Archive for December, 2015

I love it when people think of me when they have a piece of furniture they no longer want. I see too many lovely pieces sitting on nature strips waiting for hard rubbish collection…such wastage in an era where we try to promote recycling! We just keep throwing the good stuff away and trucking the new stuff in from China to replace it!
The older furniture is made so well…made to last…so don’t walk by a great piece of furniture just because it’s pine that’s gone orange. It’s just the varnish that’s discoloured and we all know that beauty is only skin deep right?
After a recent visit to my cousin Andy’s house, I came home with my station wagon fully loaded to the roof! One of the things she passed on to me was this orange pine set of bedsides. There were some amusing stories attached to them as each family member that moved out of home had used them for a time and ultimately they’d ended up back where they began.
Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint Australia
They were made really well with neat dovetails joins…the most impractical part was the cupboard space….it really needed a shelf to make it more usable. Lucky for me I have a very handy hubby and a stash of old furniture pieces I have salvaged for a rainy day (as you do 😉 ) and in said stash I found two pieces of shelving that were just the right thickness. Win!
I try to be as independent as I can when doing up old furniture and part of that is doing my best to learn new skills. Adding a shelf is something I’ve needed to do more than once so I asked hubby to help and teach me at the same time. After helping me measure, cut and fit the first shelf, I managed to do a great job of the second shelf all by myself. I love that my wood working skills are advancing all the time and I am slowly acquiring my own set of basic power tools. 🙂 On examining the receipts in my purse you’d be hard pushed to find one for clothes or shoes….they are all hardware store receipts! I’m sure many of you can relate!
There are SO many different ways I could have refinished this pair of bedsides….but I wanted to do something a bit different from my normal ‘pretty but safe’ style.
I wanted RUSTIC for this pair…so the obvious choice of paint was Milk Paint.
I removed all the hardware and sanded the piece with 180 grit sandpaper to roughen up the varnish a little and cleaned off all the dust and grime. First the shelf was added to each piece  and then I created a raised stencil across the drawer front to add some extra interest. I have a little tutorial in the works for how to do the raised stencils but if you are impatient and would like to give it a try please feel free to message me and I’ll walk you through it. The raised part is achieved by using Fusion Sandstone Texture to create the stencil pattern instead of paint. When it’s dry it can be sanded and painted. I did mine straight on the pine then painted over it.
I began with a coat of Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint ‘Trophy’ which is a slate grey colour. I used Bonding Agent in my Milk Paint as I didn’t want this colour to chip. I don’t usually take photos whilst I’m painting as I am such a messy painter I get paint everywhere…so my camera stays away.
But I pulled out my phone to snap this shot just as I started as I wanted to show you one of my new amazing new Cling On! brushes. I’d heard rave reviews about these beautifully soft synthetic brushes from American forums and couldn’t wait to get my hands on one to try. I bought three and was totally sold in the first five minutes. They are super comfy to use, reduce brush marks like you wouldn’t believe and rinse clean in water without any hard yakka. In fact with chalk paint you can just give them a quick rinse to get the excess paint off then pop them in a container with just the bristles in water and they self clean. How good is that? I was so impressed I became not only a stockist of these wonderful brushes….but an Australia Distributor for them! They come from Holland and are just beautiful to use. They are available in round, flat and oval head and in multiple sizes. There’s even a bent one for hard to reach areas! I’ve used the bent one three times in the last week alone.
If you’d like to try one for yourself you’ll find them here. If you are a paint stockist and would like to retail these brushes send me an emailMiss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint Australia
That IS Trophy that I’m painting with in the photo above….the sunlight has just washed out the colour a bit and it goes a lot darker as it dries. Once the Trophy was dry, I painted two coats of MMSMP ‘Mora’ which is one of the new European colours and a lovely soft grey. I used a damp cloth to rub away some of the Mora in places to reveal the Trophy underneath, paying particular attention to the raised stencil area to create definition.
Two coats of Miss Mustard Seed’s clear Furniture Wax and two new knobs and this makeover has become on of my favourites to date! I so need to do more RUSTIC pieces!
Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint AustraliaMiss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint AustraliaMiss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint AustraliaMiss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint AustraliaI stained over the orange draw sides and interior of the drawers with some dark walnut gel stain and then sealed it with a single coat of Miss Mustard Seed’s Tough Coat. Top Tip: Applying Tough Coat with a damp chux cloth eliminates brush marks and makes it easier to get into the corners.Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint AustraliaMiss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint AustraliaCoast & Country Vintage has Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint and products available online and posts Australia wide. Prefer to shop in store? Coast & Country Vintage can be found in two Victorian locations where you can pop in and browse/purchase in person.
Melbourne Sth Eastern Suburbs :
‘Waverley Antique Bazaar’, Stall B4,
11a Aristoc Rd,
Glen Waverley, (just 2 minutes off the Monash via either Blackburn Rd or Ferntree Gully/Springvale Rd
PLUS
‘Cowes Bazaar & Gallery’, Stall 18,
158 Thompson Avenue,
Cowes, Phillip Island, Victoria.
Regular Milk Paint classes are run through the Waverley space. Send me an inquiry!
Coast & Country Vintage

You finished painting the first coat of your piece a week ago but you’ve been so busy you haven’t been able to get back to it. You did the right thing and wrapped your paint loaded brush in alfoil or glad wrap but alas, a week was a bit long and the brush is as stiff as a board. Can it be saved?
This question has been asked quite a few time in various forums I am a member of recently so after finding one of my brushes in a similar state after last weekends Milk Paint workshop I thought I’d do a quick ‘tip’ post! You can soak your brush in soapy water for three days but it will still look and feel the same. Here’s my process and it works every time.

Firstly, soak the bristles overnight in pure vinegar. I totally forgot to take a pic before I soaked it but it was a completely yellow solid chunk of paint…Milk Paint at that, which is extra hard to remove once dried!
I have heard that to speed up the process you can boil the brush tips in vinegar and water but that’s too many steps for me, means washing a saucepan…and I can’t just plop it in and go on with what I was doing. Plus boiling seems a little harsh!

Next up gently separate the bristles to break the goopy seal of paint, get a hair comb and comb the chunky bits out of the bristles.
Fusion Brush Soap
Next you need a good quality brush soap to free the rest of the paint bits from the bristles. I use both Fusion Brush Soap and Miss Mustard Seed’s Brush Soap but I have a slight preference for the Fusion as it’s less messy and made with a linseed oil base so it leaves the brush conditioned and soft. It’s non toxic and works equally well with synthetic and natural bristle brushes. Of course it’s much better used before they dry out like this one did…but works wonders in helping to ‘save’ them too.
Fusion Brush Soap
Squeeze a little Fusion Brush Soap onto the bristles and work it through the bristles with your fingertips.

Fusion Brush Soap AustraliaYou can see all the bits of paint loosening from the bristles here.
Fusion Brush Soap AustraliaThen thoroughly rinse under warm running water.Fusion Brush Soap AustraliaFlick out excess water and gently dry with a towel. Perfectly clean and fluffy and ready to use once more!
Fusion Brush Soap AustraliaFusion Brush Soap is also brilliant for cleaning dried wax from wax brushes!
Coast & Country Vintage

Sometimes a piece comes up on eBay that is hard to go past and this was one of them! It’s a Balinese piece so not the best quality but it was also half the price of it’s super top quality counterparts so it had to come home with me.
I had a few different ideas for the piece and settling on one was the hardest decision to make. In the end the choice was made after browsing through the new Sherwin Williams range of colours and finding the most perfect shade of dusty pink I’ve found to date. 🙂 I love pastels. I’m a romantic at heart and I like all things prettiful, feminine and French so I chose the pink and a gorgeous deep cream to compliment it and with my vision now firmly in my head couldn’t wait to begin. Here is her eBay shot.
Websters Chalk Paint Powder MelbourneI’ve been using and selling Websters Chalk Paint Powder for over a year now and it will always have a place in my paint cupboard.
One of the BEST things about Websters Chalk Paint Powder is that I am not limited in any way by a particular colour pallette. I can use any colour of matt or low sheen paint, in any brand I choose so the possibilities are endless. Websters was created by three of loveliest American ladies you’ll ever meet (and I have met two of them so I know what I’m talking about here!). They spent many months working alongside a chemist to create the perfect Chalk Paint Powder mix which is made up of 7 different ingredients. No toxic elements like plaster of paris….but 7 carefully balanced safe to use elements to ensure the best home mixed chalk style paint on the market. If you are selling your creations, it’s very important to know what you are painting with and how it will stand the test of time. With Websters you get a perfect paint mix every single time and there’s no extra sanding necessary to get a beautiful smooth chalky finish….it’s just beautiful stuff.
The new Sherwin William paint tester pots are the mother of all tester pots and have made painting with Websters so affordable it’s ridiculous. The pots are 960mls and retail for $16. No brainer there!Look at the size of these puppies!
Websters Chalk Paint Powder Melbourne
Here’s a little tip that may prove useful to those of you who are just discovering this wonderful past time 🙂
Balinese pieces are NOTORIOUS ‘bleeders’ meaning that 99% of the time after your first coat of paint you’ll see discolouration in either yellow or a delightful shade of pink (not the shade of pink I was after either!). I believe it’s the cheap satin/varnish used that causes the bleed, but Balinese and Thai pieces are also nearly always created when the wood is not fully dried so that’s why they often sport splits and cracks and joints that don’t quite meet. Whilst this is not a problem if you’re going to paint, it’s rather annoying if you are not!
Despite the fact that I was itching to get to the fun part of painting….I took the time to give the piece a light sanding all over (just to remove the bulk of the sheen and get the majority of the grime off), cleaned it with metho & water and then painted it with a full coat of Zinsser Bullseye Shellac. This product comes in both a spray can (which is fabulous to have on hand for small areas of bleed) and paint on version.
For this piece I used the paint on version as I needed to paint around the glass panes and I knew I’d need two spray cans which makes it more costly. I decided to add the Zinsser Bulls Eye Shellac to my web store after struggling to find it anywhere. Masters used to sell the spray cans but now only have it in a 4 litre tin which is impractical for a hobbiest…so if you’re looking for smaller quantities you’ll find it on my website. You can buy the white version of this product in most hardware stores, but it’s a pain if you want to distress your piece as the white will show through. I have found through trial and error that the shellac based sealer is the best for stain blocking and blocking smells like nicotine…..even rivalling oil based stain blockers.
On some bleed you’ll need two-three coats (like it says on the can) but in general I find one is enough for most general bleeds/stains. I don’t often paint with the Zinsser before painting but as I said a Balinese piece is 99% going to bleed so I decided to just paint the blocker and be done with it. Most times I’ll paint a coat of paint first and then Zinsser it if it bleeds. You can just paint straight over it as soon as it’s dry (about 30 minutes)
This is what the cans look like. The red can is the white shellac, available from hardware stores.
Zinsser Bullseye Shellac

The hard part done…I got right into the fun part! I grabbed my favourite brush, my Cling On 035 and I painted the whole piece with the pink first (except for the inside) then painted the cream detail with a small artists brush. A small artists brush is an absolute must in any painters kit….they enable you to get into spots a normal paintbrush can’t reach with precision.
I painted the interior with the cream colour and it looked so much more spacious! And the best part? NO bleed 🙂
Once my paint was dry I lightly distressed the edges and sealed the piece with two coats of L’Essentiel Clear Wax (I used the limited edition Lychee & Peony…..divine!)
And here she is! Please look past the dreadful brick background! We had ridiculous winds that were threatening to throw her to the ground on photo shoot day and my carport was the only place out of the wind!Websters Chalk Paint Powder
Websters Chalk Paint Powder AustraliaWebsters Chalk Paint Powder AustraliaWebsters Chalk Paint Powder AustraliaWebsters Chalk Paint Powder MelbourneWebsters Chalk Paint Powder MelbourneWebsters Chalk Paint Powder MelbourneWebsters Chalk Paint PowderWebsters Chalk Paint Powder MelbourneDid you pick the big change I made? I did away with the chunky pediment on the top (which was broken and crudely mended) and added a sweet little resin Applique in it’s place. I think it looks much better don’t you?
If you’d love to learn how to paint your own furniture why not send me a message! I run 101 workshops every 8 weeks in Berwick Victoria and twice a year here on Phillip Island. The next workshop will be in early February 2016. 
Coast & Country Vintage