Make a Reverse-Painted Tabletop

This decorative tabletop/wine bar calls for both technique and imagination. Learn how to make a tabletop with the reverse-painting technique.
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hclvr239_2final

Reverse painting is a technique in which the back side of glass is painted for viewing on the front side. This project employs the technique in the creation of a tabletop that nicely doubles as a wine bar.

Materials and Tools:

glass tabletop
sponges
paintbrushes
hair dryer
glass enamel paints
hand-painted collage paper
decoupage medium
craft glue
gold-leaf foil and adhesive
detail-drawing squeeze bottle with writing tip
newsprint
pencil
acrylic sheeting
towel
wood frame

Steps:

  1. Wash the glass to remove any dirt, and dry thoroughly.
  2. Cut a piece of newsprint to exactly cover the tabletop glass. Fold the newsprint into equal squares, which will serve as a registering/scale-drawing guide.
  3. Draw the tabletop design onto the newsprint.
  4. Put the drawing under the clear glass tabletop to refer to as you reverse-paint.
  5. Paint the gold-leaf adhesive in desired areas first. The glue needs to dry overnight to a clear finish.
  6. Paint black border squares for the checkerboard edge of the tabletop.
  7. Cut out the collaged paper designs and draw or paint details on them.
  8. Cover the collage paper with decoupage medium on both sides in a very thin coat. Let dry.
  9. Using a squeeze bottle with a drawing tip, draw on desired black designs such as dots, squiggles and outlines for the grape clusters and the leaves. Let dry. Cover the whole top with a towel and blow-dry on high heat under the towel to set the lines. Dry for about 15 to 20 minutes to set and harden.
  10. Glue the paper cutouts into a desired arrangement on the tabletop.
  11. Paint desired black stripes on the background.
  12. Attach the gold-leaf foil onto the gold-leaf glue areas.
  13. Sponge over the black squares with green metallic paint for a border.
  14. Lightly brush on the four thin layers of color to the leaves and the grape clusters. When dry, cover with a dark background color.
  15. Following the paper design, fill in the rest of the background. Comb or sponge textures in a desired fashion and apply a background coat.
  16. When everything is completely dry, apply one to three coats of black glass enamel paint.
  17. Have a thin layer of clear acrylic sheeting cut to fit under the reverse tabletop.
  18. Adhere a mitered frame to hold the acrylic and the tabletop together.
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