Closet transformed into a dry bar with Artisan Paints and Products

I love this transformation of our unused closet space into a "Dry Bar" this area is  now one of our most used spaces when we have visitors over; often where Darrell and I will be sneaking into at "Gin Time" on the weekends or where our daughter will be busy making her fruit smoothies or milkshakes with her friends.  We are all about transforming spaces into one that you will either A: use more B: want to be in more C: one that evokes a reaction, memory or those feel good vibes.  Having that ability to transform quickly and easily with little to no prep  makes that vision that you have, become do-able, nothing worst than having a really cool idea and then the thought of prepping it all makes you give up before you've even started. Using  Artisan Paints and products means that those materials, textures and finishes that you might have never even dreamed of purchasing and installing becomes possible through creating it via an artisanal paint finish... like, rather than buying and installing a stone bench, creating one in less than an hour with some pretty amazing paint on pretty much any surface becomes a very very viable option....


Picture Above: A look from the outside into our Dry Bar, framed off with Bruised Petal Matte Estate on the outside wall, rustic piece of furniture in Premium Chalk Paint and Waxes and that "wooden" beam you see in the corner... is an Artisan Paint finish of Tahr Premium Chalk Paint painted with texture, followed by dark wax and carbon black wax created straight over a gib finish... 

Turning custom wood into a stone work bench, painting straight over previously painted walls, skirting, wood, metal, half plywood half concrete gluey floors and have it all dry quickly with no smell. All those different materials painted in one colour with the one Artisan paint and have it all come together as one luxurious finish is where Artisan Paints and Products comes into this project in a big way. It's the ability to work with what you have, coming up with and creating a brand new vision for a space without costing the earth... using premium quality paint that bridges the gap between form and function makes almost anything possible. Artisan Paint can be so much more than just furniture paint and this is what I hope this project shows in my blog entry today. 

Before: All the metal brackets, walls, odd recycled skirting all colour blocked in Starling Velvet Luxe, a beautiful self levelling indoor / outdoor paint thats instant quick and easy to use.  

Below: Work in Progress with Starling on, anyone else out there who likes to place a bit of decor or an item in place before they've even finished their project just so you know how it's all going to pull together at the end? :-) 

So Let's rewind a little and let me the scene for you. The closet is situated near a guest room and a guest kitchen which is also close by to our second lounge area. The closet we were told,  is what the previous owners used to store their cleaning tools and gear... like a dedicated cleaning closet... ahem ...I have no where near enough "cleaning" items to covet a closet for cleaning and as my daughter use to tell her friends at the ripe age of 7 "my mum doesn't really clean, she just paints over it" - an almost true story. The closet was always destined to become a "dry bar" from the moment we laid our eyes on it during that first Open Home before we bought the place. It was what we imagined that space to be so it's been great to bring that vision to life through Artisan Paints.

This was on the others side of the closet,  that's Darrell smashing through in this photo, don't worry I had a good go too, so exhilarating smashing walls!  That gap you are seeing is a "fridge gap" we are busting through from the closet to join that fridge gap in with the Dry Bar.  Our guest fridge does not fit in this gap, it has always sat to the side of it. So  another bit of wasted space ready to be utilised. 

The space where the Fridge was suppose to be: Once we pulled the gib out we started to build some shelving on the sides. Now that this space is open it also connects the Dry Bar to the Guest Kitchen on the other side. 

Above is where the closet was...  here, we've built a bench out of some recycled wood and custom wood, with some recycled skirting that we pulled and kept from our old shop. Shelving is very basic with some very plain steel brackets, all a bit rough and mis-matched. Please note we are not builders by any means,we just needed to create something to function as shelving and as a bench. We knew we could add the "form" part of it and make it more refined with some Artisan Paint magic :-)  

This is the floor situation, we've ripped up the carpet, there's still glue on the floor that I was not keen to sand. I scraped and chiselled off any extra "blobby chunky" bits with plans to use the texture of the gluey bits to work in with the overall look... Darrell did raise his eyebrow at me at this, but Im pleased to say that the idea did pull through really well and that eye brow has now been dropped.  I saved myself some good time and labour on not having to remove every bit of glue off this floor, Im all about working with whats in front of you if you can....why make life harder than it needs to be... embrace some imperfections in your life.

The idea was to use Starling Velvet Luxe to colour block out this Dry Bar and make it moody. This was used on everything from the ceiling, walls, shelving, over the metal brackets and floors. The bench however was going to be contrasted with Artisan Stone Effects in Rustic Rye with a Crisp White wash, effectively turning that not so attractive custom wood, home made bench into well... a Stone bench. We have warm lighting in here and Rustic Rye on it's own was going to be too "yellow" hence adjusting it with a Crisp White colour wash. 

In Progress : Rustic Rye, applied with a spreading tool  followed with a crisp white colour wash.  COLOUR WASH: diluting Crisp White Premium Chalk Paint with water and brushing it over the Rustic Rye then ragging it around with a lint free rag, effectively lightening Rustic Rye to the level we want whilst adding some soft variation to the overall finish.  Stone Effects was applied with the Stone spreading tool, the texture kept nice and flat to function as a working bench. 

super light sand of all the putty knowing that Stone Effects was going to overide it and any joints. 

Above: 2 good coats of Stone Effects Rustic Rye, Crisp White wash finished with Artisan Matte Lacquer. Applied over the top of the Stone Effects finish. Soooo important when deciding to use Stone Effects on a bench or  table top, anything that requires regular cleaning.  Use the Artisan Lacquer over the top to make cleaning and wiping, possible and easy. Any liquids or stains falling in between the texture will just slip and glide allowing you to wipe up clean easily.   I have done this on a kitchen bench myself and can personally vouch for this. I would probably even top up and maintain the lacquer every 2-3 years depending on how rough you are with using the surface with scrubbing, cleaning it down. But if you do decide to do something similar, a generous at least 2-3 coats of Artisan Lacquer to make sure you cover every bit of that stone texture you've created in Artisan Stone Effects. The lacquers come in comes in Matte, Satin and Gloss so the choice is yours.  

Artisan Stone Effects dries HARD, it's feels and looks like stone so when it comes to applying it on a working surface, I'm not worried about dings or scrapes or whether "it can take it" because it can take some pretty big knocks. If I dropped a glass on this, my glass will more likely smash and the Artisan Stone Effects will come away unscathed. But I think what's important is that you keep the texture flat with a spreading tool....rather than creating rustic texture when it comes to benches or table tops. It functions better this way in terms of up keep and cleaning.  I dislike cleaning, so anything that keeps it simples is great, but it's not to say you can't do rustic textures, the upkeep is just a bit more...but hey Tadaaa custom wood bench to stone bench. We purposely put an over hang edge to the bench knowing that once Stone Effects would go on, it would replicate a thick slab of stone. If you want to know the ins and outs of Artisan Stone Effects there is a Video online that runs you through it click here to access: 

Dry Bar in natural day light. Starling adjusting beautifully to natural light

Why we used Starling Velvet Luxe :
Given that with this project we were going over custom wood, previously painted walls, raw wood, metal brackets etc the paint of choice was 1 x 4L of Artisan Velvet Luxe. Price wise it's economical vs the 1L and it meant we could paint straight over everything all the different materials without any prep other than a good clean. If I was just doing the walls I would definitely go with Matte Estate as the paint of choice but simply because we were going over so many different substrates... it was a job for Velvet Luxe, once you have your coverage your done (no need to wax or lacquer). The walls were done with a inch Staalmeester brush hand painted in the grooves first then rolled on with the Wooster roller as was the Ceiling and floors, the 1 inch to cut in around the edges and the Wooster roller to roll the larger areas. All shelving rolled on with Staalmeester mini roller making it super quick to apply,  super smooth and with a one hour dry time, we got the entire space painted in an afternoon. 

Starling Dry bar at night in artificial light 

Wait we cant forget the floors, 

A mixture of Rough Plywood, Concrete and glue marks.... Painted straight over with Artisan Starling Velvet Luxe and Gloss lacquer for that extra shine and also for it to function as a floor. Again if you are looking to do floors, the Artisan lacquer as a top coat is a must. The glossiness highlights all the textures and imperfections... in a good way. You can see below some smoother areas and some rougher areas but it all looks like it was meant to be, and this kind of organic texture on the floors blocked out in a shiny dark green-black adds a really nice vibe and character to the floors which I love.... like really love. I also really love that I didn't have to sand off all the glue marks and make it perfect. Sometimes I think it's best to work in with what you have in front of you,  and often you will discover a rare unique beauty amongst it all. You'll be amazed at how much an Artisan Paint finish can pull things together....

Looking back in the other way, with all the shelving built into the "Fridge Gap"Below is the what it was  

and this is standing in the Dry Bar looking out the other way into our guest kitchen downstairs. The Kitchen which is a work in progress at the time of this photo was in  Wild Tusk Velvet Luxe, we still need to finish the walls,  you can see the fridge on the right with some stone raised stencilling over it Video for stone stencilling click here  and the kitchen bench also has stone effects on it but was finished with gloss lacquer. - I will add another blog entry once that Kitchen area is finished. 

So there you have it a wasted Closet Space now turned into a dry bar, different materials and items all pulled together with Artisan Starling Velvet Luxe, colour blocking like this is simple to achieve as there's no masking you are painting EVERYTHING out in the colour, it's dramatic, it allows you to take a space and define it as it's own area. But more importantly you get to inject and Artisan paint, colour or texture of your choice to create something a little bespoke and beautiful. 

Hope this has inspired you to look at those smaller spaces in your home and think differently of what it potentially can be, whether it be a bathroom, toilet, walk in wardrobe or laundry... when you take out the preparation, and know you can paint in the comfort of your own home with little to no smell and that it dries in approx an hour... it all becomes do-able any time of the year..... 

-Dorophya x 


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