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By Clementene Coates, Mar 21 2015 10:51AM

Today was the day to move on to painting some new furniture now that the gorgeous oak washstand had been finished (don't forget - visitors to the fair can still win this beautiful piece by visiting the Marston & Langinger stand!).

My wonderful fiancé Pete travelled all the way down to London from Yorkshire to join me for the second half of the fair. He's my best friend and an absolute legend. On top of having a full time job in Digital Media, he spends most of his spare time working on my business - everything from creating my website, my business leaflets and business cards, to organising and updating my social media accounts and being the chief lifter and transporter of my heavy pieces of furniture all over the country. Without his love and constant support I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing right now.

Whilst Pete doesn't paint any furniture, there's little he doesn't know about the process (probably because he's had to listen to me chatting about it constantly over the years!) and he was happily speaking to visitors and exhibitors about what it is I do. In between me waiting for the paint to dry I too got the chance to have a good wander around the fair and chat to fellow craftspeople and visitors to exchange stories and business details. Please see my Twitter feed, Pinterest board or Facebook page to see some of the wonderful people I met.

The Jane Means stall always seemed to be very busy!

Back to the painting...

The lovely Catherine Gee and Linda Abernethy from Country Living made a trip to IKEA and bought a selection of pieces for me to paint. The first of these were a pair of cheap IVAR IKEA chairs which cost just £15 each.

I painted one chair in 'Barley' Interior Eggshell and the other in 'Charcoal' Chalky Matt, both of which were from the Country Living palette.

No prep and no priming - the paint went straight on a treat! Despite the knots in the wood, after just two coats of paint I had complete coverage.

However, the pale coloured paint on the pale pine wood looked a little insipid and didn't show off the true beauty of this paint colour. So, we chose to add a bit of character by painting some Charcoal along the edges of the Barley painted chair and some Barley on the edges of the Charcoal painted chair. What a difference it made!

I used approximately a tin and a half of the Marston & Langinger tester pots per chair, which shows what fantastic coverage this paint has.

By Clementene Coates, Mar 15 2015 04:11PM

As the saying goes “time flies when you’re having fun!” I launched my business just a few months ago, but it only feels like it was several weeks away. Gone are the days when I used to wish the week away and live only for the weekends. Now I look forward to each and every day and I couldn’t be happier.

Spring is already upon us and things are truly in full swing back at HQ. So far this year I’ve sold a number of pieces of furniture; I’ve got three commissions on the go and I’m also writing articles and blogs for several interior magazines. I never anticipated being so busy so soon, but I’m absolutely thrilled that I am and long may it continue!

I’ve had such wonderful support from my family and friends (in particular my lovely fiancé Pete), but also from strangers who’ve posted sweet comments and words of encouragement about my work. It really does make it all worthwhile. And, to top things off, the lovely people at Country Living Magazine have invited me to attend their Spring Fair at the BDC in Islington, London next week between the 18 - 22 March.

As no doubt most of you will know, Country Living is the renowned and celebrated lifestyle and decorating magazine which champions craftspeople and small businesses like myself. Their annual Spring Fair is a celebration of this and an opportunity for home-grown talent to show off their skills. Visitors can expect to see furnishings, fabrics, accessories and more, all from hand-picked makers. It really is the most exciting event of its kind in the year.

My contribution to the Spring Fair is really quite unique. For each day of the show (both in the morning and in the afternoon) I'll be painting a range of furniture live in front of Country Living’s visitors, showcasing a new range of paints produced by the fabulously talented people at Marston & Langinger, who've teamed up with Country Living to create a stunning palette of colours.

I’m so honoured to be taking part in this great occasion as this is the first time that these gorgeous paints will be shown off in public. The colour palette is simply divine – a sumptuous range of creams, pinks, blues, greens, greys and more – all with pretty names (including Plaster Pink!). There are three different finishes: Chalky Interior Matt, Interior Eggshell and Exterior Eggshell, each with its own unique qualities.

I was lucky enough to be sent a selection of these paints in advance of the Spring Fair so I could try them out. I wasn’t disappointed. They’re wonderfully versatile paints and almost completely odourless making them environmentally friendly too. Never mind the divine packaging these paints come in; they’re an absolute pleasure to use; they’re self-priming, smooth flowing and easy to apply, which certainly makes my job a lot easier!

Even more exciting is that one of the pieces I'll be painting will be given away as a prize to one of the lucky Country Living Fair visitors. It's a gorgeous antique oak wash stand with beautiful tapered legs. I'll be restoring, priming and painting her (yes, I’ve decided it’s a she and she’ll have a name too when I’ve finished with her!) with one of Country Living and Marston & Langinger’s stunning paints. So, if you’re coming to the Spring Fair and you want to be in with a chance of winning a beautiful, bespoke piece of furniture, pop by and say hello!

And, if you’re around on the last day of the show (Sunday 22nd), make sure you pop over to the Lifestyle Theatre at 11:45am where we’ll be holding a Q&A session on “How to choose the right paint colour”. I’ll be one of the guest speakers, so feel free to quiz me and I’ll hopefully have the answer you’re looking for!

I’ve created a really useful twitter list for anyone who’s interested in hearing all about what’s going on at the Spring Fair. It brings together all the exhibitors, speakers and Country Living staff and will be a great place to keep up to date with what’s going on, as well as following the #clspringfair hashtag and @CLFairs twitter account.

I’ll also be posting a new blog for each day of the show with pictures of the pieces I’ve painted that day, as well as pictures of the different exhibitor’s stands and their beautiful products on show. I’ll be tweeting live as well as updating my two new Country Living Spring Fair Pinterest boards with pictures of my furniture and other great things I spot over the 5 days, so keep a look out!

If you’re attending, remember to pop over, say hello and enter the competition to be in with a chance to win one of the first pieces to be painted with the fabulous new range of paints by Country Living and Marston & Langinger.

Please read the rest of my posts from the Country Living Spring Fair 2015

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Here's the place to find out what Clementene's been up to. She'll post updates on new projects; features she's written for Country Living Magazine UK; design tips and tricks; and 'how to' guides for ways to paint your own furniture. Clementene's blog is regularly updated so make sure you keep coming back. You can follow Clementene on social media too (check out the links above) and don’t forget to post your comments - Clementene would love to hear from you. And, for those wanting the latest news, sign up for Clementene's Newletter...

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