"I love my cats because I love my home, and little by little they become its visible soul." Jean Couteau

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

mirror image side tables

Memorial day weekend was very busy for me and projects:
  • finished painting the guest room furniture and am mostly finished putting that room back together
  • mowed the back yard
  • went to the local nursery and got some new bushes to replace a few that didn't make it through the winter, then planted said bushes and put down some new mulch
  • finished moving the toilet paper holder in the downstairs bathroom (more to come)
  • sanded and painted a side table (more to come)
But for now, I'm going to take us back in time...

In mid-January, we had some ridiculously nice weather, and I decided to take advantage of it to paint some furniture. I had bought some side tables several months earlier off the craigslist-style trading site at work to go in the sitting area off the dining room. They were pretty nice tables, though dinged up with some water spots, so I had the plan that I would eventually re-stain them to the other furniture or paint them. I wasn't sure what I really wanted to do with them, so they just sat around for a long time. Then one day I was re-perusing my friend, Cathy's, blog, and came across this post, where she just used painter's tape to create geometric designs on canvas. That struck me as a wonderful solution for my tables, so I began searching the internet for pattern inspiration. I found tons of stencils that I loved, but it had to be strictly straight lines that I could tape off since I wasn't planning on actually buying a stencil. Then I found this one from Cutting Edge Stencils:

I did lots of drawing on graph paper to figure out exactly how the taping would go to make sure it would be feasible. Then I got to work on my tables. Unfortunately, I wasn't smart enough to take any true 'before' pictures. The first shots I took were after I took the legs off and sanded the tables all the way down:

I took the legs off because that seemed easier for sanding and painting, and I think it was a good call. I used our power sander to take all the finish off down to the plain wood. Then I primed everything with Kilz. It covered really well.

Next, I painted the tables with wall paint that was left behind by the builders. It wasn't really labeled, other than as the wall and ceiling paint, but it's a generic off-white/beige/cream. I did two coats of this. I probably would have only needed one, but the paint was really thin. Then I put the legs back on and starting taping.

I should have taken some pictures of the taping process. It was pretty intense and time-consuming. I taped full-length strips everywhere that's white in the picture below, then used an Xacto knife to cut out the little pieces to create the squares. Then I used a foam roller to paint on the yellow. For paint, I just got a small sample size at Home Depot. I picked the color to match the yellow/gold in the cushions I had made. I only needed one coat of the yellow.

After painting the first table, I wasn't sure if I wanted to do the other table matching or opposite colors, so I took an informal Facebook poll of my friends. Everyone who voted (which was only a few people) voted for matching, but in the end, I decided to do opposite, in true "My Fair Lady" fashion:
She will ask for your advice
Your reply will be concise
She will listen very nicely,
then go off and do precisely
what she wants!

Taping the second table took even more time since I still had to tape all the white areas, but none of them were full strips. I did the same as before, taping out full strips, then cutting out all the pieces I didn't want.

The tables aren't actually next to each other like this in the sitting area, but I wanted to show them together. I definitely think that painting them opposite was the right choice, and I really love how they came out!

Initially, I didn't put any protective coating on these guys. I kind of liked the matte paint finish and didn't want to gloss it up with polyacrylic. However, the placement of one of the tables made it the perfect stepping stone for our little cat, Oliver (seriously little -- full-grown, less than 5 pounds), to climb onto the window bench, which is a little tall for him to confidently jump up onto. Since there's now a little cat traipsing over my table all the time, leaving hair and little cat footprints behind, I decided it should get some protection. So that was another of my mini projects this Memorial day weekend. I used a foam roller to apply two thin coats of polyacrylic to both tables. I used polyacrylic versus polyurethane for the easier cleanup of water solubility. The tops are a bit glossier than before, but I find I don't really mind, and it should make the tables easier to wipe off.

1 comment:

  1. What a really sweet idea for the two tables! And I like that they are opposites.