‘Rocket Queen’ tattoo parlour Interior – Part 1

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My fabulous friend Charmaigne is opening a tattoo parlour , and we have been coming up with ideas to transform what is basically a HUGE empty space with creative ideas and a low-as-possible budget.  The shop consists of a vast reception area, two treatment rooms, a tiny staff room, WC and the main tattoo studio.  Various people will work in the shop; tattoo artists, a reflexologist, manicurist, and a laser tattoo removal specialist.

Most parlours we have seen are very male orientated – lots of photos of tattoos on the walls, big black leather sofas and quite cold in style.  We want to make a welcoming, fun, entertaining space for Charmaigne’s customers and their friends, and came up with a hybrid of Boudoir, Circus and Fantasy inspired ideas for the main reception space.  Lots of large scale props will be added later as decoration from pinball machines to pop art to a large scaled rocket.

Stripping Out:

The blank canvas was really daunting; lumpy rendered walls, awful suspended ceilings, and floors that were mixed levels and in a very sorry state.  A massive strip out followed, with new ceilings going up followed by plastering some wall areas.  The floors had to be stripped and made level.  Lighting was replaced with directional spotlights.

The first space you enter is the large reception area.  We chose an dark aubergine purple for the walls to warm up the large space.  Here is the first coat going up onto the very textured walls, (horrid to paint).  New ceilings and lighting had to be installed.    Rich gold is being used on skirting and door frames, this ties into planned decorative items being added later into the scheme.  Charmaigne has basically bought all the gold paint in the county for this project to date….

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The main tattoo workroom has to be very hygenic, and follow strict Health and Safety rules with non-porous surfaces.  We decided to follow a clinical/institutional theme in this room and play on the operating theatre theme of cleanliness!  The films ‘Dead Ringers’ is the inspiration for this space.  It also has existing security bars on the windows that have to stay, adding an slight prison feel to the room.  Metro tiles half way up the walls were applied to start which will have very dark grey grout, and a plasterer booked to come and skim the remaining walls and ceilings to provide a good base to paint on.  The walls will be a deep dark grey to offset the tiles and bright lights needed for tattooing.   The flooring is ordered; very dark grey lino which again is hygenic and practical.

IMG_9330There is a small staff area and WC, it is really dark and small so a deep red was used and the gold carried through, here it is after coat 1 of paint:

IMG_9329We have done the first shopping trip to gather a variety of furniture and decorative items, sooo excited!!!!  Watch this space for the developing world of Rocket Queen as it comes together…

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Armoire Makeover on a tiny budget

Slide1After my last cupboard makeover, I decided to start on another one.  I spotted this cupboard in a Charity shop which was a bargain at only £40.  The quality is great; it has veneered wood to the panels on the front, ball feet legs, a carved pediment, and has immaculate joinery inside.  I guess it to be around the 1930’s.  However it is very solid in colour, and some of the veneer was beginning to flake on the panels.  So I was happy to give it a makeover and not feel bad!

Ornate pediment

Ornate pediment

I am obsessed with ‘Snow Tree’ wallpaper by Colefax and Fowler at the moment, and decided to use the cream colour way on this Armoire.  I managed to source some on Ebay for £42, down from the usual £58.  I already had some Annie Sloan chalk paint in Olive, County Grey and Original leftover from other projects which suited the wallpaper’s colours.

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I painted all large areas of the Armoire except the front panels in Country Grey to start, and the detail mouldings in Olive.  At this point an issue came to light as the right hand door did not have beading on the inner left side, which would make wallpapering the panel neatly very tricky.  I popped down to the local DIY store and bought a piece of 180 degree fine wood moulding for £1.80, and with my craft knife I trimmed off the flat edge so it became a pure semi circle.  I then used my best friend, No More Nails, to stick the beading in place and painted it Olive.  Bingo!  Now I had a raised edge to abut the wallpaper so I had a neat edge.

I then added detail to the pediment, feet and any mouldings on the Armoire which were painted Olive, by dry brushing Country Grey very lightly on top.

Finally it was time to wallpaper. I started on the right panel, using wallpaper paste on the paper and letting it soak in for a good 10 minutes before pasting to the panel.  I fold the paper onto itself as well so the paste does not dry out when this soaking period takes place.  I then hung the paper, trimmed it to fit exactly into the space using a pair of sharp scissors, (I find craft knives always tear wet paper).  A damp sponge then smoothed it into place.

To paper the left hand panel, I mentally ignored the two pieces of beading that separate the wallpaper and trimmed the wallpaper so it smoothly flowed across the entire front.  Then  it looks like the paper actually runs below the beading.  I then left the paper to dry before the next steps.  Time for a coffee!

Time for a coffee break while the paint dries.

Time for a coffee break.

The wallpaper has a very distinctive background of dragged paint marks whereas my paint to the Armoire was solid, so I decided to emulate the effect on the front of the armoire edges to match.

IMG_1082On a plate I put a blob of Country Grey, and one of Original white and poured a little water on top of all.  Then using a rough and stiff paintbrush I gently painted lines in both colours on top of all the pale paintwork to the front of the Armoire, so it has paler and darker tones.  It is not a total match, but I think it compliments the piece better than a dead flat colour.

Finally I waxed the whole piece where paint had been applied with clear Annie Sloan wax plus buffed it to get a good sheen. I also applied a dead flat clear glaze to the wallpaper to protect it.

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Dragged brushwork to paint

Moulding on pediment highlighted with a lighter tone

Moulding on pediment highlighted with a lighter tone

The Final Armoire

The Final Armoire:  the wallpaper pattern runs smoothly across the front

Sadly I have nowhere for this beauty to go, which is why it is currently standing in my hallway .  I really do not want to let it go!   But for a total cost of £94 I am pretty pleased with the results and hope it inspires people to get creative with wallpapering furniture.

Wallpapering furniture – The Result

I had decided to upcycle an old cupboard, and finally settled on a fantastic Colefax and Fowler wallpaper called Snow Tree which has brushstrokes and graduations of tone in the background. As a first attempt I decided just to wallpaper the inset panels and then to do a paint effect to match the background of the paper on the rest of the wood.  I figured that if it went wrong I could remove the paper do a simple repaint…

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Snow Tree by Colefax and Fowler

Here are the results, I am pretty pleased with it.

You will need: Charcoal, Original and Olive Chalk Paints (Annie Sloan) Clear Wax Earthborn wall Glaze Wallpaper paste Wallpaper Scissors Kitchen sponge Paintbushes How to:

  • Apply a coat of base colour over all of the wood that will be visible.  Being chalk paint, I only needed one coat and it adhered straight to the existing varnish without any need for sanding down.  Plus it dries really quickly which is a bonus!
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Base coat applied to all areas that will not be wallpapered

  • Measure your wallpaper for the panel sections, give it an extra inch all over in case the piece is old and not even in its dimensions.  Cut pieces, then one by one put paste on them, wait 5 mins for the paste to soak in well before hanging, and then stick to piece.  Smooth well with a very slightly damp cloth, and cut off excess paper where needed with sharp scissors.  Smooth down well again and allow to dry.  I left mine for about 3 hours as we had the heating on.

Stage 2: Papered and painted with base colour

  • Mix up a separate small pot of a lighter version of the base colour with some white paint and water and start to randomly dry brush and streak it over the base coat using just the tips of the brush.  At this point it looks quite brutal but do not worry.  I did mine in a similar pattern to the wallpaper background.  Allow to dry.
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Rough dry brushing with a lighter tone

  • When dry, dilute some of the original base coat colour with water so it is quite runny and put it onto a plate.  Then dab a kitchen sponge into it so there is just a little on the sponge and start to work it in small smoothing circles on the painted areas of the cupboard.  This softens the highlights you made before without removing them.
  • Work away at the piece until you are happy with the effect.
  • Highlight any mouldings with a complimentary colour, I used Olive as it picked out the green in the leaves of the wallpaper.
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Highlights picked out in complimentary colour

  • Once you are happy with the piece it is time to wax and glaze it.  As the Chalk Paint is totally matt and the wallpaper had a very slight sheen I needed it to all have the same finish.
  • Wax the painted woodwork and buff to a sheen.  This creates protection for the paint, and also very slightly darkens down the paint, even with a clear wax.
  • To protect the wallpaper I used Earthborn clear wall glaze, and roughly brushed it on so the strokes again matched the wallpaper’s background.
  • And voila, the finished cupboard.  The sheen is the same all over and close up it is hard to tell it is wallpaper and not hand painted flowers: