Sunday, 12 February 2012

Something old....something new.

Today was about doing another of those jobs that I have been meaning to do for some time. We've got a modern pine toy box which for a long time lived in the play room as inoffensively pine as the day we bought it in 2006.  Problem is,'inoffensive' does not last long in this house. It's been living under the painting equivalent of the Sword of Damocles ever since we got it!

Stripped pine is actually a 20th century fad. Prior to the '60's, joinery was either painted or occasionally stained to resemble expensive or exotic wood. The only wood you would find exposed in a Victorian house was the top of the kitchen table or the top of the dresser. I have a stripped pine dresser in my kitchen which I was lucky enough to inherit from the previous owners of the house. It is actually a really nice dresser and looks perfectly in keeping even in its stripped state. I will, however, over the summer months, be giving that a new look too.

Now, my plan was to trot along to the local DIY shop and choose some nice new paint with which to transform the box. No chance. My better half reminded me that we had a cellar full of half used tins of paint and that I should start there. The evidence above speaks for itself. No shortage of colour choices and paint finishes in this house, and that's only a fraction of our stash!
And so to the colour choice.
I've moved the box from the playroom into the conservatory and therefore decided to match the colour to the desk that is already in there. The colour chosen is 'Elephant's Breath', a Farrow and Ball paint. I love the colour...I love the name! I don't only use Farrow and Ball paint, but I do like the range of colours they produce and the names are great. The chair pictured is painted in 'Mulberry', a matt paint from the Sanctuary range at Homebase. The two colours work really well together.

It's a very natural colour but varies massively in appearance depending on where it's positioned in the house. Another prime example of the need for testing in different lights. In good light it is a light putty colour, as seen on the picture. When the desk was in a darker room it definitely displayed a more brownish tone. 
On the subject of paint, I read an article recently celebrating the work of designer and decorative paint expert, Annie Sloan. She and her team have been blending a particular type of paint for transforming dark, unfashionable furniture or pine, or simply odd bits of furniture that appear to no longer have a place, into more desirable pieces, rather than getting rid of them. The beauty of her paints is that no sanding, stripping or time consuming fiddliness is needed! It has been called 'paint for girls' and as someone who hates the whole 'prep' bit that is music to my ears! Apparently, men have yet to be convinced that it is possible to paint without the prep. I don't care. I'm sold already!

My 'new' toy box.

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