You all know that I like to make things, right? And most of the things I make are small or wearable. I’m cool with things that require tiny precise work, like stitching or polymer clay millefiori. But start talking about Big stuff, like lumber, paint, wood stain, and power tools and you’ve lost me.
My mother, on the other hand, is right at home with that stuff. While my house has barely changed in the decade and a half I’ve lived here, my childhood home barely resembles its former self for all of my mother’s demolition and construction projects over 36 years.
I have a Dremel tool in the basement that I am afraid to touch. Mom asks for power tools for Christmas.
Have I painted a picture for you yet? We’re both creative, but our talents lie on opposite ends of the crafty spectrum.
This is handy, though, when Mom wants a crocheted table runner, or I have a sudden inspiration that requires distressing some lumber. I don’t have sudden inspirations like that very often, but I actually had one last week. And today Mom and I made it happen.
My favorite spot to take pictures in my house is on top of a built-in cabinet in the dining room. The light pouring in the window there is just perfect for my photography needs. But I’ve been disappointed over the years that the surface of the cabinet wasn’t more interesting (it’s painted white). I needed something I could put on top of the cabinet that would mimic a table top with interesting color and texture.
As it turns out, my parents’ garage is full of chunks of wood that came from various sources (a basement wall, a kitchen remodel, an old shelf…) and we were able to look through those and find three pieces that would do nicely.
The first was already painted that vintagey minty aqua color that I love so much. All we did to that one was run some sandpaper over it to strip off a small amount of the paint and let some of the white underneath show through.
The next one had some interesting wood grain, and when I sanded it (I used a power tool! go me!) the surface lightened considerably and the grain showed even better.
We mixed up some glaze and some acrylic paint in a light teal, painted it onto the wood, and then wiped it off with a rag. We finished it off with a coat of wax for a subtle shine.
It is actually two-sided. Both sides started the same, but the one that was more beat up also got a second coat of paint on top, a bit darker and blue-er.
The last one we painted white and then covered with that same teal wash, which, it turned out was too bright. So we added some dark green, and that was better. We finished up with some more sanding and this time the natural wood showed through.
Mom thinks it looks kind of beachy, and I agree.
I am LOVING these.
They’re small enough to be portable and I can set them up on my nice, bright cabinet and pretend that I have an interesting table.
I don’t collaborate on craft projects very often, but I’m always glad when I do. This is something that maybe I could have done on my own, but I would have been a lot more tentative about it, and I would have ended up spending a small fortune on supplies.
Everything we used today was pulled from the garage or the basement. That’s such a nice thing, to have enough supplies on-hand that experimenting is easy.
Nothing we used today was at all what I envisioned when I came up with this project, from the wood to the paint, and yet I’m super happy with the results.
And dear readers? Brace yourselves, because I think every picture I take for the next month and a half is going to be in front of that window, perched on a snazzy new background…