You’re not mad, you say???
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
This is the first blog I’ve written by request. The response to my Facebook posts about my Alice in Wonderland table were WONDERfully overwhelming and touching. I must have struck a chord with my followers there. And no wonder … The book by Lewis Carroll is a classic, full of wonderful whimsy and deep thoughts on life and friendship and dreams and believing in oneself.
The requests that I received were actually for tutorials on HOW I created my artful little table. I wasn’t thinking about writing a blog while I worked on the piece or I would have taken more pictures of the actual process. But, it is what it is and I’ll do what I can.
Gee, that sounds like something the Hatter would say!
The journey all started when a customer brought me a table that had been her grandmother’s. It was obvious in talking to her that the piece meant a lot to her; she spoke fondly of the memories made while sitting around the table.
It was a nice little table with pretty curves and turned legs but it had seen better days.
The finish was spotted and stained, the veneer was cracked and broken.
It was evident that it had been well-used.
The only request my customer had was that I try to keep the original finish on the edges … the orange paint matched her chairs beautifully!
So… Make it new and pretty but keep the orange edges…
After much deliberating, my customer chose a wonderful, whimsical Alice in Wonderland-themed paper.
I immediately fell in love with the beautiful colors, the collage of images and the amazing linen finish of it!
How could I not be inspired, starting with this???
And so it began….
First, I gathered all my Annie Sloan Chalk Paints and went to work on the legs and skirt.
I painted the base Country Gray
and then started layering colors.
Just about everything
I had on my shelf!
So, for the tutorial part… everyone wanted to know how I achieved this look and all I can say is… I slapped it on! LOL
Seriously, some of the colors I painted on full-strength with brushes. Others, I wiped on with my fingers. Still others, I watered down, brushed on, and wiped off with a rag.
Then I distressed it back to the wood in places in order to match the original wood edges.
And, on to the top… I cut the paper to fit and, using my good old Mod Podge, adhered it to the top.
Tutorial note… Decoupage isn’t complicated but it takes some patience.
I’ve found that matte paper works better than glossy and you don’t want to use too much glue. Just a nice, even coat is good. Apply the Mod Podge to the surface and lay the paper over it. Depending on what kind of paper you use, you may be able to move it around a bit, but not much, so try to get it lined up as best you can on the first try.
Use something flat like a credit card or spatula (or your hand) and smooth out the bubbles. (I’ve got better pics and more info in my Lessons Learned blog post.)
I always cut the paper a little large and use sandpaper along the edges to take the excess off.
I sanded it back a bit so it wouldn’t look to new and perfect. I think it looks like it’s been there forever!
I then distressed the paper a bit in areas, to give it some age as well.
I gave it all a few coats of poly to seal it good (General Finishes Topcoat, in this case) and the rest, well, here it is…
That’s all there is to it!
My last bit of advice is to JUST TRY IT. Experiment, go out on a limb, leave your comfort zone behind. What’s the worst that could happen? You might make a mess… but you just might GROW!