Friday, May 10, 2013

My $10 Garage Sale Table

I knew as soon as I bought my little round table last weekend that I was going to paint it. It was that ugly yellow-ish tinted wood stain and really wasn't going to go with my dark hardwood floors in the new house. But painting it would mean sanding, right? Not with chalk paint! I discovered chalk paint on Pinterest. Apparently you can buy some uber-expensive brand of chalk paint from specialty paint stores and basically it allows you to paint any furniture without having to sand first. I was all for that except that chalk paint is expensive, so I found a recipe to make my own by mixing 1.5 cups of paint, half a cup of plaster of paris, and half a cup of water. Only when I mixed it I didn't double check and my first batch I used a full cup of plaster of paris. Don't do that. It's really thick and lumpy and you keep having to add water to the paint in your can to keep it liquid. I figured out my mistake only after I finished painting the table. I'm saving you the trouble.
Before picture of the table, in case you forgot what it looked like from my previous post:
Ugly, right? Well not terribly ugly, but not great, yet lots of potential. Good bones, as they say. Chalk paint dries really fast, so by the time I worked my way around the whole table I just kept going and started on the second coat. It was lumpier than it should've been, due to my plaster measuring mistake, but still manageable. I also kind of liked the lumpy texture after I finished sanding the paint because it gave it the feel that this was an old table that had been painted over and over a bunch of times through the years, which was pretty cool. Then i took my sandpaper and purposely sanding off paint in places where it would normally wear off to give the table an aged look. That's the great thing about chalk paint - it distresses very easily.
 That also means you have to used a finishing wax over the paint once you have it distressed to your liking, which was the most annoying part of the project. I grabbed an old cut up t-shirt and started putting the Minwax Finishing Paste on the whole thing. It just so happens that we had a large round piece of glass sitting behind a bookshelf in the office for who knows how long. I don't even know where it came from, but it fits on the top of my new coffee table perfectly.
 See the two-toned finish? I think that's also because of my plaster mixing mistake, but I sort of liked it. After sitting in the living room for a couple of days I decided though that something was missing. So Kate and I went to Michaels and bought some stencils.
This is the table now. I painted over the inner circle with just the regular sea blue colored paint (which I didn't have to do and probably should've skipped but it's done so there) before stenciling with a cream color.  I love the way it turned out, even despite the fact that it's slightly off-center because I eye-balled it instead of measuring. But I think that adds character and also I wasn't going to redo it at that point.
 You should probably prepare for many more painting blog posts. I've already begun painting the legs on my new table and want to paint a few pieces that are in my house and need some loving. I'm going to try not to paint everything this color, but I'm slightly obsessed with this color at the moment so it could happen. I'd be okay with it.

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