How To Paint Harlequin {a simple DIY tutorial}

Today I am sharing a tutorial on how to paint a harlequin pattern in under an hour!

From mapping your pattern out.
To painting it in.
I wanted to call this
“Harlequin for Dummies”
But I’m always afraid I might offend someone.
Even though, I’m referring to myself!
This has got to be my favorite painted makeover to date.
Mostly, because I surprised the Hell-o
out of myself that I could do it!
(on a side note, I find it difficult not to end every sentence with “!”)
Okay, back to the tutorial.
I got this table, and because I don’t rush anything, and had no idea how I wanted to paint it.. I gave it a quick one-two with some sandpaper. 
(It was in rough shape! See?)
Slapped on a light coat of primer.
(Purchased pre-La Craie and still did all that! Ugh.) 
And placed it in my living room so I could look at it daily and let it tell me what it wanted.
It was not very vocal.
It sat there a few months.
I’m so glad it did.
Because one day, it sat up and said;
“SHANNON! I want to be Harlequin baby!!”
And I said, well alright.
By that time, I was a retailer 
with the Maison Blanche Paint Company for 
La Craie furniture paint 

and I had nothing but 
paint colored candy to choose from!
(what a perk)

I decided to use;
Magnolia and
I went about mapping the harlequin pattern…
I got my center point, then I tried tape and a few other methods, like cutting a template.
With no luck.
I am NOT “mathy”.
The only math I can rock is figuring out a discount when I’m shopping. I can do that in a snap.
I figured, I can draw a straight line.
I must be over thinking it!
After all my failed attempts, I ended up doing the whole grid, with a pencil and a yardstick in 15 minutes.
First you need to find your center.
(no this isn’t yoga! wrong blog)
How to get your center point;
I highly suggest the ease of a yardstick 
but you can use a tape measure.
1. Measure the length of the table and divided by two. 
Mark the center point lightly in pencil.
2. Using the first pencil mark as an indicator for where to lay your tape measure or yard stick down, measure the width of the table, divide by two, and adjust your first mark to the true center you get with this measurement.
Next, I used my yard stick and working from
the center, 
I drew first my diamond.
Your measurements will depend 
on the size of the diamond you want.
-I wanted my diamond 18 high X 9 wide-
So from the center I went 4.5″ to the left and 4.5″ to the right and marked those off.
For the vertical marks, I went 9″ up from the center and 9″ down from the center.
Once I had my first diamond done, I worked off that, spreading out. Using the fixed side as a guide, I lined my yardstick up to it and penciled in another line.
Working off the four sides of your original center diamond as a guide, pencil in lines and extend to those off the table.
Keeping in mind, you still have your two original lines that you used to find your center, measure over 9″ 
and make a dot.
Then measure out the length of one section (mine were 9.5″) till you hit the pencil line and you’ll meet at the correct point to make your next mark.
See the perfect new line in red?
Just Keep Repeating that formula.
And you’ll have a perfect grid!
This one took 15 minutes to pencil out.
And I had never done it before.
I penciled all my lines onto the base coat of Miel, then cut in and hand painted my white Magnolia in, 
following my pencil marks.
You can use tape if you want crisp lines. 
I didn’t use tape because I wanted 
more casual, imperfect line 
and a hand painted look.
I don’t have a picture of this stage, 
because I got so excited it was working, I didn’t take any.  As a matter of fact, 
I was talking to my mom on the phone 
while I was doing it, that is how easy it was!
Then “poof” I was done. 
I went over each color again. 
For a total of two coats each. 
After doing that.. I knew I wanted a 
stronger line of delineation between 
the Magnolia and Miel.
I went ahead and did my distressing. Then
I used my paint can opener with it’s perfectly curled end, the yardstick as a guide, and lightly “scored” along the line, with just enough pressure to remove the paint. 
And this is my beauty now…
The table top in Miel & Magnolia 
is finished with 
Cire d’ Antiques wax in Amber.
Table base and legs in Magnolia, 
were completed with 
Cire d’ Antiques finishing wax in Dark Brown.
Just a reminder…
I hope if you love the harlequin pattern as much as I do, you’ll give this a try! It’s so rewarding.

I never thought I would be showing 
a before & after painted makeover 
in a Harlequin pattern. 

That is for sure!!


PS- You can click here to shop with me for Maison Blanche Vintage Furniture Paint.

This content is original to Fox Hollow Cottage and belongs to Shannon Fox.
Appearance in full on any site other then Fox Hollow Cottage is theft!




  1. says

    The table is fabulous Shannon! I love, love, love harlequins!! (note the exclamation points 😉 Thanks for the great tutorial.


  2. Janet Fonoimoana says

    Shannon, I love your table but I have to say, because I am in the process of redecorating my bedroom in green and turquoise, I love your pillows more. Where did you get them?

    • Shannon at Fox Hollow Cottage says

      Those are from ROSS! But, I have had them, gosh, at least 2 years? They are down filled and the covers are removable. I have seen them again, with Spring coming, give ROSS a shot. They were under $20 each too.

  3. says

    Oh Shannon…you’re such a clever gal! It turned out beautifully and the way you made the line did it for me…it finished it off perfectly! I LOVE IT!!!

  4. says

    Shannon, WOW! It is so very beautiful. I just saw it on Roadkill Rescue and then saw it was yours! Nice transformation. Harlequin!!! Yay for you. 😉

  5. says

    What a beautiful job you did transforming this table-Wanted you to know I featured this on my Saturday favorites-stop on by to check it out-have a great weekend-Claire

  6. says

    Thanks for sharing. Every time I Design A Room, the first thing I do is browse the web for ideas. The one site that is a “go to” for me is Simply Decorate. Even though I work for Simply Decorate, I can honestly say they have a wonderful interior design blog that always makes my redecorating lots of fun. It’s definitely worth taking a look at.

  7. says

    Shannon you are such a whiz! I adore this and think the colors are perfect. I’m not much of a painter but your paint sounds interesting. I’m definitely checking it out. Thanks for hosting the POP party…it’s a blast. :o)

  8. says

    Why am I just seeing this NOW? was I living under a rock for the last couple of days? I must have been. I just LOVE LOVE LOVE it..I love the colors the creaminess ..its all so classy and warm….
    So glad you figured out the line method…I am not mathy and I couldn’t even handle that…LOL! I had to just find my center and use a template…
    I soooo love this table.

  9. says

    This a A-Maze-ing! My armoire just spoke up and said “Me Next”! I love the harlequin pattern but it just seem so Major League. Your tutorial makes it all seem possible. Oh, ya I will be doing a copycat. I absolutely love this table!!!

  10. says

    Love your table…it turned out fantastic! I did a harlequin pattern to a living room wall and an entry wall {Same colors} in our old house…loved it. Wish now I would’ve taken more pictures of all of the transformations we did in that old house. We gutted & completely renovated it. Turned it into a 4 bedroom 2.5 bath from a 3/1.5!

  11. says

    What a fantastic job,and great post Shannon. I love your work and the table is beautiful. Thanks for sharing the tutorial … I’ll try to muster the nerve to try it once my paint arrives. Blessings from Australia! Shirley x

  12. says

    Non-“Mathy” girls unite! This is seriously awesome Shannon and the table looks amazing! It definitely wanted to have a harlequin pattern painted on and you did such a fantastic job. :-)

  13. says

    Shannon, that is SO good, it hurts! I have a console table for the landing of my stairs just waiting to be painted. I’m seriously thinking of doing this!



  14. says

    Oh, Shan…she is so beautiful. I am breaking open my dark wax tomorrow for a table makeover. You did such a fabulous job with all the measuring and scoring. I’m so not mathy either, not even with discounts. Just gorgeous!

  15. says

    I’m glad you shared a tutorial on your table. This is probably one of my most favorite projects you’ve done! Your harlequin pattern was genius.

  16. says

    Great job, Shannon! I’m the “dummy”, too. : ) I love a harlequin pattern and it looks great on your tabletop. I have a large harlequin stencil that I use. Love how the base turned out, too. The detailing really stands out.

  17. says

    Totally pinned it! This is probably my most favorite thing you’ve ever done! It is beautiful! (And you know I have a hard time not using exclamation points either. LOL!) You knocked it out of the park, girl!

  18. says

    What a beautiful table! And it matches your decor perfectly! It’s amazing how you can continue to look at something until it “speaks” to you. You heard it loud and clear. Well done!

  19. says

    Shannon–You did a great job! This is lovely. You did a great job with the pattern and I am really loving the dark wax on the details. What a pretty table this is. Amazing makeover. Pinning this one!