Dreaming of…Simple DIYs

While you are reading this I am enjoying the glorious sunshine / torrential rain / standard mild grey British summer weather (delete as appropriate) of the lake district. I have turned off my wifi so I can’t actually tell you what the weather is like as I am writing this from the past / to the future. Needless to say – none of that actually matters.

After showing you my new gallery wall last week, I thought you might like to see some other simple transformations I’ve been able to tick off my list.

This one involved more Annie Sloan chalk paint and some furniture that was bland and boring.

Namely this TV stand. We had it in our flat, where it fitted in quite nicely, but have been wanting to replace it to blend in with our current living room decor. We’ve never gotten around to actually replacing it though, so when I discovered the chalk paint on my frames, I had a flash of inspiration. How easy would it be to just paint over the whole thing to make it look more stylish?! The answer…very easy.

before

We looked for a dark grey paint, but couldn’t find one we liked so settled for this blue.

After unscrewing the cupboard doors, all it took was 1 layer of paint (seriously no sanding or priming), a layer of wax, some distressing with sandpaper and a final layer of wax. The whole thing took about 3 hours including drying time – be warned, it dries VERY quickly!

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Nothing is ever that simple though and in the process of putting it all back in the living room, we managed to snap the glass TV stand. This meant that we had to wall mount the TV and left the unit looking rather bare.

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The trickiest bit then was deciding how to style it up.

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We settled on styling 3 in the end – just the right amount of colour and balance.

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Finally I painted a little mahogany side table to match. This took about half an hour to do the whole thing and now makes it fit our living room beautifully!

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Have you had much luck with chalk paint?

I have loads left … just need some more things to paint now!

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Experimenting with paint

Experimenting with paint…’woah’ I hear you say. ‘Is that your way of suggesting that this is ANOTHER canvas?’ Why yes, dear readers, it is. Just a short and sweet post about our latest painting. We needed a canvas for our … Continue reading

To infinity and beyond…and all from inside the kitchen

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I’d like to say that we’re nearly done decorating our house (which we bought in June), but there is always something else to do… and to be honest I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like that.

Our latest job was to create a a large canvas for the kitchen – see canvases are always the best way to decorate. See here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Enough proof?

So anyway – our latest one started out like this – and we didn’t like it.

first version

We let it dry and hang for a little while just to check that it didn’t really work for us before we went ahead and completely redid the whole thing.

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First of all we covered the background pastel colours with some richer blues and turquoises. To do this we used the end of quite a cheap, stiff brush, where the bristles had clumped a lot, and dabbed the colours all over the canvas with the end of the brush. We didn’t clean the brush at all as we were kind of blending all the shades as we went. Then we just kept dabbing on different shades of blue, including some greeney blues, some purpley blues, and some metallic blues as well as a bit of white and a bit of gold.

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To finish off the whole thing and give it a bit more texture I just dribbled thick white wood paint from a height to give it quite thin lines over the top.

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I think it looks like something in the Milky Way now, but I don’t really mind that. I love how different it looks in different lights and the way it looks up close where you can see all the separate colours! What do you think?

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Next up – the guest bedroom needs sprucing. Any tips on where to find a nice sideboard style chest of drawers?

Branching out…

…from canvas paintings to paper paintings.

A couple of weekends ago I picked up 2 big photo frames for 50p (!!!) at a carboot sale. Who can turn down a bargain like that? So obviously they had to be filled.

At first I was thrown by the fact that it wasn’t a canvas (my go to medium at the moment), but then I found some lovely, large cartridge paper in Paperchase (and lost a few hours of my life rapturously stroking all the notebooks and stationery). I ordered some inks on ebay, but when they arrived I realised they were marbling rather than drawing inks.

The basic tools

The basic tools

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I painted the backing card to match our bedroom colours

I painted the backing card to match our bedroom colours

I tried dripping the ink straight onto the paper, but it was too oily and they all just looked black, so I adapted my method (sorry – I’ve been assessing science and the lingo is on the brain) and decided to use the inks as they were intended. i.e. I mixed them into water and then pretty much just threw the inks at the paper.

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I stopped at the point where it felt like the paper was fully saturated and about to disintegrate. And then I let it dry.

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And that was it really. Some of the ink is still wet, but once it was tucked behind the glass, my walls and fingers were safe from further marking.

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This was such a fun and simple (albeit very messy) project and it looks lovely filling up the wall in our bathroom. You’ve just gotta love paintings that fill the wall.

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P.S. it’s really hard to take photos of glass without any reflections!!