Thursday, May 9, 2013

DIY Entry Table

Here's a project I've been wanting to share for quite some time. Remember waaay back in August when I told you about that little unfinished console table I ordered? Well, here it is! Thankfully, the project didn't take near as long to complete as it did for me to photograph and share it. ;) In fact, I did the whole thing over a long weekend.  
Here's the table in its birthday suit. It's the Bombay Console Table, just so you know. I chose it specifically because of its shallow depth. My entryway is long and narrow and I didn't want a big, bulky piece sitting there. Also, the simple shape was not so intimidating for my first real adventure in wood finishing. 

My Product Arsenal
I've been obsessed with trying General Finishes Milk Paints since I discovered it's what one of my favorite design shops uses for their custom furniture. I thought if I could master this, I could have the same look they offer for a fraction of the price. I'm incredibly impressed with everything I've used from General Finishes. The paint has great coverage, self-levels fantastically and is really, really foolproof. And the top coat is in a realm all of its own. I've never used anything like it.

I was going for a distressed look. I wanted the piece to look like an old family heirloom that's been painted over and over again and well-loved throughout the years.

 I'm really happy with how it turned out. Here's how I did it:
1. Even though the furniture is "ready-to-finish" it still needs some light sanding before the first coat of paint.
2. Distress the piece. I beat it up pretty good. Use a screwdriver for scratches, nails for small dents, the claw part of the hammer for larger dents, and then hammer along the edges to bang them up a bit. Depending on how aggressive you are, you may need to sand a bit to smooth out any rough edges the distressing causes.
3. Start painting. I pretty much followed the directions on the paint. I painted one coat of color, let dry, sanded lightly to eliminate brush strokes. Painted another coat, repeated the sanding, etc. Keep going until you're happy with the coverage and the color.
4. Before you add your next layer of color, do a layer of top coat (and sand when it dries) to prevent color-mixing.
5. Add your next color layer. Originally I wanted the table to be yellow, so my bottom layer is blue, then the next layer is yellow. When I got the yellow on, I decided it would look terrible with my wood floor. I panicked thinking that I'd have to start all over. But I decided to keep going and see what I could do.
6. After the yellow, I painted another layer of top coat, sanded it, then moved onto the final layer of blue.
7. Once the final color layer is on and dry, sand the edges until the bare wood shows through, sand anywhere else until you get to the desired paint layer. I wanted some yellow peeking out in spots. This is the part where you can disguise any of your "imperfections."
8. Glaze any of the exposed bare wood with a darker color so it looks like aged wood. I used a fine artist's brush for this part.
9. After you're happy with the results, give it a couple coats of the top coat to protect it.
10. Now stand back and enjoy your new "old" table.

 A couple notes:

  • I'm really pleased with the quality of the table. When you order things online, you just don't know what you'll get. But this is nice and sturdy, and easy to assemble. Plus, it shipped for free and arrived really quickly. I've since ordered several other unfinished pieces.
  • One thing to remember when painting: be patient. The results are well worth taking it slow. Also, be vigilant to watch for drips. When you're focused on one surface, it's easy to neglect what's going on underneath or off to the side of that specific surface. If the paint runs over an edge and dries in a drip formation, it takes a lot of sanding to smooth it back out. Same goes for the top coat. Watch for drips. Got it?

I believe the grand total I spent on the table and paint was about $175. I priced out having something similar painted by the pros, and it was over $400. Well worth the time and effort, I'd say!


1 comment:

alix said...

you are AMAZING!