’ve fallen for many pieces of furniture over the years, but my first love was my mum’s rag-rolled green and black sideboard.
The love has endured so strongly that I regularly remind her she once promised to leave it to me (although this is the first time I’ve done so via newspaper column).
Like most of the furniture in that tiny flat, it was acquired from the wonderfully named Brighton homeware shop Fantasy Furniture.
I often wonder if my fascination with paint effects would exist if it weren’t for that emporium of treasures, although I’m sure I would have sniffed out stippling one way or another.
Paint effects have an impact that far outweighs the cost and skill required.
Total beginners can try spattering to transform a side table or bedside cabinet.
It works best if you use two contrasting colours, say a midnight blue base and a brilliant red water-based acrylic as the splash effect.
Prime the piece and paint with the base colour, then load up your brush with the spatter colour, dip into a cup of water and shake over the surface.
Tapping the brush against a stick will vary the appearance of the spatter. Seal with Polyvine’s dead flat Decorators Varnish.
Lack the time or confidence for DIY? Call in the experts. Design duo Emma Ridley and Gaby Gatacre, AKA Rag Arts, recently worked their magic on a client’s ceiling — an area where subtle colour sponging or rag rolling works particularly well.
Floors need more drama. I combed my office floor over a very hot bank holiday weekend and the results were well worth forgoing the beer garden. You’ll need a little grout spreader (Leyland’s own-brand plastic one is ideal), paint, a roller and a primed surface.
First apply a base colour, wait for it to dry, then roll on your top coat and, while it’s still wet, drag your grout spreader across the surface in whatever pattern you want, wavy, zig zag, curls…
Again, two contrasting colours work best; I chose a “parmesan” soft sheen for the base coat and a black gloss for the top from Graphenstone, which has a fabulous selection of natural paints. For more bespoke colours look no further than the queen of colour, Francesca Wezel (Francesca’s Paints).
Perhaps my most important tip though is to go wild, be brave and have fun!