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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Filed under Small Painted Items, Stencil Paint, Stencils, Uncategorized

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
MaterialsUntreated Step StoolWood Staining 2stencillingstencilling2Step Stool PurbeckSouthwoldPendeen StoolHastingsPainted BorderStep stools 7S

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Filed under Painted Furniture, Stencil Paint, Stencils, Uncategorized

Pattern, Paint and the Colour Grey

My latest piece of furniture incorporates lots of things which I love. A good glazed cupboard, the colour grey, the opportunity to paint and of course some stencilling which ticks the pattern box.

More and more I have started to stencil directly onto bare wood allowing the original surface to show through. I used the Agra Stencil and my Purbeck Stencil Paint for the back and sides of the interior of this pine cupboard, leaving the shelves untouched. I also decided not to fill the gap in the wood at the side, because it looks so much more interesting with it than it would without it!

pine cupboard

pine cupboard interiorPrintpine cupboard interior 2side

grey drawers back

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Filed under Painted Furniture, Stencil Paint, Stencils, Uncategorized

All In A Name

I am very excited to be launching my own range of stencil paints, developed because I couldn’t find stencil paint in the colours I wanted to use.

The starting point was to mix the colours which I did in my studio using gouache paints. It reminded me of my early days working in textile studios when I would have to mix paint to match swatches of fabrics, adding a touch of yellow here or the merest hint of green there. Once happy with the colours I cut the swatches in half and sent a pack off to the paint manufacturer.

The next step was to name the paints which took a lot of time and a lot of procrastination. The stencils are all named after my travels in India and initially I intended  to continue with the global theme, but eventually settled on travels closer to home, around the UK, mostly in England. As a child, our many holidays and weekends away consisted mostly of camping in the rugged landscapes of Devon and Cornwall. I have many happy memories of beach combing or visiting ruined castles. As an adult living in London I have fallen in love with the pretty towns along the South coast.

Each of the paint names have a little story which you can read about below and you can find the paints here.


This soft white paint is named after the clapboard houses and the famous Oyster festival held in this pretty seaside town on the south coast of England.



The sand on beaches on the Isle of Purbeck is the palest colour that sand could be. It is a place I have returned to many times for summer picnics and long, blustery winter walks.



Battered by the sea and bleached by the sun, Driftwood is named after the colour of the pieces of wood I have often collected on early morning beach walks.



With claims to be the site where King Arthur was conceived, this grey stone castle sits precariously on the cliff top in Cornwall.



Named after the soft grey cornish mist which rolls in from the sea. The sunniest of Cornish days can slowly emerge from this pale grey mist.



Set on the north east coast of Scotland this fishing village holds memories of happy New Year holidays spent with good friends and several failed attempts to launch a Chinese lantern over the steely grey sea at midnight!



This deepest of charcoal greys is named after the fisherman’s huts which nestle on the fisherman’s beach in Hastings.



Named after the pretty painted beach huts at this seaside town in Suffolk. On a good day there is a pretty blue sea!




A visit to this little seaside town in Devon involves a very steep walk down to the harbour filled with colourful fishing boats.  As a child I remember discussions at the top of the hill as to whether my great aunty May would make it!



Named after the bold red stripes on the lighthouse in Happisburg in Norfolk. As a student I used to stay in a cottage on the cliff top in front of this lighthouse.



Filed under Stencil Paint

Half Of A Little Pot Of Paint

In preparation for the launch of my new range of stencil paints, I have been testing the coverage you can achieve from one pot of the paint. I took the opportunity to eventually work on a chest of drawers which is in my bedroom and which I have been planning to stencil for a very long time!

As my regular readers will know, I have a love of Indian bone in-lay furniture which is quite rightly very expensive (based on the skill and time required to make it!) Using some of my border stencils, including a new trailing flower stencil, I decided to create my own homage to the work created by these master craftsmen.

Here is the finished piece. Even I was surprised by the fact that it only took half of the little pot of paint to achieve it!
inlay 11inlay 7inlay 12
inlay 10inlay 9inlay 3inlay 13inlay 2inlay 13

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Filed under Painted Furniture, Stencil Paint, Stencils

A Simple Palette

For somebody who has a love of colour I do seem to paint an awful of furniture in black and white. There is just something really timeless and versatile about this simple palette.

In fact, I rarely actually use black and white, but more of a deep charcoal with a neutral tone which shows off the pattern created by my stencils in a lovely bold graphic kind of way.

Here are some of the pieces I have stencilled with this palette.


stool 3trio1agra cupboard 6mirror 2_DSC0082Nicolette Tabram 1Nicolette Tabram 22


Filed under Painted Furniture, Stencils


When I bought this chest of drawers it had been painted with white gloss paint and removing the handles revealed that originally it was a cream colour. I decided on grey paint with white stencilling on the drawers and gave it a bit of a bone in-lay vibe using the Rajasthan and Neemrana Border stencils.

The drawer pulls were not original and one of rings was missing, so they all needed to be replaced and I chose a lovely white ceramic handle with a grey crackle effect.

Hopefully the drawers will stay like this for some time, although at some point in the future somebody else may well paint them again. There is something intriguing about that, what will the next transformation look like? I don’t really mind that my work may be painted over in the future, it is all in the spirit of conserving our resources, being less wasteful and re-inventing.

Admittedly, I have stencilled my name and the Jaipur stencil on the back though, so maybe I mind a little bit…….

white drwersdrawers closegrey drawer pullsfinished grey drawergrey drawers back#stencils #nicolettetabramstencils #paintedfurniture


Filed under Painted Furniture, Stencils