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DIY Faux Grasscloth Coffee Table

Serena & Lily inspired coffee table with a faux grasscloth finish.

This is Part II of the DIY Coffee Table project. You can read all about Part 1 here: DIY Serena + Lily Inspired Coffee Table. Part 1 goes over the whole build of the coffee table. It also includes a full supplies and cut list for the building portion. Part II you will discover how to create a faux grasscloth paint technique for the coffee table, or any piece of furniture really!

BEFORE

DIY Serena and Lily Inspired Coffee Table

Here is what your coffee table will look like after completing Part 1. The table pictured here is 47″x47,” however it can be altered to fit your space or your desired needs.

What is Grasscloth?

Grasscloth is typically a wallcovering or fabric that is made from natural and handwoven fibers. Common fibers used to create grasscloth are raffia, jute, seagrass, bamboo, and hemp. Grasscloth has been used for over 2000 years and originated in Asia.

Initially I looked into purchasing wallpaper and applying it to the coffee table. Due to the size of the table I opted against this route. The wallpaper panels come in at about 24″ wide and I would have had visible seams running down the table. My fear is that the seams would easily get snagged by the inevitable toy race cars constantly racing on my tables!

It took me a bit to build up the courage to start, however once I got to painting the process was seamless (no pun intenteded lol) and it went very quickly!

How to Create a Faux Grasscloth

The Process:

  • Use Primer as the base for the grasscloth. You will want to put down primer anywhere you want to create that natural woven texture.
  • Combine 2 parts paint (I used Goodnight Moon by Clare Paint) with 1 Part Clear Glaze. I used Floetrol for the glaze. Adding a glaze allows the paint to dry a little slower and gives you more time to work with the paint.
  • Use a broom or natural fiber comb to create streaks. The trick is having a smooth steady hand. It doesn’t need to be perfect and should look organic. Create a cross hatch pattern where you painted. Work in sections. Use long stroke and proceed horizontally then vertically until the pattern is to your satisfaction. It is very hard to mess this up!
  • Finish by adding a top coat. I started with a lacquer and quickly switched to a semi gloss polyurethane because the fumes on the lacquer were unbearable. Use whichever top coat you prefer, though I do recommend a water-based polyurethane to prevent yellowing.

How much does it cost?

This entire build cost $176. I did have a few items on hand, like the paint and the tools necessary for the build. But all the wood materials, screws, and clear glaze brought me in well under $200! Special shoutout to my brother in law Vic who gave me one of the 3x3s which saved me about $25 and he also answered countless texts about questions with the build! Thanks, Vic!

Supplies for Paint Technique

  • Paint
  • Clear Gloss
  • Paint Brush
  • Broom
  • Polyurethane
strie painting technique supplies
Click the Image above to Shop

Faux Grass Cloth Paint Process

Step 1 is to prime the table. The kids were begging to help so this felt like a safe bet! It’s important to prime first because the texture is very dependent on the white of the primer showing through. The primer is what will give the paint dimension.

Add 1 part clear mixing glaze to two parts paint and mix well. The mixing glaze allows the paint to not dry out too quickly and gives you flexibility when creating the lines in the paint.

Apply the paint mixture using a regular paint brush. It’s important to work in sections. The thicker you apply the paint the more time you will have to manipulate the brush strokes and the more texture it will give. Do not overly apply but don’t be a cheapskate either!

With a steady hand for consistency, create brush strokes. Make the brush strokes in the same direction and don’t overthink it! It’s meant to look organic, so there’s no need for perfectionism here!

Once you’re pleased with the initial strokes, change direction. Creating a crosshatch pattern in the paint. Continue to go back and forth with the directions (all vertical, then all horizontal, repeat) until you’ve achieved the desired look.

Move on to the next section when you are ready and repeat the steps.

Finish off the piece with a sealant. I started by lacquering the top. While I loved the durability of a lacquer the fumes were hard to bear indoors and I switched to a water based polyurethane in a semi gloss finish.

Coffee Table Reveal

Shop our entire living room here!

Did you try this? Tag me on social and let me know how it went! @fraicheandco

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