This morning you saw me on Good Morning Arkansas talking about the steps to transform a set of nesting tables that were found at a flea market. Today on the blog, I’m outlining the process from beginning to end.
Find the furniture piece you want to work with. Perhaps something around the house that needs freshening up? Garage sales, flea markets and estate sales are great place to look for bargains.
The most important step is to do a little sanding at the beginning. The glossy finish on top of the stain will prevent the primer from adhering well.
After sanding, wipe all of the dust off with a damp piece of cheesecloth or other lint free cloth.
The next step is to prime the piece. For the end result, I want a very aged “heirloom” type finish. In order to create a quickly built up finish, I primed with a thick gesso. Gesso is typically used by artists to prime canvasses. The course bristles of a gesso brush left lots of brush strokes. That will come in handy later.
After priming, you will want to paint your piece. The color should be much lighter than the color you want to end up with. The stain overlay will darken the end result. For these tables SW7008 Alabaster from Sherwin-Williams was selected. While you generally want to use a high quality paint brush, in this instance a cheap bristle brush was used. This helps to create the antiqued look.
Tape the edges of the table top to create the stripe detail that will go around the edges. Use a blue painters tape.
To get the fretwork pattern on the table top, you will need a ruler and a pencil. Here, a rolling ruler is used to make it easier during the layout.
After getting your pattern laid out, begin taping it off. Some areas will require cutting. The easiest way is to use an X-acto knife and a metal ruler. Make sure that your blade is sharp and don’t apply too much pressure. You only want to cut through the tape, not slice the table.
If you’re doing a fretwork pattern, your table top will look like this when you are done. Make sure that all of the pieces are adhered well.
Here’s a very cool trick learned from a decorative painter: After taking the time to apply all of that tape, paint out the taped off areas with your base coat. By doing this first, you are absolutely sure that the pattern is sealed from the base coat. You won’t have your contrasting paint color bleeding through! Clever, huh?
Apply your contrasting paint within your taped off areas within an artists brush. It will likely take numerous coats to get this layer completely opaque.
Remove the tape. You will hopefully have perfectly crisp lines!
Apply your overlay for an antiqued, worn look. Wood stain is a great way to do this and it’s very easy. English Chestnut from Minwax was used here because of its reds undertones. Working in one section at a time, apply the stain with a brush. Using a piece of cheesecloth, wipe the stain away. It won’t take long to get the hang of it. If you wipe off more than desired, just brush on more. (And ladies – this is the time to make sure you are wearing gloves. Wood stain will wreck your manicure!)
After you’re stain overlay is completed, spray on a matte finish sealer to protect your handiwork.
I hope you find these tips helpful. Have fun shopping for the perfect piece to rehab and deciding on the perfect colors!
Don’t forget about the great book giveaway happening on the blog this week! We’re giving away The Private House by Rose Tarlow compliments of Rose Tarlow Melrose House. Simply leave a comment on Monday’s blog post to be entered. The drawing will be held this Friday at noon. Good Luck!