Woo-hoo! L’escalier is painted


In case you were all wondering whether my Refined-Rustic vision for the village house was edging dangerously  toward just refined ( i. e the chandelier, or ” the shandAYhlia” as Trev now calls it in  a lousy Cockney accent)
I hereby present the hall-lette and first staircase.

Please ignore the glossy blue paint on the door frames, that is GOING!!

The surfaces here are very old lime plaster with lumps and bumps where the plasterer merely skimmed over the ancient stone walls. You can see the rough bits, the float marks and the knocks and scrapes of time.
I was not going to lose this character so I have simply painted over it as is:-

Ceiling and upper walls in “Inventiv” multi-support flat matte emulsion(and it’s a true dead flat finish) colour Jaune Safran #7

Lower wall-
First coat- my own turquoise mix diluted with 5% tap water and applied thinly and brushed out in a herringbone motion top to bottom. It tints merely.

Second coat- trade white emulsion(minimal pigment and minimal plasticisers!) thinned as above and applied with loose open strokes.

Third coat- natural water based liquid wall wax in blue applied only to the edges on the stairs and door frames(for practicality and effect) and to shade and emphasise the lumps, bumps and old cracks.

Fourth coat- more white acrylic applied very sparingly in certain areas with a “dry brush” technique. Any harsh edges are softened at this point.

Then, mad fool that I am, I hand painted 999 tiny leaves in groups of six with a very fine brush in a very sketchy manner and using  the Gris Marmotte(taupe grey) matte paint from kitchen diner.
I then highlighted the leaves with the dilute white matte paint.


I had intended to trace one of the traditional French folk designs from the book above, but frankly the  carbon paper supplied was rubbish in transferring to our walls so I taped up the design as inspiration and decided to change the paired leaf motifs for groups of three as I like odd numbers.


The book is by the queen of 1980’s paint effects, Jocasta Innes and some of her colours are clearly “of the period”, but you can’t fault her motifs and research.

It’s out of print now, I found mine on eBay.


Like all my paint effects, it changes colour with the light and time of day.
I am very pleased with it and no longer embarrassed to open the front door.
The door frames? Very very pale grey. img_20160729_114221.jpg

That’s for another day as I have painter’s cramp.

PS, Just checked these posts and see photos are really awful, bear with me and I will post better ones 



About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
This entry was posted in Art, design and inspiration blog, Renovation and restoration diary- France, What we did, how we did it and what we used and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Woo-hoo! L’escalier is painted

  1. Osyth says:

    This is delectable! You really are very very clever …. the effect is stunning and I echo the comment above – the house must love you very much indeed 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nadia says:

    The colours are absolutely beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. francetaste says:

    Fantastic! My mom did this sort of thing all over the house when I was growing up. She had studied art and painting in college and was pretty good. I love your leaves. This is going to make you happy every time you go up and down the stairs.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. bizzyella says:

    Wow. It’s really nice. I love the yellow going up that curved ceiling. And you painted those leaves? I guess you would have to but it adds so much more charm than the usual wallpaper plus a trim piece where it joins the yellow paint. Truly impressive. The house must love you guys.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. poshbirdy says:

    I love what you’ve done here. It really does work so well. Smashing. Are you both clothed again today?!!

    Liked by 1 person

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