Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Harlequin Top End Table -A How To-

 
I had a client want a turquoise and purple end table for her 3-year-old daughter's room. This is the table she chose and since it's structurally kinda boring, ie: straight boxy legs, nothing fancy. I knew I had to make some kind of design on it to make it fun. I have been wanting to try a harlequin pattern for a while now and this was the time. After searching for good "harlequin how-to" instructions, I found this blog page from Confessions of a Serial Do-It-Yourselfer by a gal named Christy.
I used her techniques, but found a few steps that I would change next time I try this. Ready to make a harlequin pattern? I'll show you below:
 
1. Paint the top your lightest color. I used two coats of light purple. Then, get exact measurements and cut a piece of paper the same size. I used printer paper, taped together then cut to my table size.
 
2. Fold the piece of paper in half, and fold in half again, then again, the short way (you know, hamburger style). You will end up with 6 crease folds. This will ensure that your diamonds will be evenly spaced and symmetrical on the top of the table.
 3. Open the paper, then fold it the long way two times (yep, hotdog style). And when you open it again, you will see this, a line grid to help you draw your diamonds.
TIP: I used pencil, but I think using chalk would be much better. Trust me, you'll see why later.
 4. Transfer your lines to the table by turning the paper over and redrawing your lines. This is why chalk would be much better. After tracing my first line I noticed I couldn't see my pencil line on the table. At all. Meaning it just didn't transfer.
 5. Since my lines didn't show up, I decided to just use the grid to mark off where my lines would be and drew them on with a pencil and straight edge. Again, should've used chalk. My pencil didn't wipe off, or erase off, very easily. I have used chalk in the past to make grids for chevron stripes, like I did on this desk and this dining table, so I should have known better. oh well... next time.
 6.  I had to shade my diamonds on my paper to show where my darker plum color was going on. It helped me because I'm a very visual person. Which is the same reason I used chocolate kisses. They show where the dark color goes so I could tape it off.  NOTE: remember that because you are taping it off, you will not be able to tape off every diamond, only half of them at a time.
7. Apply your coats of darker paint and wait until the paint is tacky before removing the tape. Then tape off the other remaining diamonds and paint them too.
8. Peel you tape off and seal the top (and the rest of the painted piece) with 3 or 4 coats of polyurethane to protect it from chipping.

I had to sand this interesting cat off the top just to make sure I wouldn't get a phantom cat under my purple diamonds! I used my orbital sander. And I did it in the dark, sorry for the lame cell phone photo. Then I primed the entire piece, and painted the bottom turquoise at the client's request.
 I painted the entire drawer because it looked gross inside, even after I cleaned it.
And then there was the knob issue. This drawer obviously had pulls (that use two screws) that were replaced with a knob in each hole. And I hate the look of two knobs as a fix to what should be one pull. I suppose it's just laziness? Or maybe people like the look. Either way, I don't, so I filled the holes with wood filler and drilled 2 centered ones, for a cleaner one-knob fix.
TIP: put painters tape on the top and bottom of the hole that you want to drill. It keeps the drill shavings from spilling all over, and can help protect the wood from splitting.
I chose these blue glass knobs that were taken off a different refurbish project. It's all about upcycling and recycling, right?! The brass needed a good polishing though and I LOVE this product. Brasso can polish most metals. I also cleaned the blue glass to make them really shine.

And that's how I made a harlequin top! Another Sophisticated Junk Pile piece!
 
 
Have you ever tried to paint a pattern on the top of your piece???
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  


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