Archive for the ‘Furniture Makeovers’ Category

Sideboard el Fresco!

May 26, 2017

I’ve been playing with ‘Fresco‘ on ‘smalls’ for a few months now. What? You haven’t heard of Fresco? Well aren’t you in for a treat!
Fresco is Fusion Mineral Paint’s texturising powder additive. It does everything except your dishes…well almost.
Add  a little bit of Fresco powder to your paint and you’ll get ….well texture. It will thicken your paint and help highlight your strokes etc. Perfect if you’re wanting a heavier finish that’s not totally flat. Add a little more powder and you can achieve little ridges and raised areas that can be highlighted with dry brushing or decorative waxes. Add a LOT and you can create the most wonderful sea swept, age old crustiness you can imagine! Place your super thick freshly painted Fresco surface out in the hot sun (or hit it with a heat gun) and watch cracks appear at random and little bits of crazing.You can use an art trowel to get it on extra thickly. Use two colours and the results are limitless!
I think Fresco is the most exciting paint product we’ve seen in 2017 so far!

Here are some signs I made using a medium amount of Fresco in my first layer of paint.
Fresco SignFresco SignAnd a crusty bottle! See all the delicious cracks?Fresco BottleA crusty ‘sea swept’ terracotta pot after the Fresco treatment….Fresco PotSo after playing with the Fresco on small things like these, I decided it was time to try it all out on a full sized piece.
I had this Queen Anne sideboard in my stash and had intended to paint it a pretty white, but where’s the challenge in that?  It SO needed to be Frescoed!
Fusion FrescoThe big spanse of ‘nothingness’ on the doors was just screaming out for something bold, so I chose to create a raised stencil on each door front and each of the drawer fronts. Fusion’s Sandstone Texture is the perfect medium for raised stencils. It’s thick enough to hold it’s form and yet spreads easily.
I laid down my stencil and lightly spread the Sandstone Texture over it. You can make your stencil as shallow or as deep as you wish but just remember that the thicker the stencil, the longer it will take to dry. I didn’t do mine very thick and it was a lovely sunny day so it was dry within a couple of hours. It was about this time that I realised I was so intent on what I was doing that I neglected to take a photo!
This piece was pretty shiny so I sanded it all over with 180 sand paper and gave it two coats of Zinsser Bullseye Clear Shellac as I was pretty sure it was going to be a bleeder (most Queen Anne furniture is). My first coat of paint was Fusion ‘Champlain‘….one of my favourite Fusion neutrals and I mixed my Fresco in with this layer. I painted right over my dry raised stencils.
Once that coat was dry I painted a coat of Fusion ‘Algonquin‘ (another favourite). One of the fab things about Fresco is that it dries super hard. So when it’s time to sand…wet and dry sandpaper is the go. 240 grit wet and dry sandpaper to be exact.
You need to have a bowl of water to keep rinsing and dipping your sandpaper into and have a dry cloth in the other hand. Sand a little…wipe dry…sand a little…wipe dry. Wiping dry regularly during your wet sanding allows you to see how much you’ve sanded off. The water re-emulsifies the paint to a degree which makes it hard to see just how much has been remover. Sand a little…wipe dry. This is the part where the magic happens! I loved the results! What do you think? And because Fusion has a built in top coat……there was no need to wax or poly the paint work. Done!Fusion FrescoFusion Fresco

Fusion Sandstone TextureFusion Sandstone TextureFusion Sandstone TextureFusion FrescoFusion Sandstone Texture
I wanted to leave the top wood but I didn’t like the orange so I sanded the top back to bare wood….one coat of paint stripper then my speed file did the rest. Do you have a Speed File? Honestly it’s the best piece of equipment I’ve acquired this year…..a birthday gift from my daughter (who needs perfume anyway….!). It’s just like a loooong sanding block but it sands FAST. The sanding sheets just clip in at each end and they come in a couple of sizes. That’s the sideboard top there all sanded and ready to stain. I used Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in the colour ‘Curio‘ to stain the top. Milk Paint makes a fantastic stain. Just mix 1 part Milk Paint to 3 parts water and away you go! Paint on….wipe back. Two coats just ten minutes apart gave me a lovely deep walnut top that I later finished with a couple of coats of polyurethane to seal and protect the finish.Fusion FrescoLovely hey!
Curio
I’ll definitely be using Fresco on a big piece again very soon, maybe next time with blues and greens for a true beachy look. I really enjoyed working with it!
Try it….I guarantee you’ll be smitten!
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I am an Australian Stockist for Fusion Mineral Paint. If you are and International reader (welcome 🙂 ) and would like to source these products in your country pop over to the Fusion Mineral Paint WEBSITE and search your area to find your closest stockist.Fusion FrescoCoast & Country Vintage

This week I had fun playing with two new products! I LOVE new stuff!
I’ve been eyeing off the gorgeous I.O.D (Iron Orchid Decor) Transfers for some time now but it’s only recently that I found they were available in Australia. I couldn’t get them in my hot little hands quickly enough!
The transfers are like those little rub on transfers we had as kids….only these are ginormous! (well there’s some smaller ones too……). They are mostly French Style but a few Vintage Style transfers as well.
Whilst my transfers were in transit I sourced the perfect piece to try one out on….this vintage blanket chest. The lady I bought it from had it for 40 years  and said it was fairly old then so I know it’s genuine ‘vintage’!
It also had a very uninteresting applique stuck smack bang at the front and centre of the box….but I was sure I’d be able to snazzy that up a bit. Here we go…..orange aged shellac……icky.
BlanketBoxBeforeThe shellac finish on this piece was very brittle and literally fell off with just a light sand with 180 grit sandpaper. I know a lot of paints advertise as ‘no prep’ and ‘no sanding necessary’ but my firm belief is that this statement is far too simplified and fails to address the fact that every piece of furniture is different and should therefore be evaluated individually. Had I just wiped this piece down my paint most certainly would not have stayed put long term and most likely would have ended up with bits of shellac flakes all through it.
Prep Is Important
I wanted to road test one of the newest Fusion Mineral Paint colours ‘Raw Silk’ for this piece and was a little concerned that this piece may *bleed* so I gave it two coats of Zinsser Bullseye Clear Shellac before I started painting the light colour.
Here’s a pic of Raw Silk. Isn’t it gorgeous!
Fusion Mineral Paint Raw SilkIMG_20170108_131825Here she is with a few coats of Raw Silk. Excuse the crummy phone pic! Such a pretty colour….somewhere between Casement and Champlain in colour. Looks nice…certainly a lot fresher…but I certainly wasn’t about to deviate from my transfer plans!
I didn’t take any photos whilst applying the transfer as that would have been a bit tricky but it was SO super easy! The transfers can be applied in the order they are printed in or you can cut them apart to suit the layout of your piece or to use on multiple pieces. The position of the existing applique turned out to be far more restrictive than I envisaged so I needed to mix my transfer up quite a bit to make the layout pleasing and balanced! I had a giggle to myself wondering what a true Frenchman would think reading my wording that was essentially all the wrong way around…but hey it looks pretty so I’m happy enough!You simply peel the backing paper off the transfer , lay it down on your painted piece and use the rubbing stick (supplied) to rub the transfer on. This whole transfer only took about 20 minutes!What do you think?
IOD Transfers AustraliaIOD Transfers AustraliaIOD Transfers AustraliaIron Orchid Decor TransfersIOD Transfers AustraliaIOD Transfers AustraliaFusion Mineral PaintIOD Transfers MelbourneFurniture Transfers MelbourneIOD Transfers AustraliaI often paint the interiors of my pieces but this was in such great condition that I chose not to.
One of the things I LOVE so much about Fusion Mineral Paint is that is doesn’t require a top coat. True! No waxing necessary……BUT when using the IOD Transfers it’s recommended that you do use a sealer to help preserve the transfer. Enter Fusion Tough Coat! Tough Coat is a matte finish water based polyurethane that is guaranteed not to yellow. It’s been tried and tested so you can confidently use it over your lights and white without any concern that it may change the colour. The best part is it’s so easy to use, either with a paint brush or as a wipe on poly (my choice for flat surfaces). And it dries super quick…touch dry in about 15 mins and re-coat in two hours. What’s not to love. 🙂
IOD Transfers AustraliaIOD Transfers Australia
The IOD Transfers are now available for purchase in both my stall spaces, Waverley Antique Bazaar (Stall B4) 11a Aristoc Rd, Glen Waverley & Cowes Bazaar & Gallery (Stall18), 158 Thompson Avenue, Cowes, Phillip Island. They will also be available from my website in the next few days! Get one today! You’ve LOVE them!
Stay tuned for an introduction to the IOD Vintage Stamp range coming to Coast & Country Vintage soon too! The stock is here….just playing a bit before releasing it all to you guys….but I’m telling you it’s delicious! Be sure to pop over and visit the official Iron Orchid Decor Website for more inspiration and eye candy!
IOD LogoIOD Transfers Waverley Antique BazaarIOD Transfers Waverley Antique BazaarWaverley Antique Bazaar Stall B4IOD Transfers Waverley Antique BazaarCoast & Country Vintage

It never ceases to amaze me what a little bit of paint can achieve! Take a cruddy old piece of furniture that nobody wants and make it into a unique masterpiece with just a little love and a little paint! One of my favourite types of paint to use is Milk Paint (specifically of the Miss Mustard Seed kind 😉 )

Milk Paint challenges my perfectionism and instead offers an unpredictable outcome…which I find strangely exciting!
Milk Paint in it’s very essence is quirky, unpredictable and most certainly the most unique paint on the market. Because Milk Paint is a powdered paint made up of various coloured pigments, the colours are somewhat imperfect which is what gives the finished piece such a unique ‘age old’ appearance. Perfectly imperfect and a finish unlike any other type of paint. Add Bonding Agent for an opaque finish and distress (or not) however you please….or leave the Bonding Agent out and leave it to it’s own devices to go ‘chippy’ at will. Yes I’m talking about it like it has a will of it’s own….because it does!
There’s no factory finishes and no 100% planned outcomes……basically it’s a case of ‘it is what it is’. I like that. It means I will end up with a unique one of a kind piece that can never be 100% replicated.
I picked up this little corner unit on our local buy and sell. Typical orange pine and generally unpopular in style. I challenged myself to turn this little unit into a French inspired piece that would be a statement piece in any French themed home. Here she is waiting for her makeover.
Milk Paint AustraliaMy first step in achieving  the French style I was going for was to add some pretty appliques. My favourite ‘goto’ appliques are from the Efex Decorative Appliques range which are made from bendable latex and so extremely versatile. They are bendable, paintable, stainable and easy to apply. I wanted ‘pretty’ so you can’t go past bows and swags and the Federal Half Swag was ideal.
Efex Appliques AustraliaThe half swag is generally used to make a continuous row of swags like this. How gorgeous is that effect!
Efex Decorative Appliques AustraliaBut if you wanted just the swag….you needed to buy two appliques just to get the end bow. I messaged the lovely Kristen from Efex with the suggestion that an end bow would make this applique more affordable and versatile. Within a few weeks Efex had added an end bow to the line up and sent me some of the first run to try out! You have to love a company who listens to what their customers want! Thank you Kristen & Efex Decorative Appliques! Here’s the swag and the new end bow.
Efex Appliques AustraliaI got to applying the appliques and chose to add a single end bow to each side to tie it all together. I can see that just the bow alone will be a very popular applique!
At this point I took some video footage to show how to apply the appliques with contact cement but am yet to master the art of getting the video from my camera to my blog! Unfortunately I was so absorbed in taking the video I neglected to take still! So here’s where your imagination comes in 😉 If I work it out I’ll post the video in here down the track!

I chose my favourite Miss Mustard Seed colour ‘Mora’ – a beautiful silver grey with blue undertones from the European Collection –  as my main colour but first I painted a couple of coats of the newest addition to the MMSMP line up ‘Farmhouse White’. Farmhouse White has really good coverage for a white and has more of a grey undertone than Ironstone. Truly a new favourite! (Incidentally….there is still ONE packet of Farmhouse White out there somewhere in Australia with a ‘golden’ (white) ticket hidden inside…and the lucky recipient will win $250 worth of Miss Mustard Seed products!)
Milk Paint AustraliaSo without further adieu…here’s my little French Corner Unit! What do you think? Would you recognise it?
Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint MoraEfex Appliques AustraliaEfex Decorative Appliques AustraliaThe whole piece was lightly sanded to a buttery smooth finish (very easy with Milk Paint) and sanded a little heavier in places to allow the Farmhouse White to peep through. It was then finished with Miss Mustard Seed’s Clear Furniture Wax followed by a layer of MMS White Wax to complete the French look. Before waxing, the Efex appliques were dry brushed with the colour Bergere (also from the European Collection) so give them even more depth and the White Wax sits beautifully in all the grooves and highlights the details of the appliques.See how cute the ‘end bows’ look even on their own?
Efex AppliquesMilk Paint AustraliaMilk Paint MoraEfexEfex Appliques Federal Half SwagBefore & AfterBefore And After
Here’s a set of bedsides I painted with Mora a few months back. Read about that makeover here.
 Such a gorgeous colour!
Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint AustraliaCoast & Country Vintage