Langdon Hyde Design

a way of life...

Category: Painted furniture (page 1 of 2)

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

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.

From Shabby To Chic



When I bought my first home I inherited a Mr. Toad wicker chair which I absolutely adored. Many years later I still have a fondness for wicker furniture and have an assortment of pieces. Not that long ago I was asked to renovate a very sad armchair that belonged to my friend’s mum. When I returned it to her she was absolutely delighted with her “new” chair which I had transformed from shabby to chic.

Half way

Half way

For this particular project I used a Farrow & Ball water-based eggshell in Brassica™. Using a paint brush to apply the paint it was quite difficult to cover the original shade of red. Applying two coats eventually did the trick. To finish the transformation I used a lovely linen mix upholstery fabric that I had in stock to cover a two inch thick piece of foam to make a seat cushion.



More recently I wanted to try out a shade of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ so I decided to give my tatty white linen bin a makeover. Again, using a paint brush to apply the paint to the wicker I transformed this little piece of furniture in no time at all.



Inside lid

Inside lid









I used Graphite for the exterior and Barcelona Orange for the inside of the lid. To bring the colours together I added a silk Linum scatter cushion with a pompom trim.

With Linum cushion


With pompoms

With pompoms

A quicker and easier way to renovate wicker furniture and baskets is to use an aerosol spray. Cans of car paint are very effective although the range of colours quite limited. Alternatively, conventional paints can be applied using a spray gun, and although quicker to apply, the necessity to thoroughly clean the equipment after use can be really tedious. For bigger projects this would probably be worth the trade off.

Cox & Cox rattan baskets

Cox & Cox rattan baskets

To achieve a more frivolous look why not cut a stencil and spray a shape onto a piece of furniture. These rattan baskets from Cox & Cox provide ideal storage in a child’s bedroom. For more details go to

Painting By Numbers

Following Annie Sloan’s illustrated instructions from her book, Quick and Easy Paint Transformations, is just like painting by numbers.

My most recent project was this chest of drawers which I rescued from my daughter-in-law. The first thing I had to do was remove the note that read “FOR THE DUMP”!

Destined for the dump

Destined for the dump

Armed with my Annie Sloan tome, two colours of her Chalk Paint™, Paris Grey and Old White, a tin each of Annie Sloan clear wax and dark wax, and a set of Annie Sloan brushes, I embarked on the transformation.

Starting with the drawers I first painted the fronts and pulls with Paris Grey. Once dried, I painted the top and bottom edges with Old White.

Drawer front

The next step was to apply a layer of clear wax to protect the colour. Whilst still sticky I applied a layer of dark wax.

Layer of dark wax

Layer of dark wax

Immediately afterwards I removed some of the dark wax with a cloth leaving a discernible colour difference and some dark wax in the little nooks and crannies in the paintwork and wood.

Dark wax finish

Dark wax finish

Once all four drawers had reached this stage I turned my attention to the cabinet. I repeated the same process but this time, as per the instructions, I removed less of the dark wax.


Painted and waxed cabinet

I was absolutely delighted with the finished article and couldn’t wait to put it in the guest bedroom to set off my new Laura Ashley pillow cases.

Transformation complete

Transformation complete

The book I used for reference covers many different techniques. This particular one was to age and distress a piece of furniture by using wax to change the paint colour.

To preview or buy the book go to:

Hand-Painted Furniture

Painted furniture is by no means a new idea yet it continues to remain in vogue. The advances in paint formulas have virtually removed the need to do any preparation whatsoever, hence the rise in popularity of hand-painted pieces. Effects tend to ebb and flow rather than the concept itself and the current trend seems to be moving away from aged and distressed finishes to that of a more refined contemporary look. (Mid-century pieces are ideal contenders to be brought bang up to date with the use of a strong flat colour. Whether it be chairs, tables or sideboards these can be given a new lease of life with a coat of paint.)

IMG_6333IMG_6319 (2)








The pieces I have been working on of late have been inspired by the strong primary colours used by Joules in their range of bed linen. I chose an Annie Sloan chalk paint to overhaul these two antique-pine bedside tables.









The drawers have been painted inside with a pretty pink F&B eggshell that I had in stock and lined with a floral pattern paper which I copied from a Joules carrier bag. I chose to leave the drawer pulls and feet unpainted as I wanted the cabinets to reference the natural pine furniture that they were to sit alongside.









Both units were given a coat of clear wax to add a soft sheen to an otherwise very flat finish; it will also add a layer of protection to the paintwork. Another benefit of using chalk paint is that you’re not limited to the surfaces that can be covered. I have seen it used successfully on wicker and melamine furniture as well as wood. I gather it can also be used on walls.

Moving forward I have a stock of furniture and accessories that I want to paint. I’m keen to experiment with more unusual finishes such as crackle glaze, image transfer and découpage, as well as some interesting colour combinations! I will use this blog to keep you updated with my progress and to post any interesting ideas that I come across in the meantime.

Visit for tips, techniques and tutorials on how to update your  furniture and accessories.

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