Missy Burch
Missy Burch
  • Hometalk Helper
  • Texas City, TX

Particle Board Table Makeover

6 Materials
$5
3 Days
Medium

I'm sure many of you have seen people using strainers to do paint projects online lately. It's the new big thing. I thought I'd give it a try & boy is it fun & easy. It gives a fun look & it comes out so pretty. You can use tons of paint colors, complementary or mix of a ton of crazy stuff & just go for it. Since this table is particle board & would suck up paint, I knew I'd need to use plenty to cover it. You also need to use Liquitex Flow Aid, so it will run well over your surface. After I was done, I coated it with resin.
particle board table makeover
Here is the bare table, I found at Goodwill for $3.99!
particle board table makeover
I placed it on a tarp since this is going to get messy.
particle board table makeover
I used plain acrylic paint, in black for the legs.
particle board table makeover
The legs are all done & drying.
particle board table makeover
Back onto the tarp for phase 2.
particle board table makeover
Here is my mountain of paint ready to pour into my strainer. I found 2 great strainers at Goodwill as well- one was a traditional strainer. The other is actually a juicer- which works great for smaller projects & the catch cup- you see here, is the perfect pour cup!
particle board table makeover
Liquitex Flow Aid- the essential element to making this project work well.
particle board table makeover
Place your strainer & pour that glorious mountain of paint, let it flow out the holes.
particle board table makeover
Then you will need to rock your table back & forth to get the paint to the edges how you want it. You can use a hot air gun or blow dryer to move the paint how you want, a spreader or just let it do it's thing all you want. This part is totally up to the artist in you.
particle board table makeover
Here is my finished project after I've let it dry for 24 hours & put a coat of clear resin on it & let that cure for 24 hours. I think it came out amazing.
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Have a question about this project?

25 questions
  • Bikerkate
    on Aug 23, 2018

    Did you add the Liquid flow aid into the mixed colours in the strainer, and if so I take it you didn't need to stir it through, is that correct?. I have never used this liquid aid before. Good job by the way, many thanks

    • Swinnen Lisette
      on Aug 23, 2018

      Hello Kat,

      I am a bit of a painter.

      You can use Liquitex flow aid or you can replace it by Floetrol which is cheaper. You mix your paint in seperate plastic cups : 1 part of paint, 1 part of floetrol or that liquitex flow aid.

      Stir untill your colour is even again.

      It depends on the paint how long you have to stir : Missy used Daeler and Rowney Acrylic, but you can also use dollar store acrylic paint tubes.

      The consistency of your paint has to ressemble melted ice cream. If your mix is to firm, ad a couple drops of water. Not too much at once, and stir very good and long in between.

      Then, let stand your (still seperate cups with paint) for 10 min so airbubbles can escape.


      Give your cups a last stir and pour them, one after the other, very carefully, in a larger recepient. Try to get layers of paint, some will sink immediatly, some will stay on top of the previous layer.


      Then slowly pour your paint through your strainer.

      then let it flow over the edges of your table, canvas, whatever you want to decorate (even 3D things) by tilting the object. you can use the paint that drops on the floor or plate to rectifie your edges.


      Let it dry for several days because a thick layer of paint will stay on your object, so it takes very long. Then finish with varnish, or like Missy with resine.


      If you pour on a canvas, or other object, please put it, before pouring on a couple of cups so it doesn't stick on your protecting plate or plastic.


      Missy's table is gorgous, she did very well, but the outcome is unpredictable.


      You can use black and brown but in small amounts : I also would avoid to use the premium colours all together : it makes mud.

      What goes very well is : pastel colours, white, yellow, and a bit of red.

      If you want something darker : a bit of black, bleu red and white. (no yellow)


      Good luck !














    • Chrissy Wells
      on Aug 23, 2018

      There's a video of a lady that does this and I have been practicing! I used the bottle of craft paint from Walmart...$.50 lol. Sad the colors are not to the same consistency. I got a strainer from dollar tree drilled the holes a little bigger, took a large measuring cup and added coordinated colors making sure the paint was thin enough and slowly pouring. My practice pieces are really neat! My next project is an outdoor table and will seal it with polyurethane. On one of My practice pieces I used the glitter spray (clear) silver then used a clear spray sealer (won't) be out side but these turned out really neat! But to answer your question you put the colors right on top\beside but do not mix. Pour slowly into the Strainer and let flow tipping to move or the hair dryer on low. I am getting ready to try putting something on a pottery wheel and see what happens with that.

    • Yuliana
      on Aug 23, 2018

      thank you Lisette for the helpful hint about the liquidifier. I was wondering if I could just make the paint thinner with water. Will it work?


    • Chrissy Wells
      on Aug 23, 2018

      I forgot to leave the artist name farzone sye something look under strainer art and her video will be there


    • Missy Burch
      on Aug 23, 2018

      Using water in your paint just won't give you the same flow as using the flow aid. There is something about the flow aid that just makes it work better. Use a coupon from Michael's & try it!

    • Bikerkate
      on Aug 24, 2018

      Good Morning, and thank you Lissette and to everyone else who responded to my question. What a wealth of knowledge and help is out there. I now understand the process a bit better and will try to find the video of the artist too.

      Unfortunately here in Scotland we don't have the same access to the likes of Michael's or Walmart or Dollar stores that you have in other countries, ie USA or Australia. (we have £pound shops but they are not quite the

      same lol) However there is always Amazon!! I will have a go at this strainer art and maybe even post up my results.

      Huge thank you to all



  • She11524914
    on Aug 23, 2018

    I read that the edge of a particle board table needs to be sealed in order to not swell from the moisture. Was that done or did you have another method? I have a table I want to do.

    • Natalie Harmening
      on Aug 23, 2018

      It might have been advantageous to use white spray paint as a sealant before the pour. As an alternative, she could have painted the whole table black, then poured for a dramatic effect.

    • Missy Burch
      on Aug 23, 2018

      The edge is sealed- I made sure that the paint reached the entire edge. You can't see it in the photos. I used what was left over in the bowl & brushed it on the edges. I didn't want to do a base coat- as Natalie suggested. I wanted to allow the table to suck up as much paint as possible. But I may go back & paint the underside of table.

  • Debre
    on Aug 23, 2018

    How did you keep the resin from running off the edge and making a mess?

    • Missy Burch
      on Aug 23, 2018

      Resin always makes a mess, just like the paint in this process- why there is a drop cloth down. To get a good cover on a surface like this- you want some run off.

  • D.d27268603
    on Aug 23, 2018

    What is the value add of the strainer? Why not just pour the paint directly on the table?

    • Eliza Spear
      on Aug 23, 2018

      You can do that if you want but using the strainer means you get a totally different kind of look. Straight pouring would give you larger areas of each colour I would imagine. The strainer means it is coming out in narrower lines.

    • Grace Chapman
      on Aug 23, 2018

      You can check out dirty pours on you tube to see various methods of pouring. Using the strainer is what is popular now because it divides the colors between the tiny holes dispersing it throughout the design instead of long trails or ribbons. You can create a flower effect with the strainer. Each design depends upon the colors, consistency, additives, and how much you work it. You can create cells by many methods if it's your choice. Not everyone wants to.

      Great job on your table Eliza!

    • SharylP
      on Aug 23, 2018

      Wow -- love this! I may have to find a table I can do it to, too!

    • Dawn
      on Aug 23, 2018

      you won get the same effect as well if you just pour it directly


    • Missy Burch
      on Aug 23, 2018

      The strainer is the entire technique- using the tiny holes directs the paint a certain way, so it comes out in a specific pattern, not just one big glob, the way I poured it all into the pour cup. It creates a beautiful new pattern all over the canvas or the table or whatever your object is. That's the beauty of it.

  • Dahliaqueen
    on Aug 23, 2018

    When do you add the Flow Aid??

  • Nancy
    on Aug 23, 2018

    Love love this super cute idea. But how did you keep the paint from running off ??

    • Natalie Harmening
      on Aug 23, 2018

      Most dirty pours don’t, and this one could’ve gotten quite messy. I suspect she controlled the amount of paint by moving the strainer around the table, tilting it back and forth to get the paint where she wanted it. By doing this you can stop an inch or two from the edges, then tilt until it reaches the edges, then use a tool to cut off the paint that drips. Controlling the amount of paint is key to a successful dirty pour like this. I wish she had painted the underside of the table for a more polished project.

  • Dawn
    on Aug 23, 2018

    I wonder if this could be done on a formica kitchen counter and sealed to make it food safe. Thoughts anyone?

    • Missy Burch
      on Aug 23, 2018

      i'm sure you could- but to get it to really stick- you might want to sand it down first.

  • FLO
    on Aug 23, 2018

    I might be inclined to try this project, I have all the materials to do so, except one.


    I have the same question a previous blogger had and that is WHEN AND HOW MUCH FLOW AID DO YOU USE AND ADD? What does it do for the project?

    Until I understand these questions, I would not attempt to start this project.


    Thank you for your creativity. Floozy

    • Missy Burch
      on Aug 23, 2018

      Flow Aid makes the paint liquid & move through the strainer. Without it, the project just doesn't work. You need the paint to be liquid. You add as much or as little as you need, depending on how thick your paint is. Only you know how much you need, based on the paint you have on hand/you are using. it's different for every brand. Unicorn spit needs none- it's already liquid. Some brands will need alot, others a few drops. I use pop sticks to stir it up in recycled yogurt cups. I save all kinds of plastics just to paint in.

  • Mona Hs
    on Aug 23, 2018

    I like this! How much flow aid did you add to each paint color?

    • Kathy Farnham Sampson
      on Aug 23, 2018

      The flow aid really just thins the paint and keeps it from drying too quickly. You could probably get the same results from adding a small amount of water to the paint to make it more pourable.

    • Beverly
      on Aug 23, 2018

      Good info! Thanks!

  • Connie Christianson
    on Aug 23, 2018

    Will this work on a glass topped table?

    • Sun10614027
      on Aug 23, 2018

      Yes, it will work on glass as well as ceramic tile.

    • Missy Burch
      on Aug 23, 2018

      This will work on glass, wood, or plastic. But if you do it on glass or plastic, you can't follow it up with resin. You can seal it with spray polycrylic.

  • Don Jones
    on Aug 23, 2018

    You probably will think this question is extremely stupid but I'll ask anyway. When going for this kind of effect, can you mix oil and water based paints?

    • Karen Mueller
      on Aug 23, 2018

      No do not mix oil and water based paints.

    • Missy Burch
      on Aug 23, 2018

      Oil based will not work with this at all. You also can't mix oil & water based- they won't work with the flow aid. Stick to acrylics & water based like unicorn spit. you need things that will flow nicely. Oil based just won't do that for you.

  • Ohiorn
    on Aug 23, 2018

    Beautiful. Did you tape off the legs?

  • Valleycat1
    on Aug 23, 2018

    More details on using the Flow Aid please. Did you mix some into each paint color before adding to your catch basin? Did you use acrylic paint which the flow aid is usually used with, or any kind of paint?

    • Missy Burch
      on Aug 23, 2018

      Yes- you need to add the flow aid into each color, then put into the the pour cup. I used acrylic paints & some unicorn spit, which didn't need any flow aid- it's already the perfect consistency.

    • Jane H
      on Aug 24, 2018

      Thank you for clarifying..... I thought I missing something..

  • Lynne Carole
    on Aug 23, 2018

    NEED CLEARER INSTRUCTIONS ON THE FLOW AID, WHETHER YOU MIX IT WITH THE PAINT OR NOT OR USE IT SEPARATELY. AND, WHAT IS CLEAR RESIN? DO YOU MEAN A POLYERTHALINE (SP?)? THANKS. THIS WOULD BE A CUTE IDEA FOR A KID'S ROOM.

    • Missy Burch
      on Aug 23, 2018

      I replied to a few previous questions on this. Sorry for any confusion. You need to add the flow aid to each paint color, mix, then pour into your large pour cup, layering it. The final step I did after everything was a clear epoxy 2 part resin kit. Poly is completely different & won't seal this well enough.

    • Rory McBean
      on Aug 24, 2018

      I assume the directions for the flow aid come with the product or on the bottle.

      I was once told that using all caps in a message is the equivalent of shouting at the recipient. Just so you know.

    • Lisa Dahlgren Johnson Joi
      on Aug 30, 2018

      It could be stuck on caps or maybe she just thought it’d be easier to read! js

  • Theresa
    on Aug 24, 2018

    If you used black, grey and white I wonder if it would look like marble?????

    • Betty Penner
      on Aug 25, 2018

      I bet it would! Go for it! Especially with black legs! I like that idea!

    • Missy Burch
      on Aug 25, 2018

      I say try it & find out! Make sure to post the results!

  • Susana Rogero-Brinkman
    on Aug 25, 2018

    Why don't the colors mix together?

    • Missy Burch
      on Aug 25, 2018

      I honestly don't know. I think the flow aid is partly the magic in this process. Just trust it & have fun! The layering of the paints in the pour cup is part of it, not mixing each one is also part of why- never stir anything together.

    • Dianelkelly
      on Aug 27, 2018

      Each color of paint has a different density; you can find paint color density or weights online for artist-quality paints (I haven't looked for others). That said, I have seen mixing, such as yellow and pink making orange and complementary colors turning muddy.

      When paint pouring first started, the general wisdom was to always use Titanium White because of its density, but I don't remember if it was supposed to go on the top or bottom - I think it was supposed to go in the cup last to be on the bottom of the pour, and then it would push its way to the top. People also add silicone drops and use a torch to make cells. There are plenty of tutorials online.

    • Ria Austin
      on Aug 30, 2018

      Simple science.

    • Kathleen Cannon
      on Aug 30, 2018

      Because it wasn’t stirred. This is a cool technique. Check out you tube videos under arcyrlic pours

  • Michele
    on Aug 30, 2018

    hi would this work on a countertop?

    • Tina Bly Steele
      on Aug 30, 2018

      You could use a heat resistant epoxy over it, but you would either have to take the countertop off to move the paint around or do it before they are put on the counters.

    • Missy Burch
      on Aug 30, 2018

      Depending on the type of countertop you have, you may need to apply epoxy over it to seal it or spar varnish. It def will make a mess, so you'll probably need a blow dryer or hot air gun to move the paint around. Taking the countertop off is an option, but that's a much harder one, since it will be hard to manipulate it.

  • Paulapaint7
    on Aug 30, 2018

    Did you mix the flow medium into each color? How much?

    • Missy Burch
      on Aug 31, 2018

      Yes- you mix the flow aid into each color. The amount varies by each paint type. You'll have to decide how much you need based on your paints. You want the paint to be able to be liquid & flow easily through the strainer. So use as much or as little as you need, based on your paint supplies.

    • Cheryl Lewis
      on Aug 31, 2018

      Was going to ask this myself. I cannot wait to try it! Thanks for sharing.

  • Nancy Munck Flynn
    on Aug 30, 2018

    Do you leave the strainer on the table while you rock the table. Won’t the strainer slide around and won’t the paint be thicker in the middle of the table?

    • Missy Burch
      on Aug 30, 2018

      No- lift the strainer off to let all the paint run out, then you start to rock the table back & forth.

  • Tee Cee Tadlock
    on Sep 8, 2018

    Where do you get the liquid flow aid what section of store

  • Norma Bryson
    on Sep 12, 2018

    Why didn't you prime it first? It would have taken less paint.

    • Missy Burch
      on Sep 12, 2018

      First & foremost- I didn't want to. 2nd- you can see by my paint cup- didn't use that much paint for a table this size.

    • Robin Lennae
      on Sep 22, 2018

      At Walmart you can find acrylic paint for $0.50 about if you have a color that you want as a main color I believe it's less than $3 so it really shouldn't take more than $5 plus the liquitex flow Aid which is essential for this project and then the resin to covered is the best wait to seal it. The thing with the resin is you need to make sure it is not a humid day!

  • Zoeysmom
    on Sep 13, 2018

    This is beautiful....I bet with the strainer in the middle & then if there could be smaller strainers with smaller holes around the perimeter of the middle strainer would make it beautiful too. I have a very old simple small side table that my Grandfather made when I was a baby & mind you, I am 62 now. So this table is so precious to me but it has a lot of oil based black paint on it...I wonder how this would work? I will never part with it but my son bought a new house (when we found out my new diagnosis of CML (Chronic Mylogenous Leukemia) about 2 yrs. ago & he gave me the master bedroom & I would love to try this & I love the resin idea on top but I wonder if I would have to sand this oil paint or stain (not sure exactly what it is painted with) off first? Any ideas?

    • Missy Burch
      on Sep 13, 2018

      I think it's fine to proceed with as is. It should go right over the oil based paint with ease!

    • La streight
      on Sep 19, 2018

      Or try priming it first.

  • Lene Layna Shep
    on Sep 14, 2018

    What do you think about turning the Steiner slowly as the paint is coming out ? I think it would be very nice and have a swirled look to it wow that would be nice.

    • Missy Burch
      on Sep 14, 2018

      try it & see if you like that effect.

    • Robin Lennae
      on Sep 22, 2018

      If you don't have the patience turn the straighter while the paint is coming out you could also use bamboo skewers to swirl the paint the way you like and then the hair dryer or for any type of force heat can push it in the direction you desire and it will help it dry

    • Jean Francis
      on Oct 15, 2018

      i have a square table its great ty ill try this for sure

  • Mfe29874099
    on Oct 3, 2018

    How much of the liquiter to how much paint

    • Missy Burch
      on Oct 3, 2018

      It really varies by the type of paint. You will need to determine that yourself. You want it to flow well through the strainer, so add as much or as little as you need.

  • Barbara Marks Bray
    on Oct 14, 2018

    I have seen a few of these projects. Ome of tjem said to pour resin on first. Then add resin to the paint. How do you think. That would work?

    • Missy Burch
      on Oct 15, 2018

      No, the resin is to seal the paint once you've done your pour. If you don't seal it, it can easily be ruined.

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