ConsoleTop in progress – paper bag technique

I painted the underside of the table top with several coats of DIY chalk-y paint.  I gave it overnight to dry, then flipped it over and was ready to work on the top.

I’ve never done this treatment before, so I did read quite a few tutorials.  They all seem to come down to the same thing.  Use Elmer’s Glue-All diluted in water and kraft paper or torn paper bags for the first layer(s).

Start on the straight edges of your project and work inward.  Use torn pieces with at least one straight edge to line up with the straight edges.  I dipped the paper into my glue/water solution, scrunched it all up and squeezed.  When I removed the paper from the glue, I used my fingers to “scrape” off excess.

Make sure you smooth all paper and bubbles as you work.  Also make sure that the sheets overlap each other so that none of the surface below is visible.

I found that waiting until the glue was almost dry to work on any bubbles worked best for me.  A pin to puncture the bubble and my fingers to smooth it down and I was ready to get rid of them.  I didn’t coat them immediately with the glue/water solution as I chose to wait until the entire piece was covered and almost dried.

For the center portion, I didn’t dip the paper.  Instead, I painted the area I wanted the paper to go with the glue/water, smooshed the paper down into it and painted on top of the paper with the solution again.  I think this may have actually helped with getting fewer air bubbles… and it kept my hands cleaner!

The trick was to start in the middle of the dry paper and pounce my way to the outside edges.  That pushed the air out as I went.

Once the piece was fully covered, I pounced over the whole surface with the glue mixture – mostly because I had a lot left over.  Then, as some areas dried before others, I put another thin layer of the glue over them.  That helped to flatten the surface.  It will be a bit uneven no matter what due to the fact that some areas have 1-2 layers of paper while others could have 4-5!

Some areas were very wrinkled and others much more smooth.  I actually liked the contrast, so I didn’t fight to get rid of the wrinkles.  I did, however, use a dowel as a brayer to roll everything down as smoothly as possible.  Here’s a photo of my hand model/stand in!

Didn’t the Ogre do great?  It’s his first time as a hand model.  I see a long career in his future!

When it was ALL dry – overnight and most of the next day, in this case, I started “staining” it.

Let’s be frank, shall we?  I’m cheap frugal.  Sometimes to the extreme.  The idea of spending almost $10 for a can of stain made me cringe.  So I didn’t.

What I did do, though, was mix black and red craft paint with clear Varathane Wood Finish.  No recipe.  Just pouring stuff together until I thought it might work.

Have I mentioned that I’m cheap fearless?

To apply my concoction, I just used a damp rag cut from some t-shirt fabric.  And elbow grease.  I worked in a figure-eight pattern to apply the “stain” and just kept working into the wet edges.  Here’s a shot midway through the first coat.

And here it is with 4 thin coats of “stain” and 4 layers of clear Varathane.

I found it really difficult to take a good photo of the finish.  Even with a satin finish, there’s a lot of glare from ambient lighting!

I really should give it a nice wet sanding to smooth out the poly, but I think I just might call this done!  Next, it gets attached to the base and Poof!  I have a new console!

I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by.


3 thoughts on “ConsoleTop in progress – paper bag technique

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