Wednesday, 28 January 2015

updating the gallery wall and milk paint

Sorry if this post is very similar to a post I posted recently, you might have a slight case of deja vu !

Some time ago CJ at Juniper & Roses sent me some samples of MMS milk paint. She has become a salesperson over here and uses the paints with great skill (just take a look at her header, I wish I owned the plan chest).

I had always wanted the two large dark frames on the gallery wall to be painted a light colour, perfect for trying out the Ironstone sample. I also realised that I could probably squeeze a few extra things in on the right because the gallery wall wasn't quite central to the sofa (and I don't need much of an excuse to put more things on the wall).

I bought the frames years ago in a flea market in Brighton and got glass cut for them and put Klimt pictures in them.

They have no varnish, so were perfect for milk paint.

The milk paint didn't mix very easily and I got a few lumps but the lumps painted out. It also did exactly what it said it would, it stuck, because the frame wasn't sealed at all, so I used a scraper to get a more distressed look.

I didn't use the rest of the paint on the other frame, I used it on something very non-porous and shiny, a plastic coated basket, just to see the difference. It flaked off really well, in fact it was hard to get the paint to stick but I did it a couple of times and varnished it once I was happy with it.
The basket became a shelf in my bathroom, with a bit of wood pushed through the bottom, and although I originally put the toothbrushes here, my brother found it all a bit precarious, so I had to find another solution.
Anyway, I digress.
I used a matchpot on the other frame and distressed it, then stuck a map of Worcestershire to the back of the glass and discarded the back of the frame because I really like the 'floating' look.

Also, I love the look of hand-tinted prints, as this is.

So, the additions.
I got a No. 9 (I felt at the time that I chose it randomly but actually my birthday is on the 9th - doh !) covered it in a map of the Middle East, but didn't like the clean look, so I touched the edges with an ink pad, then sanded the whole thing gently, and it looked much better.
I put up my little green head, the one I wrote about here, that Cheryl in Wisconsin had inspired me to fix.
Then found a frame that was the right width and left it like that for a considerable amount of time.

It needed something else but I didn't want another small thing on the wall under the gold frame, so I moved everything down a bit, added white coral to the opening in the top of the green head to fill one gap and used the top of the gold frame like a shelf and put a favourite card on it.

While looking for Christmas presents, I found a little piece to put in the frame, a little glass 'thing' with the quote 'Fashion fades, only style remains the same' Coco Chanel.

Finally, it's finished and I really need to leave this part of the room alone and go do something else.

I definitely prefer the gallery wall without the dark frames, everything seems more mellow.
I managed to paint a whole chair for work with the MMS Tricycle sample, though I had to thin it down to make it cover, but yes, if you're wondering, I would use MMS milk paint again, I'd just buy one of those mini whisks for mixing.
THANKS for my samples CJ, I told you I'd do a post one day xx


  1. I love the wall, I love the basket, I love the frames! You've done an amazing job.

  2. love . . . love . . . love the gallery wall

    I have mixed feelings about Miss Mustardseed milk paint. I love the color I used to paint my dresser, Eulalie Sky, but I don't like the texture of the dresser now. Maybe I should give it another try.

  3. I'm glad I can inspire something / anything!
    As always, the 'style' of your house will never fade - it's fabulous.

  4. your wall looks great, fiona! i've not tried the milk paints yet, love the texture you got on the wire basket:) juniper and roses blog is great-tfs!!

  5. Your gallery wall is awesome! You really have an eye for it. I have yet to attempt it, but yours tempts me. I had zero luck with milk paint, but maybe I should try it again. Don't you just love Cheryl in Wisconsin???!!! She needs her own blog!

  6. Fiona, your gallery wall is beautiful, your choice of soft hues, shabby chic patinas, and knack for arranging are all qualities of a very talented 'artiste'! How I'd love to sit in this room, with a cup of jasmine tea, and an intriguing conversation about life!

    Thanks so much for sharing and wishing you a warm and cozy weekend!


  7. I love your gallery wall and also the shape of your sofa. I've never tried milk paint, but I love how the frames look now they are lighter.

  8. Oh, Fiona! I LOVE this. I thought that wall was pretty before, but now that I see it transformed I'm speechless. Well, almost. I'm never quite really speechless. :( Anyway, I love all your ideas, and the way you used the milk paint really worked (love the bathroom wire shelf, too). I know if I came to your cottage I'd spend all my time staring at all your creative touches. I love your house!

  9. I love your gallery wall, Fiona! I think the little tag you've hung inside the frame is my favorite part. And I love how you transformed that wire rack with milk paint! It looks old and chippy and wonderful filled with the colored bottles.

    I'm so glad you showed your wall close up because I've been torn about whether or not to fill the joins in my tongue and groove boards with caulk. I've made up my mind now that I've seen yours and I like the look of no caulk in the spaces. Thanks for sharing and have a great week!

  10. I love that floating look in frames pictures too!! Your gallery wall is so lovely!

  11. I agree... I like the frames light and floating. So what's your brothers issue with the toothbrushes? He isn't multitasking with yours is he?

  12. Fiona your artistic mind is amazing! Who thinks of putting coral in holes in a head? The new frames look fantastic. The plastic basket.. Something else I would never have thought to paint.. And now it's perfectly old looking. When you mix your milk paint put a small amount of water in the container, add your paint and stir until it is completely mixed. It will be thick like gravy. Then add amounts of water until it reaches the correct consistency. A whisk is nice but not necessary.

  13. I love the look of the frames now...and I was surprised to think of painting a plastic coated basket! Hopped over from Bliss's nice to meet you! I'm looking forward to following and reading more!

  14. I'm so pleased you tried the Milk Paint - think you know how much I love it! Anyway as usual you amaze and inspire me - I love the wall and the basket looks really great the wood in the bottom looks so authentic - like it was made for it! Sorry I missed this post - it didn't come into my email for some reason?

  15. Oh my goodness . . . I love your style!!! I have just found your blog and I can not get enough of it. You have style with a capital "S" . . . I just hope that by follow your blog, some of it will rub off in my direction:) What you did with your bathroom and the chalkboard wall with photos . . . you are so brave and it works so perfectly well for you. I am your newest follower. I would love to invite you over to visit my blog and I would be over the moon if you followed me back . . . no pressure intended. I just love making new blogging friends and sharing ideas.
    I Love It Here!!!
    Connie :)

  16. It really came out nice. I really like how the basket looks old now!

  17. You always inspire me to add some interesting touches here and there. Love the floating picture look! Are they glued to the glass? That gallery wall is perfect, but if you are anything like me, you'll find something else you just have to add to it.


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