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So here I am, painting furniture.

I’d quite like to be strutting my stuff in the Royal Courts of Justice (or even the local Magistrates Court come to that), but I haven’t secured a pupillage (a trainee barrister job), and my usual day job was very quiet, so it was time for a bit of a change.

I needed a job that I could pick up and put down when I pleased, one that would take my mind off the endless fretting over securing a pupillage and one that would earn me some money. I’m not really quite sure how it all came about, but earlier this year I bought quite a lot of new furniture to sell. The furniture was from a well known, up market department store. Some of it was damaged and I wondered if it would sell if it were painted – well it did, and one thing led to another and I now paint and refurbish furniture for a living.

It’s good to paint outside because the light is perfect and there’s plenty of space to move around the larger items. Preparation outside is also better because sanding and the like creates a lot of dust.  Last month I was quite smug, the weather was perfect and there I was in my back garden enjoying hours and hours of warm weather whilst working on various items. June soon wiped the smug smile off my face and I have spent most of this month hastily moving heavy furniture under cover as the rains come down and down and down…

I haven’t done much this week due to pulling my back whilst lifting said furniture out of the rain and I seem to have developed a mantra ‘I need an effing pupillage’  which coincides with the weather patterns. I do enjoy it really, it’s just that sometimes it drives me mad.

Having soon grown bored with new furniture, I started buying old stuff to refurbish. It’s much more fun because the old stuff has so much character and is just crying out for a face-lift. Most of it is better quality too, nice chunky slabs of wood that feel solid and dependable and will go on for years if given a second chance to shine.

I have 3 large items lined up for work, but also have an old telephone table/seat which I bought at auction. It has blue upholstery, but someone has painted the woodwork with red gloss paint and it looks awful. Seeing as my back needs a rest, I might just work on that for a day or two. I think it will be one of those items that will look better, no matter what is done to it. Before and after pics to follow.

Here’s one of my latest items – a lovely oak sideboard that had a bit of damage to the side. It was a pleasure to paint (Farrow & Ball ‘Fawn’) and I just love the carved detail. I kept the paintwork very simple as I felt that the carving speaks for itself without the need for bells and whistles. The sideboard had been stained in a very dark Jacobean shade; too dark for modern tastes. It took me 4 hours just to sand back the top, but the effort was well worth it once the natural oak hues emerged.