Upcycled coffee table painted with Earthborn claypaint Riding Hood, Jack Horner and Maybe Maggie.

Craftology: Upcycled painted coffee table – How to

Our Morag has been keen to upcycle an old piece of furniture using the paints we sell in our store ever since she started working with earlier this year. Her perfect excuse came when the lovely people from Earthborn set their stockists a challenge to paint a piece of furniture in a “Craftology” style.

Earthborn describe the craftology style as:

A celebration of arts and craft is seen through organic shapes and simple natural materials; elegant wooden furniture in wood stained oaks, and wools made interesting through bold colour placement.

The stark juxtaposition of cool contemporary craft with ornate objects d’arte is lessened through the mutual influence of flora and fauna that the two artistic forms share. In this space they work to complement one another and reflect a sense of integrity and intelligence, and a true appreciation of craft and process across the past centuries.

Detail from a Welsh blanket.
Detail from a beautifully woven Welsh blanket provides inspiration for this project.

As Celtic Sustainables is based in Wales Morag decided to look for inspiration from the Welsh craft traditions to add a sense of place to her design. She quickly found inspiration in the form of Welsh blanket patterns. Their vibrant colour combinations seemed to lend themselves well to the limited palette set for the challenge from which Morag chose Riding Hood, Jack Horner and Maybe Maggie.

The neglected piece of furniture to paint has found under some boxes in one of the storage areas – a child’s table that had been grown out of which would make a lovely coffee table.

The only thing needed now was time.

How to guide to painting a wooden coffee table

Step 1 – Sand the furniture

The found piece of furniture had a high-gloss red finish on it, to get a good key for the paint Morag gave the table a light sand all over (not shown in the images).

Step by step: Welsh blanket craftology coffee table in Earthborn claypaints.
Step by step: Welsh blanket craftology coffee table in Earthborn claypaints.

Step 2 – Paint the base coat

Using a medium grade mini emulsion roller Morag painted Earthborn claypaint “Jack Horner” on the top surface of the table. This colour will become the design detail taken from the Welsh blanket.

Step 3 – Mask off the detail

The top of the table will be painted in two colours. As the pattern Morag chose to paint was very geometric, she decided the best way to achieve it would be to use masking tape to define the bold shapes. A ruler and little mathmatics came in handy to ensure the design was enlarged to fit and be centered on the table.

Step 4 – Paint

Paint the “background” colour – in this instance the gorgeous red of “Riding Hood”. Morag used a paint brush to apply this colour for two reasons. First to brush the paint smoothly away from the masking tape (so that it didn’t get pushed under the tape and spoil the lines) and secondly to give a contrast to the relatively smooth rollered pattern.

After the red was dry she repeated steps 3 and 4 to create the “dipped leg” effect on the table with Maybe Maggie claypaint.

Step 5 – Protect the finish

Because this little table is now a “coffee table” it’s important to protect the claypaint from spills and stains. Morag’s next step is to decide what furniture wax to use. A liquid furntiture wax, hard furniture wax, or even a floor oil could all be used.

Note: If you wanted to create a “shabby chic” effect you could sand down the edges of the furniture slightly before applying the wax or oil finish.

Where to buy

Celtic Sustainables sell Earthborn claypaint, furniture wax, paint brushes, rollers and other paint accessories.

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