Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Another year of painted furniture

2016 has been my busiest year ever. Over 325 pieces painted this year, all with love and care. Who would have thought this is where life would lead me but I'm so happy doing this business.  A big thank you to all my customers and supporters. Thank you for still reading here and all the lovely comments and emails I receive. 

Here's a little compilation of (most of) my painted furniture from this year. Love to hear what you think.

I've been making plans for 2017 and am working on some paint finishes workshops. I'll announce details soon.

Lilyfield life french sideboard

In the meantime we are enjoying some quiet time at home and the beach. (And I am resting and ice-ing a very sore shoulder - my painting arm so I am taking good care of it. Not from kayaking but not helped by kayaking either)

lilyfield life french console table

Enjoy your day.
Thanks once again for being here. 
I just love hearing from you all.
Fiona xx

Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas, Kayak, Wine Table

Merry Christmas from my family to yours.

Merry Christmas

Hope you had a brilliant day. We spent the day with Phil's parents and his sisters. Early to the beach for a swim, snorkel and a beach BBQ breakfast. Later in the morning we walked around the cove to grab a coffee and while we were waiting I jumped into the water for another quick swim and I was floating out in the water, looking back at my family and the cafe and all the people onshore enjoying the beautiful day and beach and thought How lucky are we in Australia?

We have a Christmas tradition of spending the morning at Shelly beach. It really is my happy place and means we are all nice and relaxed before Christmas lunch. We always have some friends or family join us and everyone loves it. Not sure I'd make it through Christmas day without it :)

Phil bought me a kayak for Christmas - although we didn't take it to the beach on Christmas morning. I think the first time we load it onto the car there might be some stress and cross words involved and we didn't need to do that in front of Phil's parents on Christmas morning so we will wait till later today when we are by ourselves and not rushed to take it for a maiden voyage :)

excuse my crazy hair :)
I have wanted a kayak since I was in my early 20s and Phil said if I didn't get one now I probably never would. I can't wait to use it. There might be less furniture getting painted next year....

Look at these beautiful cupcakes Sasha made for Christmas. These are Nigella's Christmas cupcakes and there were delicious. The icing is amazing - a soft royal meringue icing - nice and bright white. Nigella uses cranberries and fondant for the berries and leaves but Sasha used red raspberry lollies and french mint leaves from the garden. So Christmassy.

Here's my last piece of painted furniture for the year. I painted this vintage wine table for my lovely mother in law's Christmas present. She always is so supportive of my business and complimentary and she loves the french putty grey colour I use so when I found this table I thought it would be the perfect gift for her.

Lilyfield Life - painted wine table

 She loved it.

Hope you had a great day also and enjoy these nice post-Christmas days. I always love this time of year best.

Fiona xx

Thursday, December 22, 2016

French style consoles, the beach, Christmas carols

Good morning. 
Who is getting excited for Christmas? 
Do you have kids who are?
Today I am hoping to finish up the last of my Christmas shopping and finish painting a piece that I'm giving someone for Christmas so it's one I'll share after I've given it. I'v mad a checklist and slowly ticking off everything that needs to be done. I'll get Sasha to start some baking (gingerbread cookies - wait till you see what our plan is) and we are also catching up with my sister this morning to organise a Christmas eve family lunch on the beach. Lots of good things ahead. 

catherine hill bay beach australia

My beautiful friend, Leanne, and her family are up the coast this week at Catherine Hill Bay - such a quaint little town (no shops and an old mining town right on this beautiful beach). Yesterday I had an epiphany that my Christmas prep and work will just expand to what ever time I allow and it won't really matter if I don't get everything done. What will matter is if I'm stressed or if I'm happy, relaxed and pleasant to be around. Boom that realization is just so liberating the kids and I drove up to spend the afternoon on the beach with our friends. 

oh it was so good.

We went to Christmas carols the other night at Five Dock. We always enjoy it there. Relatively easy to get a park and find a spot to sit, lovely carols and a family friendly evening.  We bought these little candle torches they sell on the evening. Way better than having real candles. 

christmas carols

christmas carols

I remember setting a friend's hair alight as a kid with a real candle while we were singing carols. It was when I was at boarding school and every year the boarders formed a choir and we walked in procession holding real candles. The girl in front of me had really thick long hair and boinged out from her head. The flame from my candle just leapt forward and whooshed up her hair burning a big section. I nearly died. I quickly patted it out and the girl turned and said what are you doing? I just told her she had a fly in her hair and I was brushing it away as I didn't want to freak her out as we were walking on stage although the smell was terrible. I'm sure I owned up to it later :)

Anyway I love these battery operated candles, no accidents and look how good they look on my mantle now. 

french fireplace Lilyfield Life

On the furniture painting front, I did finish (and already sell) these two beautiful console tables. Consoles are some of my favourite pieces to paint and to use in a home. Just a nice little piece to accent a room - pop an ornament and some flowers on and instant elegance in your room.

Lilyfield Life french console table

Lilyfield Life french console table

Enjoy your day, stay sane
Fiona xx

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Almost Christmas and Available Pieces

Good morning! I hope you are all feeling almost ready for Christmas. I still have a fair bit to do but am trying to quell the panic feeling inside my chest. I hate that Christmas puts so much pressure on our society (both in preparation and financially). I've been trying to make it simpler but it's not always possible when you take into account people around you who love a big Christmas and full on present giving. Oh well, I'm sure it will all be lovely on the day. I'm trying to make sure I am calm and happy and pleasant to be around :) I've also been taking some time to decorate the house in between work and kids.

The hallway looks good at least. Took me a while to scrub off paint that I've tracked from my studio on my feet. 

We are having Christmas lunch here with Phil's family then my sister and kids are joining us for dessert - after the morning at the beach. Always my favourite way to spend Christmas morning. 

I have a few pieces of furniture still available - last pieces for 2016. Please contact me if you are interested via email or find LilyfieldLife on facebook or Instagram.

Lovely French style console: painted in a soft grey chalk paint and black top. Fluted legs. Solid timber. Single drawer. Gorgeous fleur de lis handle 
105w x 36d x 86h cm

A lovely vintage piece painted in a custom mix greige ASCP and waxed finish. A little chip/damage on a drawer corner (middle drawer, left bottom corner, not perfect but not structural) All drawers dovetailed and slide smoothly. Gorgeous detail and original hardware. 
95w x 45d x 87h cm

Gorgeous old rustic pine cabinet. Beautiful tongue and groove planks. So lovely. Would work well well in all rooms of your house. (Even as a baby's change table due to a slight lip on the top.) Painted in ASCP old white and gently distressed. Waxed finish. 
See photo in comments for interior: one fixed shelf.
73w x 44d x 90h

Lovely cedar backing board turned coat hook shelf unit. Solid cedar timber painted in a beautiful French putty green grey. Rustic and distressed. Three large double hooks.
125w x 15d x 48h cm
Pickup Lilyfield

Good luck with all your preparations. Have a good week
Fiona xx

Monday, November 28, 2016

What can I use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint On?

I am always getting asked 

Can I paint 
previously painted timber
rusty metal
lamp shade

with Annie Sloan Chalk paint?

So I've put a list of blog posts of different materials where I have used (or seen used) ASCP and love the results.

Timber Furniture

Almost all the furniture pieces I buy are unpainted timber. If it is high gloss varnish, Balinese, or a piece i know to bleed I will sand gently using a medium grit sandpaper such as 220 grit and I will also often use Zinsser BIN shellac primer. This may seem a pain and an extra step but it will save you a lot of hassle in the long run. 

Previously Painted Timber

I don't really like painting over previously painted furniture - it means I have to deal with someone else's painting which isn't often the best. I will almost always give the piece a very good sand to make the surface very smooth ready for my paint. If the previous paint is very chipped I think that you are better to fully strip off the old paint.

This armoire was very yellow dated paint so I sanded it back and gave it a wash of ASCP Old Ochre -it made a massive difference - looks beautiful now. Annie Sloan Chalk paint can be painted over oil paint as well as water based paints and it is one of the few paints that will adhere over previously waxed surfaces.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on (Rusty) Metal

Depending on how rusty your metal is you might like to use a product such as Ranex Rust Buster first. You can then just paint the chalk paint directly onto the metal. It really has great adhesion. I've used it on many pieces and years later they still look great.

Remember if your piece lives outside then you shouldn't wax: either leave it unwaxed or use a clear coat sealer. 

Details on this chair setting make over on the link below - so beautiful. Hard to believe they were the same pieces.


Treat laminate the same as high gloss varnished furniture - gently sand with medium grit sand paper then paint your heart out!


This is one of my favourite quick makeovers and I keep this vase in my bathroom still. After years of use and splashing etc it still looks exactly the same.

Leather and Vinyl

I think these work exactly the same and ASCP works perfectly on these fabrics. I have done many vinyl chairs and years later they still look beautiful after everyday use.


Painting fabric works well with watered down ASCP. It does change the feel of the fabric - a bit firmer and stiffer. I have painted fabric chairs and they feel like canvas after painting, sanding and waxing them.

Annie Sloan (and probably a gazillion other people) use her paint to dye fabric. Read her for instructions on dying fabric.


Personally I haven't painted velvet with ASCP and I'm not 100% convinced - but I have seen it done. If you do it correctly then the velvet feels a little stiff but not horrible. I would do this first on a piece you don't care about. Just to make sure you don't hate it :)

My friend Sandy from Paint Me White has written a blog post about how to paint velvet - you can read it here.

Lamp Shade

Why not try painting a dated lamp shade -  Annie Sloan suggests to always paint with the light bulb on so you can see the brush marks you are creating, and to make it opaque. Don't electrocute yourself...


I've painted plastic mirrors - works brilliantly. Just paint normally.  I think from memory this mirror was plastic. 

I know a lot of people paint their kitchen cabinetry with it - personally I wouldn't because I don't want to have a waxed surface in the kitchen or bathroom but if you want to do it then there are loads of people who have done this and love it. I also heard some crazy people talking about painting their car with it, or painting their carpet with it. really? I think that's stretching it. I'm a fan but not fan gurl crazy :)
I recently got kicked out of a facebook Annie Sloan forum that is run by american stockists for advising a lady not paint her skirting boards in Annie Sloan. Who wants to wax all their trim and skirting boards, and can you imagine how dirty they would be if left matte. Apparently those american stockist can't take any realistic feedback. Even when I said I love the paint, love Annie Sloan and paint around 300 pieces a year in ASCP. Those crazy American fan gurls.
Anything else you've painted with ASCP?

Anyway such a great paint.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A little French style sideboard and some vintage paintings

I recently listed a load of furniture on social media unpainted but available for custom painting.  Fiona bought this lovely old sideboard and asked for it in a pale grey with white trim. I've done this look so many time before and I always absolutely love it. 

french style sideboard painted in ASCP chalk paint by Lilyfield Life

The interior is painted a beautiful duck egg (Dulux semi gloss for easy cleaning).

french style sideboard painted in ASCP chalk paint by Lilyfield Life

and before I painted it - beautiful condition but way too orange for my liking. 

french style sideboard painted in ASCP chalk paint by Lilyfield Life

I've decided to sell some beautiful artworks that I've been collecting. I'll generally be listing them displayed above furniture that is for sale or that's been sold and custom painted rather than hosting an art sale only. Today I have a lovely oil painting - beautiful poppies. Field of Flowers by Lyn Hess, oil on canvas on board, signed by artist.
49.5 X 59.5 cm
Pickup Lilyfield 

Poppies vintage artwork Lilyfield Life

Poppies vintage artwork Lilyfield Life

I have a beautiful collection of vintage paintings - there's a couple I think I will want to keep for a while at least. Stay tuned.  Have a lovely weekend.

Fiona xx

french style sideboard painted in ASCP chalk paint by Lilyfield Life