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…
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
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.
I JUST LOVE THIS NESTING TABLES PROJECT!
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
Hope you have a fantastic Fourth of July weekend!
Shabby Paints Stylist
Locally in Columbia, South Carolina
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This project was linked to the following:
The Pin Junkie