I managed to start painting several pieces before the kids came home.  I tell you, I slept well Friday night .

So I'm almost fully out of stock now. I have a couple of pieces still for sale but not many. This week I am also taking the beautiful french sideboard I finished last week to Embellish Atelier in Rozelle where it will grace Catherine's front window. It's for sale and hopefully will bring me some exposure as her shop is right next to one of the area's busiest bus stops. I'm grateful for this wonderful opportunity for my furniture business.

Fiona xx

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Vintage French Sideboard before and after

The school holidays are drawing to a close and I feel that I've barely seen my kids with this last week taken up with basketball camp and the week before they had lots of social activities. Today, though, we've enjoyed a lovely quiet day together and this afternoon have snuggled up on the couch watching a movie. Such a treat.

This morning I finished a piece I've had waiting to be painted for ages. I painted this beautiful old French breakfront sideboard - with serpentine drawers - in a soft grey and I used white for the details as I so often do. The piece has been waxed for a silky smooth finish.

This sideboard is very old and has a few small bits of damage as you could expect of something of it's age. There are some chips to the timber flange on the top and also at some stage of its life there has been some damage to it's legs but that's all been repaired long before my time and it's structurally sound now. Solid timber and with beautiful details. This piece is a perfect statement piece for your home.

It's for sale  - please email me on for details and photos.

and before:

I lvoe these grand old pieces - wearing their history and age with pride!

Fiona xx

Friday, July 3, 2015

ASCP Duck Egg inspiration

We are just back from an early morning walk along the bay and my ears are freezing! I think however it's going to be another beautiful day. Clear skies and sunshine!

Having painted the turquoise piece yesterday and lots of people thinking it was ASCP Duck Egg, it got me thinking about furniture painted in that lovely colour. I haven't actually kept any pieces in Duck Egg for my own home but I do like it as a pop of colour. I think it's a colour that probably looks better in beachy coastal houses. I'm sure that some colours have popularity on a location basis.

I've put together some Duck Inspiration for you.
I'd love to know what you think of this colour in your homes.

My painted furniture - DUCK EGG

Other's painted Furniture - DUCK EGG

via doodles and stitches
via pinterest

Looking at these photos I think next time I will pair Duck Egg with white for a lovely crisp fresh look.

Are you a fan?
Anything Duck Egg at your house?

Fiona xx

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Rustic Turquoise cabinet

The other night I came across a cute little cupboard on Gumtree that was really similar to one I painted late last year. These are such practical little cupboards that have so many uses and great storage with the drawers and cupboard. Last time I painted it in ASCP Duck Egg and this time I decided to go a bit brighter with a turquoise.

Here's the one I did last year - less detail on the drawers but otherwise the same.

Turquoise rustic cupboard and 4 drawers.

I loved how the last one turned out and as it's freezing in Sydney today and I need some warmth, I decided that I would paint similarly. A great pop of colour for your home.

Turquoise rustic cupboard and 4 drawers.

Turquoise rustic cupboard and 4 drawers. Solid timber. Dimensions 60cm wide by 43 cm deep by 74cm tall. Perfect for a big bedside, lamp table, hallway: great for a pop of colour in any spot really. $325 pickup Lilyfield.

I'm currently also working on a beautiful sideboard that I hope to finish in the next few days. It has such a great shape and I'm really enjoying painting it and giving it a new lease on life. I'm looking forward to sharing it with you.

Fiona xx

Turquoise rustic cupboard and 4 drawers.