July Guest Post :: Emma ::

Dear Annie and Laura,

As you know I recently moved to Brighton (south cost of England), a lovely city by the sea with lots of colourful shops in some narrow winding lanes called "the lanes" selling handmade cushions, tons of vintage clothes and furniture. In fact you two would be able to sell your crafts here no problem!

There's even this crazy "mock indian" palace called the Royal Pavilion right in the center of Brighton (just a few moments from the beach) which belonged to King George 4th. I bet the King held some really unforgettable and decadent parties there, as the palace inside is rich in colour with gold, gold and more gold!
Even graffiti artist Banksy has decided to spray paint one of his famous images in the centre of Brighton, everyone just walks past it... but that piece of wall must be worth thousands... and there's not even glass over the top of it to protect it!
Anyway, as you can see Brighton is a very inspiring place. In the first few months of being here I was on the search for furniture for our new house, but found all of the pieces I liked were too expensive. So, I started looking at house clearances and junk shops to find furniture I could afford.

And that's how it all began...

I love the look of painted furniture, and so my first piece was a 50's dressing table I picked up at a house clearance. I could see someone had already tired to paint it, so I lightly sandpapered the dressing table. Then, I got some cream gloss paint and some lovely wallpaper and here's the final result...

I found gloss paint really sticky and it took ages to dry... So, although I love the look of gloss, it was really difficult to use. I had to lock the dressing table in a room so Samson my 3 year old wouldn't touch it whilst it was drying! I then got the furniture bug and searched for paint that was easier to sue. I found Annie Sloan paint www.anniesloan.com, specially made for painting furniture. It was so much easier to use, and quick to dry. What a relief! Here's a sideboard I painted in Annie Sloan Old Ochre. I then waxed the sideboard using clear and dark wax, then distressed it (by using sandpaper) and then I put Celia Birtwell paper inside the sideboard drawer and doors.

Here's another piece I've painted recently...

The time as well as painted it, and waxing it, I attempted decoupage. I cut out this lovely detailed bird image from some very grand looking wallpaper, and I used Mod Podge to stick it on.
As you can imagine I make quite a few mistakes, but the great thing with paint, is you can always paint over your bodge ups! I finish all of my furniture with clear and dark wax... it gives the piece more depth. but a word of warning about wax, always put clear wax on first before using dark wax, otherwise you won't be able to wipe off the dark wax, and your furniture will look like you;ve smeared treacle all over it!... I found that out the hard way!

I now sell the furniture I've customised, and I've set up my own vintage furniture business called birdy furniture www.birdyfurniture.co.uk

Now our house is full of my "birdy furniture" and we're building a workshop in our garden so I can paint and wallpaper to my hears content, hurray!

Oh, it's so much fun making a tired old piece zing and new,  you should try it!

lots of love from
birdy AKA Emma! xxx


  1. Wow they look amazing! If only I had more room for furniture...

  2. Well done and how lovely that a business was born out of necessity. You should do a tutorial on how you revamp a piece of furniture. Thanks for the Annie Sloan tip

  3. They look fab! I read your blog and then sat here for a few mins thinking how I could decorate some of my furniture. If only I had time for more projects, I feel quite inspired x


Thank you so much for commenting, we love to hear what you have to say.
Annie and Laura x

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