Two Toned Effect – Upcycled Oak Bookcase – Pierre

I bought this old oak (very heavy) bookshelf from a local vide grenier (loft clearance) in my local town. It was battered with bits missing; just how I like them. I was told that it belonged to the sellers grand-père (grandad). 

Two Toned Upcycled Oak Bookcase - Autentico Antique Turquoise

We were also told that the shelf had been treated for woodworm, which was confirmed when we were driving home and with all the windows open the smell was still unbearable.

I decided to name the piece ‘Pierre’. I decided to use a two-tone effect paint method, which uses two contrasting colours together.  For the base coat I applied Autentico’s Antique White inside and out.

I also used another method; dabbing glue onto various areas, which acts as a mask for the top layer. The idea is that it gives you an effect of aging, which would be hard to get with using just sandpaper. You can also use this method to achieve the chipping look. You can layer the technique between different coloured coats and that gives the impression that paint has been worked lose over the years. So, I applied the glue onto the Antique White in various areas, ideally around the edges inwards and other places of wear and tear.

Two Toned Upcycled Oak Bookcase - Autentico Antique Turquoise

The Antique White had gone into some of the damaged areas and some were left exposed, with the dark oak still showing through. I wanted to respect and enhance the age of Pierre, rather than just paint it flat. I painted the top coat with Autentico Antique Turquoise (I love this colour), but left the inside white to show the contrast. I thought I could always repaint if I  did not like the final result.

Two Toned Upcycled Oak Bookcase - Autentico Antique Turquoise - Chippy Look

Two Toned Upcycled Oak Bookcase - Autentico Antique Turquoise - Chippy Look

Two Toned Upcycled Oak Bookcase - Autentico Antique Turquoise - Chippy Look

Two Toned Upcycled Oak Bookcase - Autentico Antique Turquoise - Chippy Look

When it was dry, I rubbed the glue areas off to bring through some of the white (see below image). I then sanded the edges and where the glue had been to blend in.

I used a brown dark wax to enhance some of the edges to age them further and clear wax over the whole bookcase to seal, protect and enhance the colour.

 

I love the white peeking through the detail in different places and I think Pierre will look great in my new training room. More pictures to follow 🙂


1950s Side Table – George

After reading another blogger, who names her furniture pieces, I decided that this was a bit of fun and adds some personality and individuality to the items. So, rather than just calling it ‘a side table’, this little 1950s piece has been named ‘George’.

Anyhow, George was in a bit of a state and needed something doing to it but I just could not work out what. I stared at it every night, wondering what to do. Now, George could have been painted any colour and would have looked fantastic but he lives in my lounge, which is rustic with brown leather sofas, cream and burgundy walls. So, I was restricted as to what colours to use. Antique Cream would not have looked right nor would Grey. Burgundy would have been overkill with the walls. I did decide however, that whatever the colour, the top needed to stay natural wood, as it matched the colours in the room perfectly.

So, George finally went from the lounge to my workshop and there he sat for a few more days. I then stripped the thick varnish from the top with Autentico Bio Strip.

1950s Upcycled Side Table - Autentico Bio-Stip

Starting to apply first coat of Autentico Bio-Strip

I had seen Bio-Strip demonstrated at my Autentico Stockist day and knew it worked well on chalk paint. But I was pleasantly surprised at what an easy job it made of removing the very thick coat of varnish.

1950s Upcycled Side Table - Autentico Bio-Strip

Varnish coming away after first coat – Autentico Bio-Strip

I applied two coats of Bio Strip and, voila, all the varnish was gone. What is even more impressive is that this product is water-based and free of solvents.

1950s Upcycled Side Table - Autentico Bio-Stip

Applying first coat of Dark Wax to natural wood

Once the top was dry and cleaned, I applied two coats of dark brown wax and now I absolutely love the finish. I always try and keep a balance of natural and painted wood, so I was really pleased that this worked so well.

1950s Upcycled Side Table - Autentico Bio-Stip

Top of table with two coats of Dark Wax

I finally chose a colour and applied one coat of Annie Sloan Coco to the base. I bought this pot when she first launched her range of chalk paint and thought the colour worked really well, in contrast to the natural dark wood top. I sanded down the edges and corners for a slightly distressed look and applied dark brown wax to highlight the grain of the wood.  To finish and seal, I applied Autentico Clear Wax, which added more depth to the finish.

1950s Upcycled Side Table - Autentico Bio-Strip

Side view

1950s Upcycled Side Table - Autentico Bio-Strip

Side View

1950s Upcycled Side Table - Autentico Bio-StripI also used the Bio Strip inside the drawer, as there were various old sweets stuck and dried on it. Again, I left the product on for a few minutes and it scraped off easily. I then lined the drawer with a napkin that had lots of brown tones.

1950s Upcycled Side Table - Autentico Bio-Strip

Drawer lined with a flower napkin

I dressed George with one of my upcycled jars, decorated with a French Café and Legumes typography transfer and added a little bouquet for good measure.

1950s Upcycled Side Table - Autentico Bio-Strip - Upcycled jar decorated - French café and legumes typography transfer

Upcycled jar decorated with French ‘Café and Legumes’ typography transfer

George is now ‘part of the furniture’, as they say, and just perfect for my cuppa in my lounge 🙂


Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best upcycled of them all…

I love mirrors and frames (I have far too many), in any shape of size and even better, I love to buy some cheap, old, unwanted and ugly frames and turn them into a creative masterpiece.

I will be selling a range of frames and mirrors and I have been preparing different frames, using a range of different painting and aging techniques. I will use these to demonstrate in my new workshops in Advanced Paint Techniques and Upcycling Mirror and Frames, starting soon. (add dates)

Nautique

Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Ornate Gold Mirror Makeover This was an old, gold, plastic, ornate picture frame that just needed to come home with me from a ‘Vide Grenier (loft clearance sale). The picture would not come off, so I painted that as well, although I feel that eventually, this picture frame is destined to become a chalk board.Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Ornate Gold Mirror Makeover

I painted the outer rim with Autentico Nautique (my favourite colour at the moment) – you can read about more projects using Nautique here

Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Ornate Gold Mirror Makeover

I then painted the inner border with Autentico Antique White.  Once dry, I used a ‘dry brushing’ technique (a minimal amount of paint on the brush) and brushed some Antique White into the detail and various places around the frame. I sanded in places to bring back some of the gold.

Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Ornate Gold Mirror Makeover Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Ornate Gold Mirror Makeover

I then applied a lot of Autentico Anthracite Wax and really pushed the brush in the frame to ensure getting into all the little grooves. I used a kitchen paper towel with a little clear wax to rub off the dark wax and bring some of the white detail back.

Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Ornate Gold Mirror Makeover

I love it and I think it would have looked good in any colour, to be honest. Who knows. Perhaps I will experiment with another technique and my next favourite colour.

Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Ornate Gold Mirror Makeover

 

Bright Turquoise

UPCYCLED ORNATE AUTENTICO BRIGHT TURQUOISE MIRRORI saw this cute little mirror and how beautiful it was with its ornate swirls.

UPCYCLED ORNATE AUTENTICO BRIGHT TURQUOISE MIRROR

I used a variety of techniques on this little gem.  First I painted with one coat of Autentico Bright Turquoise and then dabbed on some Autentico Glaze, mixed with a little black acrylic in places, to highlight some of the detail. I also dabbed on some Antique White in various places to highlight the detail and then sanded back to reveal some of the gold underneath. I finished off by using Authentico Clear Wax to enhance and seal the colour.

UPCYCLED ORNATE AUTENTICO BRIGHT TURQUOISE MIRROR

I was so pleased how this cute little mirror came out and will definitely replicate the technique with some larger mirrors and ornate frames. The colours make the mirror look like aged metal and gives it a sense of being a rustic, gothic, antique look.

Antique Rose

UPCYCLED ORNATE AUTENTICO CHALK PAINT ANTIIQUE ROSE MIRRORI was itching to find something to try out this stunning new colour on and found the perfect example. I used Autentico Antique Rose, along with the Autentico Craquelure system, which created tiny crackles, like fine porcelain. I then enhanced it with Autentico Anthracite Wax, which feels the tiny cracks to enhance them.

This mirror has been left with a before-and-after look for both the paint, Craquelure and wax application. Once again, I love this look. It has a romantic fairy tale look and I would say fit it is for Cinderella’s dressing room.

Bathroom Mirror Makeover

UPCYCLED ORNANTE MIRROR CHALK PAINTS DRY BRUSH TECHNIQUE

This mirror is in my bathroom and many people have commented on how effective looks. It took minutes and I used the dry-paint method using, Antique White, a bit of Autentico Gris followed by Autentico Swedish Blue Wax in places. I left some of the gold detail and it really does look fantastic in my grey and white bathroom.

Vintage White

FRENCH ANTIQUE CHALK PAINTED MIRRORThis is an epic mirror which demanded attention. All my workshop attendees love the shabby look of it and many want to replicate this for their own projects.

This piece was painted with a homemade off-white chalk paint and sanded in places. Most of this effect has been created with Autentico Anthracite Wax, to enhance and make the amazing detail stand out.

Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Ornate Gold Mirror Makeover

There are many more mirrors and frames that I have worked on but these are my favourites so far. So, which do you think is the best upcycled of them all?

If you are interested in attending one of my ‘Upcycle (old and new) picture frames and mirrors’ see more details here 


Nautique – Autentico Vintage Chalk – Colour of the month

Being a stockist for Autentico is far too much fun!  I am surrounded daily with an array of delightful colours, that I work my way through testing and using on various projects.

My favourite colour this month is Nautique, a really rich ‘grey blue’, and as the name suggest it certainly takes you to images of sailing on your luxury yacht with the sea breeze and waves lapping around you… (I wish) anyhow back to being in my French barn 😉

Bathroom Cupboard

I have (so far…) painted my bathroom cupboard using a ‘chippy look technique’ which works perfectly against the white and grey colour scheme and really makes a statement on the white tiled wall.

Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint - Chippy look paint technique’

Upcycled Gold Mirror

I have upcycled an old gold plastic ornate picture frame that just need to come home with me at a ‘Vide Grenier (loft clearance).  The picture could not come off, so I painted that as well, although I feel this frame is destined to become a chalk board eventually.

Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Ornate Gold Mirror MakeoverI also painted a few tins and jugs (cannot resist).  Below is a china watering can during upcycling.

Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Jug makeover

I also picked up a chalk notice board, which had seen better days. It was green with a peach picture and with a little bit of chalk board paint to freshen up, along with a water decal french typography transfer, will look great in my kitchen.

Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Notice Board makeover

Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint Notice Board makeover

An attendee on my latest workshop also spotted the colour and painted her little antique stool.Autentico Nautique Vintage Chalk Paint

To see the full colour range click here 

Workshop information – link here

 


Stencils

As a graphic designer, I have always enjoyed working with font types and typography and have a love for vintage signs.  So, when I was asked to research some vintage French typography for a customer, who wanted their side-table stencilled, I discovered this array of stunning, high quality typography available to use, and even better … they were free.

DECAL VINTAGE FRENCH TYPOGRAPHY STENCIL ON TIN CAN

 

I then researched all the different ways to transfer stencils and, so far, for me, the ‘water decal method’ works very well and produced great results. It is a bit fiddly to start with but, as with everything, the more you practice, the more you get the hang of it. Then it becomes highly addictive.

 I would recommend starting with a small square transfer on your first attempt, as the more detailed ones take more practice.  The transfers are so effective, due to them being printed onto transparent paper, which enables them to blend into the background of the project.

I also enjoy using white decal paper, used mostly for darker coloured objects, where a transparent decal  transfer would get lost. Only specialised printers can print using white ink, so therefore, if you need the lettering/detail to be white, then using the white is best.

I decided to use a really pretty design on the white decal paper to see what the look would be like. I really like it. The colours seemed to ‘pop’ and be more vibrant and the lettering works well with the turquoise coming through.  There is another example of using the white decal paper, shown further down the post.

UPCYCLED JAR USING WHITE DECAL PAPER

UPCYCLED JAR USING WHITE DECAL PAPER

So, I now have the water decal transfer bug and love spending time seeing what I can do with various pots, tins, jugs, jars, teapots and, well, pretty much anything.  In fact, I am running new workshops and I guess I share a common interest, as they are nearly sold out and I am planning further dates, click here for dates and further information.

I am also selling the decal paper (transparent and white), for those who want to give it a go, along with pre-prepared transfers, ready to use straight on to your own projects. Find out more here.

Here are some of my transferred projects (so far)…

TINS

UPCYCLED JARS AND TINS STENCIL WORKSHOPS

Tins are such great fun, and rather than put them into the recycling bag, I was collecting them to use as storage for various brushes and items used during my workshops. They look so effective when they are grouped together and I have used lots of different effects on them, such as dry brushing with two colours, using a wash and distressing and waxing. I applied some string and a little heart on a couple and found some great French typography transfers for each one.  I then used clear varnish to seal.

The yellow one started out as my favourite but then I liked the blue one with the French postcard transfers. This seems to be everyone’s favourite. But, well … I love them all.

Upcycled Tin with French Typography Label/stencil - decalThe above tin was painted with a lovely pale vanilla and I used a ‘Rose de Province’ label, which I thought worked really well with the flowers.  The tin was distressed in places with dark wax to age.

DECAL/LABELS VINTAGE FRENCH TYPOGRAPHY STENCIL ON TIN CAN

Another example was simply using PVA glue with a French vintage typography label.  I stained the label with a tea bag and then aged with wax to blend in further.  The other tin (behind) was simply a clear decal stencil applied to the tin, which even though it has not been painted, I thought still looks really effective.

JARS

There are so many stunning jars that probably go unnoticed to the non-stencil addict.  I show people the ‘before and after’ and they often say that they had never noticed the lovely designs on them before.  I guess Panzani’s sauce will soon see an increase in their sales 🙂

DECAL VINTAGE FRENCH TYPOGRAPHY STENCIL ON JAR

The image below shows a crackle effect, using Autentico Crackle Glaze applied over the top of Autentico Antique White and then a coat of of Bright Turquoise (one of my favourite colours).   

DECAL VINTAGE FRENCH TYPOGRAPHY STENCIL ON JAR

This is the same jar with a clear decal stencil applied. I had been wanting to use this ribbon stencil for ages, so I thought it would work as the jar is fairly tall.

UPCYCLED JAR WITH TRANSPARENT WATER DECAL STENCIL

I then thought I would try out one of the white water decal stencils leftover from my last stencil workshop on the back of the jar. I love it as much as the other stencil and I think it works, as there is a hint of Antique White peeking through, which compliments each colour.

CRACKLE GLAZE UPCYCLED JAR

UPCYCLED JAR WITH WHITE WATER DECAL STENCIL

JUGS AND POTS

I love painting jugs. You know, those ones that are awful colours, which do not match anything and you pick up from boot markets or junk shops very cheaply.

DECAL VINTAGE FRENCH TYPOGRAPHY STENCIL ON JUGS

The above example is everyone’s favourite. The combination of the colours against the French Postcode, really sets it off.  The yellow and blue were the original colours of the jug, which was painted with Autentico Antique White and then sanded in places and distressed to age.

DECAL VINTAGE FRENCH TYPOGRAPHY STENCIL ON JARThese jugs not only look great painted with chalk paint but also when using crackle glaze. The example shows the jug painted with Autentico Bright Turquoise with a crackle effect and, as the jug had a texture underneath, some of that has come through the crackle. A small, French Typography stencil was applied over the area where ‘Warwickshire Castle’ lettering was, which I think finishes the jug perfectly.

FRENCH COFFEE POTS

I can feel a collection beginning here … I just love everything about these pots and here they are ready to be stencilled.

CREAM FRENCH COFFEE DECAL STENCIL FRENCH VINTAGE TYPOGRAPHY

CREAM FRENCH COFFEE POT BEFORE

FRENCH COFFEE DECAL STENCIL FRENCH VINTAGE TYPOGRAPHY

WHITE FRENCH COFFEE POT_BEFORE

CREAM FRENCH COFFEE DECAL STENCIL FRENCH VINTAGE TYPOGRAPHY

YELLOW FRENCH COFFEE POT_BEFORE

And here they all are, sitting proudly on my kitchen shelf and I love them. I actually spent a while (well around 2 minutes) deciding which stencils would look the best.  I chose the final stencils based on the shape of the pot, hence a long one for the tall, cream coffee pot etc. I think they work so well and I look at them and find it hard to believe that I actually stencilled them.

FRENCH COFFEE DECAL STENCIL FRENCH VINTAGE TYPOGRAPHY

FRENCH COFFEE POTS – FINISHED

TERRACOTTA PLANT POTS 

Terracotta Pots make great chalk paint projects, due to their porous texture and ability to sand and age.  I added a French Vintage Perfume decal stencil, which shows off my French Lavender plant perfectly.  The pot itself was distressed using a technique of dry painting using Autentico Antique White and using a base of PVA glue to look patchy.  I also distressed the stencil a little by rubbing off some of the detail, to blend in with the pot better.  I will be soon putting on some workshops for Upcycling Pots, which will show this technique along with others.

DECAL VINTAGE FRENCH TYPOGRAPHY STENCIL ON TERRACOTTA FLOWER POT

The range of other items that can be stencilled is endless, here are some examples using stencils on furniture:

FRENCH VINTAGE FURNITURE DECAL STENCIL ON CHALK PAINTED HALL STAND

 

POTTING TABLE WATER DECAL STENCIL

POTTING TABLE

FRENCH TYPOGRAPHY DECAL VIN STENCIL

WINE RACK

If your interested in attending our stencil workshops then please see dates here. Further dates will be available soon and we will be offering one day courses in other locations.

I hope you found my blog inspirational and enjoy upcycling your own junk.