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Reflections on our painted furniture workshop

painting furniture

I have a significant birthday coming up and I really can’t believe that I am saying this but “I met Louisa through twitter” Yey!

And I am so glad that I did. I have a different kind of interiors business and she comes and runs painted furniture workshops at global headquarters (aka as my house) – and they are incredible (yes I am enthusiastic by nature, but believe me they really are).

Louisa runs them in a number of places, and with me in Putney once a month and we did one on Saturday and it was so much fun I had to share what I discovered:

1. It’s all about the people. You might think that a painted furniture workshop is about painting furniture. Wrong. It is really about the energy and connections that flows between the presenter and the people attending.  I only work with presenters that I love and as a result I don’t think that we have ever had a workshop or event where everyone hasn’t had a great time sharing, learning and creating.

2. It is possible to totally transform a piece of furniture in a short day. Take a look for yourself –  5 pieces of tat were transformed into 5 stunning creations with Louisa’s experienced and encouraging coaching.

3. The fun bit isn’t what you paint on – it is what you take off. If you had asked me before Saturday what I was looking forward to I would have said the painting. And it was fun choosing the colours and slapping on some paint (yup I am hideously slapdash – don’t bore me with preparation, cutting in and leading edges, it is just never going to happen) but the creativity really starts when you start the distressing – deciding just how shabby you want your chic etc

4. Painting furniture unleashes creativity you never knew existed. There is always a certain amount of nervousness amongst some of the people that come who wouldn’t describe themselves as “creative” or even very hands-on when it come to interiors. But there needn’t be – it isn’t difficult and you get to take endless creative decisions throughout the process.  Which colours to use? One or two? Fine or coarse sanding? Light or dark wax? Plain or crackled effect etc etc. It is a surprisingly absorbing process.

5. It is a very special thing to do with your mother or daughter. I am a bit obsessed with the traditions and skills that used to be handed down through families for generations and have been lost – I think we are really missing something. Not that I don’t love Britain’s got Talent (and actually something else that I learned on Saturday was that a friend of a friend of Louisa’s auditioned on The Voice Last week – I hope she did ok!) but painting furniture is a creative activity that it is very special to share. It brings you close whilst you are doing it and you are left with something lovely in your home that is a great reminder of that special day and relationship.

6. You don’t need to have a piece of furniture to take part. A lot of people have a small table or trunk at home that could do with a revamp, but if you don’t it doesn’t matter. You can pick up a piece of furniture incredibly inexpensively in charity shops (the Trinity Hospice shop is a great source in Putney) or you can do picture frames (Ikea?) small box..anything really – it doesn’t even have to be wood.

7. Be warned it is addictive! There is going to be no sitting on the sidelines for me any more – I am going to be getting involved on a regular basis, so if you have a piece of furniture that needs transforming and don’t have time yourself……but you really should make the time. You are going to wish that you had come before.

Thank you Louisa.

Louisa runs West Egg – an online interiors boutique


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