A Bit of Bling

A Bit of Bling

In the olden days, when I wanted to up-cycle something, out would come the paint pots and brushes. Faffy and fiddly and usually waiting ages for the paint to dry. And because I am ridiculously impatient, I’d try and pick up or move whatever I had painted, too soon, and I’d smudge the paint. I don’t know why spray paint had never occurred to me before, but since we’ve been out, these cans of colour have been my saviour. Nothing pleases me more than spinning the rack in our equivalent of B&Q and going for pops of colour I would normally never choose – hot pink, zingy orange, sunburst yellow and vibrant turquoise, along with the beautiful and much used anthracite, have featured in various places around the house and garden. Nothing escapes the spray paint. The garden tables and chairs and wooden sunbeds have all been sprayed in my beloved anthracite. Wooden crates have been given new leases of life. Three Habitat plastic garden stools, originally black, are sprayed in different summery colours – one is orange, one is yellow and one is turquoise. White IKEA cube shelving has had the spray paint treatment – a great hack.

The metal cover for the well had a make-over, and the deep, deep blue now looks so much better and complements the very soft pale blue exterior woodwork.

Even the microwave hasn’t escaped the spray paint. Our silver microwave was just too silver and shiny for the new kitchen, and not being able to find a reasonably priced dark blue one anywhere, I did the obvious…

But perhaps the colour that I love the best is the gold. It just brings warmth and cosiness and a touch of glamour to our stonehouse. It also works so well against the dark colours we have around the house. A couple of our feature walls are very similar to Railings by Farrow & Ball. The walls and ceiling in the kitchen are Farrow & Ball Hague Blue. Most of the wooden floors – and the original stone floor in the Well Room – as well as the two sets of stairs are a very deep indigo. And the gold just adds a little unexpected something. I’ve upcycled bottles which are now used to display faux blooms and branches. Vintage birdcages have been glammed up with the gold. A big IKEA floor lamp now gives off a golden glow next to my desk. Various candle holders, which were pretty ordinary, now look super glam. And, the best thing of all is our vintage French woodburner. Now, this sounds mad – BUT it was never used. It was originally a beautiful blue ceramic burner, but it’s spent a lot of its life with us, in the garden as an ornament and so was a little bit weather-beaten and the hinges and plate underneath the lid were very rusty. It would have cost a fortune to have it reconditioned – and even if we were inclined to spend the money having this done, we’d have had no idea where to actually get it done. So, I figured a coat of spray paint might just give it a new lease of life. What do you think?

The pink table has also been re-upcycled. This was originally a paint-splattered wooden work table, which went pink to give a bit of colour to the upstairs landing. It’s also had a change of look, and now sits in the living room – the perfect place for lots of candles and twinkling lights in the winter…

I try to do all of the spray painting outside, and especially with larger items, but if they have be done indoors, windows are wide open and masks are worn. But, when aren’t they these days? The thing I love most about using spray-paint is that it’s relatively inexpensive, quick and easy to apply and if I want a change, all it takes is a quick sand down and another colour from the carousel.

There’s always a way…

There’s always a way…

Renovating a property can be very expensive. Even though things out here are often less expensive than back in the UK, we don’t have a bottomless money pit and so sometimes, rather than splashing the cash, we look for alternatives. And, currently, spray paint is proving to be worth its weight in gold. Quite literally…

Essential pieces of kit...

Essential pieces of kit…

Rather than continually buying new *things*, we’re starting to give new leases of life to things we already have. And, we’re particularly delighted with the new look we’ve given to the (unused) vintage French woodburner. Once a blue ceramic woodburner, this has been sitting outside for quite a long time. The enamel was fading, the metal work rusting and it was just looking a bit sorry for itself. But, a couple of cans of gold spray paint – and just look at her now!

From antique blue to gold.

From antique blue to gold.

The Hektar floorlamp from IKEA was fine in the brushed anthracite finish, but with a can in my hand, I couldn’t resist a spray. It’s totally transformed the little corner of the living room where I have my desk set up. All of a sudden, working from home seems a tiny bit more glamorous!

Lamp transformation

Lamp transformation

So many new looks for so few pennies.

Since we finished renovating our kitchen, one thing has really niggled me. The walls are painted in gorgeous Hague Blue and the units are concrete style. We’ve tried to keep accessories to a minimum, so as to avoid the usual cluttered look we usually have in a kitchen, and what we have is either copper or burnt orange. Consequently, the silvery stainless steel microwave, has bugged me as it just didn’t match with anything. I’ve looked and looked, trying to source one – but no luck. Baby blue, powder blue – yes. Navy blue – no.

So, there was ever really only one answer – take it into our own hands! Although I did resist going for gold and this time reached for the anthracite spray…

I was definitely crossing my fingers, at this point, and hoping that the microwave would not be damaged.

I was definitely crossing my fingers, at this point, and hoping that the microwave would not be damaged.

Success! A new microwave for the price of a can of spray paint.

Success! A new microwave for the price of a can of spray paint.

Probably a bit mad, but as I had exactly the colour I wanted in a spray can, it was worth a go! And do you know what? For just under four euros I have the microwave that I’d visioned, which would fit perfectly in the new kitchen…

As they say, where there’s a will, there’s *always* a way.