Red, white & blue
Red, white & blue are a strong combination, especially when used in flags. I have always held a love of the Union Jack as a striking visual, and the fascination with it has grown more and more over the years.
Although I am VERY selective in what I like when it comes to things adorned with the Union Jack, (there Is a lot of naff & tacky products out there with its badly plastered all over) Personally, the vintage/antique worn and distressed original flags are by far my favourite, the individually made pieces of the flags or the printed cotton ones are beautiful. Far superior to the naff granny knicker nylon ones.
Luckily, my partner and I have developed a mutual love for it too, His favourite colour is Blue and mine is Red. Since the beginning of our relationship it has been prevalent in little ways, so naturally we have incorporated it into our home in different ways.
As a house warming gift to us both, I had a local shop (Brambles of Saltburn-by-the-Sea) produce a beautiful handprinted and made sign with a distressed Union Jack background and the words "Two Dandy Gents" for our kitchen. I handmade a a velvet rabbit with a Union Jack waistcoat for his Christmas present and for mine he got me a beautiful and very large antique Union Jack.
This has definitely set the tone for our home, the flag is a united combination of our love, values and common interests. As we both love colour, antiques, quirkiness and have a passion for old houses, we are combining this throughout decorating our home.
I have previously posted about our living room, which there is still yet work to be done, but
due to the coronavirus, everything has been massively held up. Today however, I get to share with you our study. This has been a labour of love for the last couple of months, initially wishing to strip the door and flooring back to the original wood. I eagerly started with a heat gun and scraper. After endless hours of painful scraping, blisters and getting off my tits on the fumes. I Had to admit defeat.
Thankfully I had stripped the door back first, otherwise I probably would have probably thought better of it, however the door was that thickly painted with years of gloss, it came off very satisfyingly and easily.
Having abandoned the idea of stripping the floor, I decided to concentrate on the paintwork, freshening the ceiling, skirting and window frame with a crisp white acrylic eggshell (I hate hate HATE, oh did I say HATE, gloss paint) Matt, of very low sheen all the way.
The next thing to be done were the walls, painting them a gloriously deep red from the Valspar range at B&Q in a matt finish. Now for anyone wishing to painting anything red, it is an amazing colour, but it is a bastard to work with, It took FOUR coats to do (probably a fifth wouldn't have hurt), and this paint coverage has been superb with other colours. RED however is notoriously difficult and requires a little more attention (probably why I like it so much).
Annoyingly after masking off the areas I wished to keep crisp and free of messy lines, the wonderful masking tape decided it was going to stick like bloody gorilla glue, taking chunks of paint with it when removed.. (normally I love using "frog tape", but for the quantity I had already gotten through, I decided to get a generic and cheaper one that had relatively decent reviews, Not sure how, unless they had used it for a Brazilian wax).
Anyway, drama of over, touches up completed, it was time to decided what to do with the floor. As my man was stuck over 300 miles away, we discussed at length over the phone, looking at possibly just carpeting the room, repainting the floor with a better paint or using a rice rug. When I had a light bulb moment, "what about a union jack on the floor" considering we are having the giant flag up to dress the window and it is the theme to the room, It made perfect sense.
The option was, getting a giant Union Jack rug, but they were proving costly for the right size, which is when I decided to just paint the bloody thing on. It was a considerably cheaper option to do and way more personal.
Having to relay on home deliveries we used Brewers Home to purchase our paints, We went for Annie Sloan chalk paints as they are amazing to work with, Choosing, Pure, Napoleon blue and Burgundy for the flag.
I firstly gave the floor several coats of primer, followed by two coats of the "pure" chalk paint. Once the white was done it was time to mark out the flag accordingly using masking tape. Now the flag had been marked out, it was time for two coats of the burgundy and two coats of the Napoleon blue.
The intention was always to distress the flag design, scuff it up and grunge it down to make it look as if it had always been there. Also, so if it gets knocked, chipped or worn in areas, it will add to the look, rather than look a mess.
To achieve the distressed look, It took hours of scraping, sanding and one giant blister and lashings of Annie Sloan "dark wax" to give it the grungy worn look we both desired.
Annoyingly it has taken me months to get it to this point due to my fibromyalgia only allowing me to do small bits at a time. BUT I have a huge amount of determination and drive to have got it FINALLY finished.
Now for the fun part of dressing the study and setting it all up.
If want any tips or advice on how to do this in your home, please feel free to ask me anything you like.
I hope you have enjoyed this blog, I have put the links for suppliers below and also a gallery of the finished results.
Brewers Home- where I purchases my Annie Sloan
Annie Sloan- the actual website
Valspar- Wall paint
B&Q- where I got my Valspar paint and eggshell paint from