Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Pink Ombre Shelves And How-To Mix Ombre Colours

It was so nice to use pink paint last week...

not something I use that often, and now that I have - I don't know why!!
I always considered myself to be NOT a pink person. But I may just be a convert after this little project ;-)

This gorgeous piece belongs to a beautiful family who are re-designing their little girl's bedroom as she transition's from cot to 'big girl bed'! She has a few little splashes of pink in her room already, so this one will work perfectly in there :-)

And I just so happened to have a few girly things on hand to style with ;-)

This piece is old. 

Like really old.

This was stamped under one of the shelves!

And that's why I love what I do!! There is just something uplifting about bringing something old and unloved back from the brink of being chucked in the tip - to something useable and lovable again.
I especially love making a piece of furniture a one-off.
Nobody else in the whole world has shelves in they're home that look exactly the same as this!! There may be similar, but years of wear give pieces character that is impossible to re-create.
Hence my obsession with vintage :-)

This is the second ombre piece I've done lately - the other one is not quite finished - and they are so much fun to do!!
Wanna know how?

Well...I'll tell you then!!

How-To Mix Paint For Ombre

1. Select your piece you want to ombre up. The best/only choice for the ombre technique is something that has a MINIMUM of 3 shelves or drawers/doors. More is better but definitely no less than 3. It wouldn't really be ombre would it? Just two colors!

2. Choose your darkest colour and your base/frame color. (the outside of the piece) White seems to work well with ombre, it makes it stand out so much more. The darkest colour of your ombre can be any colour you like, so go for it!

3. For however many colours in ombre you are doing, then get yourself the same amount of containers. (3 drawers = 3 containers) I use Chinese food containers that have handy lids;-)

4.  Now you going to have to guess a bit here...as to how much paint you'll need for each drawer/shelf. Then pour that amount into a container for your darkest coloured drawer/shelf.

5.  Put that to the side, then add a little white to the remaining paint and stir really well.(this is where it helps if you've chosen white as the other colour!) Add more if you need and stir again until you are happy with the depth for your second drawer/shelf color. Pour some of this into another container, enough to do another drawer/shelf.

6.  Add a little more white to the remaining paint again until you are happy with the depth. Stir really well before you decide it's right. Continue steps 5 and 6 until you have the amount of paint colours you need.

Then you are ready to paint ombre style!!

Other things to think about:

- You can then turn the ombre paint colours you've just mixed into DIY chalk paint if you like, otherwise you'll need to sand and prime your piece first.
-Generally, putting the darkest color at the bottom looks best so remember to number your drawers before you begin. Nothing worse than grabbing random drawers and painting/sealing them, only to find they don't fit back into the piece properly in the order you want! Doesn't matter if they are all being painted the same colour - but for ombre it does ;-)
- Consider the knobs/handles before you begin painting. Are you going to change them? If so it does help if you have them on hand first so you can make any adjustments before you start painting. Such as changing from one hole in the middle to 2, you'll need to putty, let it dry then sand and drill new holes first. Or if sticking with one hole, make sure it fits through existing hole before you paint. Its easier to drill a bigger hole if needed first before you paint.


Its a lot to think about but soooo worth it!!
Remember to ask away in the comments if you have any questions or if this just does not make sense!!
I'm happy to help!

Have a great week!!

Courts xx

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Before And After: Tennis Bench

If you are a country Victorian - or perhaps other states in Australia had these too - you would have seen a bench just like this at your local tennis club being used by players waiting their turn! Well this was definitely my first sighting of them anyway!! And I am totally assuming that you are the same age as me - 25 {wink, wink!!}

Ok...I'm no longer 25.

Haven't been for a while.

Anyway, where was I?

The tennis bench (not sure of their technical name, but I'm going with tennis bench) is now popular indoors as extra seating or as a place to sit and take off/put on shoes. That's if you can get your hands on one ;-)

This one belonged to my clients mum and lived outside for a while, but now after a revamp it'll live indoors at an entryway.
I loved working on this piece of history!! I wonder how many people have sat down on this over the years!

I did pretty much love it as it was when I first saw it...

You just cannot repaint a piece to replicate that sort of extreme natural wear!!
We all try, but its just never quite the same!

The first thing I did was scrape all the flaky paint off (and yep...it is lead paint so all precautions were taken.)

 Then I used my heat gun to remove the majority of the rest.

At this point, the decision was made to repaint and the white chosen is the same white as my clients walls - Dulux  Antique White USA which is a gorgeous, neutral white. Neutral meaning not really warm or not really cool in tone.

Painting shelving, cabinetry etc. in the same color as your walls was something I learnt at Abigail Ahern's Masterclass that I went to last year. 
Doing this makes your 'things' stand out instead of the shelves etc standing out which I think these photo's show. I know the bench is not a shelf, but you get the idea!

It means you can bring out all the 'stuff' you love and display it knowing that it's going to get the attention it deserves! And you can easily pack it all away and bring something different out when you get bored. Bonus!

Your eye is drawn to the cushions and scarf and map more so than the actual bench at first glance.
AND of course my new (thrifted) desert boots that are-probably-mens-but-fit-me-and-I-love-them-and-can't-wait-to-wear-them.
Although, I'm really not sure what my 25 year old self will wear them with ;-) Oh that's right...I'm not 25 am I?! Hopefully I can remember that when choosing what to wear these boots with! If you see me wearing these boots in winter and I look ridiculous...be sure to remind me (in a whisper please) that I'm NOT 25 anymore!!

In honour of Fast Six coming out in May...I have 'upped' my usual fast five details to -

My Fast Six Details:

1. Scrape flaky paint off with scraper.
2. Remove the rest of the paint with heat gun and scraper.
3. Lightly sand.
4. Primed with Zinnser cover stain just in case anything decided to bleed through to the white paint. You just never know with old timber.
5. Applied 3 coats of Antique White USA with a brush.
6. Sealed with beeswax.

(I kinda love all the fast and furious movies...in case you didn't know)

So...thoughts, questions - what do you think of the tennis bench? Do you think you could find room for one in your home? I know I sure could!

See You Soon!!

Courts xx

Monday, 11 February 2013

Before And After: Kitchen Dresser

I recently finished this beautiful pine dresser for a client and can I just say, it never ceases to amaze me the impact paint has on a piece of furniture...and ultimately a room! 

It can make an entire room feel completely different and you haven't had to outlay big bucks to buy something new.

This is one of those big difference pieces...

Check it -

And the before -

Doesn't it look so much better?

Its home is against a pine lined wall in a kitchen/dining area so now, it will stand out a whole lot more ;-)

Ahh...my work here is done.


Hope your weekend was spectacular!

See you soon,

Courts xx

Friday, 8 February 2013

Sneak Peek: What Doesn't Make It On The Blog...

but does end up on Instagram?

So in case you are not an Instagram user - this sneak peek is for you :-)

-The $5 vintage floral bedspread I picked up at a thrift shop recently

-A selfie I took in my new (old) French sunglasses I got on a road trip to a second-hand store we did on a weekend recently.

-Two massive copper bowls I added to the top of our dresser, that were from old hot water services.

-Some ombre drawers in progress...

-A little love happened in my paint while I was mixing for the ombre dresser and I had to snap it :-)

-We had some cooler weather recently so I got to wear my new skull jeans!! LOVE!!

-In progress...this one is completely awesome!!!

So there you have it! A little of what I get up to that doesn't usually end up on the blog :-)

And I definitely ummed and aahed about the big head shot of myself going up here...then I figured, what the hey!! You can see a difference between it and my profile photo - which is kinda nice :-) I am due (or overdue!) for another juice fast! Now we're getting settled into a routine with school and day care it will definitely be happening again soon. 

Have a fabo weekend and I'll be back with more before and afters soon!

Courts xx

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Before And After: Bedside Table

Well its been busy as usual here at casa extrovert ;-)

Holidays are well and truly over and we now enter the realm of early rising and lunch making as our eldest has just started school! She was well and truly ready and so was I...or so I thought. A good (private!) cry certainly helped!  That means that now I have three working days to get my growing list of furniture redesigns finished, which is exciting having not 'worked' for three years now.

I really don't think of it as work though...its my passion :-)
(like my swift subject change there?!)

So what am I working on?

Good question, I'm glad you asked!!
I have 4 projects on the go at the moment which seems to work well with paint dry times etc.
One is a bathroom vanity that's almost done (for my parents) and the other 3...well you'll just have to wait and see! 

Today I'm showing you a gorgeous bedside  that I've just finished for a client and I got to use an applique on, which was a first! I got the applique off ebay, thanks to a link from my client - I couldn't find them anywhere on line and didn't know they were called applique's here in Australia.
If you have no idea on what I am talking about - don't worry, the pictures will show you!

The before:

See? No detail up the back yet, but a quick trip to ebay and some liquid nails and paint and...

Ta-da!! Here's the link to the ebay store the applique came from in case you need one for yourself ;-)

I learnt a big lesson with this one -being that I am still relatively new at doing this for others. I had to match the color for the bedside to an existing piece in the bedroom where this will live. I took the swatches out and held it onto the piece and fairly quickly found the color that looked the closest to what I needed.
Away I went with the painting and I knew pretty quick that it wasn't the same color. It just looked white and the color it was supposed to be was light...but not white! I did a second coat just to be sure in my mind that it wasn't going to miraculously appear different...of course it didn't!


After a second visit and trying the color swatch on all sides and in all lights I chose the (hopefully) right color!   This one is still here with me but will be heading home very soon where I'll find out how my color matching went!!

I am definitely a little wary with light colors now...I think for furniture, it's safer to go a little darker than you think because it seems to look lighter anyhow. But only on lights/neutrals, not brights/darks. If that makes sense :-)

I think I've probably talked enough now so I won't discuss how I did this one, but its pretty much the same as my last few pieces if you're curious!

Hope your week is fantastic!!

Courts xx

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