Console EL CAPITAN – Part 1 – Painting with Stencil without Stencil

When Communism collapsed in Poland back in the late 1980s, there appeared lots of street vendors offering numerous Soviet memorabilia on boot sale markets. I was lucky to buy some Russian military emblems. Now I wonder if I can use them on my upcycled furniture. My next object to work on is the solid mahogany Console Table probably from the beginning of the 20th Century, the Edwardian era. Sometimes this kind of table is called ‘Demi Lune’ (crescent). As this reminds me of the front of a military hat a little bit, I decided to restore it to a Soviet theme with the Russian hat emblem fitted into the centre of the front down-stand. You can see the visualization of my idea below.

The finishing consists of two colours, the red for tops and legs and the gold for the accent strip and obviously a few coats of varnish. I designed the artwork for the top in Illustrator and printed the outline out on a sheet of a standard paper. My intention was to make a copy on a self-adhesive paper to create the stencil for the graphic but finally realized that the pattern is so straightforward so I could achieve it just using masking tape. Again, I used my favorite yellow Frogtape Delicate Surface tape. But before I did that, I thoroughly sanded out every single element. My previous project Shoe Bench ‘Gatsby’ taught me that the preparation is everything.

Only then I applied 3 coats of GoodHome Fulham Flat Matt red paint from B&Q. To be honest I needed to paint the legs 4 times as the paint has quite poor opacity, especially on contrasting substrates. I stripped off the masking tapes and realized that the edges were really really sharp so it was a good choice to use an expensive quality masking tape.

Well, I looked at the final paintwork and … really didn’t like it. The red finish turned too pale, too ‘pastel’ like. That was evidently the idea of the creators of the paint, to give you a chalky finish, but it really didn’t fit my ‘soviet’ themed console.

I came up with a solution to how to saturate the red finish. Check out my next post to find out.

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