This little thing has been a beast and has taken me forever to complete. I'm gonna spare you the boring details and just give you the abridged version.
Somehow the "before" picture got lost, but I got this at Goodwill for $3. This picture is close to the before, it was taken after I sanded it down a bit. So just imagine that the top was darker and the 90's style forest green paint was a whole lot thicker and gloppier.
My original plan for the table was to paint it red and use it in our master bedroom, so I did a primer coat since red paint is notorious for being difficult to work with.
You're probably thinking that it looks pretty good in white aren't ya? I know I know, but that would have been SO predictable, and though it would have been beautiful (and popular), it's just not me. (I never was one of the popular kids) : )
Part way through this makeover I changed my mind on where it would be used and thus what color it would end up. I did a layer of a light green (an "oops" can bought from a local paint store) and then I randomly splotched some red around so that it would end up with a layered look.
I didn't take more pictures of the painting, but I did a second layer of green and finished it off with an antiquing glaze.
Now for the top of the table. I had a "vision" for this table, I wanted it to have an old postage mark type emblem in the corner. The problem was that after I decided this all of a sudden I started seeing tons of tables and projects done with the French postage mark found at The Graphics Fairy. Again, I didn't want to be predictable and I didn't want to copy what everyone else was doing. So I went searching for some other, non-postmark, image to transfer but found nothing I liked. I kept coming back to my original idea.
I finally decided to go with it, but with my own twist to it. Paris has no meaning to me so I didn't want to use the image from Graphics Fairy. A Google image search brought up nothing useable. So....I decided to design my own, one with a little more personal meaning.
Months ago I had read about transparency transfers on Red Hen Home and thought they sounded like a great idea. I never was inspired to try the freezer paper, Mod Podge, or Citra Solve transfers because they just sounded too confusing and the results seemed to be iffy. But the transparency sounded like it would be easy enough and since the "paper" your working with is clear you can see exactly where you're placing your image. HINT: a box of transparencies at an office supply store will run ya $35-$60 depending on which kind you get! Instead, you can go to the copy center there in the store and ask to buy individual sheets. 3 of them cost me $1.28.
The idea is that running the transparency through an ink-jet printer gives you an image with ink that's sort of sitting on top of the "paper." So you slightly dampen the wood you want to transfer it to then lay your image (printed in reverse/mirror image) onto the damp wood and press it down, thereby transferring the now wet ink to your project. (Check out Red Hen Home for a more detailed tutorial)
I found an extra piece of wood in the garage to do some practice runs on.
Good thing I did because my first try ended up in a big smeary mess! The wood was too wet and I pressed too hard. The half image to the left turned out better after I let the wood dry for a minute before placing the transparency on it. Then I practiced putting stain over it to make sure it wasn't going to smear my image. Since the stain is oil-based it didn't affect it at all.
I also experimented with applying the stain first and then putting the image on top, but that didn't work. See how the ink dotted up? It wouldn't soak through the oil based stain.
On this one I tried sanding the image a bit before staining, but it ended up looking smeary. I don't know if the ink just needed to dry longer or if it's just not a good candidate for sanding. In the end I decided not to risk it and didn't sand my image.
So, here it is after the transfer is complete, but before I stained it.
And here it is all finished up.......finally!
A coat of clear wax will give the top a little extra protection.
Here you can see the layering effect with the red paint.
And the touch of antiquing glaze in the cracks and crevices.
This little thing sat for months and when I finally decided to tackle it, it took much longer than anticipated, but........I'm happy to have it done. Total cost was around $5.
So, now that I have this project complete, I can show you why I changed my mind about what to do with it and what I did with the farmhouse lamp. That'll be up next.
**Update** - if you'd like to see what I did with the table you can see that here: A Cozy Little Kitchen Corner