Faux marble bedside table update and tutorial

As part of my seemingly never-ending saga to update our rental, one of the rooms which is unfortunately ignored decor-wise the most is our bedroom. Which makes zero sense because it’s the room we spend the most time in. 

Our rented apartment didn’t come with bedside tables and as you can imagine, that was tremendously awkward. We needed bedside tables mainly for storage so they had to have a lot of drawers and a good sturdy shape. Earlier this year I kept an eye on adverts.ie for a set of bedside tables I could update and eventually found a pair for €9 each. SOLD! They had a faux wood finish which was a bit bleugh, but they had a great shape and I knew I’d eventually update them. As a reminder, here’s what they looked like before [try not to be jealous of our glamorous bedside light situation] …

I’ve worked with Rust-Oleum before, so when they got in contact about their new line of furniture paint and asked if I had some furniture I’d like to update, I immediately thought of our bedside tables. I also like to make more work for myself, so I thought why not try my hand at creating a faux marble effect for the top too? I panicked as I started, but I have to admit, they look absolutely incredible. Even Robert has said a number of times “I cannot believe that’s not actually marble“. I did not pay him to say that. 

I began by disassembling the bedside tables [took the drawers out and the handles off] and gave everything 3 coats of Rust-Oleum’s ‘Cotton’ white furniture paint. The reason I painted 3 coats was to ensure I covered the dark wood knots for an even finish all over [you can see the original finish and knots on the inside panel below. What a difference some white paint makes].

I then started on the faux marble top. Here’s how I did it … 

1. I began by painting a layer of white paint in the same direction I wanted the grain of the marble to go.
2. Using Rust-Oleum’s ‘Slate’ grey, I roughly marked the main marble bands across the top of the bedside table. 
3. Using a dry brush, feather the ‘Slate’ grey paint into the white paint. This gives a base to the faux marble look. This doesn’t need to look perfect, but smooth strokes do look the most convincing. 
4. Dip your fingers in some water and flick little droplets onto the top of your bedside table. This sounds mad, but trust me. 

5. Using a rag or piece of kitchen towel, dab off the excess water droplets. What this does is lift a very soft layer of paint and reveals the white paint underneath [as seen better in the picture below]. You can feather this again with a dry brush to smooth any imperfections.
6. Add further detail to the faux marble effect by using the ‘Slate’ grey with a thin paint brush and adding subtle marble veining throughout. You can soften any bits with either a dry brush or with a wet finger. Mix things up and see how it best works for you. Remember – the less perfect it looks and the less symmetrical the pattern, the better. 

I let the bedside tables dry with the drawers open slightly and nothing on top for a minimum of 24 hours to ensure the paint dried completely. I couldn’t resist getting new handles for our bedside tables too, and at a whopper of a bargain.

I really am impressed with the finish from Rust-Oleum’s furniture paint. It dries very quickly which means my initial 3 coats of paint were done and dry in under an hour. I have a good amount of paint left over after painting each set of bedside tables, so I’ve had my eye on our IKEA step stool for repainting it white and doing a similar faux marble finish on each of the steps. Well lush!

UPDATE: see our updated IKEA Bekvam step stool here

Before you plan on buying a new set of bedside tables or furniture, just think of all the sad furniture out there in need of a home. They can not only look fabulous but feel fabulous and loved once again. Think of all the second hand furniture and their potential … All they need is love. Okay, less sap. Thank you again Rust-Oleum for helping me update our sad bedside tables! Happy Friday, friends xx
Disclosure – this blog post was sponsored by Rust-Oleum, who also sent me the necessary paint for updating our bedside tables free of charge. As always, all words and opinions are my own. I only work with companies I like and of course, think that you will too. Thank you for supporting the companies that support The Interior DIYer. 

Updated curio cabinet

This past weekend we were gifted with some truly horrific weather here in Ireland. However, sometimes it’s nice to have such a solid excuse to stay indoors in your pj’s all day and contemplate striking one item off your never ending list of things to do. I was in such a mood this weekend so I finally rolled up my sleeves and repainted my little curio cabinet the blackest of black. As a reminder, here’s what it looked like up until this weekend … 

Not bad, but not great either. The finish was chipped all over, not to mention most of the panelling had no finish at all [as seen two photos down]. I began by disassembling the entire cabinet. As my dad showed me when it was gifted it to me for my 30th [and suggested in the first place that it be painted], you simply unscrew all the knobs along the top and bottom and that allows the entire piece to be taken apart, and fairly easily.

I laid the cabinet flat on a drop cloth on our dining table and began disassembling it. As I was taking the cabinet apart, I made a quick note of the order in which I took it apart [accompanied by a couple of rough sketches for the fancier pieces whose name I didn’t know. ie – the very top piece I called the tiara bit]. This note came in immensely handy when it came to reassembling the cabinet at the very end as it turned out to be trickier than I thought, even with the list. 

I took the cabinet apart, lightly sanded [in the direction of the grain] each piece, cleaned it with a damp rag and lightly painted two coats of black paint [again, in the direction of the grain]. Since removing it, I have yet to put the glass door back on as I’m in the process of replacing the hinges [I steeped them in coke to remove the rust, but alas, they were beyond repair]. Now that there’s no door, I’m actually kind of liking it. It doesn’t look too out of place sans door either …
Now that it’s painted, my exciting [for me] decision is that I’m hoping to fill it with succulents! Yes! Living things! I was originally going to fill it with my Sylvanian Families cat collection, but I’ve managed to keep a certain succulent alive since I brought it home from Dublin Design Night, so one day I thought how lovely it would look filled with little succulents in glass jars? It would look lovely, past self! And it would make the cabinet seem a bit less … daunting, too. 

I’m not however sold on where the cabinet is now hanging. If I’m to fill it with succulents, hanging it over a storage heater probably isn’t the best start. The cabinet’s also kind of fighting with the white shelf over our TV. It looks not too bad in the above photo, but in real life they look like two grumpy old men having to sit next to one another for the duration of a long bus ride. For now, I’m thinking maybe over my desk would look nice? We’ll see. Chances are, it’ll take another two months for me to make my mind up. 

and Juniper looking rather confused

Ideal Home Show – autumn 2015

Let’s not focus on how haggard my hands are. #DIYproblems

For the second time this year I was asked by Colortrend to conduct video interviews for their Interior Design Forum room sets as part of the Ideal Home Show. I did the same interviews earlier this year during the spring exhibit and found it great experience to see the goings on behind the camera. I was more than happy to help this autumn by interviewing some exceptionally talented designers and of course, oogle at their room sets. 
I couldn’t resist sneaking in a photo [or twelve] between takes of the fantastic room sets this years’ show had to offer … 

The Dust girls did not disappoint with their dark design, pops of colour and jungle of faux flowers. Ladies after my own heart.

My college wife Catherine Murphy and her beautifuly whimsical nursery. Check out the laser-cut wood flooring and  the bespoke giraffe night light. Srsly.

Nina Kati‘s feng shui living room had shades that did not disappoint. 
There were also room sets by Ciara Drennan Interiors, Noelle Interiors, State of Grace and Thelma Henry Interiors, but I didn’t have the opportunity to take some sneaky photos before the doors opened to the public. 

I also had the opportunity to interview Roisin Lafferty of Kingston Lafferty Design about the DFS show house her and her team designed. Roisin took me on a tour and I proceeded to tell her how much I hated her and her mad wizard design skills. This is a show house, people. The entire set was built from the ground up in just 2 weeks …

Kitchen, study, bathroom and bedroom. That bathroom in particular needs to happen in our future when we grow up and have a real life home #Goals. I’d strongly suggest you check out the whole process from start to finish on Roisin’s blog here
The autumn Ideal Home Show was a real treat. I find it so inspiring for getting the creative brain juices going. When you’re among such incredible designers, it’s really hard not to. 

p.s. I was armed with only my phone for taking pictures, so please excuse the shoddy quality. My pictures don’t do nearly enough justice to all the room sets. Trust me, they were all amazing.