Happy Mother’s Day – wherever you are in this crazy world, stay colourful, be kind and keep creating.

As the world is in Coronvirus crisis this Mothering Sunday with millions of mums across the world spending it alone, including mine, I want spread a bit of ‘Painted Love’. I want to share some spirit-lifting inspiration with what can be achieved by painting walls and furniture, sewing, upcycling and restyling as I reveal Mum’s beautiful room for the very first time.

Mum’s ‘new’ guest bedroom is made with 90% preloved and upcycled fabrics and furnishings

If you follow my Instagram stories and IGTV you will have seen the various elements of this room taking shape over the last few weeks. Me and my husband Dinis, worked all our spare time to get it ready for Mother’s Day which also happens to be Mum’s birthday this year.

Faux marble painted chest with charity shop bowl planted with spring bulbs against faux wood panels walls created in MDF.

We started with a totally blank canvas stripping old wallpaper, filling holes and knocking out the chimney breast to put in a new ‘old’ fireplace which I bought at a local salvage yard. We created faux panels around the room using 9mm MDF from B&Q (catch up on highlights to see how to do these mini projects) and chose a bespoke Valspar wall colour of interior emulsion to create a calm, tranquil space with a country house feel.

I used vintage Sanderson fabric left over from the curtains to upcycle a contemporary lamp

The colour palette for this room came from a pair of vintage Sanderson curtains that we had in a previous house. I always keep things that I love and have found or bought in charity shops. Growing up or as an adult, we have never had the money to buy shiny new things but we have always loved creating a beautiful home. Family days out with Mum often involve a rummage around charity shops and car boots and working those finds into our living space is how I developed sewing, painting and upcycling skills.

Preloved bird prints with hand painted mounts and upcycled frames create a gallery wall

Although I wanted country house charm I also wanted to give it a vibrant contemporary feel so I really went to town on textiles with mismatched vintage florals and a vibrant colour palette of blues, oranges and yellows taken from the zesty shades in the vintage Sanderson curtain fabric.

I cut the headboard from 12mm MDF and cushions contrast piping which I sewed to mix it up a bit.

I wanted the furniture to echo colourful accents too so I created a bespoke mix of four parts Barcelona Orange, two parts Country Grey and one part Emporer’s Silk for the little console. For the blue chest of drawers I used my Faux Painted Marble technique on the top (you get this video free you register) and a mix of blues including Aubusson Blue which is present in the curtains.

A ‘new’ Facebook Marketplace find make old with the power of furniture painting

Working on this room was an absolute pleasure as the end goal was for my Mum to come and live with us. So every day, when I wasn’t in the salon or if Dinis wasn’t at work in the hospital, we poured all our love and creativity into reimagining this welcoming space for Mum to come and live with us. For those of you who don’t know my Mum has idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a thickening and scarring of lung tissue from which there is no cure.

Even before the lockdowns and travel bans, I had a feeling that it wasn’t sensible to travel so I cancelled my teaching trips to Paris and to Vienna as I feared traveling through major international airports might bring the virus home to Mum. Students were coming from all over Europe to see me but I took the decision to cancel as Mum’s health was paramount. Everyone was disappointed but now they understand. I felt so bad about letting people down I gave all the attendees free access to my 6-week Masterclass. Now I have added a new free workshop and reduced prices by 35%. I’d love to give it all free but as a hairdresser this could soon be my only income.

As I see self employed creative people all over the world working to create online content I feel so lucky to have an established and super supportive online community. True friendships have been made over the last 2 years with our shared ‘painted love’ of learning and exchanging new skills.

I will do all I can to share free content on Facebook and Instagram daily to encourage others to be creative and resourceful in these dark days. I know it will help me and Mum too and we can all look forward to a kinder future.

Mum and me on a family day out in happier times before she had to self isolate for safety

Happy Mother’s Day Mum and a very Happy Birthday, I love you very much and we can’t wait to welcome you to your new room when all this is over. And it will be over and we will be together again.

Stay safe everyone, stay colourful, be kind and keep creating.

Resources (if you make a purchase from any of these links I will receive a small commission as a thank you):

Interior emulsion bespoke mix Valspar paint from B&Q

9mm MDF wall panelling from B&Q

12mm MDF for headboard from B&Q




  1. Vicky Stergiotis
    March 22, 2020 / 9:57 pm

    So sad to hear about your mum, Jonathon but she’s so blessed to have a son like you to love and care for her. But you are very lucky to have a beautiful mum like her!!! I will pray for you both and hope that all goes well. Good Luck with work and everything and look forward to seeing your splendid work. You really are gifted!!!

    • jmarcmendes
      March 23, 2020 / 10:38 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely words Vicky it really means a lot. Dinis has no living parents so Mum is super precious to us both. We bought this new house so she could come and live with us for the time she has left because of her illness. Thank you for your prayers, I think the whole world needs them right now. We shop for her, clean everything and she leaves it for the 12 hours or so that is necessary. We are trying our best to protect her and each other. Stay safe and thank you for taking the time to share your love. J x

  2. Kerry
    March 22, 2020 / 10:49 pm

    Hi Jonathan, I cant actually believe someone with your talent needs 2 jobs! Your work is stunning and I think you should be a celebrity designer! Such a lovely thing to do for your mum, stay safe xx

    • jmarcmendes
      March 23, 2020 / 10:36 am

      That’s so kind of you to say Kerry but sadly it’s always been hard to make a living as a creative in this country as you probably know. I really appreciate everyone’s support and kindness at this tricky time. Take care J x

  3. Christine
    March 23, 2020 / 7:09 am

    what a beautiful room you have created for your mum, so sorry is won’t be able to see it it person, once this is all over hopefully she will be able to come to your home and spend time there with you and Dinis.
    Thank you for all the tutorials and videos you post, love to see you painting, sewing and decorating, inspirational.
    Love to you and yours

    • jmarcmendes
      March 23, 2020 / 10:35 am

      Thank you so much Chris, I do hope I can do some more tutorials to share freely with everyone who is self isolating. It is the right thing to do. I hope you are staying well and taking care. J x

  4. Jenny Press
    March 26, 2020 / 6:42 am

    I have literally just registered with you 5 minutes ago and am a complete novice, but have just seen your Mother’s Day tribute and had to say what a lovely
    and talented young man you are. During this time of isolation I have decided to have a go at painting some old furniture and also garden pots and statues.
    I look forward to getting started and wish you and your lovely mum much love during these uncertain times. x

    • jmarcmendes
      March 27, 2020 / 10:53 am

      Jenny thank you so much for your lovely comment and a very warm welcome to the Painted Love Academy. You’re in great company as many of my pro painters started off as complete novices and many are now doing it for a living or have become stockists with shops (which of course is super tough in the current climate). My mum is doing well in isolation and really looking forward to seeing her room. If you’re going to do pots and statues then I would recommend the Saltwash tutorials. They are great for getting texture. And the 6-week masterclass has a Stone & Marble tutorial which is also available on its own. Take care and thanks again for your kindness. J x

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