These days we see new artsy projects popping up here, there and everywhere; we love learning about new crazes but can’t ditch the long-lasting crafts, and that’s where decorative painting comes in. The tradition has been practised for hundreds of years, ‘tole painting’ as you may have heard it called, and it’s a sturdy, inexpensive art form. Transform unloved wooden tablewares with a bit of elbowgrease and a few licks of paint, in bright water-resistant acrylic paints – perfect for summer evenings sat outside or adding a flash of colour to dull kitchens. Choose a range of your favourite mood-lifting shades and keep an eye out for unwanted wooden items, crying out for a revamp.
- Daler-Rowney System 3 acrylic paints in Leaf Green, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Crimson, Process Magenta, Phthalo Blue and Titanium White
- Daler-Rowney White Gesso Primer
- Daler-Rowney Soluble Matt Varnish
- Paintbrushes and stencil brush
- 2 x A4 sheets clear acetate
- Craft knife
- Permanent marker
Prepare the items for painting by rubbing with sandpaper to remove any old varnish and paint the items with two coats of Gesso Primer, allowing the first coat to dry thoroughly before applying the second. Paint each item all over with the first coat of acrylic paint; we started with Process Magenta.
Paint each item with five or six coats of paint. The best effect is achieved when each coat is a different colour. After painting with an initial coat of the Process Magenta, the items pictured were then painted with Cadmium Yellow, Crimson and Titanium White. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next.
For the final coat, we painted the central part of the cake stand and bread board and one side of the double bowl with Cadmium Yellow Deep mixed with Titanium White. The borders were painted with a mixture of Process Magenta with a little white and yellow.#
When all coats of paint are completely dry, lightly sand the items. Pay particular attention to the edges, distressing the top coats of paint and allowing the earlier layers to show through in patches.
Draw the two parts of the leaf design onto sheets of acetate using a permanent marker pen, and cut out using a craft knife. Place the first stencil on the item to be decorated. Mix Leaf Green with a little Titanium White and apply to the stencil. To do this, dip the brush into the paint and holding it upright, dab over the stencil. Don’t overload the paintbrush and be careful to use a dabbing motions to make sure that the paint doesn’t seep under the cut edges of the stencil.
Lift off the first stencil and leave the paint to dry completely, then mix Phthalo Blue with Titanium White. Place the second stencil in position and apply paint, as before. Use leftover green and blue to paint any other parts of the items – in this case, the stem of the cake stand and the other side of the double bowl.
When the paint is completely dry lightly sand the items once more, to distress the surface. Brush away all dust with a dry paintbrush then wipe over with a cloth. Apply three or four layers of varnish, allowing each one to dry before applying the next.