Wes always fusses at me for decorating monochromatically, so I knew that when I chose his nightstand, it had a few requirements.
1. Masculine, angular lines.
2. Solid wood (we can’t afford to replace furniture every few years)
3. COLORS with an S. I had to commit to more than one color.
Suffice to say, I was intimidated by just the thought of this project.
I started out looking at Ikea, but wasn’t happy with the sturdiness/uniqueness of any of their designs. I decided if I was going to paint something, it should NEED painting. So I headed out to scour the thrift stores in town.
I found this gem at the Goodwill Outlet Store for $5.99. (This photo is after I started sanding. Sorry, I’m new at this whole “blog” thing.)
It was a little banged up, but it had a good shape, it was solid wood, and, for less than the cost of an appetizer at a sit-down restaurant, I couldn’t beat the price.
Next was the issue of color. Our bedroom is done in jewel tones, so I knew I wanted to pair something with plum. I found a great color by Behr that I wanted to match with a lighter, grayer version of the same color. Since the table is small, I was buying samples, which are about $3 each. As I was waiting to have my paint made, I noticed a sad little sample on the bottom shelf. He was a flat gold, and the sticker on his top said $0.50. I took it as a sign that this table would be polychromatic, just the way my man has been begging since we met. I had my purple mixed, grabbed a paintbrush, and headed on my way. Or I would have, but the salesman was very convincing that I’d want a satin finish (which they don’t have in samples) so that any marks would wipe off easier. I got a quart of purple, so expect to see more around our house– and this blog– soon.
I swung by Michael’s to grab a quatrefoil stencil. I was disappointed not to find one until I found this pack by Martha Stewart (my official idol). The Moroccan stencil was perfect. I snatched it up (don’t forget your 40 percent off coupon!)
Once home, I took off the gold-colored fittings, got out my orbital sander (it was less than $20 at the Harbor Freight Store and worth every penny) and got to work. Once the whole thing was sanded down, I wiped it all down with a damp cloth. It looked like this:
I found the cardboard to a big frame we’d just bought and put it underneath the table so I didn’t get paint all over our kitchen floor. It is H-O-T outside this summer, and I was NOT going to spend the next three days outside painting. I pulled out my plum satin finish paint and got to work on the sides. As they dried, I painted the top gold. You can see the first coats right here:
While the paint dried, I went for a quick run (check my cute footwear).
Then came the fun part. I taped the stencil down like so
See the other cute options? SO. EXCITED.
With the stencil lined up at the edge, I figured it would be easy to tessellate (my elementary art teacher would be so proud) the design as I went. There were two problems with this idea.
Stencils on wet paint pick up said paint. Whoops, live and learn.
2. starting in the middle meant a little more piecing together than would have been necessary. The next time I stencil, I’m starting in one corner and doing a complete row at a time.
SIDENOTE: the stencil is not exactly the same if you rotate it 180 degrees. Always keep the stencil facing the same direction.
From there, it was slow going. I painted a few, then took a break. This continued for the next three days (I could have finished faster, but I have a life, folks!). The pictures tell the story (and my next mistake, dun dun dun) better than I can with words.
See how I moved the stencil around on the top, giving myself plenty of room to paint as the other parts dried? HUGE MISTAKE. Keeping in line, though it would have been slower, would have kept me from having to fudge the last corner of the table. It’s free-handed and looks it, ladies and gents. Now, not many people will be looking at hubs’ nightstand, but I know it’s there, and now you do too. May I present, the corner of shame:
And slightly cleaned up, with the pattern finished, here it is:
With stuff on it, it’s hard to tell that it’s imperfect. One day, when I’m less frantic– read after my death– I’ll go back with a small paintbrush and define the lines with the gold paint.
With the reveal comes my final confession:
With hubs gone and us still in our old house, I’ve got his nightstand out as an end table. I like it so much, it’s making me rethink the color scheme of the new living room…