I found this piece on Craigslist and immediately knew that it was something that I could have fun with. I loved the style, and it was small and light enough to drag around the house and fit it into any available nook and cranny.
(This was the picture from Craigslist)
As soon as I had it in my hands, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. A few weeks prior, I had ordered a stencil from Etsy and discovered it to be a perfect fit for this tabletop. (*On a side note, Etsy is an excellent source for stencils and other artistic materials. The stencil used on this table was purchased from Artistic Stencils. She currently has over 190 stencils in her shop!)
After a few dabs of paint and a coat of wax, I transformed the piece into this:
Interested in making a similar transformation? Here is what you will need:
- Stencil of your choice.
- Adhesive spray (found at any Michael’s stores) to adhere the stencil onto the table surface. (This makes life MUCH easier, trust me!)
- Two different colors of Annie Sloan chalk paint (I chose Annie Sloan’s Old White and Paris Grey)
- Paint brushes (my favorite brands are Purdy and Wooster) and a small, rounded stenciling brush.
- Wax. I either use Annie Sloan’s clear wax or Minwax in natural (found at your local hardware store).
- Either a wax brush (the large, rounded brush you see above) or a small cloth. A small cloth will also be needed to buff the wax off (which I forgot to include in the picture!).
- And finally, sandpaper in 180 grit. I use both a sanding block and sandpaper cut into small squares.
Start by wiping down the table to remove any dust and grime. This is a must for any piece you plan to paint! If there are any surface scratches that you don’t want showing on the final product (sometime surface scratches add a little character to a distressed piece!), then you may want to sand these areas down or fill with wood filler. Once the piece had been cleaned up to your liking, start painting with your base color, usually only 1 – 2 coats are necessary.
Now, I have been told but have not yet tested myself, that instead of using Annie Sloan’s chalk paint, you can simply dissolve 1/2 C. of Plaster of Paris in 1/2 C. of hot water, and add this to 1.5 C of a flat latex paint to create a similar medium. If you do try this, I’d be interested to hear how it went!
When the base color is fully dry, begin painting the top of the table in your second color of choice – only one coat is necessary. Once this is dry, you can begin distressing the piece using your 180-grit sandpaper. Typically, I use the block for flat surfaces and general edges, and the paper for the small nooks. To get a more distressed look (rather than that scratched look) make sure you press hard! Don’t be shy. Get the entire piece distressed to your liking, and then quickly dust off with a dry cloth. Your piece should now look something like this:
Now comes the stenciling! Lightly spray the backside of your stencil with the adhesive (I use Martha Stewart’s adhesive spray from Michael’s) and allow it to dry just enough so it’s sticky – it usually takes around 40 seconds. Make sure you don’t spray to much onto the stencil, and make sure it dries into a sticky substance before placing onto the table! Otherwise, the adhesive could leave behind a residue. Line up your stencil to your liking, and stick it down onto your table top. Press hard.
When stenciling, I like to use a small, rounded brush (again, you can purchase a whole set of these brushes for under $7 at Michael’s). And instead of using brush stokes, I lightly dab. That way, paint doesn’t get stuck into the crevices and/or seep under the stencil to create a huge mess! So, with the color of your choice (I used my original Old White base coat color), get to work!
After painting over all areas of your stencil, you do not need to wait for the paint to dry before removing the stencil. Carefully remove the stencil, trying not to smear any of the paint. Then allow your paint to fully try.
When all the paint has dried, lightly distress your newly painted stencil, again using the 180-grit sandpaper. A this point, your table top should look something like this:
Dust off and begin waxing. For the wax, I like to use the Annie Sloan waxing brush, but you can easily use any old cloth. Just lightly dab the brush or cloth into the wax – you don’t need a lot of it! – and begin applying to the piece using circular motions. Work in small sections, brushing on, and wiping off with a clean cloth (if you’ve seen the original Karate Kid, it’s just like that! Wax on, wax off, wax on, wax off…). When “wiping off” what you’re actually doing is buffing up the wax into a nice sheen. You’ll see the difference when you’re done! After the entire piece has been waxed (on and off), allow the wax to cure for at least 48 hours.
Finally, pat yourself on the back for creating your own masterpiece! Congrats!
Featured parties I have linked to: