Friday, 23 December 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from FARRAGOZ!

For some, the magic of Christmas may be gone. For us, it is very much alive.

In our home around the 1st of December, decorations start stirring in their boxes slowly emerging from their hiding places and shaking free from their tissue paper coats. One by one, they find their way to displays, chandeliers and a Christmas tree with its arms stretched out wide welcoming each one in search of a new perch. 

Seeing the house transformed by these tiny guests is most exciting. In a while it will be back to reality, however, for now, we treasure every moment of their short stay.

So, whether you celebrate Christmas or opt for Happy Holidays, we hope yours will be magical!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!


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Friday, 21 October 2016

NEW Project Added - A Colour Wheel

We are so excited to announce that we have added a new project at the start of the FARRAGOZ Patina PROJECTS Course called the Colour Wheel. 

In 1672 Isaac Newton became the first person to scientifically break down colour and the colour wheel was born.

This led to a multitude of theories about colour especially the one often attributed to Claude Boutet in the 1708 edition of “Traité de la peinture en mignature”, an artist’s manual. 

It is the colour wheel in this 300-year-old book, of which the colours have degraded over time, that we chose to use as our source. For this project, we decided to reproduce the old colours as they appear in the book.

With the addition of the Colour Wheel project, we hope to help students develop the ability to assess colours and understand how they work when mixed together. The skill to mix your own colours is invaluable for making your own paint, giving you the confidence to mix pigments from any source and create colours as they were created hundreds of years ago.

There are now 7 projects that students can make. Each project is presented in a Module, consisting of various units that are in turn broken up into small bite-size step-by-step instructions and video clips, making it very simple to follow and recreate what you see.

Module Colour Wheel is a watercolour on board copy of a 300-year-old colour wheel, with colours faded by time. 

Module Icon is an oil on board icon of Archangel Michael in the Byzantine style.

Here are a few of the beautiful icons created by students.


Module Clock Face is a large casein on board clock face with gold details.

Module Plaque is a wooden wall plaque depicting two angels, painted with tempera, using the Grisaille Method.

Module Display Case is a small display or specimen case which is painted to obtain a tarnished metal look.

Module Italian Style Frame is a mirror frame with decoration on wood done in a low relief and finished in gold. The modern mirror glass is tarnished to look like antique foxed glass.

Module Trumeau Mirror is a Trumeau style over-mantle mirror with handmade decorative ornaments reproduced in handmade moulds.

Throughout the course, students learn to make their own stains, paint, sealer and primer using mostly everyday products and old recipes that artisans used for hundreds of years. Used in the correct combinations and with the techniques we teach, students apply and distress these to acquire different finishes.

The course will still be offered at the original price.

To enrol for this online course or to watch our short video, click HERE.

If you are already signed up for the FARRAGOZ Patina PROJECTS Course, you will automatically have access to the coursework for this newly added project at no extra cost! 

Now, rush over to COURSES.FARRAGOZ.COM, log in with your student details to find it in the Coursework and enjoy!

Happy Painting!

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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 its way through to "Distress and Seal". 

As with the rest of the course material, you will have lifetime access to this finish.

We hope you will thoroughly enjoy recreating this finish.

Happy Painting!


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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!


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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 bird's nest, some pewter ware, crystal ware, emptied goose eggshells I've had for years, real Easter eggs and a few Ladurée chocolates. 

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

Have a wonderful Easter weekend!



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