If you're like me, I'm constantly on the look out on ways to decorate my house on a budget. That is why I undertook the big project of painting most of the furniture in our house in the french provincial theme. It was much cheaper to do this than to go and by pieces of furniture already done. You can see some of the projects that I have completed over here.
I was very timid initially in my approach to what colour I painted my furniture. It has probably has been only in the last few pieces that I have painted that I got out of my "white" paint box and decided to add a splash of colour. See white is good in moderation but lots of it can get kinda boring.
Enter Exhibit A - the first telephone bench that I did up a few months back. Yes it's white. It's cute and shabby and all but wouldn't a splash of colour in there look just that little bit cuter? Don't get me wrong I love this piece and love the fact that it is white but if you're like me and nearly have a house full of whiteish furniture you're ready to bust out some colour.
Enter Exhibit B - yes I found another telephone bench. I stumbled across it from my local op shop haunt and snapped it up straight away. I felt confident that this piece would sing when I finished with it PLUS there was no u.g.l.y remarks from hubster about this one because he knew what I could do with it. The poor thing though. It looked like it was attacked by the 1970's or something. A bit too retro and old school for those lovely legs that it was showing.
I unfortunately did not take any photo's of the progress stages of this paint job. I was a bit tied up and busy when I was in the middle of this one (actually I think I was just being lazy). This little lady got pulled apart completely such as the little shelf removed and the cushion removed. It was sanded and prepped with smart prime undercoat. I then painted the first coat of paint which ended up being my new go-to fave paint colour - Dulux Clotted Cream. This was going to be the base layer of the paint job that would peek through the top coat.
I then did something I haven't tried before. I got a small tea light candle and rubbed wax on the corners and edges as well as on certain areas of the flat surfaces of the bench. So what will this do? It's a little trick I recently saw somewhere in blog land (I can't remember where actually). What happens is the next step is to put the top coat onto the piece of furniture. I did two coats of this gorgeous colour called French Limestone (half strength). Once the top coat had dried I then got out my trusty sander and started sanding the areas where I had rubbed the wax lightly.
Basically where the wax had been rubbed the top coat sanded off really easily leaving the bottom colour peek through. See it's near impossible to sand the top coat off to reveal the bottom coat just on it's own. It normally just sands straight through to the underlying wood. This is how you get the chippy look that makes rustic french style furniture so damn cute. I think in the near future I will try and do some in depth tutorials on painting and creating the "perfect" french finish. Would you like that?
I re-upholstered the seat the same as the other telephone bench using some left over canvas drop cloth from my wingback chair covers. I transferred a cute french worded motif onto the material (using the same technique as the other bench) before stapling back into place. Thankfully I did not have to replace the underlying cushion as it was still in great condition.
Even though it is still quite a light colour it was nice to paint something other than white. Do you have a favourite paint colour? Love to know what it is!