French Graphic a la mode
a side table story
This is a story.....about a little neglected side table. It was a nice sunny summer day and I was driving home when out of the corner of my eye I saw a sign! The sign read, "GARAGE SALE"!!!! Oh how I love garage sales! I love neighborhood garage sales the very best and this is why I just had to go! There is no telling what kind of treasure you may find at a yard sale. What's that saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure." So I made a bee line back to the neighborhood, parked and started my treasure hunting!
I had moved along several streets only finding a few small things that I could use for my crafting. I was starting to feel that it was a bust when I thought to myself..... "Okay Leasa, just one more street and then you need to get going". One more! As I pulled up the street I saw the furniture. Oh boy! As my heart started to go pitter patter, I threw the car into park and tried hard not to sprint to the drive.
There were two of them! Two oval shaped side tables with dainty tapered legs. The wood was gorgeous cherry but the surface had some scratches and would need to be sanded and re-stained to keep the integrity of the piece. Okay, I know what you are thinking! That's a lot of work, right? Yep, I thought so too! And I had been looking for some furniture to paint and transfer a graphic image. So.....it just depended on whether they were priced within my budget. This was one of those garage sales that nothing was priced! I love those kind of garage sales! Well, not really but sometimes it can work out to your favor. I asked about them and he said they were $10 each! What! Here is where I got giddy! I mean, there was so much more furniture!
I ended up leaving with the 2 oval side tables, another side table, a beautiful
6 ft cherry wood dresser with mirror, and a large desk all for $150.00. OMG! I know, isn't that crazy? This is why I love garage sales. Now, a funny part to the story is that the gentlemen holding the garage sale said that his wife would be home soon and my first thought was, "Does she know you are practically giving her stuff away?" LOL!
Now, because I hadn't planned the garage sale that day I had to go get more cash to finish paying him. I loaded some of my treasures in my car, drove like a bat out of a cave to get more cash and pick up the rest of the furniture; all the while, hoping I made it back before the wife got home and decided she didn't like the prices her husband sold her furniture! LOL!
I was so excited to start this project that unfortuately I did not get a before pic! I really wish I had taken a picture to show you; that's an epic fail! But just use your imagination and picture a dark cherry wood with some surface scratches and a few water stains. :)
I decided to paint this lovely table a light gray. I did a light sanding on the table top but there were a few nicks in the rim that I decided to leave. These were the kind of nicks that would just add character to the painted table. It's a funny thing about imperfections when you use chalk paint. Suddenly those imperfections add a little character and charm to a painted and distressed piece. I almost always lightly distress the edges after painting. This is the look I like and for my technique; it works. Now there are quite a few pieces that I will sand and wood putty holes or scratches that take away from the piece, but it really depends.
The french graphic that I used was something I got from the Graphics Fairy! If you haven't heard of her you definitely need to check out her website! It's amazing! She puts the neatest graphics on her site for people to use and they are royalty free!
After I sanded and painted, I applied the graphic. There are a lot of techniques for graphic transfers and you can also find some great tutorials and techniques at the Graphic Fairy. I usually do the transfer method that you print, turn the back over and shade pencil all over the graphic. Then you will flip it over to the front and trace the image. When you pull up the paper, your graphic will be in pencil on your furniture. Make sure that you tape the paper down to the surface before you start tracing so that the image doesn't move.
Next, you will use a sharpie marker to go over the traced pencil image. I lightly sand the image once completed to make it look like a part of the wood. Wipe down after you sand and then apply your clear wax. I use Annie Sloan's clear wax. You will let your clear wax dry for about 30 minutes and then with a soft cloth, lightly rub, buffing the wax to a satin sheen. Voila! A piece that is one of a kind! That's my favorite kind! Wait! Come to think of it every piece you paint is a one of a kind! Hence, why I love what I do!
Until next time.......go make your one of a kind!
If you want to make your own Chalk Paint, click here for my Chalk Paint recipe!