Painting Tables

by Chris on August 3, 2011

That’s a reference to waiting tables. However, any joke that has to be explained is not a good joke. I know. Moving on… I get a lot of questions about painting furniture. So, when I actually remember to take pictures of the process, I like to post on it.

The console table got a makeover recently, and I’m here to show you how it was done. I will forewarn you now. There are a LOT of pictures. Perhaps unnecessary pictures. And it’s a LONG post. But you did ask for it, right?

turquoise table

Rule #1: Paint with reckless abandon right in the middle of your hallway. Slap some dollar store plastic on the white carpet by the white walls, and paint the most obnoxious turquoise you can find. Live. on. the. edge.

how to paint furniture

I will clarify right now that I did NOT prime this table, nor did I sand it down. The “white” looking paint underneath is just another color that I had already painted on there before. If I planned on using this table or I thought it would get more wear and tear, I would have prepped more. Since it’s just on display upstairs, I didn’t worry about that.

how to paint furniture

I paint one of two ways. I either use my beloved spray gun, or I paint with a foam roller. I chose the roller on this one because I wasn’t quite sure of the color, and I didn’t have any help to carry it down two flights of stairs to the basement.

I’ve had some comments that people use the roller and get streak marks or lines. I have to be honest here…I’ve painted numerous pieces, and I’ve never had that problem. My thoughts are that maybe you’re not using a quality paint, or maybe you’re pushing too hard when applying the paint. It’s not an exact science or anything, but do try to apply the paint with less and less pressure as you apply it. Seriously—not one streak mark.

painting turquoise table

I’m gonna just keep breaking the rules here. I don’t use a paint tray. Gasp! I literally dip my foam roller right into the can. How much paint I need determines just how much I dip it. Mad skills. I’ve got ‘em.

painting table

I got lucky on this table because it was all straight edges. I didn’t really have any fancy edges to worry about or any crevices that needed extra attention.

painting furniture with a roller

I basically just kept rolling and rolling. Kinda like Dory and her swimming.

paint furniture with roller

Even the flattest of tables will have spots that you need to get into. The roller won’t reach everything, so you’ll need a nice brush to do that for you. I found this little ma-bob at Lowes (I think), and I l-o-v-e it! It has a rubber handle, so it’s very forgiving on your hand when you’re dabbing and brushing. Just love it.

small brush for painting

You might be able to see  that there are still some residual black parts left to it. Uh yeah…that was two coats of paint ago. Poor little table. I needed to make sure I got into all those little corners this time because of the angle people would be looking at it as they came up the stairs.

how to paint a table

The key to using a brush to get into crevices and joints is to use a little amount of paint. You get too much, and it globs up. Then you’re spending all your time catching all the excess that drips. You’re also ruining your perfectly good roller job because you’re constantly brushing off the extra. Very lightly dip your brush into the paint.

painting furniture tutorial

Why are you looking at my nails? They’re not the point of this post.

painting tutorial

Here’s one without my manicure distracting you. Notice just barely any paint on the tip.

paintbrush

I then used the brush to get into all the joints, and I immediately smoothed any brush marks out with the roller. You just kind of have to play around with the two tools. Have a damp paper towel to place them in when not in use, and they’ll be fine while you paint.

how to paint furniture

That’s it, really. Roll, dab, brush, smooth out, and repeat. The worst thing you can do is totally mess it up. Big deal. :)

Alright. Now onto the details of the paint. (Will this post never end?) I’m going to declare this to the world right. now. I am HORRIBLE at picking out paint colors! Horrible! I don’t know that I have EVER picked out a paint color, and it totally worked for me. Well, maybe twice, but that doesn’t sound as dramatic.

Olympic Alpine Valley

Here’s how much thought went into this table. I was at Lowes with my kids one day, saw a paint swatch that I thought was pretty, and I bought a quart of it. Thinking I might paint that table. Now, you know how I love my BM {giggle}, but this was convenient. I thought picking it out on a whim might break my color curse. Nope. Still got the wrong color. 

Benjamin Moore Ocean Air

I was NOT going to spend another dime on another wrong color, so I just mixed it with what I had. Enter: BM {giggle}.

The Olympic color is Alpine Valley, and I mixed it with Benjamin Moore’s Ocean Air. Here’s where you’re going to hate me. I can’t tell you the exact color. I just kept toning down the brightness of the turquoise until I thought I had a good balance. The first few pictures of this post are actually of the original color. I let it sit overnight just to be sure that it wasn’t for me. It wasn’t for me.

                             Alpine Valley                                                             Ocean Air

                       Olympic Alpine Valley                 +                   Benjamin Moore Ocean Air

This is where I got all fancy. I found this glaze that I purchased at my grocery store back in 1964. This stuff holds forever! I’ve never glazed before. It scares the bajeebies out of me. I mixed a little more of the Ocean Air with my mixed paint into a smaller bowl to lighten it JUST a tad, and I added the glaze. Mix, mix, mix/apply with old washcloth/close my eyes because I’m afraid to look.

Painting glaze

Once it was all dry, I rolled on a coat of Minwax (water-based) just to keep her from getting all scratched up. The big bowl on the bottom is my paint, and the little bowl on the top is my glaze mixture. You really don’t need much.

supplies for painting furniture

I don’t know how, but somehow it turned out beautifully. The glaze adds just a tiny bit of depth (that really doesn’t pick up in the pictures) that I was looking for, and the color is spot on (now).

turquoise table

I tried to match it up on my Benjamin Moore sampler, and this is the closest color I found. The only issue is that the glaze changes thing up a bit. However, this is pretty darn close. It’s called Blue Seafoam.

  Benjamin Moore 2056-60 Blue Seafoam

And finally. Yes, I did remove the nail polish.

The. End.

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