Here’s an article about some bespoke bedroom furniture I recently hand painted in a beautiful renovated country house out at Barnby Moor, North Nottinghamshire. This past year I seem to have been travelling a lot more, up along the A614 through Sherwood Forest, past Clumber Park and out into the sticks around the North of Nottinghamshire (Robin Hood Country). This job wasn’t far from a kitchen I hand painted in Doncaster last autumn and I can tell you, there are some fantastic properties in this area, tucked away down winding country lanes into quiet rural villages and this particular project was no exception!
This was a new installation from a company local to me ‘Greensmith Interiors’ whom I’d worked with on a similar project some months previous; the brief on the job was to hand paint a luxury dressing room off the master bedroom followed by a large bespoke kitchen. Both rooms would incorporate a central island unit and all furniture would be finished to the equivalent colour of F & B White Tie, with the type of finish (semi matt) left down to me! My choice of product would be Tikkurila Furniture Feelings Paint supplied by Holman Specialist Paints. This product gives a fantastic, almost brush mark free finish and is the perfect choice for this type of work.
Obviously this furniture was new but had been handled a lot during the installation, the fitters would most likely have traces of silicone sealant or residue off power tools/hand tool’s etc… and finger prints were a plenty, especially where the doors had been handled during fitting so I needed to give all surfaces a good degrease down. I’m not going to use Krud Kutter degreaser on this project as the furniture has a lot of MDF fibreboard in its construction, I want to avoid any excessive moisture so I’m cleaning down with methylated spirit. Meths dries very quickly and has no detrimental effect to the pre-cat primer. I then continued to meticulously go over every inch of this furniture and fill up all the tiny holes made by the fitters (spit gun) from tacking on all the mouldings, for this type of filling I use Prestonett Interior (Ready Mixed) Filler. For the larger countersunk screw holes I use Ultima 2pk Plastic Padding as it gives great flexibility.
I spot primed any bare timber using Zinsser BIN primer and once all filling was dry I rubbed back with a variety of Mirka Abranet 180g 240g 320g abrasives and also Mirka Goldflex 320g abrasive for the more detailed fluted areas. It was now time for Henry to make an appearance and give everything a good hoover to remove dust, to ensure as much dust as possible was removed I followed up by wiping down again with a tack cloth to pick up any really fine particles. I have been trailing several different tack cloths for ‘Axus Decor’ over several months and was pleased to see my preferred choice ‘Axus Pro Finish Tack Cloths’ now available from Axus and to buy from on-line store Mypaintbrush.
Now its time to get rid of all those black lines! I cut the nozzle of the tubes of caulk to a slightly angled very thin point. I need to caulk up very accurately and avoid excessive caulk on the furniture, this project took almost 2 days to fully caulk out. I always try and leave caulk at least overnight to cure; ignore “paintable after 1 hour” it will craze the paint and cause no end of problems.
I start my 1st coat of Furniture Feelings paint, thinned by about 5% with clean water and work in methodical sections, starting with the large dentil cornice and working my way down. I’m using a variety of size and style of brushes for applying paint but consist of 2 main brands, Purdy Dale E;ite long handled, Corona Kingston and Comet and a 4″ Hamilton ‘Laying off’ brush. This furniture stands at nearly 10 feet high from cornice to skirting so I get the top sections out of the way first. Once the first coat is completely dry, I then check over and de-nib again. This time I don’t want to create any dust if possible so I tend to use the Mirka Abrolon 320g abrasive disc, these are padded, flexiable wet and dry discs which I use wet. They are excellent for fine de-nibbing and wont break the paint of sharp edges. Second coat can also be thinned slightly and some areas like the feature pilasters are given a third coat.
The centre section on the main dresser incorporated some integrated glass dividers and because the shelving had been fitted around them, it was not possible to take the glass out and a steady hand with some sharp cutting in was required!