I spotted him by the side of the road. He was worn and weary but what a physique! It was crazy, I know, but I took him in and let him stay in the basement. He kept to himself for a long time until one day, as I carried a basket of laundry to the washing machine, our eyes met…
Okay, enough of this gushy stuff. You know I’m talking about a table, right? Annie Sloan Coco. That’s his color, not his name. I don’t name my furniture and if I do, I guess I should keep it to myself.
For the sake of discretion, a photo of my forlorn and naked companion is not included. (In other words, I forgot to take a “before” picture.) I adorned Coco—I mean, the table—with two coats of his namesake, intending to shower him—I mean, it—with diamonds.
No, not real diamonds, diamond shapes, aka Harlequin. I laid the pattern out on my computer. Hate me for loving geometry? Don’t worry. You’ll have the last laugh.
I used one quarter inch painters tape so it would come out just like the picture. But it didn’t. I turned to my trusty T-square and marked out rectangles with a watercolor pencil.
I still didn’t get exactly what I wanted. My frustration was growing as big as the ball of discarded painters tape. I won’t go into details because the next time I do this I’ll position the diamonds with templates and trace them across the table top.
At last the Coco table had its diamonds. I marked the ones that wouldn’t be painted. Notice all the lines I had drawn with the watercolor pencil? Mostly mistakes.
Unmarked diamonds got one coat of a mixture of two parts Coco and one part Pure white. Because the tape was so thin, I had to be very careful painting the lighter color.
When I was finished I had a heck of a time washing the pencil off and sometimes had to paint over it.
By lightly sanding the top in the same direction, point to point, I muffled the imperfect lines and made the lighter diamonds look like my uneven paint job was by design.
I applied white wax to highlight those sexy legs.
If you’ve been fortunate enough to shop for real diamonds, you’ll know that the fewer the imperfections, the higher the price. My find and me, we cared more about pretty than perfect. True love!
Happy was the heroine.
What I learned:
- Don’t overthink it.
- Make a template of a repeating shape and map it out before you begin.
- A harlequin diamond is about twice as high as it is wide, but you don’t have to use that exact ratio.
- Use a light touch when marking with watercolor pencils.
- Pretty is more important than perfect.