Sep 27, 2011 - Recycle & Reuse    5 Comments

Union Jack

Shh, don’t tell anyone, but I have an obsession for another’s flag…the UK’s Union Jack.  It dates back to the 1800′s from the union of Great Briton and Ireland.  The colors may be the same as the USA flag, but the design, in my opinion, is far superior.  I especially love it for interior design.  Here are a few creations I found on Pinterest that inspired my latest creation:

Cashmere Sweater (apparently sold out, bummer)

Union Jack Dresser

Union Jack Coffee Table

Union Jack on Wood Boards

I love the creative colors! (I couldn’t find the brilliant creator anywhere)

I searched all over my house for a place I could slap up the Union Jack flag as if it were my own.  That’s when I remembered an old table I bought at DI 10 years ago.  It is a two sided drop down bistro size table.  At that time I was living in a little french house that my husband and I built.  I sanded it down, painted it a dark wood tone and put a crackled blue finish on top.

Well I don’t live in a little french house any more and that table had no spot in my current house.  It was in a pile of junk to return to DI when it collide with my Union Jack obsession.

Distressed Union Jack

This would be a simple project, I thought, just paint which I already have.  Done in a day, right?  Well here’s how it really went:

I measured the full diameter of the table.  Then I made a publisher document with a circle in black with the same dimensions (I had to shrink the screen to 20% or so).  Then I grabbed a Union Jack flag image from google.  I laid the image underneath the black circle and stretched it so that the flag covered the entire circle.


 Once I had selected the size of the flag on the circle, I simply measured the thicknesses of the lines with a measuring tool in Microsoft Publisher.  I transferred those measurements with a tape measure and square to my table.  Since my table was already blue, I taped everything off except where the white and red would be painted.


That’s when things took a turn for the worst.  I continued on what I thought would be an awesome paint process that became a FAIL!  So rather than bore you with those details, be sure you follow the following directions or you will be starting all over like me!  Here is a photo of the table after I scraped and sanded my mess back to a fresh start.

OK, so here is a KEY step to making this work.  Since I did a great job on my original blue crackle finish, varnished and everything, you must first SAND the design down.  I took my Mouse sander and sanded down right to the edges of the taped off design.  This was the time I put my first layer of Vaseline.  Yes, Vaseline.  I put a dab on my finger and rubbed it into the edges where the blue paint met the tape (don’t glob too much or it will smear with the paint).  Then a layer of Kilz white primer.  Let dry for at least 12 hours.  Then I painted a layer of creamy white satin latex.

 Again, let dry for at least 12 hours.  Carefully remove the first layer of tape and carefully lay down the next layer to tape of the red stripes.  Then, another layer of Vaseline.  This time I put the Vaseline on the edges of the tape and a few spots in the center.

I rolled the red stripe from the tape edge toward the center for less chance of bleeding under the tape.  I did not do a tinted primer under neath, just two layers of the red satin latex paint covered great.

This time I only let it dry till it was dry to the touch.  I removed the tape and started distressing.  I took a dry paper towel, curled it up in a ball around your finger.  Begin to softly buff the white paint where the Vaseline had been applied.  You can see bumps under the paint and in some places where the tape was pulled, the paint started to pull off as seen below.

After you have buffed the peeling white paint, continue with the red paint.

If you look close, in the photo above you can see another fatal error.  My stripes do not follow the Union Jack flag exactly.  I’m alright with it, especially once it is accessorized and the drop front is down.  I’ll refer to it as Union Jack inspired.  Yea, that works.

Distressed Union Jack Table with Vaseline

I am still trying to find a place in my humble abode for my ReNew’d table.

Linked Up at:  Funky Junk Interiors


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