The Coffee Table - Part 5
April 20-23, 2007

With Jeffrey on a business trip to Tokyo, I found myself searching for another project to keep me busy while he was gone. The poor coffee table finds itself victim yet again. After looking through Project Springs, I realized that the last iteration of the coffee table was not chronicled. I'll have to find a picture of it.

I have recently taken up the art of painting. Actual painting, like on canvas, and not just on walls. I'm not very good but there is a sense of style to what I do. My sister is leaps and bounds better than me but I do try. I decided to transition my "art" from canvas to the coffee table. Why? Why not?

The last version of the table was a couple of different shades of green (to bring out the green stripe in one of the chairs) and cream (the same paint that's on the moulding in the living room). The cream parts were a bit dirty, as were the green legs, and the varnish was cracking, cracking enough to allow stains to seep through to the paint. It was still funky cool but the faults were bothering me.

When I first thought about re-doing the table, a picture popped into my mind. Weeks went by before I was able to actually start on my project. And in that time, my original inspiration faded. Even while working this weekend, my ideas changed over and over and over again.

I started by removing the paint. I then primed it with leftover red primer that had been originally used for the dining room.

I attempted a few ideas and when they didn't work out just the way I had intended, I applied paint remover and started all over again. It was amazing how I just flew by the seat of my pants and complied to my own whims, instead of locking into an idea and sticking with it, no matter how much I didn't like the outcome. I was pretty amazed how flexible I was being with myself!

In the end, I ended up keeping the primer as the main color. I know primer is supposed to be just a first coat, but since there were so many other things going on with the table, I figured primer was just fine. It fit.

I painted the legs of the table brown, to match the style of the living room furniture (all of which have brown wooden legs). I used the drawers as testing surfaces for different color combinations of the swooshy, swirly technique I'm so fond of. The two side drawers focus on the browns and golds in the room. The large front drawer expands into different shades of red. It looks great on the drawer but I decided it was too pink to be a color choice for the top. I painted the top with a funky flower, and dotted the center of it with the same green that is so unobtrusive in the living room chair's stripes. I jazzed up the edges of the table top with gold and browns. And, after much searching and thinking, I opted for a simple, watered-down pale red swoosh to liven up the table top background. The whole thing has several coats of varnish on it, to help avoid stains and dirt.

The table is a little more red than I had imagined it would be. The edges of the flower bleed out a bit (darned Hampshire education taught me that it's okay to go outside the lines). The flower color is a bit odd - I created the paint myself but mixing it from other colors. All in all, I think it turned out pretty cool. In time, I'm sure its faults will bother me, bother me so much that I'll re-do what took me four days to accomplish. But I'm okay with that. It's in my nature. And now it's in the coffee table's future.