Today I have been looking back at last years blogging, sometimes done a bit intermittently I must admit, and noticed that the most popular posts always seem to be the DIY ones, so here is a round up of the ones that still get the most hits, and I only hope that as a result there are many Ikea hacks, Plaster Flowers and No-sew curtain pelmets floating out there now! More DIY ideas coming soon as I tackle a spare bedroom in the coming months.
Click on the photos to take you to the posts and tutorials…
Musings occured over the weekend over how to attack the reproduction pine fireplace surround in our dining room, see last week’s post, and I finally stopped procrastinating today and got on with the job.
I used chalk paint as it is really easy to manipulate when watered down in a dark grey and a white, and by wetting it with a damp brush you can work the colour and tones until you are happy with the results, plus I use a clear wax to finish and protect the surface. Here is the before and after picture:
The process is really simple, and you can always go back and paint over bits if you are not happy with them. The gallery here shows you how to paint this slate effect.
You will need dark grey chalk paint, white paint, brushes, water and finishing wax.
I keyed my mantlepiece top before painting as this will be a heavily used area.
Paint the whole mantlepiece in a dark grey.
While this dried I had time for a very nice Cappuccino, delicious!
I then used a plate as a palette, and put some white and grey either side. I then dropped water in the centre, and started to work on the mantlepiece using a brush and dabbing/splodging grey, white and water to create a cloudy effect on top of the base coat. This paint can dry out really quickly on the plate, so keep adding water to keep it liquid. It should look like mottled, cloudy grey tones, and work the paint in well to avoid brush marks.
You can also use a sponge if you want to dab on the paint, again as it dries so fast use small circular movements to blend and hide the initial sponge marks.
Cover all areas in this cloudy effect and leave to dry. It will look quite pale and dusty when it is dry, but do not worry as adding the wax at the end darkens it back down. Check you have covered all areas, and if you need to touch up do it now. Leave for an hour or so so the paint really is dry for the next stage.
Finally using a brush or old cloth, work clear wax into all areas you have painted. Brushes are good for getting the wax into nooks and crannies, and I prefer a cloth for large flat areas.. Leave to harden off for 20 minutes, and then buff to a smooth sheen. I used two coats on the top of the mantlepiece for added protection.
I am really pleased with the results which are much punchier to the eye, and wonder why I did not do it earlier. I was not sure about the all gold mirror above when it was finished, so slapped some black acrylic paint on parts of it to bring it into line with the slate look fireplace. Much better….
My over excitement at recent transformations knows no bounds, and I am planning new makeovers, (and trying to work out which one I should do first and stop procrastinating and just get on with them…).
I have a working fireplace in the dining room which has a lovely cast iron insert, but a really uninspiring reproduction wooden surround. I am planning to modify it with paint to look like slate. The room is very neutral, with handpainted pale furniture so I think the surround needs a bit of darkness to create oomph. I read once somewhere that Nicky Haslam, (genius), always has black somewhere in a room to ground the eye, and it is a great tip that I have followed ever since.
I have been looking for various ways to create slate trompe l’oeil via paint effect books, but most just have marble and sandstone effects, so I think I am just going to grab a slate tile and use it as my inspiration. I did use once the textured stone paint on a fireplace, and although it looked great it is really hard to clean the mantlepiece shelf as it becomes rough and a magnet for dust. So slate it shall be, and I can always try another effect if it does not work, such is the beauty of paint!
I picked up, nearly 18 months ago, a wardrobe in a junk store for £40 as it has potential and nice carvings. The veneer has started to bubble in a couple of places, so it needs some TLC and is begging for a makeover. It has been sitting in a friend’s garage since I bought it, and I have finally got it into the house ready to begin its transformation. I think I shall be going for a wallpapered and painted effect again, and found some great bargain wallpapers down in Cornwall at Trago Mills last weekend.
Progress will be shared… procrastination must end!