Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hand Painted Dining Table

This is the surface of my mom's kitchen table. It is a pine wood table my parents bought at least ten years ago.

Then I had an Idea
When my parents left town to visit my sister in Virginia last summer I got the idea to paint it. The only painted table I had ever seen that I really liked was in Costa Rica inside a local coffee farmer's house. His wife had been painting a brightly colored floral design on the coffee table and looking at it made me excited.

Scattered Flowers: How I did it
So, I went out to the backyard and cut some wildflowers from the garden. I held each one in my left hand, looking at it as I painted it onto the table. When I had all the flowers scattered around the surface of the table I decided I wanted to fill the entire space with color.

I stayed up all night two nights in a row trying to finish this table. I slept during the day. I can be really productive at night sometimes. I turned up the music, mostly latin merengue, salsa and dance beats and drank wine. Megan, party of one. It was sweet. I would paint on a line of color and then change colors and fit another shape into the previous one. I overlapped intentionally in some areas and outlined the flowers in complimentary colors. It was largely a color study in that it took a while for me to figure out exactly where I wanted to place each color. I did not mix any of the colors on my palette. I took colors straight from the tube and mixed them on the table as I painted.

The Finishing: Polyurethane is caulk
When my parents came home they loved it and it is now my mom's cherished piece of furniture, which is kind of too bad for me because that means I will have to paint my own kitchen table.

When I was finished, I called around town and asked what would be the best way to protect it. Polyurethane. Apparently, polyurethane comes in different forms, among them are a paintable liquid form and caulk. Ok, one thing you should know about me is that I get really into the making of a project, the drawing of the drawing or the painting of the painting. But when it comes to framing, hanging, spraying or painting on protective coating...not my favorite. I'm like that with baking too. I like mixing the ingredients of a chocolate cake or chocolate chip cookies together, but rolling the dough into balls or flouring the cake pan...screw that!

I chose the caulk form of polyurethane at Home Depot. I ran in there, grabbed the first thing that said polyurethane and peaced. I couldn't find a caulk gun in the garage so I popped off the bottom of the tube and squeezed/spooned it out. When I had finished there were globs of dried polyurethane in places and it was kind of sticky when you touched it. Needless to say, no one was home when I did that either. Someone would have stopped me. Anyway, after a few laughs at my expense and some comments on my stubborn attitude about having someone help me, my dad sanded it down a bit and I came back and painted on the real stuff, which comes in a pint size paint bucket. Below is the finished product...and me (not actually drinking tea).


  1. I absolutely LOVE my table! And you're right, you'll have to paint one for yourself!
    tu Madre

  2. The table is gorgeous!!!! I've never seen anything so beautiful!! Now I'm totally inspired to painted my dining table. I hope mine looks just as good! Great job!