Spring has officially arrived. The evenings are getting lighter, the Cornish daffodils and Camellias give us a much needed pop of colour and we are starting to come out of hibernation.It’s the perfect time to start thinking about different ways to add colour to your home.
Many of us own pieces of furniture which have either been handed down to us, or that we've bought for a bargain because the size and shape are perfect, but the exterior finish is dated!
This is where upcycling comes in! If you have a tight budget, searching for second hand furniture online and then painting it is a really good way of getting exactly what you want for a fraction of the price.
Giving furniture a second life is a really sustainable thing to do too! Or maybe you own a really dark piece of furniture that could do with sanding down and a fresh lick of paint.
In her own home, Allison re-painted this beautiful chest of drawers in our Stargazey paint. This colour is reminiscent of the blue baked mackerel which peep their heads out from a piping hot pastry in a traditional Cornish Stargazey pie. She has created a decoupage effect by printing some of our artwork onto standard print paper, cutting the elements out and sticking them onto the drawers. She’s then finished them of beautifully with some of our brass drawer handles in the seahorse and scallop design.
If you'd like to try this at home Allison suggests:
1.Remove the drawer pulls or knobs
2.Sand down the furniture with heavy duty sandpaper or a sander
3.Apply an undercoat to the wood, then when dry, paint two coats of your preferred emulsion/eggshell
4.Use regular printing paper to print the design you would like to use, cut each element out using either scissors or a sharp craft knife and stick it on with PVA glue.
5.Once dried, apply a varnish over the top of the pattern.
6.When the varnish is dry, add your new drawer handles/knobs to complete the look!
Stencilling with paint
Stencilling is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways of adding pattern to a room. You can look for a template you like online or in a book and trace it onto the stencilling paper to cut out. Or, if you’re feeling creative, you can create your own stencil from scratch. Sometimes you can search high and low for a wallpaper that matches a specific pattern you have in mind and never quite find it. But with stencilling, that problem is avoided!
I've been looking at my blank fireplace surround for a while wondering what I could add to make it more interesting. I decided to use CREAM’s paint Engine House and stencilled a seaweed pattern on the walls each side of the fireplace. This colour is a reminder of Cornwall’s heritage and depicts the tin mine chimneys which tower above the trees.
I then styled the fireplace with costal accessories like shells and our Sea Urchin stack which help to give the stencilled seaweed more context and created an 'under the sea' feel.
If you’re thinking of trying this technique here are some tips for the practical side of stencilling-
1.Work out where you want each stencil and mark the position lightly with a pencil
2.Secure the stencil in place with masking tape.
3.Use a stiff stencilling brush and dab it into a small amount of emulsion paint, dab off any excess and then apply it to the stencil using a quick stippling action.
4.When the paint has dried, remove the stencil and admire your work!
Adding pops of colour through accessories
If there’s a paint colour that you really love but you’re not sure you want to paint a whole room with it, you can paint accessories in the room instead. Maybe a lamp base, picture frame or a shelf, for something small you should only need a tester pot of paint.
Rebecca decided to paint one of our wooden lamp base's in our ‘Gig Red colour way. It’s name comes from the traditional red colour that cuts through the waves as the gig boats vie for victory! She's teamed it with this handsome whale lampshade which is new to our Classic collection and will be available online soon.
A few simple steps if you want to try this at home:
1.Before painting you should make sure any sockets/wires are taped up and out of the way.
2.Give the base a light sanding so the surface is clean and the paint will take to it easily.
3.Cover any areas you don’t want to paint with masking tape
4.Prime the wood with a white primer or undercoat
5.Once dry, add coats of your tester pot, allow to dry between coats until it’s your preferred colour. Then it's time to find the perfect lampshade, [we have plenty to choose from!] and display your lamp!
Not only is painting a calming and therapeutic task for many people, but changing the appearance of something you own brings a sense of accomplishment. Looking at that wall, accessory or piece of furniture that you transformed at home every day will make you feel really proud! All of our paint colours are available in emulsion, gloss, eggshell or masonry quality depending on your needs.
Please share what you create using our sample pots to #creamcornwall and most of all, have fun!