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Popular in Decorating

Painted Table: Carve Out Character

Clever painting turns a small dining table into an out-of-the-ordinary nightstand. The "carved" detailing on the apron is actually a paint treatment that mimics egg-and-dart molding.

What You Need:

Table with apron (This 36-inch-diameter table has a 2 1/4-inch deep apron.)

Black and cream latex paints


Tape measure


Flat, curved-bristle brush, such as an oval-wash brush or filbert brush, in the width you want the painted half-ovals to be

Dark brown acrylic paint

Round artist's brush that's slightly smaller than the curved-bristle brush

Paper towel

How to Make It:

Step 3: Apply acrylic paint

1. Paint the top of the table black and the apron and legs cream, letting dry between coats. Depending on the table finish, you may need to sand and/or prime first.

2. For the "carved" detailing that mimics egg-and-dart molding, first make evenly spaced vertical pencil marks around the apron, making sure each is the same width apart and same distance from the bottom of the apron.

3. Dip the flat, curved-bristle brush in brown acrylic paint. Drag the brush along a pencil mark and off the apron. To ensure a full-looking curved top, apply gentle pressure while slightly wiggling the brush before dragging it down the apron.

Step 4: Add dimension

4. Dip the round artist's brush in water; dab it on a paper towel to remove excess water. Use the brush to remove areas of the wet brown paint, creating shadows and dimension. The first stroke will remove the most paint, so start in the area you want to be the lightest. (We worked from the right side of the half-oval toward the center.) Continue to remove areas of the wet paint, to create the desired effect. Do not re-dip the brush in water unless you want to substantially lighten an area.

5. Repeat the painting and shadowing, working on one half-oval at a time.


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