A Yellow Rocking Chair

My earliest memory of this rocking chair is sitting in it with my sister in the kitchen.  We both had one of the many childhood illnesses maybe it was chicken pox, I’m not sure.  It’s more of a feeling than an actual proper memory I think.  I know I wanted to be near my mum in the busy farm kitchen rather than in bed.  We were well enough to be up but not well enough to be running around obviously.  We sat in the chair all bundled up gently rocking whilst my Mam got on with the business at hand.  I felt comfortable and safe.

Rocking chair Before shot

Thirty years on and the chair is still going strong!  But it is in need of a little TLC.  It now sits in the sunniest room in my parents house – the porch.  It is used to drink a morning coffee or read a Sunday newspaper, or relax and enjoy the view of the garden (and the sun).  Which there actually was quite a bit of during my visit in August.

Following on from the living room makeover the porch was my next port of call and the rocking chair is the fun bit!  I decided to add a little glass of wine to the 2nd coat proceedings, as the majority of the painting was now being done in the evening after I had finished work and Madam was in bed.

Rocking chair plus wine

I have had my eye on English Yellow (Annie Sloan chalk paint) for a while now.  My husband and I hope to use it for a project at home in the future.

The chair needed a good scrub.  It has several little annoying crevasses where you just know are going to be tricky to clean.  It didn’t take long and I was able to build it into a game my daughter and I were playing.  Double whammy.  Get some work done while entertaining a 5 year old.  A morning well spent. We had set up a fruit and veg shop in my mums garden.  We expanded to selling furniture and plant pots.  My daughter decided to charge €50 for a banana.  And my mum ‘paid’ it! I don’t know if I should be proud of my daughter for selling a banana that must impart the eater with everlasting life at that price, or disappointed with my mother that she would pay that much for a banana.  Although she did get a bargain on the carrots….

ANYWAY! Once the cleaning was done the painting could begin.  Two coats plus a varnish and Voila! I LOVE this colour. It is bright and beautiful. A perfect colour to reinvent an old friend.  There is a piano in my life that might get this colour too.  Time and energy is all that is needed!

Mams rocking chair after

Making a room cohesive

Following on from my first post about my parents living room.  I now give you – how to bring the room together!

I basically painted the majority of furniture with one colour – Annie Sloan Old Ochre chalk paint.  Once the end cabinet was done it was obvious that to bring the room cohesivley together what it needed was more painting!  Cue MASSIVE groan.  That’s where the snowball began.

Thank GOODNESS the paint is so easy to go on.  When doing the larger pieces of  dark wood furniture I did end up using an undercoat first.  As for the end cabinet, I had to do three coats of paint and then one coat of varnish.  So that was a LOT of painting, my poor aching arm. (SO worth it though)  As long as the surface is clean and dry before you start, you are good to go.  And when I say a layer of undercoat it isn’t like a very nicely perfectly painted piece.  You are literally just using it to take the harm out of the dark wood so that it doesn’t show up through the paint.  A VERY rough coat indeed.  It’s still the same number of coats but you get to save a little on being so precise with the chalk paint.

So in the Living Room I painted:

The marble fireplace and wooden surround (painting marble who knew!  LOVED it)

A large mirror

2 tables

2 stools

A cabinet

2 light fixtures (who knew – my Dad was the one who wanted those and as he wasn’t objecting to the rest of it so I got right to it!)

and 4 wicker baskets

Here is a little sample of what I was working with.  Mostly dark wood and a fair amount of varnish.


So the majority I covered in Old Ochre. The fireplace surround and the mirror were both done in Louis Blue. A really lovely blue, a lot paler than the other Annie Sloan blues that I have put in my house.  There is a little of it in the carpet so it looks GREAT!  A really beautiful pop of colour I think.  The entire room was lifted.  You now walk in and take a big sigh and chillax into one of the sofas to watch the Bake Off, or Countryfile whichever is your fancy 🙂

Unfortunately, as it was not my intention to paint the whole bl**dy room, I don’t have a great before shot.  BUT this is the after shot.  It looks GREAT though doesn’t it!  (Note my daughter was in the middle of organising a sports club hence all the cuddly toys at the back)


I do have a before and after of the fireplace.  Now THAT looks great.  (Those tables are now Old Ochre also)

Before and After Fireplace

Next Stop…. The Porch, which includes, a hat stand, a rocking chair, another chair, a wee table (with a little Calvin & Hobbes decoupage) and a bookshelf.  Oh and the DOOR!  SO pleased my Mother and Father let me paint their door.

Thanks for reading 🙂

My Mams Living Room Cabinet

My parents have had this dark wooden cabinet ever since I can remember. I think it went in at some stage of the mid 80s. But I’m not sure.  Mam has been saying how much she would like to change it.

Mams dark cabinet

It definitely could do with a little TLC.

Before I go any further, a foreword is required.

I went home to Ireland for the month of August (which was heavenly) and let me tell you I had no intention of doing anything other than hanging out with my parents and daughter and catching up with as many friends that were around. Somehow I ended up painting 14 pieces of furniture…  I still caught up with some friends and got to hang out with my parents and daughter a lot.  But talk about the snowball effect! The cabinet was the start of the whole thing.

So I myself have painted almost every piece of furniture in my house with annie sloan chalk paint. I LOVE the stuff.  It will go on anything and look beautiful!  Although I have previously tried it on shiny leather and it wasn’t so good.  I put it down to inexperience.  I digress…

I thought it time to introduce my mother to the delights of chalk paint.  After discussing it we decided on a mixture of old white and henrietta.  I Googled Annie Sloan Cork.  As this paint is only available in the smaller retail outlets.  Buy from the smaller suppliers when you can peeps!

I was hoping there was a local stockist and ta daaaa! I found ‘The Paint Pot’ (http://thepaintpot.ie/) on St. Patricks Quay in Cork City.  I headed on up there and spoke to Jackie who THANKFULLY talked me out of that and INTO Old Ochre. I hadn’t used it before.  And boy am I glad I changed the plan.  So is my mother! The Henrietta would have been too much pink for that room.

The cabinet was an absolute MONSTER to paint.  All those different compartments and corners.  And to add insult to injury my little roller broke half way through.  But I ploughed on and boy am I happy that I did. Dogged determination. I get that from my Dad I think.

Ta Daaaaaa!!!!

Mams lving room cabinet

That is where the snowball started. The end cabinet was done and the TV cabinet started shouting at us. I think that is 40 years old and also in dire need of a lick if paint.  So that went old ochre. Jackie also had these beautiful handles which with the help of my wonderful father we also changed. The TV cabinet needed a couple of new holes made and a few holes needed to be filled. The end result is a beautiful cohesive unit that actually matches. It makes the room feel lighter and more pleasant to sit in and watch The Great British Bake Off.  WHAT a difference. It took me the guts of two days. 3 coats plus a coat of varnish.  I would normally use wax but thankfully Jackie introduced me to varnish which gives a great finish and is a LOT quicker and easier to apply.

Then the fireplace started shouting at us, a combination of DARK wood and marble.  BUT I’ll leave that to another post…  I needed a rest in my Mothers amazing garden


and a giggle with Calvin and Hobbes before I did any more painting.

Calvin why people don't like cats

Further studies in green

First of all Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh.  Wishing you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day.  I will be celebrating my nations National day by judging a St. Patrick’s Day themed cake challenge and partaking in an Irish dancing lesson organised by the wonderful Sports and Social club at work.

How fitting to post something green today.  Enjoy.

So I decided to paint ANOTHER piece of furniture in Antibes green.

We have a radiator cover in our hallway that we bought in a local big DIY store as an unpainted flat pack.


I first painted it grey.

Radiator cover upcycle furniture annie sloan antibes green before aRadiator cover upcycle furniture annie sloan antibes green before b

(I had started my green painting before I realised WAIT!  I need to take a photo or two, so I can do before & after shots.  I can sometimes be a little impatient…)

I thought I quite liked the idea of a grey feature piece in the hallway.  In my mind I was thinking chic and statement.  But as soon as I painted it my husband and I knew it just wasn’t right. We wanted COLOUR!  So as I had just done the bed (see previous post) I thought green it is!                   I actually started this the same day as the bed. But life got in the way, so it took a bit longer to complete than I first thought…


BOOM!  SOOOO much better in green.

Radiator cover upcycle furniture annie sloan antibes green before after paintRadiator cover upcycle furniture annie sloan antibes green before tip

TIP alert!  When painting something like this use diagonal strokes across the piece.  You waste less paint that way.  I had a fair bit dripping down the opposite side before I figured this out.

So the main painting is done.  (one coat, it needed two plus wax) And this is where I stopped for a while.  I later got the idea about the top of the cover.  So actually sometimes a bit of time between finishing projects can be a GOOD thing.  (tell that to your partner next time you are half way through a project that you said you would finish two weeks ago).  I have done several pieces of furniture with Annie Sloan chalk paint and the tops have not all stayed as pristine as I would like.  A hallway radiator cover is going to see a LOT of traffic in its lifetime.  So I decided I needed to protect it with more than just paint.  I have used mod podge on a previous project (as yet unfinished completely – 3 years later ooops!!)  Mod Podge without getting too technical is a type of glue sealant thing.  (I said it wouldn’t be technical)  I found a good explanation here:  http://easycrafts.wikia.com/wiki/Mod_Podge Anyway!  I had to buy mine on Amazon a few years ago due to it not being available in the UK.  I don’t know if you can get it now.

I digress…  Anyway!  I decided on paper plus mod podge.  I found a beautiful piece of wrapping paper  with badgers and the same colour green acorn and sycamore leaves as the radiator cover.  Cute and quirky, just how I like it.

What you need:

Pretty paper, mod podge (I used the matte version but there are LOADS of different types of finishes available), a paint brush, a card.  A used gift card is useful.  If you use a credit or debit card you will get glue all over it and may never be able to take it out of your wallet again.  Which if you are trying to save money might be a good thing but you have been warned….

Radiator cover upcycle furniture annie sloan antibes green mod podge tools

Measure out how much paper you need.  Unfortunately, the pattern repeat on mine was impossible to match.  I probably should have bought two sheets to match it correctly but that would be a lot of wasted paper.  And to be honest it didn’t cross my mind to check until I was at home and crafting.  It didn’t really bother me so I just carried on.  If this bothers you, think about pattern repeat beforehand.

Put the paper on top and crease down the side so that you know where to cut.  Cut the paper to size.  Make sure you know which piece is going to go where.  Because once you get the glue on you need to move quite quickly.  Paint on a layer of mod podge with your brush like so….

Radiator cover upcycle furniture annie sloan antibes green before

Then carefully lay the paper on top, using the card to push out any bubbles.  Then seal the top of the paper with another layer of mod podge.  Once again using a handy used gift card, smooth out all the bubbles, or if you are feeling rebellious your credit or debit card – Just kidding DON’T DO IT!!! unless you are TRYING to save money and you don’t WANT to be able to get your cards out of your wallet…  In this pic you will see some of what I mean, to the left of the pic there are little bubbles at the edge where I have pushed them out from the middle.  Keep pushing and it should stick ok.  You might need to add a little more mod podge underneath (use the card to get it in) this should  properly stick the paper to the wood.

Radiator cover upcycle furniture annie sloan antibes green after top

Ta dahhhh!!!!!

Radiator cover upcycle furniture annie sloan antibes green after

There is no natural light in my hallway so the chances of good pictures (taken on my phone) are slim.  But you get the idea.  I LOVE my new radiator cover.  As does my husband and daughter, phew!  A nice little piece of personality when you enter the home.

PS. Remember to clean the glue out of your brush.  DON’T get lazy and leave it in the sink thinking “I’ll do that a bit later” because you know what glue does?  It hardens and this will ruin your brush.  Not that I did that or anything.  Of course not.  Ahem….