My photo of the laundry room at Ormesby Hall became the inspiration for a storage bench that I have just painted.
I have decorated furniture for this customer for many years and the current brief was 'seaside but not kitchy' the pieces were to look worn and shabby but not overly grubby.
This bench is to go into a recess of an ancient cottage in a coastal fishing community, it will be surrounded by white, stone walls and sit on a dark slate floor. Both colours are reflected in the white of the fabric and the charcoal colour of the irons. The peeling crumbly wall is replicated in the paintwork of the bench.
After sanding and applying knotting solution I primed the piece in blue. I painted patches of terracotta over the blue wherever wear and tear might occur on the piece. I then rubbed a wax candle over the patches. This prevents the next layer of paint achieving a proper key.
Another coat of blue paint was applied then rubbed with fine sandpaper. Patches of terracotta appeared where the wax had been applied.
Areas of blue-black were painted then rubbed with the candle when dry. Two coats of blue-ish, grey paint were added, then the bench was sanded on the back, edges and arms. Sanding exposes the layers of blue, terracotta and slate colours beneath the final coats.
The decorative detail on the back and sides of the bench received the same treatment but their final coat was a darker, brownish shade of grey. The same grey was used to stencil the rope and anchor. There are quite a few nautical themed stencils at The Stencil Library. Put nautical into the search on their site to find them. My colours were all matt emulsion (latex) paint and they came from Farrow and Ball and from Crown Paint.
The bench was finished with furniture wax applied with fine steel wool then polished to a shine. Click on pictures to enlarge them.I can not stop feeling the piece. it is so smooth. It awaits collection and we have all been guilty of stroking it as we walk past.
I am looking forward to attending a furniture painting class this month with Cait Whitson at Carte Blanche in Scotland so that I can learn new techniques, brush on on old ones and play with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint which many of my friends are enjoying and teaching with at the moment. I'll let you know how I get on.
The same distressing technique was applied to my kitchen chairs several years ago. The wax treatment allows them to get bashed naturally over the years.