by Lynn S. Schwebach
Creative individuals roam through garage and estate sales with their minds running on a cerebral treadmill. Imagining how we can “makeover” or use another’s junk for yet another project – proposed or ongoing – fires our thoughts into a manic sprint.
So it happened to me with this ugly green table I picked up at a garage sale for $15 a few years ago. My son used it for a couple of years, piling dirty clothes on it in his bedroom, and then gave it back. I set it in a bathroom and stared at it at eye level, as I used the facilities, for several months. I put books on it, and magazines on its lower shelf.
When I first bought the table, I thought I would attach whimsical stickers all over it. I even bought some from the clearance rack at Michael’s. But over time, I decided that I hated the color. Yet I loved the shape. Staring at it for several months finally brought on the “aha” moment. I decided to spray paint it red. (Also see my article, “Creative, ‘Aha’ Moments Arrive While Taking A Break.“)
I found that the mirrored top came out and that made it easy to prepare for painting. The only masking I had to do was on the thin gold ribbon circling the top of the table where it meets the legs. And the table was thick plastic so I didn’t have to sand it.
I simply took out the mirrored top, washed the body well, and on an unusually warm day in late November took it out to my patio. It took less than an hour to spray paint. I used one can of Valspar Gloss Cut Ruby paint that costs approximately $9 (Paint + Primer In One).
I let it dry on the patio for several hours. I followed the paint can’s directions and tried to spray evenly at about 8 to 10 inches distance. I noticed that I sort of “splotched” the bottom lower shelf. I decided to put on a second coat the next day, but the temperature plummeted and it snowed. I will add the second coat this spring.
The red paint went well with my Asian knickknacks, and it now sits as the center of attention in my living room getting numerous compliments – all for less than $25 and maybe an hour or two of my time.
As a pastel painter, I never gave much thought to painting furniture. But now I’m hooked and looking for the next project – and another way to think about and use my creativity.