The Book Nook

They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home but the stomach of it is definitely in our book nook. For those of you wondering what the hell a book nook is, for us it is a little bit of cookery book heaven under the stairs. It has gone from a coal hole to a book nook. The bookcases are in, built for the space and taking advantage of every nook and cranny for storage. Then all we had to do is sit down and talk about what colours we wanted in the kitchen and the book nook. To cut many 'talks' short that involved the slamming of doors, well they would have involved slamming doors except we don't have any in most of the house because we're still 'talking' about the types of doors we both like, we agreed on lime white for the walls and French grey for the wood. Yes, we have gone all Farrow and Ball. For those of you sighing elephant's breath and getting all dimity about it, we'd like to say why we use them. We have tried paints over the years from many producers, one brand send us doolally with the smell; headaches for weeks afterwards. Another famous brand that screamed it was one coat took three coats to become one coat that instantly peeled off in sheets. Then we tried Farrow and Ball, we even sneered as we did it, hark at us and our fifty shades of white from baby fart to cloud hangover, but that sneering soon stopped because the paint was a joy to use. Even the father in law laughed at us using it and then he dipped his brush in it and declared, 'This paint's alright' which is as close as you can get to an endorsement. Our family room, though off white in only the way Farrow and Ball can do it, is a different white depending on the light. At least when we came to paint the book nook we agreed that white should be used as the undercoat. We used Leyland paint for this, we're not that Farrow and Ball insane. Cue brushes and back seat painters who tell you to sand this, fill that and paint that one more time or 'let's talk about this wall' -- no line has ever struck more fear into a mortal than that.

Why we use Farrow and Ball.

The book nook was quickly transformed from knotted pine heaven to cool white undercoat. It took about three coats to mask that new pine look. Using this as a base we struck out into French grey, that's No.18 for those of you with the Farrow and Ball colour chart.

Painting the book nook

This initially looked like frog smear. We faltered in our love of Farrow and Ball. There were heated concerns that the paint could cover better than it did but this was the first coat and no paint covers in one coat -- no matter what the tin says or the headaches promise.

Apply more than one coat

A second was added and the whole bookcase became something new, something out of the pages of Homes and Gardens, or probably in our case Composts and Gluttons. Sure, we could still see the white and in fact we only painted half the bookcase just to make sure that we had enough paint to see the finished effect, we always underestimate how much paint we need.

Estimating how much paint you will need isn't easy

A third coat and the grey takes hold, we become more French, we hang onions off our bikes, crack open a cheeky little number (probably due to the curry we had the night before), and eat pate on crusty bread. No.18 is now stronger, more grey than green but already showing different hues in different lighting. This is why we love this paint. It was time to undercoat the walls and here came the real surprise, our massive Leyland tub of brilliant white after watering down to 50:50 in bucket really covered some wall space. It was a paint that kept on giving, 1/8th of a bucket did the book nook, the kitchen wall and ceiling! We'll come to that in another blog but you can see the book nook is taking shape. 1/8th of a bucket to paint the whole kitchen! Sure, it'll need another coat but more on that later.

Leyland paint is a bargain and excellent to use

A few more days, some time to let it all dry and the book nook will receive a horde of cookery books and its chair, then some tea, maybe some cake and a big sign telling everyone to go away. Oooh, just found the old radio from Drovers, that'll go in there and there's that nice cushion...but no headaches or nausea from bad paint!


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