A Harlequin Table (How to Remain Calm in The Face Of Trauma)

I’m going to show you the transformation of this petite coffee table

to this pretty harlequin table

I am also going to teach you a valuable lesson on how not to panic in the face of trauma.
Only you will understand WHY this could have been a disaster…
The uninformed people would sneer and say…”over a stupid table?”
Those people are like gnats that buzz around your head…just shoo them away because they cannot possibly understand the seriousness of this…..

                         HEAT TRANSFER TRAUMA!!



As our story begins, I am calm and confident…..
I painstakingly transferred a harlequin design to the table using chalk paint…

I handpainted the squares because I am TOO lazy to tape all that off
plus Frog Tape costs the EXACT SAME AMOUNT I plan to charge for this table….

I was going for a vintage look and was not worried that it could be checked for accuracy by a guy with a slide ruler

Slide Ruler: a stick with numbers and NO batteries that allowed people to bring back Apollo 13 from whipping out of Earth’s gravity to char up in the sun like a marshmallow on a stick……..that and some duct tape

Looking good…now for something in the center. You can hear the creepy sound behind me as the audience screams….”no! Don’t do it”!!
I sneer in the face of danger…..

This crown from Graphics Fairy looks good! Tape it onto the table…

…..set up my cute little work station…you’ll notice I didn’t even put my name on this one…

Go ahead…steal this pic….I know you want to copy it you shameless people…..

Off we go into the wild blue yonder….
Exactly what the Apollo 13 crew said before they realized they were up the atmosphere without propulsion…

Handy dandy MS heat tool….

Heating, and rubbing, rubbing and heating…sipping tea…
thinking about how people will mob my booth to get their hands on this

CUTE Harlequin Table….

coming up with CUTE names…(I love people who name their furniture)…

Regal Harlequin Table
The Queen’s Table
 Un Petite Table d’une Apartement de Paris
Un Petite Table de Roi
I LOVE doing furniture……

let’s lift the corner and see how it’s going shall we?

cue ‘screaming knife sound from Psycho’

Uh…that would be paper stuck onto the table…..only I didn’t say “uh”…

Here’s the part where I tell you not to panic…remain calm…….

Lesson One: Don’t Quit Too Early

You don’t need to repaint your table with all those little squares…two coats in each one…..no you don’t.

Here is why I knew that…because I understood the science of why this heat transfer works in the first place….

Lesson Two: Understand the process of what you’re doing and you can avoid problems
OR fix problems

Here’s the science….laser printers are toner based. They function by spraying powder onto paper which then goes through heated rollers to make it adhere to the paper. There’s a lot of complicated stuff going on with electrostatic charges and such but basically that’s the idea. That’s why the paper is warm when it comes out. Using a heat tool, re-heats the printed area and releases it from the paper. When you rub it, it rubs off the paper onto your object. It does not come off with water.

So, after talking myself (out loud) through Lesson One…..I laid the paper back down and kept heating and rubbing…screw the tea…I wasn’t thirsty anymore…..

Lesson Three: Chalk paint does not like water

As I worked on the image I knew that the paper was going to be stuck all over the table.

I knew Lesson Three already which made me review
Lesson One before I went to Lesson Two again……are you following all this?

I used a rag dampened with water to barely wet the paper…

Pulled off what I could and began to rub gently…remember Lesson Three….

It all came off and I was happy……

I finished it off with a mixture of MMS clear wax and AS dark wax…..

It came out just great…….

Piece of cake…..

Oops…I almost forgot…

Lesson Four: after a near death experience it is always advisable to have alcohol….who cares what time it is…….then have yourself a little lie down until you’re calm enough to write about how you
transformed a boring coffee table into this
CUTE harlequin table!!………
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  1. I like that it is not perfect but looks old.I much prefer it that way.So really you did not make a mistake you actually enhanced it 🙂


  2. Ha, it sounds eerily similar to my projects. And BTW, I know about slide rules and used to have one, yes indeedy. They were phasing them out when I entered engineering. Instead we used a computer the size of a room, and a key punch to write our programs on computer cards. You took your cards to the window, and waited an hour for them to run your program. Then you could pick up a newpaper sized printout of the program along with the results.

  3. It’s 5 o”clock somewhere! Love the way it looks! It is fun to paint furniture!

  4. Whew! : ) My nails were digging into my palms, Lorraine! It turned out great. I love a harlequin pattern and I love the color combo you did here.

  5. I think it is wonderful! I would say happy mishaps! Oh thanks for popping over to my blog. I am inspired to go buy a few more bulbs *wink*

  6. Keep calm and carry on, indeed!

    Fun post- whew – you had me at heat transfer- have yet to find the nerve to even try THAT let along any other part of your project, haha!

    Nice table- and yes, you will have mobs.

    Didja ever name it then?

  7. You have no idea how tempted I am to put that one photo on my FB page.


  8. OH. MY. GOSH! I thought that I was going to have to have a glass of something (other than diet Coke) to even be able to READ about it! And by the time that I got to the chalk paint and water, I was ready to lie down with a cool cloth on my head. THANK HEAVENS that it turned out WONDERFULLY! I’m having M&M’s to celebrate…followed by a sugar low…and a nap! xo

  9. That transfer business has had me screaming inside sometimes. I have to re-read this. I was a little confused on lesson 2, 3 or maybe it was lesson 1. lol Results = good!!

  10. I would have wanted to throw myself off a bridge! lol Oh the panic!

    Your table turned out beautifully. Thanks for sharing it with a twist of humor!

  11. I like your realisation finally and appreciate your sens oh humour …
    just a little comment :
    we say “une table” and not “un table” in french !!!

  12. LOL- How long did it take for the alcoholic stupor to wear off? lol- It sure turned out cute- slide rule or no slide rule usage- xo Diana

  13. I gave up math at the slide rule. I almost gave up transfers when doing one that had comparable drama to yours. Mine ended up mostly okay. Yours is adorable! Thanks for coming by and checking out my post about the gift from Kris at Junk Chic Cottage. I took the cue for mine from hers. Glad you stopped by!

  14. What a hilarious post! You are too funny! I would’ve panicked too. Glad you were able to fix the problem. I’ve never done those heat transfers before. Don’t think I will now after seeing your issue either. LOL!

  15. Your take on this was HYSTERICAL!! I was rolling. Love your sense of humor!! And…ain’t a darned thing wrong with it!! You should do this every time! LOL!!!

  16. I am rolling on the floor laughing. You are too funny and the harlequin table turned out great although it drove you to drink..ha..ha..ha!:)

    Still laughing my head off!


  17. LOL!! Thanks for taking us on your little adventure…the table turned out great 🙂

  18. LOL…love it !! That was hilarious! I needed that today after all the WP heck I’ve been in all week!!! But really, it turned out beautifully! 🙂

    Hope you have a fantastic weekend…it’s sunny, just wish it’d warm up around here!!!

  19. I love it, do you know if you can do a heat transfer using a heat gun?

  20. Whew! I do indeed need a drink after experiencing this trauma alongside of you. 🙂
    Kidding aside this table looks GREAT!

  21. Charming post and good tips not to give up! Success, the table looks AMAZING!

    Visiting from Brag Monday linky party @Graphicsfairy
    Suz @ MaytagNmom

  22. someone will snatch it up quickly!!

  23. I love the way you told the story ugly warts and all. The table needs a royal name – maybe use some of the words you said – Sir Blank-a-lot! The table turned out great. I have had those moments when all is going down hill and have learned to sit and ponder before exploding.

  24. You are funny! Imperfection lets the soul in and it looks better.

  25. Awesome, love the crown on it too!

  26. Boy, did it come out alright in the end – I love the harlequin squares, not to mention the so-nearly-disastrous-crown! (via The Graphics Fairy_

  27. Too funny. For some reason I have not mastered the heat transfer tool. I need to go back and study the lessons.

  28. Well it looks great in spite of the trauma! I’m a little confused by the lessons though – perhaps because my brain is a little fried.


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