DIY Geometry Painting

I'm not gonna lie. I'm one of those. I can't pass a pile of furniture or junk or anything interesting looking on the street without contemplating how I could repair/reupholster/repaint or otherwise salvage any kind of street find. I've taken dressers, coffee tables, even a severely traumatized Herman Miller Shell Chair.

Also, I'm only going to be able to bring this up once. I've never told anyone. But. One time. Not that long ago. In the West Village. There was a vintage HM surfboard coffee table. In white. ON. THE. SIDEWALK. I had somewhere I HAD to be, with my boyfriend, who was with me. The MoFo (the table) was also HEAVY. I was tempted to ditch the BF and take the sucker home, but it was way too heavy, and try as I might, I couldn't convince the BF to show up at a semi-business semi-social function with an enormous and heavy surfboard size designer coffee table in tow. I gave it a quick pet, like an adorable ragamuffin puppy in a Central American alleyway, turned my back--thought again if I might be able to manage to hobble to the train, but knew that it was woefully impossible--and KEPT WALKING.

Whew. Now that that story is out of the way and WILL NEVER BE MENTIONED AGAIN, here is something I found abandoned right down the hallway of our mega loft building:


I went, "Hrmm..." at the big fat NYC reference (um, really? someone must have bought this within 2 months of living in NYC, because the last place, in all of NYC that I want to think about being in when I'm at home--THE LAST PLACE, okay, maybe not Brownsville--is Times Square). Of course, I began brainstorming what I could paint over on the nice big pre-framed surface. Going through my Tumblr, which is soooo satisfying to recount all the loved images I've loved, I came upon this:


Gorgeous, right? Amazing. AND, kinda perfect for my growing attraction to black and white and vaguely graphic. But I nixed the feather and the wheel. Those would be the parts I would just eff up. Stick to geometry. Which turned out to be harder than I thought...

After a good few white coats:


And some strategic painters tape:


And figuring out how the triangles are actually made from bisected squares, so that determined the squares height and width, and then the circle's radius was equivalent to the length of one side of the square, with half of its circumference round, and then the length of the extended "arms" going as far as to be in line with where the top most circle circumference would be. I got pretty darn good grades in high school, but I think I came close to a D or something in geometry. Bah. I got my painting out though dammit; I conquered:



Final cost: ZERO. I already had the paint and brushes and tape. Way hotter than taxis in Times Square. But I still love you Ikea. Sometimes. But not more than Herman. Sigh.


  1. What a great story! I've had to pass up numerous pieces of outstanding furniture due to having no way of getting it home. Mind you, nothing has been of Herman Miller caliber, but it was sad to keep walking, nevertheless. I love what you did with the atrocious taxi photo - fun project!

  2. I'm totally copying this! Looks so great.

    I have a surf board table just wasting away in my living room. I think I'm going to steal the lye bases and make a bench with some thick ass reclaimed wood for the bedroom...

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  4. Great Job! This painting looks amazing!

    Did you use gesso or just white house paint to prime the canvas? what about for the black paint?

  5. Hi Mid Fed! I just used some regular water based wall paint that I had lying around. I probably should have sanded the surface of the image a bit, as removing the painters tape became a tricky process.