a way of life...

Category: Painted furniture (Page 1 of 2)

A Different Perspective

I imagine the COVID-19 pandemic has touched all of our lives in one way or another and forced as to look at everything with a different perspective.

Instead of going for a run last night I went for a leisurely stroll. No longer rushing due to time constraints I was able to amble through my local village and enjoy the peace and quiet that the reduced amount of road traffic has created.

I smiled as a saw a number of skips on people’s drives as only last week our dustcart drove past as it was full to overflowing. It did return a while later explaining that as so many people were clearing out their garages there was a lot more refuse than normal.

I also raised a grin when I saw a lady jet washing her paving and a gentleman painting his fence. Oh my, what lovely clean and tidy homes we will have by the time the lockdown comes to an end.

There was another chap hacking at a hedge. I’m not sure if this was out of sheer frustration as there didn’t appear to be any rhythm to his attack on the innocent leafy bystander.

With our beauty salons closed for business, manicuring has a whole new meaning, as I witnessed endless lawns mown and strimmed to within an inch of their lives.

I have to admit that Staying Home has provided endless opportunities for me to titivate our house and garden. There is barely a weed to be seen in the allotment and my tatty garden furniture has been given a whole new lease of life with a coat of Neptune Old Rose eggshell.

Similarly, paint that I bought for the garage at the end of last summer has suddenly emerged from the depths of the cupboard. The wooden exterior is now a lovely rich barn black whilst the window frames are F&B’s Light Blue gloss. Even the garden gates and picket fence that I had condemned look brand new after a lick of black paint.

I have taken delight in the fact that I no longer plan according to the day of the week but more according to the weather forecast. So here I am today back in my “she shed” catching up with paperwork as the raindrops lightly water the newly planted beans and sit proud on the freshly painted chairs.

Stay Home – Stay Safe


Now that our local recycling centre is closed I have not been able to dispose of my grass cuttings. I learnt recently that these can be used as a mulch around trees, shrubs, roses and even amongst some vegetables. Apply in thin layers and top-up weekly to suppress weeds.

and breathe…

7 o’clock Sunday evening and at last I can take a breath and just breathe…

My epic weekend commenced yesterday at 9am when I decided it would be a really good idea to change the colour of two cabinets that I have in my Sitting Room.

Originally sourced from The Cotswold Company a number of years ago they have moved around the house several times.

Finally arriving in the lounge they fitted perfectly and housed all sorts of Stuff. Spare lightbulbs, DVD’s, vases, throws – so much Stuff that I could not be without them.

Sadly, their colour never sat very comfortably with the scheme that I had in mind. As such these past few weeks/months have been spent trying to find a suitable alternative. Nothing. Well, all sorts actually, but nothing that would tie in with the existing space and furniture.

Hence my desire to reform them into useful storage items that would at last add a little bit of zest to the room rather than gloom.

I did a quick bit of revision by watching an Annie Sloan™ recording. She made it look so easy, and so fast. Surely, I would be able to have both units painted and waxed by teatime.

Not so. The preparation seemed to take forever as the handles were not only screwed to the drawers, but glued as well. I’m sure that was the most time consuming part of the exercise, masking all of the metal work.

Next, getting the paint to the right consistency was a challenge. I have always found chalk paint difficult to work with but well worth the effort as it can be painted directly onto the surface of your choice without any rubbing down.

Day One – Cabinet One

I chose the smaller of the two units to start with.

Using Annie Sloan Antibes Green Chalk Paint™ I applied the first coat. This took about an hour after which time I left it for an hour to dry. The second coat took about the same amount of time to apply but I left it a little longer to dry before applying the wax.

I chose Annie Sloan™ Soft Dark Wax to apply as the final coat. This was probably the hardest part of all. Not only is it very physical but also quite hard to get the desired finish. Needless to say I had only managed one cabinet by the end of day one, but at least it was a success.

Day Two – Cabinet Two

I forget to mention the time that it took me to empty the first cabinet, but it took as much time, if not more to empty the second. Certainly, something else that I hadn’t considered before embarking on this epic task.

Once free of Cabinet Two’s contents I set about masking the handles of which there were seven this time. Once done I quickly applied the first coat of paint to the drawers and frame and left to dry.

I repeated this step once more and then applied the soft dark wax to seal and protect. Job done.

I am now the proud owner of a matching pair of storage units. Once cured, between 5-21 days, I will return them to their respective homes in my Sitting Room.

Good work!

Dare To Be Different

Everywhere I look I see images of interiors decorated in daringly dark colours, mostly to great effect.

It takes a huge leap of faith to paint a wall, ceiling, or even a whole room in a deep tone so it is perhaps worth considering a more restrained approach.

Inky blues and charcoal greys have proved very popular, particularly in Scandi and mid-century schemes. I have, however, enjoyed the more recent emergence of charred-wood browns and forest greens.

In my own home I’ve not had the courage to paint whole walls in dramatic colours as I think it would make it feel too depressing with its low ceilings and small windows.

I fully support the Farrow & Ball philosophy that sometimes painting a small, poorly lit room, in a deep dark colour can have the effect of creating a cosy, cocoon-like space. In some instances this is indeed far more successful than trying to make it into something that it is not ie. bright and airy.

For a mere mortal like myself I have settled for splashing the dark shades around in a more refrained manner.

A favourite example of this is my lovely old clock which sits beside a pretty little wardrobe in my hallway. Both are finished in Neptune’s Walnut eggshell whilst the walls against which they are set are painted in Fired Earth’s While Mulberry matt emulsion.

Leading off from the hallway is my dining room which I only recently restyled. I invested in these OKA Stafford dining chairs in Charcoal velvet to compliment my John Sankey slipper chair. The overall effect is that of a more cohesive scheme.

Once again the walls are finished in White Mulberry to ensure that the dark colours do not overpower the room.

Green is considered to be a restful colour which makes it ideal for a bedroom. I’m not sure that this theory applies to the current fashion for Forest green which is a dark hue commonly found in nature. The almost black background of this bedding below adds an air of intrigue to this otherwise calm scheme.

Taking this a step further the en-suite bathroom very much embraces shades of black. Whilst the flooring is a checker board of black and white vinyl the Clawfoot bath is painted in Farrow & Ball’s lead grey Down Pipe.

I’m really happy with my choices but realise there is certainly scope for being a bit more adventurous. That said, at least I can see the spiders against the light coloured back drop!

Time For Change

When Time Began

Before I commenced the reinvention of my “grandfather clock” its claim to fame was that it had been featured in one of the Sunday newspaper supplements back in the mid-nineties.

I bought it from an antique shop in Gerrard’s Cross where it stood out from the more traditional items of furniture. At the time I had been searching for a slim tallboy to stand in my then entrance hall but this brightly colour timepiece appealed to my sense of humour.

Engineered from scrap it would have been the forerunner to the current trend for upcyclying.

I’m sad to say that in more recent times it had been relegated to my studio as its infantile demeanour no longer suited my “grown up” home.

Changing Times

Transforming it to a more conventional piece of furniture enabled me to reintroduce it.

The first step was to paint its exterior with Neptune’s eggshell in Walnut.

Once that step was complete I painted the interior with Annie Sloan Antibes Green chalk paint™.

The final step was to paint the clock face. As a contrast to the dark brown door I used Farrow & Ball Old White eggshell. Lastly, I reinstalled the hands and timepiece mechanism.

Present Time

At last my “grandfather” clock was welcomed back into our home adding a little storage and a lot of character.

Pop-Up Shop at Albury Fair

On the afternoon of Saturday July 15th Langdon Hyde Design will have a “pop-up shop” at the Albury Produce Show.

“The Edit” will be a collection of furniture, cushions, and bunting which have been inspired by three of my major passions; home, garden, and shopping!

Making use of “previously enjoyed” items of furniture and a huge collection of shopping bags, both paper and fabric, I hope to have created some eye catching accessories that will bring colour and joy to anyone’s home.

The show opens at 2pm and, from past experience, has some wonderful stalls. Games for children, competitions for pets, refreshment tents for adults, and a whole host of shopping opportunities.

Central to the whole Albury show experience is the large marquee with its displays of award winning freshly grown produce and crafts.

For more information go to www.alburyproduce.org.uk.

I look forward to seeing you there  x

Mid-summer madness

A touch of mid-summer madness took over this past week when I decided to renovate this wooden bureau which has been in the family for at least four generations. Once in my workshop I was suddenly unsure how to proceed.

Family heirloom

My initial thoughts were to use  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ to finish the outside in Antibes Green with an Emperor’s Silk red interior. However, after some deliberation I felt this was a rather old-fashioned combination and not one that would give this ugly piece of furniture a contemporary feel.

Annie Sloan inspiration

Looking for inspiration I came across a project in the Annie Sloan Paints Everything book. Here she transforms a chest of drawers using her Oak Leaf stencil and a selection of Chalk Paint™ colours, most of which I had in stock.

Base coat; Paris Grey

For the base coat I chose an old favourite, Paris Grey. This immediately made the bureau look less imposing and more contemporary. Although it is not shown in this photograph I had  painted the internal surfaces in Antibes Green and the shelf in a a mixture of Giverny, Duck Egg Blue, and Old White.

Annie Sloan Oak Leaf Stencil

Before embarking on applying the stencilled pattern to the bureau I practised on a piece of card. Using a small sponge roller and the Annie Sloan MixMat™ I was surprised how easy it was to achieve the required effect.


Spurred on by a surge in my confidence I applied my first colour, Aubusson Blue, to the bureau. I was thrilled – it looked just like the photograph in the book!

Aubusson Blue Chalk Paint™

My next choice of colour was Antibes Green. Initially I mixed the blue and green together before transitioning to the green as a standalone colour.

Antibes Green oak leaves

I could have left it there but I had as I had some of the blue mixture leftover from painting the internal shelf I decided to add more leaves in this colour. This provided a connection between the internal and external colour schemes.

Blue mixture Chalk Paint™

The finishing touch was to add some warm colours in a random fashion using an artist’s detail brush. This brought the whole scheme to life and gave the impression of real movement in the image. A thin layer of clear wax was applied for protection.

Hand painted detail

I am absolutely delighted with this transformation. I was pleased to have been given the bureau in the first instance but it took a long while to decide how to bring out the best in it.

Transformation complete

I hope you agree that this wild and whacky scheme is an improvement and that this ugly duckling has turned into a beautiful swan. Sometimes a little mid-summer madness is a good thing!

The Perfect Knob

The perfect knob can elevate an ordinary piece of furniture to the extraordinary!

Painted and waxed bedside cabinets

My recent experimentation with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ was to transform two bedside cabinets. Using two completely different techniques I managed to obtain two quite different looks.

Ikea unit prior to painting

The first cabinet I set about transforming was a small Ikea unit which I had been given some time ago. I had been using it in my studio to store a collection of magazines which I never seemed to have time to read. Inspired by a project in the Annie Sloan Quick and Easy Paint Transformations book I decided it was time to recycle the unread journals and give the cabinet a new lease of life.

Masked a painted with first coat of Giverny blue

The first obstacle I encountered was that the colour used in the book, Monet Blue, was no longer available. Not to be deterred I chose to substitute it with Giverny Blue, a bright, cheery, clean, cool blue, which I would later tone down with the application of dark wax.

Second coat of Giverny blue applied thickly

To achieve the desired finish it was necessary to apply two thick, unevenly applied coats. I was hoping that one small 100ml pot would suffice, but as the paint has to provide a textured surface for the wax to stay in, I quickly realised that it would be necessary to buy a second 100ml pot. Once applied, I left the second coat to dry thoroughly overnight.

The next morning I applied the dark wax with a brush and wiped off the surplus. Any areas where the wax was too dark I removed it with an application of clear wax before it dried.

Dark wax applied and new knobs added

The final transformation to this cute little cupboard was the addition of these colourful knobs. I had picked them up in a closing down sale and had kept them in stock awaiting the perfect opportunity to make use of them.

Graphite paint and black wax

The second cabinet was a small pine cabinet which was being used to store stationery in my study. It looked perfectly at home with the other pine furniture but, once again, I decided it was time for a complete transformation.

Using Annie Sloan Graphite Chalk Paint™ I applied it in a way that would create a smooth finish. This time one coat did suffice, but I was careful not to apply it too thickly, and to brush out the brush strokes to get as smooth a finish as possible.

Once the paint was completely dry I applied a coat of black wax. This had the effect of darkening the graphite to a lovely rich black and to provide a protective sheen.

Once I put it back in the study it inspired me to upcycle the other pieces of pine furniture in a similar style. Time allowing, I hope to have these pieces finished during the course of the summer months. Wish me luck with that!

Joules Inspired Cabinet

Inspired by the colours on a Joules carrier bag I decided to revamp a rather sad bathroom cabinet to something a little more jaunty. With the Annie Sloan chalk paint™ sample pots that I had in stock I decided to mix the colours myself. The pink was a combination of Emperor’s Silk, Antoinette, and Old White, whilst the turquoise blue was a mixture of Florence, Provence, and again, Old White.

At the outset I painted the whole cabinet Old White to cover the original paint colour. Having decided on a design I painted the drawer fronts pink. The next step was to mask the parts of the cabinet that I wanted to remain white before applying the turquoise.My pièce de résistance was to be the door front which I thought might look rather appealing in a beach hut type stripe. Once again I applied masking tape to the areas that I wished to keep white and then applied the blue mixture to the remaining areas.Allowing an overnight drying time I was very excited about peeling off the tape the following morning. I shouldn’t have worried as the end result was as I had hoped.I rubbed some of the edges with a fine sandpaper to reveal the colour beneath before applying a coat of clear wax to protect the finished  paintwork. The addition of a pink ribbon tied to the key brought the whole scheme together. Lastly, as a nod to the pattern that inspired this design in the first instance I lined each of the drawers with a flower cut out from the Joules bag. I love taking inspiration from the simple things around me and often the High Street leads the way.

French Kisses

One of the things I love about the Annie Sloan range of Chalk Paint™ is the reference to France, and the French, in their names. Provence, Antibes, Versailles, all conjure up warm sunny climes in foreign lands. Louis, and Napoleonic Blue, Antoinette, and Chateau Grey, speak volumes of the country’s history, whilst Burgundy and Olive remind of fabulous French feasts enjoyed in a vineyard on a summer’s evening.

Inspired by a country style coat hook distressed by using a crackle-paint finish I chose Antoinette, the palest of feminine pinks, to distress this Ikea vanity mirror. 

In this instance it was extremely easy to remove the glass which saved having to protect it during the painting process. As I only had a small pot of paint I decided to use a different ageing method to the one shown in the book as the crackle finish required a second coat of paint, which needed to be put on very thickly, and then dried to a crackle using a hot hairdryer.

Instead I chose to paint the whole frame with two coats of Antoinette and then scraped off some of the paint whilst still wet and rubbed with sandpaper when dry. Once this stage was complete I applied a thin layer of clear wax to protect the paint colour before applying a layer of dark wax. 

I wiped off the excess dark wax leaving it to highlight the imperfections in the paintwork. I then returned the glass to the frame and quickly applied one layer of clear wax and a light layer of dark wax to the back of the mirror so that it blended in with the overall look and feel.

Voila! The end result is a really pretty vanity mirror which would add character and charm to any bedroom or bathroom.

Time To Paint

After a week back in the office I couldn’t wait to be back in my “she shed” to start some new projects. I find the early part of the year, a time when the garden doesn’t demand constant attention, a great time to catch up with my furniture makeovers. I have collected many bits and pieces from all sorts of places and they are all patiently waiting for me to set some time aside to transform them.

Ikea side table

Mainly due to the materials I had in stock my small round Ikea table was the first item to be brought down from the loft. Using for reference the Annie Sloan’s book of Quick and Easy Paint Transformations I chose to crackle-varnish my table.

The first step was to paint it with two coats of Annie Sloan’s Old White Chalk Paint™.

Table painted with two coats of Old White chalk paint

While I was waiting for the paint to dry I started a second project which had also been waiting for my attention. Inspired by a Farrow & Ball article which showed a collection of terracotta pots painted in a variety of colours and patterns I rounded up my terracotta candles for a quick makeover. Carefully masking them with Easy Mask KleenEdge™ tape I applied Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ in three different colours; Antibes Green, Duck Egg Blue, and Emperor’s Silk. Without doubt my favourite, once painted and the tape peeled off, was the Duck Egg Blue.

Duck Egg Blue candles

By the time I had painted these the table was ready for a second coat of paint. This took no time at all and I left it overnight to dry thoroughly. The next step was to apply Annie Sloan Craqueleur Step 1™ to the surface of the table and leave to dry.

Annie Sloan Craqueleur Step 1™ applied to table surface

Once dry I carefully applied Annie Sloan Craqueleur Step 2™ to the surface ensuring that it was evenly spread. Immediately afterwards I used a hair dryer to blow hot air onto the wet varnish. This has the effect of making the cracks appear and will vary in size depending how thickly the varnish is applied; the thicker the varnish the bigger the cracks. After allowing a short while for the varnish to cool I used a cloth to apply Annie Sloan’s dark wax into the cracks. To remove any excess from the table’s surface I used a clean cloth and Annie Sloan’s clear wax. The end result is an elegant distressed piece of furniture which resembles aged ivory.

Finished piece

Close up of crackle-varnish finish

The book did not go into detail as to how to finish the table’s pedestal so I improvised. Having allowed the two coats of white paint to dry I applied a protective layer of clear wax and wiped off the excess. Before completely dry I applied a layer of dark wax and worked it into the brush strokes and joints to give an aged effect. The excess wax was wiped off with another clean cloth.

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