What are you most proud of? Actually, I am very proud that I stuck with it for the month or two that it took! I'd just throw a table cloth over it for our family dinners on Sunday, otherwise it was a "work-in-progress", with my paints and such always out! That way, whenever I had a few moments, I could sit down and add something. I tried using a stencil for the checked border...after the first trial (about 5 inches) I knew THAT was not going to work! Determined, I simply measured, using a pencil, and then started my black & white checks! Don't ask HOW MANY TIMES I had to go over each one, to correct a mistake, drip or smudge! I hated to finish it though...It was relaxing and fun! What advice would you give someone starting this project? I suggest using a GREAT base coat (I used KILZ -that way you really don't have to sand it down, just use 220 sandpaper to remove the shine) and give it several coats. I only did one!! Make up your mind that it will take lots of time! Sketch out design before you begin..(I used chalk)....just to get proportions right. I was VERY aware that it had a leaf in the middle, and knew I'd have to make the "fish" connect when it was removed!...but somehow, after I had them already painted in for the most part, I realized they weren't EXACTLY lined up! Oops! Also, use several coats of Polyacrylic sealer, non-yellowing, water cleanup! The more the better. Brush marks ARE a problem...my brother then told me to use a lint free rag or cheesecloth (after I'd done the first 2 coats!!!) so I switched to that & it was better! Just dip it in the finish and try to do long, continual strokes. Just have fun! Also, Make sure you LOVE the piece allot...you're putting your heart, time & effort into it and hopefully it will outlast several generations. :)
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