Friday, June 15, 2012

Mum's The Word

I know, I know - never say never!  But in this case I really, truly meant it.  I would never, ever use a stencil again.  You see, I was a whirling dervish in the late seventies and early eighties stenciling shelves, boxes, and wall borders.  I even stenciled an entire dining room wall for a friend.  (Yes, several years later I helped sand those things off - Dutch tulips - and repaint.)

I cannot count the number of Pennsylvania Dutch folk art designs, flowers, hearts, and , ugh, teddy bears I painted.  I wasn't too bad at it, but I cringed to think that some of those items still exist.

So-o-o-o-o,  imagine to my surprise when shopping at Hobby Lobby for another load of Mod Podge, they had moved the stencils near them and I saw one that caught my eye.  In the photograph you will see my new BFF.  It immediately reminded me of a stylized chrysanthemum (my spell check is not complaining about this spelling, but for now on mum's the word!).  I fully place all blame on considering a stencil on THE OWL WALL - yes, it does need to be all in capitals.  It was a true thing of beauty - I wish I had pinned it, but I am sure you saw it on one of the blog parties.

I knew the mum stencil would be perfect for this table I had been holding back to paint - lack of imagination on my part and remember I have been neck-high in colonial red for my British invasion and Americana series.  I wanted the soothing relief of a gentle pastel.  Plus (sorry, Karen) I did not want to use an image transfer on it.

Loved the details of this table the sexy legs, the small but beautifully detailed top.  It is not the antique you might think it is.  I bought it several months ago at an estate sale and was told the husband had been a wood worker.  It was made back in the fifties from a picture he had seen in a magazine.  There were several examples of his work for sale including a massive china cabinet.  He was a true artisan.

I mixed up some homemade chalk paint of flat latex white paint, water, and unsanded grout.  I did not want stark white so I threw in Folkart Seamist until I liked the color.  I was able to coat the table and a frame with two coats before using it all up.  Actually I gave the tabletop three coats in case I did not like the stencil pattern and wanted to sand it all off.  Remember in distressed finishes there are no mistakes - there are always do-overs!

I love the soft blue-green color!

I sanded the whole table making sure to sand down to the wood in places where natural wear would occur.  For me, this would be a little distressed. If I put two or more colors on a piece I will sand the heck out of it to show "pretend" heavy-duty wear.  I finished the sanding process with the cheap paper towel in a knee-high stocking to gently smooth the surface.

I know in this photo the table looks white, but this one was taken inside.

I took a deep breath and said here goes nothing!
I was about to stencil a piece of furniture for the first time since the eighties - I know some of you were not even born!

I planned to use the entire pattern so I just measured to get it centered and taped it down.

Mixed up a dark gray craft paint and stenciled, stenciled , stenciled!

 Turned out better than I expected - a little heavy in parts, but give me a break!  I haven't done this in three decades!

I could not leave it there. I taped the stencil back over the pattern being careful to line it up exactly over the gray and moved the stencil about an eighth of an inch to one side.  I chose to move it to the right.  You have to think where you would want the highlights to be.  No right or wrong -just preference!

Sorry to bore you with all the photos, but I really loved the outcome of stenciling over the gray with the Seamist (straight - no white added!)

Even the ones that appeared heavy-handed were redeemed!

But you know I cannot leave without at least three layers!

What other color?  I went back and forth between white and metallic silver.

While deciding I taped over the dried design - again moving the stencil about an eighth of an inch to the right.

White won - I'll save the silver for later.

You can compare this photo to the one above to see that the light pouncing of white made the design pop off the table surface.

Can you see the chrysanthemums now?

It might be just my demented imagination, but they do appear to me like blue-green mums.  (I know these do not exist in nature!)

 I used two coats of Minwax finishing wax to protect her.  Here she is fixing to be loaded on the truck to travel to the antique mall
Love the design so much, I going back to Hobby Lobby to see if there is another stencil that catches my eye.  I haven't used my coupon this week.  And remember supplies don't count in my vow not to buy anything vintage!

 I know you are now sick to death with this table and are wondering who do I think I am - Picasso?
But I thought it was so interesting the pictures taken outside in the morning light made the table look really blue!

(I just wanted to show off those mums again!)

Remember if anyone asks if I am using again ( stencils, that is!) -  Mum's the word!

Come back for another visit - I am currently cursing, er, painting with store-bought chalkboard paint in the sun.  This will be interesting!

See y'all!

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  1. What a great shape to that table, Donna! She turned out so pretty.

  2. I love it! It looks beautiful. You made stencilling chic again!

  3. Great Job ! I love stenciling and the best part is when I see a picture of something nice, I look forward to cutting one and then start searching for something to use it on.
    Have a lovely day!
    ps I did a fabric stencilling project - here's the link if you'd like to have a look ;-)

  4. By the way, I was born before the 80's. Love the table and the stenciling!

  5. I'm slowly fazing out all the stenciling in my house! Love your table and I have that very same stencil!

  6. Great dimension? I do a lot of reverse stenciling. Feel free to check out out on my blog.
    Fondly, Tami

  7. That was supposed to be "great dimension!"
    Fondly, Tami


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