September 15, 2019
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french interior

Literally, all of us know what food to buy, what car has the best features you need, where to spend a holiday or what exact magnesium supplements for sleep we should take etc. But the situation is totally different when it goes about a paint technique or two which can really easy add a touch of je ne sais quoi to our home.

Frankly speaking, you don’t need opulent gold furniture to bring the French look home. Though it can be depicted with a variety of styles, the weathered look is probably the easiest and most cost-effective. Choose red, turquoise and grey or beige: trendy colors that accentuate this look beautifully. Our intrepid DIY readers share their paint inspiration.

Home #1: The De Goedes

Lightening up

All their furniture was dark wood, but it was the French country look that Debbie and Deon de Goede wanted in their Brackenfell home. With no money for new furniture and, since they did n’t want to get rid of the good quality wood, they decided to create the effect themselves with a few sample pots of paint that barely cost R20 each. The results were amazing!

Here’s how they did it:

• Lightly sand the wood to remove most of the oil or other layers.

Apply an undercoat.

• Paint the furniture with PVA in the color of your choice; for the turquoise furniture, Deon only used one paint color, while Debbie added white to the grey painted furniture.

• Once the paint has dried, sand with a  60 grit sandpaper.

• A sealer is not necessary and the couple cleans their furniture with a  regular polish spray.

The inner panels of the cupboard were replaced with chicken wire, and new French handles complete the look. The chairs surrounding the weathered turquoise dining table were kept dark for variation, while the floors were tackled with a roller – the white road paint used worked perfectly!

Another cupboard that lost its Balinese look thanks to new knobs, blue paint, and interesting metallic finishes.

Thanks to a paint technique and new crystal knobs, this table is now completely at home in the bedroom.

Read also: Home Improvement | Basic Aspects

Home #2: The Slabberts

If you specialize in hand-painted kitchen cupboards, you’ll know a thing or two about paint techniques, like Petro and Koos Slabbert from Montana Interiors in Henneman in the Free State who say that when they started experimenting they were fascinated by the weathered look. ‘I studied a few techniques but soon realized that most were time-consuming and not suitable for a production line with quick turnaround time,’ reflects Petro, who uses the following method with slight variations for different looks:

No undercoat is needed

Apply Heritage’s Kwick Crack to the spots you’d like to appear aged and peeling, then allow it to dry (about half an hour). Leave out this step if you don’t want the cracked look.

• The first layer of PVA must be the lighter shade, such as Prominent Paints’ Soft Ivory Mid sheen; just give it a few brushes, don’t paint the whole cupboard.

• Apply the second layer of PVA, usually the darkest color such as turquoise or red. Wait for about half an hour for it to dry.

• Once dry, apply the final layer of PVA in a color such as soft green or grey, to allow enough of the base color shows through.

• Once the paint layers have dried thoroughly, sand off as much as you like. Use a fine 220 grit or a rough 80 grit sandpaper – whichever works best for you.

• Lastly, seal your handiwork with a layer of clear varnish…  et voilà! It looks like your French aunt’s prized possession!

Red, turquoise and beige highlight a romantic French country look.

Blackboard paint and a few red brush strokes turn the side of the cupboard into a functional focal point.

The paint on the drawers is cracked in places, while the pillar looks weathered and different types of handles add to the old world appearance.

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