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.
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.
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!