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Monday, July 9, 2012

Beach Inspired Table

I saw this table in an art flyer a few years ago and I fell madly in love with it. I have searched high and low for a similar table but just couldn't find it. Of course it had to be super cheep because I really had no idea how I was going to execute the process.

When I purchased the coffee and end tables (see that tutorial here) it came with this little sofa table. I decided to go for it! I only paid $100.00 for all 4 pieces so $25 bucks + materials felt like a good price for the experiment.
Mr. belt sander did the hard work on the top. I lightly hand sanded the legs.
2 coats of primer
I purchased all of the shells for around $12 bucks
Next step glue on the shells. Big snafu! None of these worked, except the super glue. It nicely glued my forefinger to my thumb (yes, I had on gloves! Darn small hole somewhere....)
I had a brilliant brain moment and came up with this idea! Tile mastic stuff. You know the stuff you lay down before you stick the tile to the floor.
It spread beautifully! Like frosting. Very easy to clean up with a damp rag.
I arranged the shells, and this stuff stays wet for a few hours so it's easy to rearrange shells. I let them dry for about 3 days.
I painted the bottom part blue (I mixed two sample jars I  had to get this shade). When dry, I glazed it with 3:1 ratio of faux glaze and water soluble Black Walnut.
I painted the top with 2 coats of primer, 2 coats of white, and strategically painted on some accent color. This is a sample color called wicker from Lowe's.
After it dried, I used a sample color called Dove from Lowe's and a wood graining tool.
After it all dried, steal wool, then 3 coats of polyurethane. Don't use polyurethane if you want it crystal clear. Use polyacrylic. I didn't want to spend the money to buy polyacrylic and I really regret it! I had 2 cans of the polyurethane and used that to save $. It turned yellowish. I knew it would.....
Now comes the messy part. Mix up sanded grout with water to make a semi-runny paste
Put it into a plastic baggie, snipped off one corner (once a cake decorator, always a cake decorator)
squeeze it into all the nooks and crannies between the shells and fill in all the holes. I used a combination of my fingers, and this small cheep art brush.
Why did I do this? Because the mastic looks like dried glue and that's not the look I was inspired by. I wanted a washed up, beachy, look. Here is what the shells look like on dried mastic.
And this is what they look like once the grout is shoved into all the groves and wiped clean with a wet cloth. It has a nice cohesive, sandy beach look.
Cover the legs up because the next step was to spray all the dried grouted shells with polyacrylic. Yes. polyacrylic. I actually found one partially used can in the basement and was excited to use it.
This picture was straight when I down loaded it. So bear with me.... I mixed a 4:1 ratio of Faux Glaze and a taupe acrylic paint.
The shells were just too white. I wanted an aged look. See the difference between the left and right sides.
Next, time to dirty up the shells. Straight up water based Black Walnut (my all time favorite color and product). By the way I do not monetize, so no biased information here. Just the stuff I use, and like.
I used a clean lint free cloth and an old art brush to dab it on and then rub it in. If the color was too dark I simply diluted it with water.
Here it is before the stain
And after. Me loves it!!!!
Here it is all done. I love it! I slightly distressed the table before the staining and sealing stages. My hope for the top was to make it looked like drift wood. I'm not sure I accomplished that, but I like it. I don't love the top, but I don't hate it enough to strip it.
My beachy end table. It lives at the lake in one of my bathrooms. I do not believe it will live there forever. I'm thinking maybe my bedroom, or the hallway. So, What do you think (besides I need a good camera).

1 comment:

  1. Very cool. Now my beachy bathroom feels uninspired.