serendipity |ˌsɛr(ə)nˈdɪpɪti|
noun [ mass noun ]
the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way: a fortunate stroke of serendipity | [ count noun ] : a series of small serendipities.


I bought this table:


It seems to be the sister of the one I have just painted in Duck Egg.  They have the same legs….I am certain the previous was meant to be used as an extension because one of the sides is not bevelled, but that makes it perfect in smaller spaces if you want the table butted against the wall.


I have been staying away from Old White but I have a lot of people that come into my shop asking what the difference between our three whites is- so I decided to paint an example.

One coat of white on the legs and apron….

This table is obviously pine and very country. I didn’t want to paint the table top completely but wanted to add some details to it but still keeping it a little bit folky.

A few months ago when I expanded my shop I bought a lot of Polish folk stencils.  It turned out they were the sticky one time use stencils so they didn’t work for what I had planned and they have been sitting in my shop for a few months.  But as luck would have it….one of them fit perfectly.  Serendipity- because I have been wondering what to do with them.

I found the mid point of the table and the mid point of the stencil–then took off the sticky back and stuck it right in the middle.


I have heard that there are some really great “one time use” stencils out there.  These are not them.  I hate these- but I love the patterns–I was so thrilled when I bought them because the patterns are fantastic……until I tried them.  Basically, you peel off the sticky back then place the stencil where you want it.  Then peel off the paper layer to reveal only stencil.  The problem with these is that the sticky paper has too much glue on them making it really difficult to remove.  Then after the fuss of that and the painting, with these, removing the stencil will peel off the paint under it.  But I thought it would work on this table as it had been lacquered.

IMG_1669 Then I thought it needed a bit of a frame so I taped off a stripe on either side.  The great thing about folklore is that it shouldn’t be perfect.  It is very rustic and primitive so if you make any mistakes—it is very forgiving.


Next I  lightly sand the stencils to reveal a bit of the pine under the stencil creating a faded look.IMG_1673

On the table top I decided to use lacquer.  Personally, I like to use lacquer on a table top with heavy use.  Wax is just as good but because we need to wait for three weeks for the wax to harden and cure- it is often not an option for people. All other applications I use wax.  Always.  Even on these table legs, I waxed then sanded….I think I will sand a bit more, though- just so it is heavily distressed.


This is a Boleslawiec knob.   I have written about  Boleslawiec before- hand made and hand stamped Polish pottery.


Serendipity…..the stencil went exactly to the tip on either side….sometimes luck is on my side 😉



Because I sanded the stencil before I lacquered it is level….I mean you can’t feel it if you run your hand across it.


I like it!









Rustic Duck Egg Blue!

Duck Egg Blue is one of the colours on the pallet that works with so many styles.  It is a greyed down bluish greenish greyish colour that has loads of possibilities!

I got this table for free…..well sort of free.  I bought a table and two side tables from a seller of German and Dutch used furniture and I paid too much for shipping so he threw in this table.

IMG_1630 It is just a regular pine table.  Nothing special- lovely turned legs!

I painted with one coat of Duck Egg Blue.  Just one coat!

Then I added some stencils on the apron.

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I continued around all sides then sanded lightly so the details were a bit faded.


Next step was the legs!  I clear wax first, distressed with 180 paper then added dark wax.

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Of course I didn’t stop there!  On to the table top!

IMG_1640 You can see grease marks or similar bleeding through the paint.  There is no way of telling if this will happen.  Crap shoot, really.  If it does happen it can usually be fixed by sealing in the stain with lacquer or shellac then painting again.  I live on the edge so I just left it and added clear wax.IMG_1641 Then I added a touch of dark wax to give it more of an aged rustic look.  If you are not used to adding dark wax- it can be a bit fussy on lighter colours.  Getting the wax perfectly even can be difficult but if there are places on your piece of furniture that are darker or blotchy, simply wipe over it with a bit of clear wax and it will lighten the dark.

And this is the result:

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So if you are looking at my photos and wondered what happened… was the white balance in my camera.  In the first photos I had it set on auto white balance and it was reading the light wrong.  The last four I switched the white balance to tungsten and the colours are more clear and true……lesson learned- sometimes auto settings are not the best!

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Close up of the details, wax and distressing.  Those grease marks are barely visible and actually add a little authenticity!

IMG_1664 IMG_1665The stencil has been sanded like I did on the apron- just so it is faded and the lines are blurred.

If you want to try a different colour besides white- I recommend Duck Egg Blue.  It compliments many others in the Chalk Paint pallet and is flexible enough to use in a few different furniture styles.


Pretty in Pink!

Watched that movie hundreds of times, I am certain!

I have been trying some new techniques and some new colours lately- I can’t say it enough- this one tin of paint offers so many possibilities!

2015 is going to be a great year for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Poland.  Most notably the most recent “Painter in Residence” is from Poland.

This is her—–>

She was one of my first customers when I started this Chalk Paint journey almost four years ago.  Her style is really rustic, really flakey and chippy and so far the paint world is reacting positively to her work.

We also have one of Annie’s books “Colour recipes” being printed in Polish….actually they have been already printed and are sitting on a pallet in either Holland or England—waiting for me!!  And also….Annie is planning a trip to Poland in November!

So…..using Agnieszka as inspiration I have painted a “chippy” piece.  This is a very popular look with milk paint- the only thing is that with milk paint there is little or no control with where the paint chips off.  For some painters this is part of the charm but I wanted to control the chippy!

I started with two of these cute bedside tables.  Typical western Europe reproduction furniture.


My first step was to paint with the colour Henrietta.  This is a strong pinky colour with a hint of violet.


Then I painted a second coat of Antoinette–a very pinky feminine colour.


While the paint was still wet I then added in some areas the colour Scandinavian Pink to give it some lowlights and dimension.

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I put the Scandinavian Pink in areas that I thought needed some contrast- then with more Antoinette I blended it together so that it quite a soft contrast.

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The next step was the distressing- I used this tool and scraped off the paint on the edges.

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I also dry sanded….sanded before waxing.  I don’t usually do this…for obvious reasons- this is the dust in the below photo!  I usually sand after waxing-there is less dust and it creates an authentic aged look, but this time I really wanted to thin the layer of paint so I used a high grade sand paper to softly get to the wood.

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I has been scraped and sanded and chipped …..sounds like a day at the spa.

This is the final result:

IMG_1622 But she has to be staged….of course it is a she!IMG_1623 IMG_1626 Some of the detailed distressing:IMG_1627 IMG_1628      IMG_1629

There are three different pinks on this.  It isn’t quite clear in the photos but the Henrietta under the Antoinette just lightly peeks through giving it a bit of dimension.