Friday, 25 January 2013

The Koi Table. Using Stain and Glass Paint for amazing results

Stain .... and Stained Glass Window Paint.
The transformation of a table, into art!

This was a very time consuming project!

Yes, there are many other ways to do this faster, and get beautiful work, however, I wanted to really make this piece stand out in a different way. Adding the stain was brilliant, but then, instead of typical paints and washes etc etc, I thought, maybe some stained glass window paint would give the scales on the Koi a more translucent look and add more depth.

I thought, why not!

And in the end, it truly does look very three dimensional! Well, in person!

Here are the step by step photos of the process.

Step 1. Find your canvas. I chose this table that was passed up by everyone at a local estate auction. Of course I could do something with it!

 Step 2. Doodle on your design. I suggest using charcoal. It doesn't leave pencil grooves on your piece and charcoal comes off very easy when you get to the painting stage. I chose to burn the image into the wood though. I have a passion for depth! 

Step 3. Burn your image in. You can choose to opt out of this step if you would like simply to paint. I used a small burner that you can get at most any craft or hardware store. Here it is, all burned into the table.  I loved the look and almost stopped there! But I didn't!

Step 4. Begin shading. I chose to use Minwax stain for this step. A lot of brushing on, rubbing in, wiping off, re-applying, until the desired look was achieved. After it was dry, I chose to add some highlights to the piece by using sandpaper and removing the stain in certain areas. I loved this look and almost stopped there! But I didn't!

 Step 5. Add colour! This was a very challenging decision to make for me. I though simply using a wash of some sort might work, but thought hmmmm, I really want that shading to stand out! And it needs a super gloss to it. That's when the idea hit. Stained Glass Windows! I need to find some glass paint! And that I did! I loved this look and almost stopped there! But I didn't!

Step 6. It's missing something. I was back and forth between adding blues and whites to the waves. And after a lot of contemplation, I decided, the Koi is what needs to be the focus. I opted out. Instead, I grabbed some more sandpaper and took the wood in the waves down even further.
I then thought it needed more of a pop, so I painted the background black.

Step 7. Check once, check twice clean up any necessary spots and begin sealing. I chose a polyurethane for this step!

And finally the finished product! Now, my problem is, do I keep it as a table, or strip the backing off and hang it as art............  a project for another day I think!
I love the look ... do I stop here ......
Table - or Wall art ......

I hope you enjoyed and learned from that! And I do hope you pop over to our Facebook page and follow all of the creations that are non stop in production!

Keep on keeping on and Cheers for now!

Gypsy Barn
Peterborough Ontario Canada


  1. I have another reason to move to Canada now. This piece is amazing and gorgeous and you are a true artist! Love Love Love it!

  2. You have a lot of patience and talent. This is beautiful.