Pin Image

A Splash Of Paint

Author: Lottie Manns

Sometimes I just don’t have the time (or the inclination) to do a room makeover. I wish I was like Lauren who is uber motivated and can transform a whole snug in one weekend. I look at her Instagram and feel rather useless. Life just sort of gets in the way.

What I am good at though is getting one with a little job that makes me feel like I’ve made an effort and brings a little bit of something new to a room. I’m all about the quick and easy updates in my house. Oh, and a bit of colour. With the long Easter weekend coming up soon I wanted to give you a few ideas so you can go and stock up on supplies.

I’m a bit of a fan of some simple paint effects to change things around a bit. I’m not talking about the sponging or rag rolling that our parents favoured back in the early 90s but just something that you can do by grabbing a bit of left over paint.

Blackboard Wall

I’ve long admired a nice blackboard wall and one weekend I decided that it was time I gave it a try. Off I whizzed to B&Q and I was back 20 minutes later, and £12 lighter, clutching a tin of apparently easy to apply blackboard paint. And it was. I decided to go for one of our pillars so gave it a quick sugar soap and I was ready to go. I will admit here I am not normally one for masking tape, preferring a steady hand, but in this case I didn’t want to risk getting black everywhere so applied tape to the skirting, ceiling and at the edges. I then got going with the paintbrush and within a matter of minutes the first coat was done. I ended up doing three coats just to get a nice even finish but it dried super quick so didn’t take long at all. It’s been a great addition except for the initial disaster of using the wrong chalk pen which subsequently didn’t wipe off and so I had to paint it again! Oh well.

The benefit is I’ve hardly used any of the paint so have been able to do all manner of projects with it since from a chalkboard globe to signage for parties. I’ve even lent it to friends so they can add chalkboard walls too. I’ve seen people paint doors with it or a whole hallway so it really depends on the look you want.

If black isn’t really your thing the Annie Sloan chalk paint does exactly the same thing and so you could create a lovely grey chalkboard or even a dusky pink if you so desired.

Photo Frames

In our old house we had black photo frames but when we moved they just didn’t really go with the look I wanted. Rather than buying all new ones I simply got painting. I’ve tried using an undercoat and eggshell but by far the quickest has been using chalk paint as there is no faffing required first. Just remove the back of the frame and the glass so you just have the wooden frame. Then apply a few thin coats of paint. You can add wax or varnish afterwards if you like.


I seem to have a myriad of old chairs knocking about and they have ended up everywhere from the bathroom to the bedroom. In our bedroom I decided to give one a bit of freshen up with some pops of colour. First off I gave it a light sand and a wash down before applying an undercoat. Once that was dry I used Farrow & Ball Wimborne White all over. You want to go with thin coats to avoid getting too many paint drops if it’s more of an ornate chair. I rate Farrow and Ball Eggshell for any woodwork as I like the application and the finish. Once I had done two coats I left this for a day to dry completely. I then masked off a small section at the bottom of each leg, measuring them to make sure they were the same. I then bought some neon paint from Homebase in pink which I painted on the bottom on the legs. I needed about 3 or 4 coats to get a strong colour. Once it is dry you just peel off the tape and voila. You could paint any part of the chair in different colours be it the whole legs or even the spindles.


I have copious amount of baskets around our house filled with everything from makeup to kids toys. They are from all a mixture of shops such as Ikea, John Lewis, B&Q and Wilko. I’ve been rather taken with the dipped effect baskets that are out there so decided to give it a go myself. The quickest way is to simply dip the basket in to the paint. You would first need to pour your paint in to a large tub, like a washing up bowl, and then carefully dip the basket in and remove it. In my mind that seemed a bit messy and required a lot of paint when really I wanted to use up what I had so instead I got the paintbrushes out. You need to carefully mask off where you want the paint to come to and then get painting. I just used emulsion I had already but any type of paint will do.

Once it was finished I decided to make a little wool tassel (blatantly copying after spying some lovely ones on the M&S Instagram!). Just wind wool round and round a small book or your hand until you have a thick loop. Then thread a bit more wool though the top end and tie in a knot. This will allow you to attach it to the basket. Carefully slide the loop of the book and then tie another bit of wool about a quarter of the way down to form the top of the hassle. Finally snip through the bottom of the loop to make the tassle and attach to the basket.


Ok, so my lamps were bought from Habitat but there is nothing stopping you adding a bit of paint or spray paint to your lamps to give you a different look.
So that’s a few of my quick ideas but, honestly, just grab your left over paint and brushes and get creative. Hours of fun!

Author: Lottie Manns
Cake baker (and cake eater!) extraordinaire. Drawn to all things girly and glittery.
Follow Lottie on instagram @buttercreamanddreams

18 thoughts on “A Splash Of Paint

  1. Love the chairs! I have a couple have been meaning to re paint and then had a baby and then BOOM, as you said, life got in the way. DIY with a small person is a nightmare, half the hands on the task when one of you is on babysitting duty. I dream of a week child free so sort my interior to do list which am sure I could easily achieve if could focus on something for more than 20 minutes without being interrupted! You are not the slightestest bit useless, your insta feed is fab and your cakes are just yum xx

    1. Ah, thanks Rachel. DIY and kids definitely don’t mix! I had planned to paint the lounge yesterday then trips to the park and numerous requests took over. Oh well, there is always next weekend! xxx

  2. Lottie, you don’t half make me laugh. That snug took weeks!
    Totally pinching the painted basket idea for a palm I’ve just moved in to the living room. Thanks lovely x

  3. Perfect! A woman after my own heart; not enough time to do the big stuff but doing a wee bit of small stuff every so often makes me so happy (Ive got a PostIt note above my desk asking ‘what one thing can you create or change today’). I’ve painted some dodgy frames recently (beech, anyone?), and have an IKEA Frostra stool just waiting to be pimped with blackboard paint and some brushed gold contact paper on the legs, a la your neon chair. I’m definitely giving the basket painting a go this weekend too. Just one question – where’s your fab drainer from in the kitchen?

    1. Loving your post its Anita. Might need to get myself some. And how epic does your gold stool sound? Love it. The drainer was from Homesense but I can’t find a make on it, sorry! xxx

  4. Love these ideas. I painted our lamps that were chocolate brown early noughties ones with Annie Sloan duck egg chalk paint and changed the shades and it made such a difference for only a few pounds. I quite fancy a chalkboard but don’t really have any wall space in our kitchen. I’ve been debating painting the end pantry unit with chalk paint but it’s a lovely new Howdens kitchen and it seems sacrilege to paint it when we spent so much on it! I might do a bit of mdf and attach it to the end instead.

    1. Love the sound of the lights, it’s so good when something small makes a big difference. Hmmm, I’d probably be the same on the cupboards. I think Lauren has done chalkboards on mdf so definitely a good option as you can remove it afterwards if you want xx

      1. Hi Lottie… just wondered what the chalk pen was that worked in the end? Just so I don’t make the same mistake as you?! Fab post!

    2. I’ve used matte contact paper and stuck it on the beer fridge in our shed; not sure what it might do to your pantry unit, but might work somewhere!

  5. Great ideas Lottie! Love the chalk board wall. I’m feeling quite overwhelmed with the shear amount of decorating and pimping furniture jobs that we have to do at home and instead of tackling one small thing at a time, I just do nothing at all!
    We want to paint our wooden dining table and chairs (currently a waxy pine colour) and would love to see a post on how to go about doing this! I have had all sort of advice from acid wash to sanding – not a clue! Happy Monday everyone x

    1. I try to do one small thing at a time as a long list can look rather daunting. On the dining table get yourself some Annie Sloan paint as it goes over everything. No need to sand or prime so if you are like me and need quick fixes it is excellent. Then just pop some varnish or wax over the top to protect it. I did our pine dining table legs a dark graphite colour and it looks great xx

  6. I love chalk paint – so easy to use and very little prep needed. I want to give a chest of drawers in my bedroom a makeover. I did a whitewash effect on my welsh dresser and thinking of the same for the drawers as it turned out beautifully. Once spring/summer is here and I can make mess outside in the garden in the warm I usually have some painted project furniture on the go!

  7. Random question, but what’s happened to Lolly’s final rock my room instalment? Have I missed it? x

  8. Hi Rebecca, it’s coming very soon A few plumbing difficulties have meant it’s delayed ever so slightly but Adam is shooting this week 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *