Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Stenciled Table and What Not to Do

They say we learn more from our mistakes than our successes.  I know that by watching TLC's "What Not to Wear" I learn how to avoid fashion faux pas.  Well this week's project went wrong a lot before it finally went right.  So, to help you learn from my mistakes, I'm going to tell you "what not to do!"

I found this great library table at a flea market.  I knew when I bought it that I wanted to stencil a design on the top.

So I gave it two coats of CeCe Caldwell's Antique White.  I decided to cut a stencil with my Silhouette Cameo and had heard others talk about using contact paper instead of the expensive stencil vinyl so I decided to try it.  Cutting and applying the stencil in sections is tedious work, but I knew it would be worth it.  I taped off a border with blue painter's tape so I didn't have to worry about the stencil going to the edge.

Then I mixed a little white latex paint with CeCe Caldwell's Carolina Sun Yellow to tone it down some and painted the stenciled areas.  The best part is always pulling the stencil off to reveal the final product.  Here's what it looked like when I pulled the stencil off:
Beautiful, right?  ARG!  At first I thought it was because I used contact paper instead of stencil vinyl.  I was cursing that decision! Then I realized that the painter's tape also pulled paint off.  I've now concluded that it must be a characteristic of the CeCe Caldwell paint.  I've stenciled this Harlequin Table and this Moroccan Lattice Table using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, painter's tape, and stencil vinyl.  I had no problem with them.

Lesson #1:  If you're going to stencil using an adhesive, don't use CeCe Caldwell paint.  It's great for lots of applications, but this isn't one of them.

I also discovered that the contact paper left a sticky residue all over the table top.  I usually use Goo Gone to remove sticky tape residue so I thought I'd try it on the table.  I squirted some on a rag and rubbed a small spot.  It took the sticky off, but left a greasy spot!  UGH!

Lesson #2:  Don't use contact paper for a stencil unless you're willing to deal with the stickiness.  Also, contact paper isn't see through and makes it tough to match up the design.

Lesson #3:  Don't use Goo Gone on painted surfaces.

So what's a girl to do???  Well, I grabbed a small brush and proceeded to touch up all of the places that were missing paint.  I knew that CeCe's paint would paint over wax so I tried it on the oily spot.  That did the trick!  Again, tedious work.  But it looked ok when I was done.

I loved the way it turned out, but the white was too stark.  I also still had a sticky table top.  I decided to wax the top and see if it would somehow cover or dissolve the stickiness.  I gave it a coat of clear wax and that did the trick! I contemplated using a glaze.  I worried that if I used a glaze on the table top it would accentuate the places that had lost paint.  I thought it would look funny if I used it everywhere but the table top.  I ended up with a compromise.

I grabbed a small craft brush and applied Howard's Golden Oak wax to the rope detail and crevices on the legs, then wiped it off.  It was enough color to emphasize the details, but not so much  to make the piece look disjointed.

FINALLY!  The table was done!
This is exactly what I envisioned when I started.  I just didn't know it would take hours to get here!

I took it into the shop yesterday and got my display set up.

I know I'm not making any money on this table after the number of hours I poured into it.  But I've ended up with a beautiful table and if you've learned anything from my mistakes, it's all worth it!

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Sharing this week's journey with these friends:
HookingupwithHoHshabby creek cottageThe 36th AVENUEHOGPhotobucketgiveawaysPrimitive and ProperMiss Mustard Seed's Creative BlogThe Shabby NestThe Fun In Functional @ Practically FunctionalDecorating InsanityPhotobucket


suzyq said...

It's beautiful Cyndi - I just went through something similar with a backgammon table I made -
but I put far too much dark wax on mine and ruined it - so had to tape it all up and repaint some of it. Part of the process I suppose,lol
Yours turned out really lovely!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Oh no, I would have freaked at that point, Cyndi! I probably would have had to walk away and come back to it. It did turn out beautiful in the end. Your the second person I read this week that had a con about the CeCe Caldwell paint. So far I haven't tried it and think I'll just stick with Annie.

Our Pinteresting Family said...

What great tips! It ended up turning out fantastic!! Megan

Anonymous said...

It turned out really cute. I have some end tables with a similar design that I haven't painted yet. Thanks for the tips.

Patty said...

I've been thinking about doing some stenciling but am hesitant after reading your cautionary tale. When it first came on the market I used the 3M blue painters tape on my newly installed maple quarter round. When I removed the tape, the clear finish on the quarter round pulled right off in big blotches. The hardware store said it was my fault for leaving the tape on too long, but I pulled it off immedately after finishing the second coat on the baseboards. I understand your frustration. If you ever run into the problem again, wax is a petroleum-based product and may have removed the stickiness from the contact paper.

Good luck selling the table.

Twice Nice said...

Thanks for sharing! We've all had some of these moments, but it's great that you shared your experience to save us from the same angst!! It tuned out great in the end, love the colors and the stenciled top.

Jessi W said...

Well the table looks great now, even though it took a bit to get there! :-) Thanks for sharing the tips about what not to do. I'd be thrilled if you'd share this over at my current link party so everyone can see how cute it is and pick up a few tips!

Antique Furniture said...

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Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

that was the perfect table for this treatment on the inset of the table top! looks fabulous, and you have some awesome tips! experience is the best teacher! :)

littlekbopeep said...

Thanks so much for posting this! From the moment I laid eyes on the blue table with the black stenciling, on your header picture, I've been watching out for a table with a similar top! I'd love to try it. So I'm so thankful you have posted this info!! If a mistake can be made...I make them! projects take twice as long due to this!! Lol.
Hey I'm a follower now and was wondering if you'd be kind to an ex-Abileneian (haha) and follow back? Either way...I'm still gonna keep on followin ya because I LOVE your blog!!!

Shabby chic Sandy said...

Great job--it looks fantastic!

Meaningful Nest said...

I am loving this print right now and yellow too! Great job! Stenciling is such an easy, beautiful addition to so many things.

Sara said...

This is adorable and so creative. Hope you can link this up at my trendy tuesday party!!

Brandi said...

Your table looks very nice. Thanks for sharing your tips as well.

Miss Charming said...

The table has such beautiful lines. I like the design you chose. I used contact paper for stenciling on a piece with homemade chalk paint a few weeks ago. The paint bled under the paper but it worked out okay for that particular project. I wouldn't use it for a project that required a precise design, though. (Thanks for the tips about the chalk paint.).

Starr @ The Kiefer Cottage said...

It's beautiful. Love the yellow!

The Bold Abode said...

Your perseverance certainly paid off! Oh, we never can recoup the amount of time that we put into painting a piece, but we do it anyway, right?

It tuned out beautifully! I'm so glad you linked it up to the Bloggy Olympics Paint Event!

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Such a pretty pattern! That table was perfect for a stencil! And lesson learned for sure!

gail@My Repurposed Life said...

Cyndi--Your table turned out beautiful! I use contact paper for stenciling, and I've noticed a little goo, but it's generally wiped right off.
I did have it take some paint off one time. You have offered some really great tips! thanks for sharing at Catch as Catch Can!

Nicole Estes said...

With all the trouble of having to hand paint the areas where it peeled, it was well worth it because it turned out gorgeous! Thanks for linking up at Doodles & Stitches!

The Other Me Is Sane said...

love those chunky legs and of course the white. It really turned out unique and should sell soon. good luck!

Kim Houtz said...

Great job on the table. Thanks for sharing some of the lessons you learned so that we won't make the same mistakes. I've also tried the cheap contact paper for a stencil made with my Silhouette. It never does work as well as the expensive vinyl for me either.

Amy said...

lol...what a great story! I'm so glad you left the link on my blog so I could come and visit. Your table turned out wonderfully, despite the difficulties...thankfully, right?! I love the yellow and white combo. And you're right, that table top was just begging to be stenciled. Great work!

Amy from One Artsy Mama

Mollie Villella said...

Wow...that is an amazing table and you should be so happy with the results after the enormous amount of effort you put in to it. Just lovely. :)

Muddaritaville said...

I had the same issue with a paint from Caromal Colours called Reclaim, the issue in the end was I didn't let the paint cure or harden long enough before applying my vinyl stencil. It could be the same with CeCe Caldwells Paint, ask your distributor, it would be interesting to know.


Anonymous said...

I thought it looked great even with the paint peeled off,It had a weathered look.