serendipity |ˌsɛr(ə)nˈdɪpɪti|
noun [ mass noun ]
the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way: a fortunate stroke of serendipity | [ count noun ] : a series of small serendipities.


I bought this table:


It seems to be the sister of the one I have just painted in Duck Egg.  They have the same legs….I am certain the previous was meant to be used as an extension because one of the sides is not bevelled, but that makes it perfect in smaller spaces if you want the table butted against the wall.


I have been staying away from Old White but I have a lot of people that come into my shop asking what the difference between our three whites is- so I decided to paint an example.

One coat of white on the legs and apron….

This table is obviously pine and very country. I didn’t want to paint the table top completely but wanted to add some details to it but still keeping it a little bit folky.

A few months ago when I expanded my shop I bought a lot of Polish folk stencils.  It turned out they were the sticky one time use stencils so they didn’t work for what I had planned and they have been sitting in my shop for a few months.  But as luck would have it….one of them fit perfectly.  Serendipity- because I have been wondering what to do with them.

I found the mid point of the table and the mid point of the stencil–then took off the sticky back and stuck it right in the middle.


I have heard that there are some really great “one time use” stencils out there.  These are not them.  I hate these- but I love the patterns–I was so thrilled when I bought them because the patterns are fantastic……until I tried them.  Basically, you peel off the sticky back then place the stencil where you want it.  Then peel off the paper layer to reveal only stencil.  The problem with these is that the sticky paper has too much glue on them making it really difficult to remove.  Then after the fuss of that and the painting, with these, removing the stencil will peel off the paint under it.  But I thought it would work on this table as it had been lacquered.

IMG_1669 Then I thought it needed a bit of a frame so I taped off a stripe on either side.  The great thing about folklore is that it shouldn’t be perfect.  It is very rustic and primitive so if you make any mistakes—it is very forgiving.


Next I  lightly sand the stencils to reveal a bit of the pine under the stencil creating a faded look.IMG_1673

On the table top I decided to use lacquer.  Personally, I like to use lacquer on a table top with heavy use.  Wax is just as good but because we need to wait for three weeks for the wax to harden and cure- it is often not an option for people. All other applications I use wax.  Always.  Even on these table legs, I waxed then sanded….I think I will sand a bit more, though- just so it is heavily distressed.


This is a Boleslawiec knob.   I have written about  Boleslawiec before- hand made and hand stamped Polish pottery.


Serendipity…..the stencil went exactly to the tip on either side….sometimes luck is on my side 😉



Because I sanded the stencil before I lacquered it is level….I mean you can’t feel it if you run your hand across it.


I like it!









4 thoughts on “Serendipity

  1. I don’t normally comment, however, your mention of the polish stencils caught my attention. Can I ask where you acquired themfrom? Kinda sounds like something I am looking for. Your work on the table is lovely, what finishing varnish do you use to make it waterproof, durable? Finding it difficult and expensive, to be! , using the Trial & Error methods 🙂 It was indeed serendipitous that I chanced across your website. Thank you for reading this message. Best Wishes for all your future renovation’s

    1. Shelagh- I live in Poland, I just bought them from an online shop here. I used a varnish by a Swedish company called Flugger- it has a slightly different finish than Annie Sloan lacquer- it is a bit thinner I think. Folklore stencils are hard to come by- I did cut my own by hand on a previous project but it was so fussy and time consuming!!

  2. Hi – I didn’t mean to leave a ‘reply’ but it was the only way I figured out how to ask a question.

    I walked into Home Depot today with my YHL checklist in hand to paint my kitchen table. The guy was helpful, but now he confused me and I don’t know what to do.

    He suggested I try Behr’s paint and primer in one. He also told me NOT to do a poly over paint. I’m completely loyal to YHL and love you very much. However, this is my first DIY furniture paint project and now I’m worried/confused!

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