Dining Table China Pattern

Have I blogged about this before? Let me check my index. . .OK, I haven't really mentioned this yet. I did note on the 18th that one Wednesday I put a fresh coat of paint on the dining table. But since then, I started painting a flower motif atop it. And will have to continue using tablecloths over it until the project is finished and I can put several coats of clear poly over it for protection. The tablecloths are a nuisance, but thank goodness for Oxy Clean, which got out every single stain, from balsamic vinaigrette to grape jelly.

I got the idea to paint a pattern on the tabletop because while the pure white table was an elegant backdrop when it was just T and I dining alone, every little speck and smear of wayward food showed up on it with a toddler at the table. I thought that if I put a pattern on the table, all the yuck wouldn't be as noticeable, and I could make it though a meal without getting a little grossed out (that's at worst, some days I just sigh with disappointment and resignation).

T and I used to have very elegant evenings together, I'd serve dinner on our nice china quite regularly. Usually several times per week. But I don't dare take it out much now since I'd like to preserve it (the pattern has been discontinued). I only use it when we have adult guests (like for our little luncheon last week, the last time before that was Thanksgiving).

But I miss seeing the pattern, so I decided to base the tabletop pattern on what appears on the salad plates. I thought I would measure the table, transfer the dimensions in scale to paper, and sketch it all out. Once I had finalized the design, I would transfer that to the table.

But that was too many steps for me. One day I just decided that if the project was ever going to happen, I was just going to have to wing it. I'm not great at planning things out and then executing. My best strategy is just to do stuff on a whim, and hope that my enthusiasm carries me through to the end. So after the kids were asleep, I just pulled out some sample sizes of house paint, a few brushes, and got to it. First I painted the large flowers, then filled in the leaves and vines afterwards. Then the table sat under a tablecloth for two weeks. . .

Tonight T fell asleep while lying next to M, so I used the free time to finish filling in the table with extra leaves and vines. I think the "sketch" phase is done.

The painting phase is next. I'll just go over the existing design, but with acrylic artists paints. I thought that using house paints that coordinated with what I've got on the walls in my house would be good, but the finish is too flat, and I want more nuance. Besides, the main color I used for the flowers is orange-y, and I'm not thrilled with the way it looks against the darker red dining room walls. I might still stick with orange flowers, since the same red on the table and walls might be overpowering, but I'm going to need a different shade of orange. Or perhaps I'll go wild and try different colors altogether. My original vision was more of a vibrantly-hued stained glass effect for the pattern, but this more subtle design is growing on me.

Click here for photo.