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I think the above, title phrase is a local saying from my North Nottinghamshire roots. I’ve never heard anyone in Lincolnshire use the phrase, but it suits perfectly the next couple of items I’ll be working on. Both items have Queen Anne legs that definitely couldn’t stop a pig in a gennel.

One is a charming writing bureau with pretty veneers:

walnut veneered writing bureau

It hasn’t been touched yet, hence the dusty inside:

inside the writing bureau

There’s no major faults with the bureau, but I need to find a tiny handle to replace the missing one from the little drawer that’s inside the bureau top.

The other item is a beauty. It’s a Victorian dressing table, with long Queen Anne legs that give it a touch of elegance:

minus the mirror - sanded and washed down

The mirror has been removed whilst preparation takes place, along with the little side drawers (that sit either side the mirror) and all of the handles are off in readiness for the next step:

Victorian mahogany dressing table

The heavily varnished top has been sanded back to reveal a lovely pale mahogany patina, which should wax and buff very nicely:

lovely pale graining under all that varnish

I’d toyed with the idea of painting the dressing table top, but once the sanding revealed the pale wood hues, it seemed right to keep it natural. Had the top been much darker and brighter in the red mahogany tones, I’d have been tempted to paint it because it might have looked a little too bright against the pale paintwork that I’ve planned for it. Hubby thought blue paint, I thought pink; must be a classic boy/girl thing. Some men embrace pink, I don’t think hubby’s one of em. But this one is definitely a girly dressing table and Annie Sloan ‘Antoinette’ will suit it well.

I’m going to enjoy working on these 2 pieces; they’re right up my street.


The first coat of paint has gone on the dressing table and its now at the ‘ugly’ stage:

All being well, once the second coat is on, the dressing table will start to blossom. We decided to put back the little side drawers before painting, but masked around them to protect the sanded woodwork to the dressing table top:

The bureau is being painted to order for a client. The drawers aren’t being painted – the pretty veneers should come up well with a little work. I may start work on the bureau this afternoon if the second coat of paint to the dressing table goes on without too many problems AND if the weather stays fine (which isn’t looking too hopeful at the minute).


The dressing table is finished. I could refurbish one of these every week; it was such a pleasure to work on:

Victorian dressing table, painted Annie Sloan 'Antoinette'


I added texture with rough waxing a little distressing:

Lightly distressed paintwork

Pretty Tina Givens fabric line the drawers:

Tina Givens fabric line the drawers