Dressing Up Something Plain

Table

From the deep recesses of my studio storage I found this table sitting bare naked in the back corner. We needed a side table for a sitting area so I decided to tree some chalk paint with a photo transfer.

I based the table with Annie Sloan chalk paint in Duck Egg then drybrushed with Versailles. The photo transfer was found on The Graphics Fairy website. The copy prints as an 8 x 10 from the website so I took the small print to an architectural copying firm and they enlarged the image to fit my table top.

I covered the table with Golden Soft Gel gloss; placed the image face down on top (you want to make sure the image on the paper is the reverse of how your transfered image will appear), the gently rolled the back of the paper with a brayer to smooth out bubles.

Let dry overnight then wet the paper with water and started removing the paper with a nylon scrubby, pressing gently. Dried the paper and repeated this process until only the writing was left on the table and all bits of fuzzy white paper were gone. (The ink from the photocopy sits on top of the paper and is transferred into the gel medium while the medium is drying making it easy to remove the paper backing.) Once all paper was removed and the surface was dry I coated the top with a layer of matte medium.

Then I used a little retarder with Payne's Grey and Napthol Red Medium to create some antiqued areas on the table. I painted the table top rim with the same color then sanded it loosely after it dried to create some texture. A final polyurethane varnish coat to protect the table and I was done.

Table-detail

Notice the texture on the table top. I like it a lot. I'll recommend you use 200 grit sandpaper after painting (and before applying the transfer) to remove some of the paint and create visual texture. But here's how I did it. I completed the table top but I created the transfer using a few 8 x 10 prints. It looked too rough and "pasted on" so I decided to remove it and start over with a larger photocopy.

I used a palm sander to start removing the transfer and gel. At one point, I noticed a little tear in the gel and decided to pull that off before continuing with the sanding. As I grabbed the small piece of gel and started pulling, all the gel on the table top came off in one large piece, and it removed some of the paint as well. So what you now see under the writing is what appeared after I removed the gel. I liked it so I used it. I don't recommend you follow the above steps to get your texture but I wanted to tell you about the experience just to show that sometimes mistakes can create wonderful things.

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It Starts With A Can Of Paint

Tray

Maybe it comes from looking in the mirror every morning when I’m brushing my teeth, but I’m becoming partial to old stuff.

Distressed, crackled, stained, antiqued, I’m on a mission to age almost everything I touch. I’m eyeing the dining room furniture right now. The set came from my wife’s grandmother so it’s old already, but it still has clean lines and smooth surfaces. I want to change that.

So I bought a can of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Duck Egg Blue. My wife’s first reaction was “who would ever paint their furniture duck egg blue?”. But with a little antiquing, a little distressing, I think I’ll be able to win her over.

I’m starting small to convince her.  I found this round tin tray in the same store where I bought the paint. I covered it with two coats of duck egg blue. Then, instead of ageing the tray, I added a contemporary stamped design on the floor and a wiggly black line of acrylic ink around the outside base. To create the stamp, I drew poplar trees on a piece of foam; cut out the foam and applied a metallic blue/green paint to the tree stamp using a sponge to create texture then pressed the foam, painted side down, onto the tray. That’s it! Real simple.

And my plan may have been successful. My wife purchased the bird cage at Michael’s and she made the table topper to match. Next step, the furniture.  I’ll start with the inside of the hutch!

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