One of my favorite books is the whimsical Alice in Wonderland, so it’s not too surprising that I love adding harlequin to my chalk painted furniture. I have tried various techniques and have settled on stencils and taping as my go to methods.
- Harlequin Stencil
- Frog Tape painters tape
- Dixie Belle chalk mineral paint
- Modern Masters Metallic Paint in Gold or Silver
- Dixie Belle Best Dang Wax in Clear
- Dixie Belle Clear Satin Topcoat
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Using a Harlequin Stencil
An advantage of using a stencil is time savings. The tape method has multiple steps while a stencil allows you to create your pattern all at once. A disadvantage is that your diamond pattern is limited to the size of your stencil. Of course you can always buy both large and small stencils! To prevent paint from seeping under your stencil, it is helpful to tape it in place and to off load extra paint from your brush. Multiple thin coats of paint are better than one thick one. For this stenciled table, I used Dixie Belle Savannah Mist as my base color with Midnight Sky and Modern Masters Silver for the harlequin and sealed it with Clear Satin Topcoat.
Using a Taped Harlequin Pattern
I am a bit obsessive about crisp lines and I found that I had to touch up my stencil lines to satisfy my obsession! My husband, an artist himself, had been telling me to tape my pattern and I resisted thinking it would take too long. But when I factored in my touch-ups I thought it was worth a try!
Step One – base coat and pattern
To start I applied several coats of Dixie Belle Fluff. For my tips when painting white, please see my blog How to Paint White Furniture. Then, to keep things easy, I selected a small diamond shape so I could use the width of my yardstick to draw out my pattern.
Step 2 – Taping and Painting
Then I taped off every other line in each direction with 2” Frog Tape, the same width as my yardstick.
To prevent paint from seeping, I run my fingers over the edges of the tape to ensure it has adhered flat against the surface. As I painted, I brushed from the center of the tape into the diamond.
I used Dixie Belle Caviar keeping with traditional harlequin colors. Once you have completely filled in the open spaces and are happy with the coverage, remove the tape while your paint is still wet.
Step 3 – Re-tape and Paint
Now you will paint the remaining diamonds by taping off the areas you just painted….make sure your paint is completely dry before attempting to tape over it.
You can see that my tape completely covers the black diamonds. In this case I opted to use two colors – because I couldn’t make up my mind if I wanted Modern Masters Gold or Dixie Belle Peony! But you could continue with black for a traditional harlequin pattern. I have pulled off the first strip of tape in this picture which reveals the white diamonds, while the black pattern is still protected by the tape.
Since I used white in this piece, I chose Dixie Belle’s Best Dang Wax to seal the finished piece. To learn more about various sealing options and how to choose the best one for your project, please see My Top 5 Ways to Seal Chalk Painted Furniture.