Orange Varnish, Matt Varnish and Bright Red Nail Varnish

Whilst walking back from the gym early last week in the pouring rain, I spotted this cupboard in the window of a shop. For me, it presented the perfect blank canvas for a spot of upcycling. It is a solid pine cabinet which is really useful with lots of space for storage and display and it would look good in most rooms in a house.

However, and it is a big however, it had been painted with a shiny bright orange varnish!

I rarely choose white when painting furniture, but for this piece I went for a lovely clean, fresh vibe, maybe because spring is just around the corner. Once the paint was dry I gave it a couple of coats of matt varnish. Finally I stencilled the interior using the Kasbah Stencil and my Whitstable Stencil Paint.

I began this project with perfectly painted red nails but by the time I began stencilling, the only varnish remaining was that used on the cabinet. Never have a manicure before painting a cabinet!

You can find the Granada Cabinet here and if you fancy having a go yourself, then you can find the Kasbah Stencil here
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Cushions Galore

I have been having a lot of fun stencilling cushion covers this week, using my stencil paint, and I have also mixed some colours using screen printing inks. This is such a quick, easy and satisfying thing to do and here is how.

  1. On a clean surface smooth out the cushion cover. If the fabric is thin place some paper inside the cover to prevent the paint from bleeding through. This is not necessary on thicker fabric such as canvas though.
  2. Lightly coat the back of the stencil with a spray adhesive and position it on the cover gently tapping it down. You could use a low tack tape to hold the stencil in place instead.
  3. Dip the tip of the stencil brush in the paint and remove as much as possible on a piece of paper.
  4. Using a circular motion apply the paint through the stencil, pushing down into the weave of the fabric.
  5. Carefully remove the stencil and once dry press the cover using a hot iron then fill with a lovely squishy pad.I always use a feather filled pad.

It has been great going back to my textile roots this week and now I have a hankering to get back to a bit of furniture painting Tomorrow I’ll be searching for a bargain in need of a touch of TLC and some serious reinvention.

You can find the stencils here

mixingpaintingblue cushionblue cushion 2 16                                        Safia and Fes Stencils8                                        Cordoba Stencil
9                                        Safia Stencilpendeen                                        Pendeen Stencil Paint4cushions

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A Round Up of 2015

I took the whole of the Christmas and New Year holiday off this year and made a conscious decision to stay away from painting, stencilling and social media (as much as possible) in order to give my brain a rest. If you are involved in creative pursuits it can be hard to switch off but there definitely comes a point at which you need to rest your brain.

Back at work and raring to go, I have been putting together a plan of action for the coming year and reviewing what I did last year. Of all the pieces which I stencilled, here is a round up of some of my favourites.

With lots of new stencils to work with, I wonder what the round up will like at the end of 2016!3aainlay 10Step stools 7agra cupboard 6Nicolette Tabram Stool After 2trio1

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Souk Stencil in a Tiny Space


It’s a silly thing I know, but when eating at a restaurant and a visit to the toilet is required, it brings me real pleasure when I discover a patterned floor!  I recently ate at Honey and Co in London and in addition to the gorgeous food, there is also a gorgeous patterned floor leading down to the toilets.

My first job for the new year was to stencil this tiny little space using the new Souk Stencil which is inspired by the simple repeating mosaic tiles found in North Africa. The floor was originally white but in an all white room I wanted to create some depth and add some pattern. There was a stencilled border around the edge which I wanted to keep and so using Duck Tape I masked the edge and with a mini roller painted the rest of the floor with Farrow and Ball Eggshell in Railings, a lovely deep charcoal colour.

Once dry I positioned the Souk Stencil starting at the corner behind the toilet and worked backwards towards the door using my Whitstable stencil paint. The Duck Tape was then carefully lifted to reveal the border.

As the paint is so thinly applied, it dries almost immediately and so I was able to varnish the floor as soon as the stencilling was complete. I applied two coats of Polvine Decorators Varnish in satin finish and then added a final top coat in dead flat finish.

I’m very happy with my first job of the 2016!
floorpaintssouk
door floor                    Souk Stencil

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Ikea Hack – Malm Chest of Drawers

After recently receiving the prototypes for fifteen new stencils which I have designed, I found myself wandering around looking for something to test them all on. It was a case of, I want to test them and I want to test them now!

I didn’t manage to use all fifteen, but five on one piece of furniture isn’t bad going. This project took me roughly one and a half hours to complete and that included a tea break.

Even though I am a big lover of pattern, I do believe that there are times when less is more……..but not this time!!

Only another ten to test and photograph before they will be available on the website
441                    Medina Stencil
2                    Cordoba Stencil
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December 4, 2015 · 3:27 pm

Reloved – December Issue

In my latest project for Reloved Magazine, I have stencilled some galvanised metal containers with my Whitstable Stencil Paint. I am always trying to convince people that stencilling is really quick and easy. Each of these containers took a matter of minutes.

You can pick up old or new metal containers really cheaply and filled with simple white flowers they make gorgeous gifts at a snip of what it would cost to buy something similar.

The December issue of Reloved is out now if you want a step by step account of how to do this yourself.
xmas plantersChristmas StencilSnowflake stencildecember reloved

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Reloved Magazine, an Ikea Hack and a lot of Stencils

One of the things I love about stencils, is the ability to transform the appearance of a surface. In my latest piece for Reloved Magazine I reinvented five Ikea Step Stools,  using a selection of my stencils and stencil paints.

The stools are cheap and offer a perfect blank canvas to take pattern. Instead of painting the whole stool, I applied a dark wood stain using a cotton cloth, and then added the stencil designs. The sides of each of the steps were then painted in a solid colour adding weight and balance.

Initially, I assembled one of the stools before working on it, but this proved to be a mistake, it was tricky manoeuvring the stencil around the legs when working on the bottom step. The other pieces were all assembled once the painting was complete!

There are many more possibilities with these step stools and I could have continued all day with different designs, but five was probably enough!

Or was it………..

You can find the stencil paint and the stencils here nicolettetabram.co.uk
MaterialsUntreated Step StoolWood Staining 2stencillingstencilling2Step Stool PurbeckSouthwoldPendeen StoolHastingsPainted BorderStep stools 7S

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Filed under Painted Furniture, Stencil Paint, Stencils, Uncategorized