“Tray” Chic! {part 1}

No, I don’t mean “tres chic” I mean Tray Chic! I am painting a tray table for the Maine Discovery Museum to be auctioned off this fall. I thought it would be fun to document my painting process on my blog…for those of you not into painting you can just smile and nod šŸ˜‰

Here is the painting I designed for the top of the tray table, I will add more detail later...or not.

Here is the painting I designed for the top of the tray table, I will add more detail later...or not.

I want to give a BIG thanks to the M. Graham & Company for donating the paint for this project, I’ve used their watercolors for years and their acrylics are perfect for this project, good color strength and blendability (trust me, I was painting outside on a 80 degree day!

Mmmmmm paint! {yummy paint from M. Graham & Co.}

Mmmmmm paint! {yummy paint from M. Graham & Co.}

The first thing I did was make an acrylic “stain” for my table since it was new wood and I didn’t want to cover the grain plus it would seal the wood and make it easier to paint on. I mixed equal parts burnt umber paint and acrylic gloss varnish and a squirt of burnt sienna acrylic. Spray the table with clean water and apply the stain quickly blending as you go with a large natural bristle brush, use a small bristle brush to get paint in the grooves.

the stained table. This is my least favorite part of a painting project, I hate the prep work!

the stained table. This is my least favorite part of a painting project, I hate the prep work!

Here is how I set up my palette, for acrylics I use a Masterson Palette seal (but you can do the same thing with a large flat Tupperware container. I placed damp paper towels on the bottom of my plastic container, put a sheet of waxed paper on top and weighted the corners with flat marbles then squeezed out enough paint for this part of the project (the tray insert) the damp paper towels will keep my paint moist while I paint and if I don’t have time to finish the painting I can snap on the cover and the paint will stay wet until next time.

When using artist quality acrylic paint you don't need a lot, this is more than enough to paint the table top!

When using artist quality acrylic paint you don't need a lot, this is more than enough to paint the table top!

I designed the pattern for the inside of the try buy cutting a piece of paper the same size as the bottom of the tray then I folded it corner to corner to equally divide up the halves then I sketched a calla lily motif in a big and little triangle and transferred that design to the table (you can make out the white lines of the transfer paper in this photo:

one quater of the design painted!

one quarter of the design painted!

I think this might make a nice digital stamp too;) Here is a pic with two sections painted in, since I repeated the pattern for the other half of the table it is balanced and easy to paint.

Half-way there! You can do this too!

Half-way there! You can do this too!

I have a lot more work to put in to this piece, this is just the tray that sits on top after all, Here is a look at the painted tray on the table base:

Not bad for a first tray...er, I mean try!

Not bad for a first tray...er, I mean try!

I’ll post the next installment of this project next week, thanks for readingĀ  {or just smiling and nodding} through this long post, till next time happy crafting!

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