Linnéa : Got this really ugly homemade table long long time ago and I guess I took it as an challenge to try to make it into something beautiful.....but I really didn't believe it was possible.
I worked on it for a long time, like when you do a regular oil painting. I forgot about it also for a while and then got some new inspiration, to go on with it. And it wasn't until the last layer , that I saw that I had managed to make it to something beautiful.
These 2 cupboards were bought 3 generations back and given fresh paint in the 70s. Now it was time for another refreshment. I was asked to try to match the colour of the tiles in the bathroom - marine blue and seaweed green both with a cream colour marble effect.
After sanding and priming I painted the inside and out, polished the hardware and varnished with my favourite Danish floor varnish (Bondex by Dyrup) which creates a hard and water resistant surface. All primer, paints and varnish that I use are water based i.e. easier on my nose and head, easier to clean sponges, rollers etc and better for the environment.
I ended up painting 3 different versions before settling on this marine blue with cream and green colour veins, the inside is golden mustard with cream veins.
See pictures below, of before and after and close up of the tiles. I will not add captions to the pictures as it seems to mess up the images when viewed on a smart phone.
This a a reproduction bar on wheels made in the 80s, that I was asked to cover with decoupage of my choice.
The couple who own it travel quite a bit and I chose to use that as an inspiration. I asked them which cities they had visited together and the area where they had stayed. Then I took street maps of the cities and designed them in three tones white (streets), grey (buildings) and blue (water). These maps I merged together in what (from a distance) looks like one large city with a river running through it. The cities in the map are: Paris, Bangkok, Athens, Berlin - Kreuzberg, Barcelona, Cape Town, Florence, Hong Kong, Jerusalem, Rome, Bologna and Verona
For the bottom shelf of the bar I got inspiration from my sister who suggested that I should use the maps of the international airport terminals in the above mentioned countries. I made outlines of the terminals in black and white (in Photoshop) and just positioned them in a sort Tetris pattern.
I painted the legs and wheels blue-grey to suit the interior style of the room that the bar would live in.
Detailed pictures of the process are found below in the gallery. I am not adding captions at the moment since I've found that it messes up the pictures if viewed on a mobile phone. So I will let the pictures speak for themselves:
When I moved to this country I dropped everything and for a long while (it took time to get permits etc) I didn't have a job. So living off just my meager savings, half a salary (my partner was a student) and my in laws, we did not have much money to go around. Actually we had no money at all.
Unfortunately around this time my partner's friends all started to get married and as the custom here is to give the married couple a check to "start their new life" (and pay for the huge party), we had a problem. We decided that we would create something together (music and art) and give the married couple a gift instead. But the task drowned when the number of married friends became so large that we didn't know where to begin and how to end.
Then our friend Sarai found a chair on the street and with no idea on how I should redo it, I took inspiration from her life and made Sarai's Tel Aviv Chair - it became their wedding gift. Shortly thereafter Sarai gave me another chair and I decided to make it into a theme.
This chair is for Adi and Michelle.
Michelle's favourite colour is orange - thereof the legs. They both love all night parties and India - thereof the "Mandala" created by casual jeans scraps with the trance colours of orange, pink and red. The back rest is also made from jeans cutoffs and shaped after the hexagon pattern on a football (soccer ball) since Adi is a huge fan and a sports journalist.
I hope they will enjoy it.
At the moment there are 3 other chairs in the process of becoming wedding gifts...
Linnéa : Got this table a long time ago and it has been used as a side table until now.
I really like simple Art Deco patterns and wanted to have one table with this for myself. I painted the pattern, doing the same procedure as with the other tables but before that I had to sandpaper it. I painted the edges black and covered with lacquer and the rest I stained with a mixed stain: nut and mahogany. The wheels I kept for now and just cleaned them.
Finally I could get rid of the long horrible IKEA table that we had used as a table for the children books in our living room and put this new one there instead. It is much smaller and definitely more beautiful than the old one.
Linnéa : A long time ago I got a very ugly side table that was missing its drawer. I didn't like the height of it so the first thing I did was to cut the legs and after sandpapering, I painted it green.
What we really needed in the house was a stool where you can sit and put your shoes on. So I made a seat with an exclusive fabric called " Satara ", to make the stool look a little more chic. I nailed it to the wood with tacks and after that nothing more was done for some months. The reason was the drawer! I just couldn't find a good one that fitted and in the end I just made one out of a old drawer that I had to undo and redo completely!
And finally we have a stool standing next to the front door and spreading a little indian light ( Satara = city in India Maharashtra ).
Linnéa : Sometimes you just cannot find the inspiration to get started with a new project. Sometimes you have to wait for it to come. Sometimes you need to look for it in magazines or in the internet. Sometimes you´ll find a new chair on the street and sometimes your very good friend gives you new project! And this is what happened. Caroline came over one day with two old coffee tables as a gift. I guess she felt that I needed something new.
From the beginning there were three actually, but one got lost on the way. When I saw them, my inspiration kicked in. I knew that I would do some kind of Art Deco pattern on the top and started to look for it on the internet.
Below you can follow the work process step by step!
A friend found this rocking chair in pieces in a dumpster and told me "Do what ever you want" so of course I wanted to try something different.
On many blogs and pages from the US about up-cycling furniture they write about milk paint. Milk paint is probably the oldest painting technique in the world. It has been used in cave paintings and apparently the ancient Egyptians used it in their tombs. Now it is used mostly on furniture to create an antique look or as some call it - "shabby chic".
Now I do not really like "shabby chic" painting, I mean I do like an old piece of furniture with old paint peeling off it, but I want it real, a real old piece of furniture with a story and five layers of paint that have been put on by different owners over the years. The stuff one can buy today, that has been painted and then sand papered to look old, does not feel real to me. But that is just me, I know a lot of people love the style - or else you wouldn't be able to buy it in any furniture store. Besides, I am still experimenting with different techniques and styles and I want to learn more about all kinds of paints so this rocking chair became my "shabby chic" victim.
Milk paint is a very very cool paint. I like that it is nearly completely environmental friendly (depending on what pigment you use) and that one can make unusual effects with it like spidery cracks and flaky paint. My problem was that one cannot buy ready mixed milk paint powder in this country, of course. So I would have to make it from scratch.
It is the protein in milk, casein, which binds pigments to wood and creates the texture of paint and to get casein from milk one can curdle it by using lemon or vinegar which will concentrate the protein. However I was lucky enough to find casein in powdered form in my favorite paint store (www.pigmentim.co.il) so I avoided one messy step. I mixed the casein powder with water, borax and pigments in a 2 day process that I won't describe here. Then I painted two layers of different blues and "erased" paint in certain areas with a damp cloth to create a weathered worn-out look. I wasn't very scientific about it so the end result is perhaps not so "real" - just a nice rocking chair with fake old fading paint.
Whilst painting the chair I found a very faded stamp underneath, I traced it onto paper and looked up the word "Malinche, Monterrey" on the wonderful all knowing internet. I found that the chair was from one of the pioneering furniture manufacturers in Mexico which specialized in rocking chairs and chairs of all kinds of woods (pine, mahogany, elm, ceder and beech). They closed down in the early 1970’s but the furniture is still very popular among collectors. After that I found the same rocking chair on a Mexican auction site price: $2,500.
Hmm... I had already painted the chair by then and probably lowered the value by doing so, but if the new owner wants, I can restore it back to its former brown glory another day.
Click on one picture to make it larger and see the before and after pictures.
This little white cupboard or bedside table was covered in thick white paint. I removed the paint with my heat gun without wearing enough protection. THAT was a bad idea!
The cupboard was probably last painted in the 60's and then it was very popular to put lead in paint. So after an hour of removing paint I had to spend 24 hours in bed with nausea and a head ache. I promise I will not do that again!
Then I started redoing it, using an old book of poetry in Hebrew by the Israeli poet Tchernichovsky who is apparently considered to be a great poet - although everyone I have asked disagree. Anyhow the pages looked nice. The inside I painted red to match the sewing table and the door and front of the drawer I kept plain with linseed oil and beeswax - just because I felt there was just a bit too much poetry going on.
I found red wheels and new knobs and that was that... sort of.
I will not tell you the whole story of getting the right varnish by using 4 different products, have one of them explode in my face and another melt 6 layers of old varnish and nearly destroying the poetry and finally finding a Danish floor varnish (Thank you Scandinavia!) that costs a fortune but is just so perfect. That story would be much too long.
I actually like this odd little cupboard.
I wasn't so sure about it at first, but the next piece of furniture I redo will be normal and classic - I feel like being more plain.
Click on a picture below to see gallery of before and after:
Found this wooden chair on he street in our village. My father helped me to restore it and to put it back together again. In the back of my head , I had a vision of a beautiful pom pom chair that I found on the internet :
Of course my chair got the colour of lemon yellow and the pom pom´s, I sewed on to a felted fabric and then glued it to the seat. Here is the result, you can click on the pictures to enlarge.
Linnea & Caroline
2 foreigners in Israel trying to find their space. Up-cycling furniture and clothes for a better environment and future.
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