Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Painted Union Jack Table

I've seen so many furniture projects online featuring a painted Union Jack flag that I knew I wanted to try my hand at it as well. I picked up a cute little table one day and my husband wanted to try refinishing it himself. It had originally had a pull out writing shelf in the front but it was no longer with the table when we bought it. So I brought the table to my mother's house and asked if Maurice, her significant other, could make a new front where the missing shelf was. Maurice delivered and in the process made the table much sturdier too. Unfortunately, as is often the case, I didn't snap a before picture.

The veneer on the top of the table was severely chipped and lifting in spots. My husband thought he would work with those defects and make the table look like an old worn British flag. Seeing as how he didn't have any experience painting faux or trompe l'oeil, I had my reservations. A quick sketch of the Union Jack quickly told him that it wasn't going to be as easy as he thought.

I recommended that he remove all the old veneer so that he could at least work from a clean surface. So after much work with a metal palette and a heat gun, he was able to remove the other veneer. He then fixed any imperfections in the top and sanded it smooth. He primed it completely and then it sat. I don't know if he had lost faith but I was itching to take over his project. I could see that the dimensions were ideal for a Union Jack but he just seemed to lose interest. So one day I told him that I was re-claiming "his" table. 

I mixed 3 shades of blue paint with a touch of silver and proceeded to give the whole table three coats of paint. I love the texture that the silver gave to the blue. Once that was dry, I printed off a Union Jack flag to the scale of my table (see how I did that? "my" table...) and used it as my guide for the placement of the lines I carefully taped off the white section and then cut off the intersecting angles. Four coats of white paint, then I removed the tape and re-taped this time for the red. The cross in the center received 4 coats, then the tape was removed and retaped for the red diagonals. I was SO anxious to see the finished project. I removed all the tape and my hubby was kind enough to apply 4 coats of Poly to the top and body of the table. 

Jack was finally done and I was in love. Not so much that I couldn't bear to part with him though. A few days later I brought the table to the Harvesting the Arts Festival and it sold that same day. I am so glad that the table is going to somebody who is in love with all things British. I hope she treasures her table ask much as I enjoyed turning it into a little gem.

It was definitely a lot of work and many hours to paint this design. Would I do it again? Yes! I love the final result and I am very tempted to do it again but using non-traditional colours next time. Somebody also asked if I would do a New Brunswick flag table. I would but it would be on order only. It's a pretty involved design.

It was a bit of an oddity for me to make a Union Jack table (and love it SO much) considering that I am an Acadian and historically, the British Loyalists of the region did not treat my ancestors too kindly. Still, the design resonated on a purely esthetic plane. Would you have a Union Jack piece of furniture in your house?

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