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.


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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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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

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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

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Best Laid Plans

Last week I made a trip up to my parents house to collect two vintage bureaux which they
had bought and were storing in their lock up. The plan was to arrive for lunch, stencil some cupboards in the freshly decorated guest room, load the car with the two pieces of furniture, and drive home the following morning….

I did arrive for lunch and I drove home the following morning, but the bit about stencilling the cupboards or even loading the two pieces of furniture went slightly awry!

We made the fatal error of just popping to the furniture warehouse after lunch. The result being that I bought four gorgeous Priory chairs for my own home. After much wrestling with the furniture my dad and I eventually conceded that although my beaten up old car  possesses Tardis like qualities, there are limits!

The bureau which I did mange to bring home was painted and stencilled the following day. The exterior is a lovely soft grey and the drop down desk is stencilled using the Kota, Jaipur and Neemrana stencils. By late Saturday morning it was safely installed in my unit at Hertfordshire Craft Collective, by late Saturday afternoon it was sold!

Needless to say another trip is planned for the near future to collect the remaining bureau.


grey8grey1grey5#stencils #paintedfurniture #nicolettetabramstencils


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How To Stencil A Wooden Chair

One of the great things about my chair being featured in Country Living Magazine is that I have sold stencils to a lot of people who are complete stencil novices.

This post is for all of you first timers, I hope it helps and I hope it shows you how incredibly easy it is to achieve good results!

1) You will need:

wooden chair/chairs


paint for stencilling

stencil brush

spray adhesive or low tack tape


2) Wipe the chair to remove any marks, grease or dust. You can paint the chair in advance or stencil directly onto the wood.

mm3) Lay the stencil on the seat of the chair and cut off the corners if necessary.

tt4) If using spray adhesive, give the stencil a very light covering on the back in a well ventilated area. Lay the stencil in position on the chair and gently smooth over so that it has adhered to the chair. Alternatively apply tape to either side of the stencil.

pp5) Dip the tip of the dry stencil brush into the paint, and remove any excess on the paint pot lid, a piece of paper or even the corner of the stencil. It is very important not to have too much paint on the brush or it will bleed underneath the holes in the stencil.

6) Using a circular motion, apply the paint carefully to the stencil. nn7) Once complete, carefully lift the stencil. You do not have to wait for the paint to dry.

zzvv8) Wether you need to wax or varnish the seat will depend on the type of paint you have used.

9) It’s as easy as that. Good luck!
uu#stencils #countryliving #paintedfurniture



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Country Living Magazine and a Stencilled Chair.

One of my stencilled chairs is featured in Country Living Magazine this month.

It is so simple to create a set of these chairs using the Janpath Stencil. You can still pick up old wooden chairs very cheaply and although sets of chairs tend to be a bit more expensive, a group of mismatched chairs could easily be turned into a ‘set’ by painting and stencilling them.

This chair has been painted using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ in Aubusson, the Janpath Stencil was then added using Old White. Finally, it was finished with a couple of coats of matt varnish.

Scan 5[1]DSC_0019Janpath StenciljanpathNicolette Tabram Chair 1


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