Thursday 24 November 2011

How To Gild: Part 1: Your Kit

Welcome to our How To Gild series.

Heading towards Christmas is absolutely the right time to be thinking about gilding. Once you get the hang of it (and you will after you've read our instructive posts over the next few weeks), gilding is a gorgeous way to add festive touches to your home.

Just take a closer look at what we've done with these walnuts to demonstrate some of the different techniques that we'll be sharing with you

Aren't they beautiful?

Let's begin the series by looking at what you need to get started, before we move on to any detailed instruction.

Firstly, if you are going to gild any porous surface, you will need a barrier of some kind to act as a key. You can either use a fontenay base or emulsion, which can be used to give a wonderful range of decorative effects.

Next, you will need size, which is simply another name for the special glue used to stick down metal leaf. Our water-based acrylic size remains tacky indefinitely, giving you all the time in the world to get precisely the effect you want.

In your kit, you will also want a few different kinds of brushes. A large brush for applying the base, another for spreading the sticky size, and then a firmer gilding brush to be used specifically for tamping down delicate metal leaf.

There are various methods of gilding, which we're looking forward to covering in the coming posts, involving metal leaf....

and gilt creams.....

which all come in various colours....

 and all produce slightly different effects.

The gilding products that we stock have all been tested by us. We are confident that they are the best on the market. As always, if you have any questions then please don't hesitate to contact us.

See you next week for our first How To Gild tutorial.....

Linking with:

Fingerprints ON the Fridge At The Picket Fence Romantic Home The Shabby Nest Frugalicious Friday Simply Designing Remodelaholic Chic on a Shoestring Common Ground's Vintage Inspiration Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

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Thursday 17 November 2011

The Perfect Fireplace Part 2

Although still mild, the weather this week has been noticably cooler, which leads us nicely onto Part 2 of How To Create Your Perfect Fireplace.

This week is all about seeking out accessories that conjure up images of fireside country bliss, toasting crumpets and sizzling chestnuts. That's the look we love. 

At Relics, we pride ourselves on sourcing well-made, good quality items: ones that have character but also a strong air of originality. We've picked out just two of our fireside accessories to show you what we mean. 

If you'd like a closer look then pop in to the shop, or contact us for more details.

A companion set is essential for keeping your hearth in tip-top condition. Our sets (this is the smaller size of two) come with a poker, tongs, shovel and brush.
 Not only useful for keeping everything looking beautiful, companion sets are a great way of introducing character to a modern home.

Our chunky wicker baskets have been a huge hit with our customers. This is our favourite for holding kindling and a few logs. The wicker is strong and sturdy, and has a gorgeous, slightly greyed finish.

One of the queries we frequently get asked at Relics, is how to add character to featureless properties. Decorative touches that are textured and traditional, such as these, are an easy way of doing just that.

Next week, we'll be starting a detailed tutorial series about gilding. Impeccably timed to lead us into the Christmas season.

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Thursday 10 November 2011

The Perfect Fireplace

Not many of us live in the houses of our dreams but we're here to show you how to create that dream-house feeling wherever you live.

Let's start with your fireplace. As we head into the darker months, a welcoming, warming focal point in the living room is a must and a fireplace provides the perfect opportunity for that.

This week and next, we'll be showing you our list of fireplace essentials, which we have sought out for you (those available online are linked to our Relics of Witney website).

There are few sights more heart-warming, at this time of year, than walking into a warm room, with a fire already blazing. However, leaving an unattended open fire free to crackle and pop onto your best carpet probably isn't the best idea so we suggest a fireguard: one which is both functional and beautiful. Our favourite, which you can admire here in these images, is extremely sturdy, sectioned by strong hinges into three parts, and forged from cast iron.

It has a scrolled pattern which provides much-needed focus when the fireplace is empty, but equally the mesh is delicate enough to be able to see the roaring flames when they are behind the guard.

We recommend Liberon Iron Paste for keeping iron looking pristine. It comes in a 250ml tin, and is suitable for all cast or wrought iron fire equipment.

If your ironwork is looking rather worse for wear then first clean with Liberon Rust Remover, and follow on by applying the Iron Paste with a small round brush.

The paste should be left for 24 hours to dry, then buffed with a grate brush, which is designed to quickly transform the dull, dried paste to a high sheen.

Now, when we're still having a few milder nights, is a good time to carry out this task, in time for next month, when fires all over England, will be blazing merrily.

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Thursday 3 November 2011

Ugly Radiators? You Need Our Gorgeous Radiator Cabinets....

Now that the nights are drawing in and the weather has left summer well and truly behind, it's time to turn our thoughts to heating our houses as beautifully as possible.

Yes, we need warmth. Yes, we need radiators. But please don't feel that you need to put up with this: the ugly radiator.

At Relics of Witney, we supply beautiful, well-made radiator covers, manufactured from sturdy MDF that doesn't warp or crack from heat or sudden temperature changes, and which are extremely good value for money.

Radiator cabinets create the perfect solution to a necessary eyesore: for example, by providing a stylish console table effect in a narrow hallway. Ours can be made to suit any tricky situation from small alcoves to large bay windows.

Thanks to their specially designed vents and plinths, they actually IMPROVE heat circulation from the radiator. The front grille panel is attached using strong magnetic catches that allow easy access to the radiator and valves.

The design process is extremely easy. You will be able to choose from a range of styles and grille pattern, from Classic, Ethnic or Contemporary, as well as determining the exact height and width, to produce a radiator cabinet that perfectly complements your home. We are, of course, more than happy to help if you would like any guidance through the process.

Your radiator cover will arrive flat-packed but we ensure that all difficult carpentry has been completed by this stage. All that is left to do is a very simple assembly job, using the bolts and screw fittings supplied, and then to paint in situ using the colour and finish of your choice. See our website for more information on the best way to paint your cabinet.

And, of course, to thoroughly enjoy the look of your new purchase.

Next week.....creating the perfect hearth.

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