Wednesday, 6 July 2016

A Bonus Finish for the FARRAGOZ Patina FINISHES Course

Great news for FARRAGOZ online students enrolled in the Patina FINISHES Course - We have added an extra finish to the existing 24 finishes!

This new finish is a free addition for students of this course and, like all the other 24 paint finishes, it has easy step-by-step instructions and videos which span over several units. In this case, there are 11 Units, starting with an "Overview", moving on to "Prepare The Board" and working it's way through to "Distress and Seal". 

As with the rest of the course material, you will still have access to this finish after your 12 months tutor support has lapsed.

We hope you will thoroughly enjoy recreating this finish.

Happy Painting!


Wednesday, 15 June 2016

How to up-cycle a table lamp

Over 20 years ago this lamp base started off green and fresh-faced. That's the way it's always been until last week when I discovered it while rummaging through old boxes.

I've always thought it had good bones and that someday I should paint it. Standing over the box, it hit me: the methods applied to the new sample board I was working on for the FARRAGOZ Patina FINISHES Course, would be perfect for the transformation of this lamp.

I already had the moulds in which to produce the ornaments that I wanted to add around the top of the lamp. The ornaments needed to be flexible in order to curve around the body and therefore I would have to use recipes and methods from Project 6 of the FARRAGOZ Patina PROJECTS Course. I had plenty of pre-made square ornaments to add around the base of the lamp.

TIP:  Whenever I make ornaments and have some leftover mixture, instead of discarding it, I use this to make extra ornaments to keep in stock. You never know when they may come in handy.


I started off by lightly sanding the entire lamp base. This was no more than a 5 minute job.

{See MATERIAL LIST at the bottom of this post}

Once I had reproduced the necessary ornaments, I glued them all to the lamp.

TIP: Use elastic rubber bands to keep the ornaments in position while the glue dries.

The surface may look clean, but who knows what has attached itself to the wood to penetrate the surface over the years. So it was important to prime it. I used the easy 3-step priming method that FARRAGOZ students use to create their own primers.

When that was done, it was time to add a homemade casein paint layer, followed by gold tempera on the details.

Next I painted several coats of paint in various colours, using the traditional recipes from our courses.

After everything had dried, distressing was the next step.

Satisfied with the results thus far, I was excited to start the best part of the whole process - adding the extra patina and sealing the piece.

So, to sum up ...


1. Basic lamp base

2. Sandpaper

3. Primer ~ Recipe from FARRAGOZ Online Courses

4. Ornaments ~ Recipes and methods from FARRAGOZ Patina PROJECTS Course

5. Glue

6. Elastic rubber bands

7. Casein paint ~ Recipe from FARRAGOZ Online Courses

8. Gold tempera ~ Recipe from FARRAGOZ Online Courses

9. Paintbrushes

10. Polish


1. Sand down lightly to key

2. Apply ornaments

3. Prime ~ Following instructions in FARRAGOZ Online Courses

4. Paint white 

5. Paint gold details

6. Paint various colours in layers
7. Distress and polish ~ Following Methods in FARRAGOZ Patina FINISHES Course

It is very easy to find lamps suitable for up-cycling at thrift stores, junk shops or markets. In this tutorial, changing the entire look of the piece was merely a case of adding ornaments and paint. 

Finding the right ornaments may seem tricky at first, but it really is not. You can buy them ready-made from hardware stores or craft suppliers. Alternatively, you can copy them from old (or new) furniture pieces and frames. Once you start looking for them, you will realise how plentiful they are. 

There are various methods to copy and reproduce ornaments. Making a mould is a good idea if you want to reproduce multiples. All of this info is available in our PROJECTS Course.

I've discovered another lamp base in one of the boxes and will soon be giving that one a make-over too. I'll keep you posted.

Happy Painting!


This post was shared with:

Inspiration Monday

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Friday, 25 March 2016

How to do a last minute Vintage Easter Centre Piece

Time for Easter Bunnies and Eggs once more! My, how time has flown to bring us round to another Easter and am I prepared for it? Well, yes I am now, after some last minute painting of eggs and a bunny to take centre stage on my Easter brunch table.

It all went so fast these last 2 days. I had some unopened packets of polystyrene eggs in different sizes stashed away in a cupboard and a brand spanking new unglazed porcelain bunny sitting on the shelf waiting to receive the FARRAGOZ treatment.

The night before last, I eventually said: "Right, you lot! No more time to waste. Let's get you painted."

I quickly mixed some primer, poured a little into four small bowls and coloured them until I had four different pastel colours of my choice. Next I stuck a pin into each of the eggs to provide me with a kind of handle to hold onto while I paint them. I applied only one coat of the coloured primer on each and, with the pins still in place, strung them up to dry.

I started mixing casein paint for the bunny. I knew I wanted the finish very loosely based on Finish F140 from the Patina FINISHES Course, but perhaps a bit greener. So mixing the colours was really easy.

Before going to bed, I painted the first colour. As the bunny was very porous, there was no need for a primer.

Everything had dried nicely overnight and yesterday morning I was able to add the second colour to the bunny. 

Last night I added the third colour.

This morning it was dry enough to be distressed, after which I sealed it. 

And that was it! Eggs done in one coat of coloured primer (no distressing or sealing) and bunny done in three coats of casein paint, distressed and sealed - All ready for the table.

I added a shell wreath I made last Christmas, an old birds nest, some pewter ware, crystal ware, emptied goose eggshells I've had for years, real Easter eggs and a few LadurĂ©e chocolates. 

Now I need to get cracking on the menu for the real food.

Have a wonderful Easter weekend!



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Thursday, 25 February 2016

How to paint a new plastic frame to look like an authentic antique

I had another point to prove with paint. This time it's to my nearest and dearest. Yes, I know I keep doing this, but I can't stop myself. You should have heard the remarks when I walked through the door with this tucked under my arm.

Granted, it simply smacked of cheap and nasty mass production, but I believed I could have this $3.50 plastic mirror frame looking like an antique, in no time.


I quickly sanded the entire frame, leaving the surface less smooth for my home made primer to adhere to.

{See MATERIAL LIST at the bottom of this post}

I then applied an inexpensive home made primer in 3 quick steps.

Next up was some white paint. 

At the time I was painting some paint finishes sample boards in blues and greys for the new Patina FINISHES Course and I had tiny bits of these leftover casein paints in the fridge. As I was aiming for a lovely crusty look in shades of blue and grey with a touch of gold just peaking through, I decided to not let those little spoonfuls go to waste.

I mixed them together until I had two shades of blue. I did the same with leftover greys.

I applied them in a sequence that I knew would give me the perfect patina I was after and once dry, I distressed and sealed it.

And that was it! A new mass produced, glossy white, plastic mirror frame became an old and unique "antique mirror" in just a short time.

So, to sum up ...


1. Moulded plastic frame with some detail
2. Sandpaper
3. Primer ~ Recipe from FARRAGOZ Online Courses
4. Wax
5. Casein paint ~ Recipe from FARRAGOZ Online Courses
6. Gold tempera ~ Recipe from FARRAGOZ Online Courses
7. Paintbrushes
8. Polish


1. Sand down lightly to key
2. Prime ~ Following instructions in FARRAGOZ Online Courses
3. Paint white
4. Paint grey
5. Paint gold details
6. Wax resist
7. Paint blue
8. Wax resist
9. Paint grey on details
10. Distress ~ Following Methods in FARRAGOZ Online Courses
11. Polish

It is more work than using a spray can, but I think it is fair to say I have saved this piece of plastic from inevitably landing on the rubbish heap.

Now the mirror glass is bothering me. It's looks too new. Do you agree? I think I will be ageing that too, using the same methods we used to age the mirror in Module 5 of the FARRAGOZ Patina PROJECTS Course

Happy Painting!


This post was shared with:
Friday's Furniture Fix  
Inspiration Monday
A Round Tuit
Dishing It & Digging It 
Merry Monday 
Sweet Inspiration 
Share Your Cup Thursday 
Craft Frenzy Friday 
That DIY Party 
Amaze Me Monday 
The Really Crafty Link Party
Party In Your PJ's
Turn It Up Tuesday
Talk of the Town
Wow Us Wednesdays
Homemade And Handcrafted
Waste Not Wednesday
The DIY Collective
Thursday Favorite Things
Be Inspired
Handmade Hangout
Grace at Home
DIY Salvaged Junk Projects
Shabbilicious Friday
Friday Feature
Saturday Sparks
Motivational MondayBusy Monday
A Bouquet of Talent
Sundays at Home Link Party 
Sunday's Best

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Thursday, 31 December 2015

Why you can relax and enjoy 2016

As the earth is warming and governments are scrambling to retain greenhouse gas emissions, I walk around whistling, safe in the knowledge that I am doing my bit - and so can you!

So here is how you can relax and enjoy 2016!

Break The Pattern

Waste is one of the biggest culprits killing the earth. And it's not just the value of the product that lands in a rubbish skip, it is the accumulated cost of getting it there from manufacturing to end user. It's the labour, the electricity, the transport, the storage - all added together over the product's lifetime. 

So a product may only cost a few dollars but these accumulated costs can run into hundreds, even thousands. How do you stop this wastage? Keep things in circulation, keep it from being replaced, increase its value.

Recycle vs. Up-cycle

By adding value to a piece that you're recycling, you are up-cycling. Most furniture painters are recyclers. You see scores of pictures on Pinterest and in magazines. Entire TV programs are devoted to recycling. "Here is a quick and easy way to save some money", usually slapping on a coat of paint and adding a cushion. 

There is nothing wrong with this, we all do it. But I would like to think my work permanently saves furniture from the rubbish skip and not just temporarily. And for that, you need to put in a little more effort. It may not be the quick and easy way, but is it really that much more effort? 

Waste Not, Want Not.

Words I so often heard my grandfather utter when I was a child. He lived through the Great Depression and his frugal ways made a huge impression on me. He was a recycler and up-cycler long before these words existed to me and not because he had to, but because he found it challenging. I believe he instilled in me an urge to see the potential in a discarded object, to create something out of nothing and to value simple things.

I used to paint furniture with modern paint. I used to have a storeroom filled with tins from previous jobs. Most of it ended up being thrown away. It was either the wrong colour or the wrong odour. This bothered me to no end. Every time I tossed another tin of hardened paint in the bin, I could hear my grandfather: "Waste not, want not." 

Since I've started making my own paint, things have changed - a lot. These days I have a cupboard with dry materials and a fridge with wet supplies. Leftovers are mixed together to make dark base coats. Or I use them on odd small pieces that need several coats of different colours. I have less than 3% wastage. I'm sure my grandfather would have approved. 

I now also have access to any colour imaginable, not just the ones on the colour chart. I can create colours in the middle of the night on a public holiday and any other time when the store is not open. The transport cost of making paint is almost nothing. So is the storage. And if I only need a small bit in a specific colour, I only make a small bit. I buy my raw materials locally - I don't have them flown in if I can get them down the road. 

So, am I doing enough for the environment? Yes, I am. I don't have sleepless nights about saving the planet. I do what I can and that’s the end of it. Then I relax and enjoy myself. I suggest you do the same. 

May 2016 be the absolute best-est, best-est year of your life!

Happy New Year
Happy Painting!


#patina #paint #handmadepaint #homemadepaint #upcycle #upcyclewithpaint #recycle #environment #2016 #happynewyear #wornpaint #oldpaint #agedpaint #paintwork #paintedfurniture  #distressedpaint #paintcourse #onlinecourse #paintfinishes #farragoz