What a total DIY epic fail!
In my mind, this coffee table project was a simple paint and repurpose project. Nothing too difficult. Just a simple update with a bit of design magic for fun. In reality, it was just one disaster after another that resulted in a complete DIY epic fail!
I had such great luck with a graphic transfer in the past, that I thought why not give it a go again, this time on a coffee table. Sadly, while repurposing this table, I tried not 1, not 2, but 3 different methods for transferring a large graphic.
Recently I picked up an old solid oak dining table. I really liked the round shape and thought I could create a unique coffee table out of it – so I snatched up for $50. Woot Woot!
I scrapped the base as it was just a pedestal and kind of nasty, and just saved the top for my project. At first, I was thinking I might sand it down, stain it, then apply the graphic. But that was not to be.
Step 1: Sanding
As you can see, even tho this table is solid oak, it was not pretty at all. The wood was VERY dry and it did not smooth out well. There were also several visible stains throughout the tabletop.
Paint it is! So off to get some paint I went. I’m not sure why, but I was very indecisive about every step of this DIY project, including the paint choices. So I bought two very different colors.
Step 2: Paint
You already know that I really like to use Behr paint and I decided to give the Marquee a try again. The salesperson reminded me that it is guaranteed to cover in 1 coat so I could come back if it didn’t. It did work much better than last time.
I thought I wanted to use the Unpredictable Hue as the table top so I went ahead and painted. I think I was distracted by my upcoming Grand baby, frustrated with the project, excited about summer, I really don’t know, but I never took before pictures or pictures of the paint.
I should have known to consider this oversight a “red flag” for the forthcoming DIY epic fail. Unfortunately, I did not. I pressed on.
Step 3: Graphic
Next, I found a couple of peony graphics online at one of those free sites and took them to a print shop to get them blown up to the size I wanted.
This was a big copy of the one I chose not to use. I was able to get them printed on blue print paper so they would fit on my 36″ table. I decided against the feathery leaves for this project. But at least you can see how big the papers were.
Step 4: Cut
Next, I cut out the graphic as close to the drawing as possible to get them ready for the transfer. I followed this tutorial that I found online.
Note the tiny sections of the white paper that are left after cutting the graphic out. This will become an unanticipated problem later on.
Step 5: Mod Podge
Next step, apply Mod Podge to the back of your graphic and adhere to wood making sure to get out ALL of the wrinkles and bubbles this may create. Note: while this is a fabulous way to transfer SMALL graphics, it is EXTREMELY difficult to do with large ones
At this time I was still thinking everything was going well. The graphic was on, I was using a Matte Mod Podge, it should dry just fine. All is well, right?
I did notice that although I had tried for a very long time, I was unable to get all of the wrinkles out of the paper, but I figured it would help give it some texture and maybe a vintage style. We will see…
Step 6: Sponge off excess paper
Take a wet sponge and gently rub off the white portion of the paper leaving the graphic transfer on the wood. And here is where it all went a wry.
Let’s be clear – The graphic print does NOT transfer to the wood. A very thin portion of the paper is stuck to the Mod Podge and THAT remains on the wood.
Therefore, if you sponge too hard, you will remove your transfer. And if you don’t do it hard enough you will leave the white paper on the piece. I think this works beautifully on small projects with a white or close to the paper colored paint. NOT on a large project and NOT with a dark paint.
And remember those thin white strips at the edges of my cut out? Yup those remain with the transfer resulting in a very sloppy looking graphic. Not what I had intended.
Not to mention all the white in between the printing…
What a mess!
At this point, I thought to myself, how can I salvage this DIY epic fail? So I figured, why not try a bit of distressing?
So now the not smooth wood comes into play and we get a striped peony graphic with leftover paper and an epic DIY fail!
Back to the drawing board!
Stay tuned for Part 2 later this week!