Tuesday, October 11, 2011

From the Shadows to the Showcase.

  • I've talked before about projects on the back burner.  Today I'm talking about a project that was so far back it fell behind the stove.  Actually this table was not invisible.  It was just one of those pieces that became a part of the landscape in which a skimpy coat of primer was somehow acceptable.

When I purchased this table it was painted in an array of bright colors.  A dealer on antique row told me he aquired it from Mexico.  I immediately slapped a coat of primer over the blues, yellows, and reds.  Then I found a place for it in my house until I could find time to finish the job.

The carving was distracting enough that most people assumed I intended for it to be white.  Over time it was moved from room to room and floor to floor and it seemed to be "working" out ok.

Last week, a friend of 20 years, asked me if I would consider letting her use this table in a room she is decorating for the 2011 Decorator Showhouse.  Let me just mention that I had this table before I ever met this friend, so it has been waiting for a really long time to come into it's glory.  How could I refuse?

I took it to the studio and applied a white base coat. (Sherwin Williams Toque White) Getting in and around all the carving took  quite some time.  It was obvious I was not that careful when I applied the primer all those years ago.

Then I coated it with  Martin Senour Budding Rose.  I had added some whiting to the paint to make it more chalky.  My intention was to rub back the pink to expose LOTS of white.  Normally I distress by wiping off paint before it completely dries in areas where I want to expose the layer beneath.  But this time I decided to sand it back after it had dried overnight.  Not my smartest move.

I tried several sanding methods and none of them were working.  My knuckles were raw and I came to the conclusion that my idea of an almost white table with light pink in the grooves was no longer a possibilty.  So now, what do I do with the pink elephant?  I believe this is where Plan B comes into play and the joke is, there is no Plan B.  The question became, "How do you disguise a pink elephant?

You paint it gray, of course.  Sensuous Gray to be specific.  This time I did not give the paint time to dry before I removed some of it with a wet rag.

  I exhaled that sigh of relief that comes when you pull a piece from the brink of disaster.  Now the piece was gaining character!

Some flyspecking in a charcoal color and the base was completed.

Now for the top.

I had planned to follow the directions from this book for a marbelized top.

It is a pattern called Norwegian Rose.  That was prior to the change in course discussed above.

Now I had to rethink the top.  It seemed like the base and top would be fighting for attention with this one.  So I decided on a more mottled marble that drifts without much definition.

This is how it looked after 5 hours of basecoating, sealing, sanding, sealing, and feathering on three colors of glaze.  Then came a rest while it dried. There was time for me to decide if I wanted to seal it again and do the optional step of adding another color or two.

Here it is with a little pink added to pull the base and top together.

It has now been delivered to the showcase house.  You can see pictures of the room in progress here.  The countdown is on.  Opening day is Oct. 15th.   A link to basic information about the tour can be found on Vicki Dreste's post.

Just in case you can't make it to the Showcase House, I'll slip in one picture of this table in place.  The accessories will be added just in time for the opening party on Friday. 

I visited the Showcase house when all was in place and although the lighting was limited, I am adding a couple shots.

Because of the lighting, the true color of the table does not come across in this shot.

Hopefully this gives you the flavor of Vicki Dreste's room.  Once the Showcase house closes there will be more pictures of this room on Vicki's blog.

I am linking to Miss Mustard Seed for Furniture Friday.
  1. And twenty-eight-0-five.blogspot.com

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  1. The table looks amazing in the room.
    Your table, Muriel's painting and Lori's table are a perfect combination.

  2. Hi Tricia, I love the paint technique on the table and you did a wonderful job on the top. Beautiful! Thanks for linking to the Open House party and I am your newest follower.

  3. oh bestill my heart!!! this table is amazing -- it was amazing to start and then with the fabulous paint treatment it is just over the top FABULOUS!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!! thanks for sharing...hugs from your newest follower!!! andrea -- family and doxies (heaven and earth)

  4. Stunning! I love layering. It adds so much character. You did an amazing job on the top! I've often started down one road and ended up on another with my painting. Sometimes you get the best results when that happens.

  5. AMAZING transformation! You are a kindred spirit to me to have an unfinished project around for years. Your are VERY talented. I saw your wonderful post over at "Miss Mustard Seed".

  6. What a showstopper! She is a stunner, Tricia! I would be delighted for you to join Potpourri Friday (in progress)! Hope you will check it out!

    I have just become a friend and follower and hope you will consider doing the same!

  7. Your table is a knock out and your paint technique is beautiful. It really is stunning in the showcase house.

  8. I'm stopping back by to say thank you for linking to Potpourri Friday! I appreciate your participation and hope you will make it a weekly party stop!

  9. Hi Tricia, you did an amazing job with the table and aren't you just a tiny bit proud of having your work displayed in your friend's showcase house? Congratulations. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris