My desire for crafting seems to be inversely proportional to the weather: for every degree that drops on the thermometer, my need to make something increases. As the wind howled and the rain fell this last week, I decided to tackle a small project I’ve been meaning to do for ages.
I’ve had this metal table for a few years now, but I have zero recollection of where I got it. The side of a road? The thrift store? Your house? Whatever its origin, it was cute enough to drag home (or steal, or however I got it), and we fashioned a top from a piece of scrap wood, stuck it in a corner with a lamp on it, and forgot about it. Until a whisper carried on a late October wind reminded me.
Inspiration came, as it so often does, in the form of an Anthropologie catalog. I like to think my style is unique, but the reality is that only financial constraint keeps me from a home and closet cloned straight from Anthropologie. They, more than any other brand, create the fantasy life I’d like to live. Soon after it appeared in my mailbox, I dogeared the pages with the new Sura collection, liking the geometric patterns and achromatic palette.
- Four strips of 1/16″ thick Basswood (I can only find the packaged quantity online, but they were sold individually for less than $5 with a coupon at JoAnn’s)
- Matte black paint
- Paint brush and rag
- Utility knife
- Wood glue (I used this)
- Polyacrylic (or another clear topcoat)
To begin, I painted two of my boards with black chalkboard paint then used a rag to vigorously rub them so the grain would show through.
I had fun playing around to see what layout I liked best. I’m sorry for the photo quality: The hideous lighting and off-kilter framing can both be attributed to the late hour at which I was doing this.
Once I had a design I liked, I put a thin layer of glue on the piece of wood we’d been using as a table top, attached half the tiles, then quickly put a board and a pile of heavy objects (a zillion-pound kitchen mixer among them) on top. I then did the other half of tiles exactly the same way. A thin, even layer of glue and a quick application of weight is essential (ESSENTIAL!) to keep the thin tiles from curling. I let things dry overnight, then finished up with a coat of Polyacrylic. Not counting dry time, the whole process took me less than two hours.
A similar look could have maybe been achieved by taping and painting a single piece of wood, but I like the tiled effect and the way the grain goes in different directions. I can totally imagine doing this again on a larger table surface, a cabinet front, or as a frame. Maybe next time instead of painting, I’ll even try cerusing the wood using this tutorial from Little Green Notebook.