Bursting with Color – Three Nesting Tables & an Octopus

Meet Oscar!

An artist’s version of the Great Pacific (Red) Octopus


This set of nesting tables was screaming for something wonderful, colorful and opposite of the condition I found it in. I was challenged this month by The Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest to create something with color. “Come On, Let Your Colors Burst!” was the theme for July. I have to admit Katie Perry is one of my favorite inspirational singers… I know… I know,  but seriously. Listen to her Firework song and tell me you can’t scream… er… sing at the top of your lungs that verse…

“Come On, Let Your Colors Burst!”

As soon as I saw the theme I began singing as I typed my name into the entry slot… it is my artistic theme song!

EDIT July 27th, 2015: I am honored to have had this piece selected as this month’s winner in The Fab Furniture Flippin Contest


The Fab Furniture Flippin' Contest Winner! July 2015
The Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest Winner July 2015

So why an octopus… I honestly don’t know. I have always admired the colors of the underwater world but I remember seeing a beautiful red/orange/yellow octopus at an aquarium once and the legs of these nesting tables just screamed make me something unique! I will admit it’s a bit out there, not my normal style but I couldn’t help myself.


Oscar The Octopus logo Nesting Table Set Handpainted Uniquely Grace Shabby Paints Chalk Paint night stand end table

Techniques Used on These Nesting Tables

I began with removing the three layers of old peeling latex paint! YUCK! The latex was so stretchy I didn’t even have to use stripper. It was faster and less messy to just sit and peel off the paint by hand. My kids enjoyed it too. What was underneath? Beautiful dark wood! After a good cleaning I sanded down the tops of the nesting tables completely.


Nesting tables peeling latex paint wood fail clean up prep work uniquely grace


I hand sketched the outline of the octopus onto the tops of the nesting tables with a pencil then traced the lines with a paint mixture of Black ReVax (top coat/antiquing glaze) and Licorice (black) Chalk-Acrylic paint. The technique used to create these thicker, solid lines is an application technique I learned during my years as a natural henna artist, no paint brushes needed for this step.

I mixed an acrylic based chalk paint and added rubbing alcohol to it to lessen the solidity of the color and make it more transparent. I used many colors as I was led to create with color for this contest challenge. The colors I used were: Betsy Ross Red, Volunteer (orange), Coral Paradise, Texas Rose (yellow), So Serene (aqua), Marine Blue, Brown Bronze Shimmer, Licorice (black), and Alamo White. Whew! That is a whole lot of fun colors! After mixing with Rubbing Alcohol in small, sealed containers I added a thin coat of water to the surface, dropped droplets of color onto the wet surface and the water and rubbing alcohol react to one another pushing the color around all on their own. Different colors have different surface tensions a if you drop two colors next to one another on the wet surface they too will push each other around. It was quite entertaining to watch as the colors reacted to one another across the tops of these nesting tables.


top view oscar the octopus nesting table makeover refinish uniquely grace chalk acrylic paints shabby stunning set



Once the base colors of the tops were complete and dried, I went in and added some detail drops as in the brown bronze shimmer. I wanted those drops to be clear like spots on the Octopus’ skin. I also added the Alamo White in the suction cups on the tentacles.

The bases of the nesting tables were finished in a mix of Hazelnut ReVax, Black ReVax and Brown Bronze shimmer. The Brown Bronze Shimmer Glaze adds just the right amount of shimmer to catch the light without making it look metallic, adding depth and richness to the wood. After a few coats of this mixture I antiqued the details with the Black ReVax. These layers of dark neutral glazes and top coats created the look of a old wooden ship well taken care of though many voyages out at sea.

Oscar the Octopus Close logo wood distressed edges Hazelnut black revax brown bronze shimmer antiquing glaze uniquely grace Shabby paints


Oscar, as the kids and I have affectionately began calling him, has one tentacle that has overtaken one of the legs on the large nesting table in this set.

Oscar the Octopus tentacle leg logo close up uniquely Grace shabby paints nesting table furniture makever art


Okay, I mentioned before The Fab Flippin’ Furniture Contest is hosting the July theme “Come On, Let Your Colors Burst!”. The theme and contest this month is sponsored by Unicorn SPiT, a fun product full of life and vibrant color. It is a wood stain so it allows the grain to show through adding depth and texture to your project. Hence the reason I went with the coloring method I described above in this post allowing the wood grain to show through and add more texture to these tops of these nesting tables.


FFFC post graphic final (png)
The contest’s two hosts this month have also done color inspired pieces and you can find their posts here:

Lynn over at On Fern Avenue has “SPiT on curbside find

Evey over at Evey’s Creations has “Let your colors burst” Upcycled Americana Electrical Spool Plant Stand – The Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest

If you are a furniture flipper and would like to join in on the monthly contest email Stacy at Info@anastasiavintage.com or Evey at info@eveyscreations.com

Please take a moment to comment below, I am happy to know you like what I do and I am also happy to answer any questions. OR if you really love it help me spread the word and share this post or images within it. Thank you for your support!

If you love HomeTalk! here is the link to this project on there:

Three Nesting Tables with Octopus Design

SM Collage oscar the octopus uniquely grace shabby paints nesting table refinish reuse hand painted art artist wood flip
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Hope you have a fantastic Fourth of July weekend!


Shabby Paints Stylist

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You can own Prints of this design & other items here:

This project was linked to the following:
The Pin Junkie

The Pin Junkie

Lamberts Lately


 Share Your Cup Thursday




1 thought on “Bursting with Color – Three Nesting Tables & an Octopus”

  1. Karla Johannessen

    In case you’re just joining us, The Fab Flippin’ Contest (FFFC) is a sponsored monthly contest for furniture flippin’ bloggers, with a different theme every month! They compete for a grand prize by that month’s sponsor and we all just have a blast! We have six fab hosts and guest judges every month, so it’s fun but fair as well! Our hosts are: Stacy of Anastasia Vintage (Co-Creator) Charlotte of Ciburbanity Lynn of Fern Avenue Carrie of Thirty Eighth Street Michelle of Dandelion Patina and ME! (Co-Creator) This month’s FAB sponsor** is a super cool company called Unicorn SPiT ! Yes, you read that right. Hilariously awesome name, AMAZING products! A COLORFUL non-toxic, water-based Gel stain that actually smells like JASMINE! It’s a super cool product and the original ‘Aurora Borealis-inspired stain’! You can see some amazing examples of it in action on our FFFC Facebook page ! Their trademarked ‘Aura Blast’ technique is absolutely incredible, and these stains actually provide a three dimensional, colorful look while preserving the ability to see wood grain! It was only fitting that we made the theme for this month “Let your colors BURST” in honor of the h of July, as well as how COLORFUL and bright these stains are! You can also check out this month’s featured hosts, Stacy and Lynn ! They have some incredible inspiration pieces that they ‘SPiT’ on!

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