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I’m anchoring this post over Easter because of the info contained, but do scroll down if you’re a regular visitor as I’m adding updates as I go along.

I’ve 2 provisional dates for the Furniture Painting Course.

The first is 19/20 May; the second is 9/10 June. They are both to be held on my home turf, here in Stubton.

I’ve emailed details out to everyone a few minutes ago, but if I’ve happened to miss anyone, just give me a shout and I’ll send the details along.

The course folder has been finished; I think I spotted most of the typos:-) I’d originally thought it would be about 15 pages – it’s 40 and growing… I can’t see it making the bestsellers list, but hubby was impressed (maybe he just likes a quiet life:-))

I’ve been waxing a few items today, but didn’t manage to photograph much because we have (much needed) rain. I’m contemplating doing an artwork on a miniature table this evening. Anything to avoid those pupillage application forms.


I’ve just edited the Autentico Vintage Chalk Paint page, which now shows the colours I’ll be stocking. In time I hope to expand the range. If you want to place an advanced order, just drop me an email; I won’t be taking payments until I have the paint in stock, which will be later this month.


I’m giving away a 1 litre pot of Autentico Vintage chalk paint. See my Autentico Vintage Chalk Paint page for details. Please leave your comment on that page (rather than this page). I’d planned on flying the winner out to New York for a champagne breakfast and a red carpet, winner’s presentation, but alas I’m just a furniture painter my secretary tells me that my diary is just too full in May:-) Happy Easter!


I know it’s Bank Holiday, but they don’t really count when you’re self-employed. I blogged a while ago about an Edwardian dressing table with a missing handle – hubby ‘lost’ it on the way back from the auction house. Quite how you ‘lose’ a handle that’s sat nicely in place for 90+ years is beyond me, but I suspect that the dressing table was bashed on the van door during loading and the handle fell off (hubby said he heard something clang). A dressing table with 5, instead of 6 handles isn’t much use really, so it’s been sat doing nothing whilst I hunted for 6 Edwardian handles to replace the 5. Unable to find anything suitable or affordable (crikey they’re expensive), the dressing table was brought out of the gloom to have some modern handles fitted. When the drawers were removed, the missing handle was sitting in the base of the drawers – woohoo – I really didn’t fancy the idea of modern handles on this piece of furniture.

Here’s the dressing table this morning:

Edwardian mahogany dressing table

Not a pretty sight really, but everything works ok. The drawers have had new bottoms put in them in recent years, so they are clean and tidy. The mirror has been removed whilst the prep takes place and the top drawer was having the handle put back. Funnily enough, when I looked close-up, one of the handles is a different design to the others – someone else lost a handle too.

The dressing table top

The dressing table top has worn varnish and is scratched, but I’m hoping it will sand back nicely.

Having a little 'feel'

I always cop a feel before starting sanding. You can see (in the pic above) where I’ve lightly, hand sanded the bottom right hand corner, just to get a feel of the wood and how it’s likely to come up when sanded (oh dear, a bad choice of words there, sounds like a porno script). The varnish came off quite easily, so I thought there was no need to use a course grade sandpaper, a fine grade would do the job, without taking too much off.

By lunchtime the prep was done. All was tickety boo and going just too well. Then I had a little accident in the paint shack; the top came off a pot of paint and splattered a French Linen table base. I’ve no idea how the top came off? It just did; all on its own. Yes it did! Well, ok then, I’ll admit it – I shook the can. I never shake cans. It doesn’t mix the paint properly and you get air bubbles, but I shook the can. I don’t know why I did it, I just did, but somewhere along the line I’ll find a reason to blame my hubby for the ‘shaken can syndrome’, I just can’t think of one right now. 

I digress; anyway, a bit of a eureka moment ensued (this was after a very bad bout of swearing, not becoming of a lady, and a very hasty mop up of the spill). The paint can contained ‘Antoinette’ and when it splattered on the ‘French Linen’, I could see a match made in heaven; the two colours bounce off one another very nicely indeed. There we go, I found a reason for the ‘shaken can syndrome’ – it was destiny; my halo is intact *phew*. So, after pouring over paint charts for hours *cough*, the dressing table is to be ‘French Linen’ and ‘Antoinette’.


Here are the drawers with their edges painted in ‘Antoinette’.

Dressing table drawers

 It all looks a bit messy, but the ‘French Linen’ will paint over the rough edges. In a daring move, I decided to paint this piece without priming, although the whole of the base was fine sanded and cleaned down before painting commenced. The reason I haven’t primed is because I’m thinking that this one might look nice distressed and I didn’t want white primer showing through when rubbing back. I may live to regret this decision as the base unit has already had a stain bleed, which would have been prevented had I primed. Hopefully one or two more coats will cover the stain, but if not, I’ll have to sand back, prime and re-paint.

By this evening, the dressing table should be starting to take shape. I’ll grab a couple of pics if the weather holds out…

Saturday Evening

I didn’t get as much done as hoped; partly because the weather was a bit iffy, and partly because I have a poorly horse. Nevertheless, the first coat of ‘French Linen’ is on and the dressing table is starting to take on a quite different look. Here it is:

Edwardian dressing table halfway through refurb.

It’s not the best pic in the world, but you can perhaps see how the dresser top sanded back to a lovely pale red; a little different to the dark, scratched top that you saw at the beginning. If Jasper’s a little better tomorrow, I’ll get most, if not all the painting finished, tidy it all up a bit and will then leave the paintwork to cure before waxing.


The second coat of ‘French Linen’ went on today, but because the weather was quite damp, I had problems getting a smooth finish. I find that chalk paint goes on best in a dry atmosphere; it’s so absorbent that dampness seems to soften the first coat, making the second coat drag a little. Not the end of the world, but just meant I had to lightly sand back this evening, to get it all looking smooth. The pic below was taken with a flash, so has bleached out and distorted the colours.

Dressing table drawers

As you can see, I’ve flashed over the handles with ‘Antoinette’, to match them to the drawer edges. I usually paint the inside rims too, but these drawers are a flush fit and I didn’t want to end up with them sticking. The dressing table may be waxed tomorrow if the weather holds out. I have to have my paint shack doors open to get light in there, but the weather forecast says heavy rain, so I’ll have to play it by ear.

I was hoping to get the big dining set finished off and photographed, but that project is on hold until a better day. I lifted out the painted base today to get it waxed and then had to put it back in a hurry when it started to drizzle. I need a bit of room with the base, so can’t wax it in the paint shack.

Jasper is sulking. He is stood in the stable with no food (a most serious crime). He had a major bout of colic yesterday, and very nearly collapsed on top of me because his back legs gave way with the spasms. I’m hoping that it’s just a matter of a little too much spring grass, and have shortened his time out in the paddock to try and let his tummy rest a little. Jasper thinks that food deprivation for a couple of hours is extremely cruel, but his ample bottom tells me that he’s not really on the brink of starvation!

Hopefully some pics of the finished dressing table tomorrow or Tuesday…

Oh and I almost forgot… let this be our little secret, ok? I can trust you not to tell anyone, can’t I? It’s just that when I was painting the edges of the drawers today, my husband tutted and said I was making a mess. He then proceeded to show moi how it’s done. “You do the easy bits in the middle and I’ll do these tricky edges” he said (don’t yer just love men for their modesty). I’d love to say he made a hash of it, but his paintwork was better than mine. So, as I said, don’t tell anyone will you? I’m sure I was just having an off day and normal service will resume shortly:-)


I did manage to wax the dressing table earlier today. The mirror needs a clean, but everything else is just about done. The rain prevented an outside pic, but here it is in the paint shack:

Edwardian dressing table, painted Annie Sloan 'French Linen' and 'Antoinette'

The top came up beautifully when waxed – just look at that graining:

Mahogany top, buffed with natural wax

I haven’t distressed the paintwork, or at least not yet. I want to get a better look at the dressing table out in the open tomorrow before I decide for definite. My initial thoughts are to leave it ‘as is’; it might look a bit too busy with the 2 colours of paint and the natural wood competing with distressed paintwork. I can always tweak it at a later date if it doesn’t sell.


Done and Dusted


Edwardian dressing table, painted Annie Sloan 'French Linen' & 'Antoinette'


Watched over by the CEO of the company:

Absolutely gorgeous and the dressing table turned out nice too:-)