Stenciled End Table

This was my entry in the fifth and final round of One Crafty Contest over at One Artsy Mama.  No more contest (which is a little bit sad, but also a little bit of a relief, because big projects just do not fit into my schedule for the long term). :) This whole thing has been a really fantastic experience for me – being part of such a talented group of ladies and getting to really explore some bigger projects that I don’t normally tackle here at Happy Hour.

In case you missed the announcement – my project came in first place this round!  Woohoo!  Thank you to everyone who voted!  And with all that news out of the way – are you ready to take a look at the housewarming gift I made my sister?

I stenciled the top of it with a dictionary definition of the word “home” – to always welcome her home.  I considered going with a more traditional phrase or blessing, but we are both *huge* word-nerds, so the idea of just really embracing the word itself appealed to me.

This project was a lot of firsts for me – not just my first furniture project, but my first garage sale purchase as well (I’m not counting tagging along with my mom or my grandma as a kid – this is the first purchase since I’ve been out and on my own for *mumble* years).  I found this beauty for $5… I hear that’s a steal.  I was happy with it, anyway!

Okay, she’s not so beautiful… she has weird knobs, and that gold can only have come from the 70’s.  But it was a really solid piece and I was so happy to finally rescue a piece of furniture and transform it.

There were a lot of ways I could have made it over.  I originally wanted to go with a mossy green – but my sister’s style is really conservative, and because it was for her, I toned it down.  I made up my own chalk paint and I have to say – I see what everyone is raving about!!  This stuff is just awesome.  I can’t compare it to the brand-name stuff because it’s the first time I ever worked with it, but I was very happy with the coverage and the finish, and I never had to prime this piece.

Homemade chalk paint recipe:
1 part plaster of paris, dissolved into 1 part warm water.  Add this to 3 parts latex paint.  Mix very well.  It goes a long way!

See that sample of the light brown color (it’s called au lait ole – fun, right)?  That’s just a $3 sample size.  I only used about half of it for the base coat and the stencil too – mixed with the plaster of paris you can see in that cup.  So you don’t need to buy much at all.  Even if you do, what you have will last for plenty of future projects, too.

When you work with chalk paint, you will also need to pick up furniture wax (my Lowe’s had a Minwax brand furniture wax), and even if you’re not planning to distress the piece, probably sandpaper too to smooth out the finish.  I found that my brush strokes didn’t show much, but a light sanding did even it out really well.

I did quite a bit of reading up on how to approach a furniture overhaul before I got started, since this was all new to me, and I was pleased to read that it’s a simple process (and even more pleased to discover that those who claim it’s easy were telling the truth).  I went with a lightly distressed style, using a darker base color than my main color.

First: remove all your hardware and cover your work surfaces (yes, I know that sounds like a no-brainer, but I’ve had so many projects where I thought I’d just be careful, and it ended up being far more work that just covering things up to begin with).  You want to take the doors off/drawers out for this.  Do wipe your piece down to get any dirt off.  I also filled the holes, because I wanted to use knobs, but these were clearly drilled as handles, originally.

Paint your piece the base color.  This is the color you want it to show only on the distressed part.

This next step I didn’t photograph because it doesn’t show up well, but once your base coat is dry, think about what areas you’re going to want to distress.  Corners, edges – anything that might get worn over time.  Get a rag (we have junk towels from the dollar store we use for stuff like this) and put a little furniture wax on it.  I understand you can also just use a white candle like a big crayon, but I didn’t have a candle so I used what I had – and it worked beautifully.

Now, just paint your main color over the top of your base.  The color I used was called cameo white.  I got the smallest can from Lowe’s, the $10 size (what is that, a quart?) and fortunately I had already discovered from the sample size how far it goes, so I mixed up just a small quantity of chalk paint in that color.

I did find there were a few spots that needed a second coat, so I painted two coats of the white.

This next part you may not be able to see well – I ordered a custom stencil from my friend at Streamline Design.  It worked fabulously!  But the vinyl is clear, and I was starting to lose my light for the evening.  I’m not sure there’s enough contrast for you to see it placed, but I’ll try anyway:

You may notice the little dots just to the outside of the text on the corners – I drew them on the vinyl myself.  I was having trouble getting it properly centered when I couldn’t see it anymore once I set it in place, and the dots gave me a point of reference.

Then, I painted a light coat of my accent color on over the stencil.  I was uneven about it on purpose – I wanted it to look slightly aged and worn.  I let it dry, and peeled off the stencil.  Then, I had to pick all the little “islands” out of the centers of my letters.  It looks a little smudgy in a few places, but that’s just where I peeled too fast and more vinyl stuck.  I was able to get all the little pieces off with a pin.

Then, I sanded the top down, and did a little distressing to the edges.  Then, I rubbed the whole thing down with a good coat of furniture wax.

I drilled new holes and added new knobs.  I found some gorgeous crackled brown glass knobs – for $8.50 each!!  But I just couldn’t stomach the idea of spending $40 on hardware, when I had less than that into the whole project at that point (the total ended up being $42, and I have plenty of paint, plaster of paris, and wax for lots of makeover projects to come).  So I settled for the basic knobs from Lowe’s for $1.49 instead.  As lovely a touch as they would have made, it just wasn’t worth it, and working on a deadline for the competition meant I didn’t have the time to browse online for just the right thing, either.  I actually considered spray painting the knobs I brought it home with instead, but I had to do some serious surgery to remove them in the first place, and the threads of one was pretty damaged.  So, plain knobs it was.

Here’s how some of the details turned out:

And the fabulous top!

Overall – I am really happy with the way it turned out, and it sounds like my sister is happy too!  First thing she did when she got it home was snap a photo and post it to Facebook. ;)  I was happy not only to give her something she liked, but also to have made it personal and one-of-a-kind.

Thanks for stopping by to read about my stencil project, and thank you, thank you if you’ve been going out to vote for your favorites in the contest!  As much as I have enjoyed these big projects… it’s back to Happy Hour again for a while around here!

I link up to these great parties!
~ Adrianne

Comments

  1. Jenny Yarbrough says:

    I love it, Adrianne!! The stencil is just perfect and the “recipe” for homemade chalk paint is great… way less expensive than Annie Sloan!!! I'm pinning this and I'll head over and vote for you. XO

  2. It's awesome! I love the top, especially. So sweet!

  3. Heather says:

    Adrianne – that's gorgeous. Love the stencil!!!!

  4. Full Circle Creations says:

    Love the way it turned out. You did a great job and it does sound like your sister is happy too. A labor of love! Thanks so much for sharing it at the All Star Block Party!

    Holly

  5. Melanie says:

    Beautiful!! Totally voted for it!!

  6. Amber says:

    That looks so awesome! After just finishing my very first furniture project myself, I can say with some authority that it looks fantastic! I also know the pain of the process and that makes it look even better!

  7. Kathe says:

    Wait just one minute! This is your FIRST furniture redo? No way! This is a lovely piece. I would be thrilled to have this in my home! Thank you for sharing this at the party this week! Once the voting is working I will be sure to vote for you!

  8. This turned out really nice. I really love it. Very well done!

    Thanks for sharing it on the All Star Block Party.

  9. Nicole Buckingham says:

    Amazing!

    Aloha,
    Visiting ya from the hop. If you'd like we're linking up with friends today in the most simply easy way. Come join us. =)

    xo,
    Nicole
    localsugarhawaii.com

  10. Jessica Kielman says:

    It turned out beautifully! I love it!

    Jessica @ Mom 4 Real

  11. Altair Astor says:

    Wow! I'm sure I'll learn a lot in here. Can't wait to check other tips from you. New follower from Welcome Wednesday via GFC. Love for you to follow back when you get a chance.

    Altair of That Chief's First Lady
    http://inhighheelsanddogtags.blogspot.jp/

  12. Kadie says:

    I can't wait to try out the homemade chalk paint!! You know how much I love it, truly an amazing transformation!:)

  13. Very clever! New follower from the blog hop – I'd love it if you checked out my little spot.

    LB
    http://www.accordingtol.com

  14. Frugal and Fun Mom says:

    Love the table! Thanks for hosting the blog hop! Frugal and Fun Mom

  15. Candace Jedrowicz says:

    How perfectly lovely!

  16. Mrs Mommy Booknerd says:

    new follower via Welcome Wednesday

  17. Jessi W says:

    Congrats on winning One Crafty Contest! I love this table and you totally deserve it; you're so crafty!

  18. Shelby says:

    Congrats on winning One Crafty Contest!! I love the thought put into this housewarming gift. It must have been hard to part with it!

  19. what a DARLING project! found you via the blog hop and am excited to follow along xo

  20. Soumya says:

    congrats adrianne, so happy for u :)

    soumya
    mycraftgallery.blogspot.in

  21. I! LOVE! IT! SO! MUCH!!!! Congrats!!! What a great job you did on the garage find.

  22. Jessi W says:

    For serious, congrats again! I'm so thrilled you linked this up at The Fun In Functional; it's great!

  23. This is simply gorgeous…. I just love it…
    Thank you so much for sharing it with the ALL STARS BLOCK PARTY!!!

    Carri
    simplydonewright.blogspot.com

  24. Kelly says:

    I love it! I'm planning my first chalk paint furniture re-do soon!

  25. Erika Marsh says:

    Oh I love it!! It looks sooo good! :) I love redoing furniture it's so much more fun than buying new.

  26. Megan says:

    Wow! I look great! I'm thinking of doing and end table redo myself, but I'm still wishy washy about it. Thanks for sharing. Now following you through GFC. Love from Whimsically Homemade!

  27. Karima says:

    Wow – I love it – you did a brilliant job!

  28. This turned out BEAUTIFUL! I bet your sister was just thrilled to receive it.

  29. That is just beautiful! Thanks for sharing this week at The Gathering Spot. Have a great week.

  30. LP aka A Crafty Southern Chick says:

    You absolutely did get an amazing deal on that table, and I just LOVE how it turned out! I think I may be the last blogger/crafter to have never used chalk paint :( Oops.

  31. I love it when I come across AWESOME ideas like this one. I have a coffee table that I have been wanting to redo for ages and think this is the perfect thing to do. You have inspired me. I LOVE the stencil.

  32. The Paper Princess says:

    Adrianne

    I can always count on you to share something fabulous at Inspire Monday – this week's DIY project was over the top!

    It's my delight to feature you once more at

    Create With Joy
    http://create-with-joy.com

  33. loudowning54 says:

    well, I just found your blog via pinterest via craftgawkers. This is an amazing project. Thanks so much for all the painting tips. I have wanted to try making chalk paint and you have inspired to try it. Thanks again.

  34. Discount Living Room Furniture says:

    Greetings! I’ve been following your blog for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Texas. Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic work!

  35. This is such a beautiful piece, Adrianne! I’ve never used chalk paint before. I think I need to give it a try! :D
    Marilyn recently posted..The Project Stash 15My Profile

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