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  • Writer's pictureSarah Murphy-Colourfulsaz

Checkered Table

Hey, you there! Welcome back to my sporadic ramblings. I need to get better at posting consistently don't I? Anyways here's a super fun upcycle I did. This one is suitable for anyone who's been painting for a while but is interested in trying their first consistent masking tape design. Again if you're a visual learner scroll down to the video at the bottom! (Don't forget to like and subscribe it really means a lot!)

I got this piece from a follower who was throwing it away. If this isn't the perfect poster child for upcycling I don't know what is. I knew I wanted to remove all of the varnish but what I didn't know was the wood was so light and beautiful. I went in with an electric sander and sanded the entire piece. For the handle, I just used some sandpaper to hand sand the different grooves. Unfortunately, the top needed a good bit of filler so I wasn't able to keep it all exposed but it was perfect for my style of paint meets the original wood. After I filled the top I went back in with my sander to make sure the top was completely flat. ( Just to note; It's easier to see pesky areas that need filler after painting so I also did some filling and sanding once the piece was finished)

Here is the piece all prepped and sanded ready for some colour. As you can see theres still some areas where the varnish or stain was stubborn but I wasn't too concerned as I knew I would be painting the majority of the piece. This makes it a lot easier as I found it difficult to sand those bars that connect the legs- there must be a technical term for them surely?? Anyways I think I need to find some sanding pads to fit my Dad's sander (I don't own any of my own tools). But this finish was perfect for what I had in mind so I got started.

I had done a trophy in this pattern ages ago and it had been a lot simpler than I imagined. I wasn't sure if it was enough without my usual three colour minimum but I decided to give it a go. This pattern will not hurt your head, trust me. It's as simple as measuring the width of the masking tape and cutting out squares and arranging them in the checkered pattern. I just love it, it reminds me of a weird vintage Vans collaboration haha. Here I just measure and cut the masking tape using scissors. You can see it's less precise than the second method I use below. I also roughed this up a little on this trophy.

Here it's the same idea except I cut the squares using a craft knife and a set square to ensure the pattern was more consistent. The squares in the piece above are all slightly different sizes which can also look cool and is easier, so go with whichever technique works for you. I decided to keep the piece clean without any distressing because that's not really my "style" (I really struggle with this term I feel I don't really have my own style yet).

The wood on this piece was super rough. When I was peeling the tape off plinters came off with it. Rather than dealing with a bunch of bleeds after painting, I decided to seal the tape. This is Dixie Belle Boss and it's a stain-blocking primer. I applied this over the tape and it meant that anything that leaked under the tape was just this clear primer and I wouldn't have to touch up any bleeds afterwards. As you can see above it worked a treat. Would really recommend it. I bought this in The Paint Room, a Dublin based shop in case you're looking to treat yo'self.

I masked off the bottom of the legs to keep some more of the wood grain exposed. I also sealed the tape here with the clear Dixie Belle primer(I'm pretty sure if I hadn't I would still be cursing cleaning up paint bleeds).For the rest of the piece I just primed it using Zinsser Bulls-Eye 123 and a Two Fussy Blokes roller, which if you don't know by now are my go-to rollers for a spray like finish. It also just means I paint pieces in a third of the time. I used a small artist paintbrush to get in where the legs meet the bars that connect them (seriously, what are they called??). Once the primer dried I roller on my paint.

The colour used was Green 08 in eggshell from Lick Home who kindly gifted me this and another tin of paint shown here. It always needs to be primed first and it's self-sealing so no need to varnish. (I will varnish the top of this table to prevent any chipping from general wear and tear). The coverage was super good and it went on easily. I really had no gripes with the paint except for the tin- which by the way is gloriously attractive. Is anyone else attracted to this tin of paint?? I mean PHWOAR. Anyways my only gripe was that it was difficult to stir the paint thoroughly. But again.. it gets points for being good lookin'.

So that's it, there's not much to it but it's a super-effective style. I hope you try it out and make sure to check out the video below if you are struggling at all getting that pattern right. If you have any questions or comments drop them below!

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