Saturday 1 December 2012

How To Gild Using Liberon's Gilt Cream

This month, we want to show you, step by step, how to create two very different gilded effects using Liberon's Gilt Cream. Both are very straight forward and are the perfect way to provide additional Christmassy warmth to your home. 

Let's start with a really simple project, which is wonderful for this time of year, using fir cones to make a Christmas display.

Gather together a group of fir cones.

Starting with a small dab of Liberon's Gilt Cream on your brush....

...and working from the base of each cone, gradually build up the gilded effect, making sure you get into all the nooks and crannies.

With some of our fir cones, we used the cream all over, and, with others, we used the gentlest touch, to provide variety of colour and texture when they are grouped together.

This is a great example of how Liberon's Gilt Cream can be used on bare surfaces. Now let's take a look at using it on a slightly harder project, to gild an already painted surface.

We've used this technique on these painted wooden frames.

We want the Gilt Cream to highlight the grain of the wood, as well as the textured effect of the paint. In order to achieve this effect, you need to apply the cream using the flat side of the paint brush, skimming it softly over the surface so only the very top layer of the frame is caught by the cream.

Taking this process very slowly, it's possible to build up layers of Gilt Cream to produce a beautiful but subtle effect, which provides a terrific Christmas glow.

If this makes the process sound too complicated then please rest assured that it needn't be. Liberon's Gilt Cream is incredibly easy to use. Just for you, we want to show what happens if you apply it rather haphazardly, like this...

Is it possible to put this streaky effect right? YES! 
All you need to do is to keep rubbing gently but firmly with the side of your brush, or with a dry rag. This will soften the lines of the streaking. Then, taking some more of the product with your paint brush, go over the area until you're happy with the look.

Wait for Liberon's Gilt Cream to dry and then, if you want, it can be buffed to a soft sheen using a soft cotton cloth.

We hope you're able to have lots of fun with gilt cream in your homes this month and, as always, if you have any questions about gilding, then please contact Relics of Witney, and we'd be delighted to help.

Merry Christmas from all of us!

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Thursday 1 November 2012

How To Create The Perfect Curtain Pole

Today, we'd like to tell you about our beautiful curtain poles and show how they can be easily further enhanced by using paint and then gilt cream to bring their understated elegance to life.

These poles start their lives at a wood-turning workshop in rural Shropshire, which was established in 1981 and are manufactured using solid timber from sustainable sources.

We love the versatility of this approach to buying curtain poles, which makes it possible to create a completely bespoke look at a fraction of the usual cost.

The poles come in three diameters (38mm, 47mm and 58mm) with options for finials, brackets and holdbacks too. A huge amount of care has gone into their design and creation, which are inspired by classical form and traditional patterns.

They are of excellent quality too, as we hope you've come to expect from any product we supply at Relics: solid and sturdy.

We've given three poles and finials different treatments, using paint and gilt cream to demonstrate the freedom this approach gives in producing a finish which will be uniquely yours.

When choosing colours for your pole, it's worth picking a paint that's a shade or two darker than you might originally be drawn to, as the light bounces off these curves beautifully.

Ours looked so lovely that we wouldn't be surprised if you were thoroughly tempted to leave them simply like that.

However, once the paint had dried, we applied Liberon's Gilt Cream in Chantilly...

 and Trianon... the finials using three very different techniques.

In our December post, we'll be showing you, in a step-by-step guide, how Liberon's versatile Gilt Cream can be used to bring Christmas warmth to a whole host of household items.

Now that the clocks have gone back, and the nights have well-and-truly drawn in, it's time to be honest:
are your curtains looking their best?

Contact Relics for more details, or pop in to see for yourself how gorgeous these poles really are.

Have a wonderful November!

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Monday 1 October 2012

Farrow and Ball's "10 Ways With Wallpaper" Window Display

This month, we've decorated our shop front to tie in with

As our display shows, there's no need to limit yourself to using the paper on your walls. Get stuck in with these easy projects to give your home the wow-factor. 
Here are our 10 Ways With Wallpaper....
By using spray-glue to attach wallpaper, we gave these tired lampshades a new lease of life.

A simple stripe changed this budget clipboard into something really special.

We applied paint, added squares of wallpaper plus some of our favourite small door knobs, and have been bowled over at the complete transformation of this chest.

 Protect the covers of your books by carefully attaching your favourite design.

We've made way for some very stylish reading by laminating small strips of wallpaper.

Creating a stunning clock to tie in perfectly with your colour scheme has never been easier.

Storage Pot
Our stunning tin started life as a humble paint can. A thorough clean and a few scraps of wallpaper led to the creation of this statement piece.

Wrapping Paper
Using wallpaper as gift wrap is a very effective way to add the wow-factor to any present. 

Gift Bag
This was so simple to make, and a fraction of the cost of bought versions. Farrow and Ball's wallpapers are good quality, which means that these bags are built to last.

We've used different wallpapers to create these small-scale pieces of decoupage art. 

We'd love to hear if you can think of any other ideas? 
Come to Relics to let us help you bring your ideas to life.


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Monday 3 September 2012

How To Pick The Perfect Front Door Paint

Choosing the right front door colour for your home is not a matter of succumbing to the latest fashions. We want you to have a house frontage that makes your heart skip a beat every time you return from a long day at work, and that means putting aside other people's ideas of what's on-trend and focusing on what makes you happy.

This is easier said than done with the myriad of paint shades available but that shouldn't make you feel despondent. We're here to help ensure that the colour you end up with is one you really love. With that in mind, here are some questions to set you on the way to your perfect front door.

Are you drawn to warm or cool colours?
Don't restrict yourself to colours that are typically linked to 'hot' or 'cold' climates. Every colour can have cooler or warmer undertones, (or, for that matter, be thoroughly neutral).

For example, here is a picture of a front door painted in Little Greene's Celestial Blue. Although blue is traditionally thought of as a cool colour, this particular shade is warm and lively.

Conversely, see how this front door leans towards the cooler end of the red spectrum, with its blueish undertones. Try Farrow and Ball's Brinjal for a similar look.

Do you want your front door to stand out or to blend in? 
If you're stuck with a not-so-pretty look then we can help you pick out a colour which blends in with your exterior walls so that there is no stark contrast between the different surfaces.

This effectively means that the eye can move seamlessly over the front of your house, without noticing specific details, but taking it in as a whole. Try Paint and Paper Library's Estuary for the toning look below.

Or is your front door particularly lovely? If so, make the most of it by picking a brighter shade. For a smart, bright red, perfect against pale walls, choose Farrow and Ball's Blazer.

How often do you plan to repaint?
This is time to be frank with yourself. If the answer is infrequently then we would definitely advise choosing a classic colour that won't date, such as Dulux Gloss Black, which is hard-wearing and timeless. You'd certainly be in good company...

However, if you're happy to redecorate often then why not choose something a little more daring? We love it that these owners have created a look they adore by picked out Little Greene's Eau De Nil and Little Greene's Garden

Our last paint-picking question for you is this:

When looking at other people's front doors, which are the houses that make you want to stop and stare?
Search out beautifully decorated houses that are built from similar materials to yours, and, if possible, face the same direction (as we said here, paint can look surprisingly different depending on the quality of light it receives).

Be brave! Knock and ask the owners which paint they have used....though it's always worth trying a sample size out before committing to a full tin.

Of course, we are well aware that these questions overly simplify the whole angst of picking the perfect paint for your front door but we hope they have given you a good starting point, as well as an idea of the general assistance we can offer.

For a more personal discussion, with our highly trained staff, drop in to Relics, or contact us, for the front door colour of your dreams.

Images via Farrow and Ball, Little Greene, Farrow and Ball, London Door, Interior Domain Designs, Maison Classique, Welsh Heritage, Sanderson, Relics of Witney

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