Time to Banish Glossy Varnish? - How to create a stylish hall, stairs and landing in 5 days

Time to Banish Glossy Varnish? - How to create a stylish hall, stairs and landing in 5 days

Check out this blog from Lily Bloom Interiors where she explains how she transformed her hall, stairs, landing.  She also painted the staircase from a high gloss oak varnish to a stunning two tone finish using Autentico Paints throughout.
Garden Bench Painting Project

Garden Bench Painting Project

We stock this style of hardwood garden bench at Lily Bloom's.  They are very sturdy and quite comfortable to sit on and watch life go by, however, they are BROWN! So, one afternoon we decided to sort the brown issue out, How did we do it? Easy!


These benches are treated with an oil when the leave the factory, and after a few seasons the oil completely dries out and the wood starts to bleach.  In order for the paint to get a good grip on the surface it is important to remove all of this oil.  

Autentico OmniClean from Lily Bloom interiorsOmniClean  The first step is to use a solution of Autentico OmniClean to remove the oil and any other dirt from the surface of the wood.  You need to dilute the OmniClean with clean water at a ratio of one part OmniClean to 10 parts water.  Then with the solution on a clean cloth, thoroughly clean down the surface.  Finally wipe down any residue left with clean warm water and leave it a few minutes to dry out while you get ready for the next step. 

Sand  Sanding is a fairly straight forward process for this kind of project.  You do not need to get out your power sander or anything near as dramatic, just get some medium grade sand paper and gently rub the surface.  The aim here is to 'roughen-up' the surface a little bit so that the primer can stick really well to it.  Professional painters call this process "keying the surface".

The whole of the preparation process for a project of this size should take no longer that 45 minutes, then your ready to get the brushes out!

For this project we used an Autentico 35mm Round Brush.  The round brushes are really handy for getting in between the slats of the seat, the width of the wood on the back was also around this size so it meant that it could be painted in one stroke.

Primer.  In some cases you can go straight from cleaning to painting.  However, using Autentico Primer as a base coat helps the paint to form a strong bind with the wood. Another reason why we used primer on this project is for its stain blocking properties, the timber used in this type of bench is very oily and ends to bleed-out. You will know almost straight away if the wood is going to bleed out by patches of discolouration on the paint.  It's not the end of the world if you start to paint and notice bleed out, what you need to do is stop painting, leave what you have done dry, light sand, wash down and then apply a primer.  We try and leave items to dry for at least 8 hours between coats, though the primer drys quickly sometimes four hours is enough.  Now for the transformation...

Autentico have over 150 colours in their palette.  For our bench project we chose two subtle tones that work well together, Aqua and Casa Blanca.

Firstly we painted the sides, seat and top and bottom rails of the back part in Aqua followed by the horizontal rails in the back section in the colour Casa Blanca.  The round brushes are magical for getting into the hard to reach areas.  This was left this to dry overnight.  The following day we repeated this process and applied the second coat.  The second coat was dry to touch after a few hours, though it is best practice and recommended to leave the completed item stand for a few days for the paint to fully cure - in the mid winter this was not too much of a problem.  

Now our bench is completely cured and the eggshell formula has developed its tough exterior and ready for Summer time. Why not give your garden furniture a new lease of life before the clocks go forward and be ready for the fine weather?

If you need anymore details give me a call into us at Lily Bloom, Main Street, Camolin, County Wexford or call me at 086 2225526 or send an email to  In the meanwhile here are some more pictures from this project.


Standard Hardwood Garden Bench Prior to painting with Autentico Eggshell by Lily Bloom Interiors  Cleaned down and primed with Autentico Primer at Lily Bloom Interiors  Garden bench transformed with Autentico Eggshell at Lily Bloom Interiors Camolin  Lily Bloom Interiors ... Autentico Paint great for use outdoors  Painted Garden Bench using Autentico Eggshell colours Aqua and Neutral at Lily Bloom Interiors Camolin County Wexford.  Lily can't wait to enjoy spending the Summer on her bench painted with Autentico Eggshell

Irish furniture history tastefully up-cycled by Lily Bloom Interiors

Irish furniture history tastefully up-cycled by Lily Bloom Interiors

A mahogany hall stand originally purchased at Boyers & Co was tastefully up-cycled by Lily Bloom Interiors in Camolin, we'd like to share our experience with you.

Hall Stand up cycled by Lily Bloom InterioirsThis lovely mahogany hall stand was rescued from a town house in Enniscorthy that was being cleared in preparation for a top-to-bottom renovation.  We were so excited to find two brass badges, one on the back and one in the drawer, that adds provenance to stand.  It appears that our hall stand was originally purchased from Boyers & Co of North Earl Street, Dublin. (Boyers closed for the last time in 2015 after over 100 years trading).  

The mahogany structure was in fairly good condition, however, on the down side there was a leaded light panel, that was unfortunately damaged, the coat hooks were badly rusted and the metal umbrella trays in the bottom had been thrown out and covered with builders rubble in the large skip outside, which is where this stand heading for!  Regardless of this, we were confident that we could save the hall stand and return it to its proper function, albeit with the latest trends.











    Boyers & Co Badge that we found in the drawer    Damaged Leaded Light Panel

The first thing we did was to carefully remove the leaded light panel, you will see on the picture above that the beautiful ruby coloured glass is damaged. We have tried to repair it but we need a little bit more practice to get it looking right, perhaps someday we will put this back in-situ.  All of the the coat hooks were removed and cleaned with a wire brush. We were lucky that all of the original screws came out without any damage.  To restore the hooks and the screws we spray painted them with two-pack car paint and set them aside while we got to work on the main body. 


All of the wood was in reasonably good order considering the age of the hall stand, we did not need to do any major repairs. As with all of our up cycling projects and commissions, we take our preparation very seriously.  The whole piece was cleaned in a diluted solution of Autentico OmniClean, then washed down with clean water.  Autentico OmniClean is a powerful cleaning solution (stronger than regular Sugar Soap) that removes all grease and dirt that has built up over the years.

The next stage is to lightly sand the surface with a medium grade sand paper.  This is an important step in any up-cycling project as it makes a 'key' - a slightly abrasive surface that really helps the paint to bind to the wood.  Once sanding is complete, we once again washed the stand down with an OmniClean solution and rinsed with clean water.

The final stage in the preparation phase was to cover the whole surface with Autentico Primer.  There are several Primers on the market, the Autentico brand is a water based primer, especially developed to work seamlessly with Autentico paint. Like all good primers the Autentico Primer is quite thick and can be stubborn to work into the fine details on a project like our hall stand, so we find that adding a tiny drop of water (5 - 10% dilution) makes it flow a lot better.  All of this was done in a couple of hours, and as the Autentico Primer dries quickly we were able to give it the first coat the same day.

Autentico OmniClean from www.lilybloom.ieAutentico Primer from Lily Bloom Interiors ( 1inch Brush from

Hall Stand prepd and ready for paintAbove are some of the products that we used and the picture on the left shows the crown removed, the mirror masked and the main body has had its first coat while there is bare primer on the front legs.  Once our preparation was complete, we decided to use the colour Scandinavian Blue on our Hall Stand, and we chose the eggshell finish.  Autentico Eggshell is a very tough paint once it has completely cured, yet it has a really smooth silky texture, and it is really easy to keep clean. while it is called eggshell, it is not as blingy as comparable products, the sheen factor on Autentico Eggshell is 12% -  15%.

Autentico Eggshell is Lily Bloom's best selling paint by far.  Customers' who have used this tell us that they find it difficult to use any other paint afterwards. Yes, Autentico Eggshell is a chalk based paint, (the main ingredients are chalk, lime and water), there is NO BAD SMELL off it and its durability makes it particularly suitable for painting kitchens cupboards, etc.  In painting our hall stand we followed these simple steps and we recommend that all customers follow these too.

(1) Brush Autentico Eggshell on in thin coats only - try and not overload your brush
(2) Allow at least 8 hours between coats. Allowing pieces to dry overnight is suggested
(3) After the final coat has dried on the surface we suggest that you take extra care when using your piece for the next few days as the ingredients in the paint remain active - forming their hard resilient properties.

Remember! Autentico Eggshell needs no further treatment after painting to make it suitable for every day use. No varnishing, No Wax. No Sealer - just a hard wearing finish that's super to look at and lovely to touch, 

Our Hall Stand required two coats of Scandinavian Blue paint - after the final coat we left it over the weekend before returning to it.  After this time we put back on the hooks and in the space that once housed the leaded light panel we cut and fixed some 6mm plywood in its place which we primed.  Over this we put some elegant wall paper which complements wonderfully the Scandinavian Blue Paint.

We have commissioned a local metal worker to make up some new trays to catch the drips off the umbrellas, these too will be sprayed black.

At Lily Bloom Interiors we have a range of wallpapers available to order by the roll, we also have a huge range of papers in-store which we sell 'by-the-metre' for projects like this and decoupaging projects.  


(OmniClean is available in store and will be listed on the website shortly)

If you would like more information on this project or are looking for information on Autentico Products that you can use for your own up-cycling project please call to our shop in Camolin, Co. Wexford or online at

Hall Stand upcycled by Lily Bloom Interiors Camolin Lily Bloom Interiors Camolin sells Autentico Paint and a large range of Wall Paper



Special Edition Colours Now Available

Special Edition Colours Now Available

This Spring Autentico have brought out three new special edition colours,

  • Pistachio
  • Yellow Roses 
  • Wild Salmon

These colours are available from your nearest stockist and online at


  • Ann Marks
Autentico Venice Lime Paint

Autentico Venice Lime Paint

We have added a page to covering Autentico Venice Lime Paint.  This is a beautiful paint suitable for use in new builds and renovations and is particularly suited for use historic, period and listed buildings due to its moisture controlling properties.  

 (photo credit to Autentico Paint HQ)

Get in touch with us for more information


  • Ann Marks

What is Chalk Paint?


The link below contains a statement from the founders of Autentico Paint, in relation to the definition of Chalk Paint.  


Link to the Autentico Paint Statement: CLICK HERE


For the avoidance on any doubt Autentico Vintage Chalk Paint contains over 35% chalk.


If you are considering a painting project ask your supplier to clarify the chalk content of the product you are considering.


It is also worthwhile to remind you that Autentico Vintage Chalk Paint was the first Chalk Paint to be certified as EN71-3 compliant - meaning that is is safe for use on children's toys, nursery furniture, etc.  


  • Dorian Marks