Tarting up brown furniture

Before I whiz off for my early morning swim on a beautiful sunny morning in London I wanted to talk about brown furniture. Did you know that people literally can’t give brown furniture away? I go to a lot of fleas and antique markets and its like the bottom has fallen out of the market. I’m not talking retro or antique as such I’m talking ornate little grandma brown tables, chairs or consoles, sideboards, lamp bases and mirrors.

The desk in my studio is actually a small dining table. Picked that up for a £100. A console that I once sprayed red I nabbed at £30. I’ve got ornate mirrors for £10 from a street market in Notting Hill, bedside occasional tables for £25 – crazy prices.  Which gets me quite nicely to my next point. The easiest thing in the world is to revamp them or spray them because with a lick of paint before you know it you will have completely transformed something quite drab looking into something quite fab looking.

Here are my go to tips:

  1. Forget the state anything is in (unless its unusable of course) and instead focus on the shape. I’m drawn to ornate, curly twisted legs, lions clawed feet that sort of thing. The fact that its brown and going for a song doesn’t put me off a bit as I know I can transform it!
  2. Now for the fun part start the clean up.  Wash down with soapy water and then wood filler any blemishes or cracks – we’re getting professional here!
  3. Sand – imperative this part as the primer will need something to stick to so I use a superfine sand paper over the entire surface of the piece. Smooth out any wood filled bits of course.
  4. Rub down with a cloth that doesn’t leave lint or residue on your piece of furniture then prime.
  5. Nearly there all you need to do now is use a high quality paint.  Apply at least two coats and you’ve nailed it. One  last tip if it’s a table or something that you are using pretty regularly consider a varnish or sealer over the top to prevent the piece from chipping up.

You could of course take the piece to a garage as I once did to get it sprayed so it comes out super glossy and beautiful looking or you could even leave it brown. Next week I’m actually doing a piece on how to integrate brown furniture into any scheme. In the meantime I’m off to hit the pool!

Have a lovely day!

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