I am not a Yay-It’s-Fall-Let’s-Grab-A-Pumpkin-Spice-Latte kind of girl.

I like summer. A lot!

And I want to enjoy summery vibes in my home all year long. So I painted tropical leaves on my latest Goodwill find—and you can too! This is an easy paint project anyone can do, even if you don’t think you are artistic.

I found this awesome pub table at the Centreville, VA Goodwill store during my National Thrift Shop Day visit in August. It was only $15, and it was in excellent condition. I could have taken it home, popped it in the corner as-is, and enjoyed a very useful and functional table.

But a tabletop is like a blank canvas to me. I knew I could do something really fun with this piece. I started by painting the entire table turquoise blue.

Again, I could have stopped here and had a really nice blue table. But I have been experimenting with painting colorful flowers on my Goodwill finds like this little table and this upcycled artwork. Both projects are now on my porch, where I was also planning to put the new pub table. However, for the new table, I wanted to experiment with tropical leaves and greenery.

I chose a monstera, also known as a swiss cheese plant, due to the little holes along the spine of the leaves. Monstera plants make great houseplants because they are easy to care for. Both real and artificial monstera leaves are popular in many styles of decorating, along with monstera leaf designs on artwork and fabric. And they are surprisingly easy (and fun!) to draw.

How to Draw a Monstera Leaf in 4 Easy Steps

1. Start with a tall-ish heart shape. It’s OK if it looks wonky. Leaves are not perfect in real life. Yours shouldn’t be either! I sketched my leaf designs right onto the tabletop in pencil. You can erase it if you mess up.

2. Next, draw a line approximately halfway down the middle with little veins coming out on either side like this. This is the basic outline for the leaf. Now it’s time to transform it from a generic leaf into a majestic monstera.

3. Start on the curvy end of the heart and begin re-tracing your line heading toward the pointy end. When you get next to the first vein, bring your line around it toward the center of the leaf. Then make a u-turn curve and head back out to loop around the next vein and the next until you get to the point at the end. That’s hard to explain in words! Here’s a photo.

And here’s a quick video showing the process.

VIDEO: How to Draw a Monstera Leaf

4. Finally, erase the outside lines in-between the leaf branches to reveal the monstera’s iconic shape. And add a few circles close to the spine for the swiss cheese effect. 

Then paint it green! I used a few different shades of green plus a little yellow and white. I squirted all the paint colors onto a plate and painted them all at the same time, with the same brush to create a blendy effect. The first coat looked awful! That’s OK. Let it dry and come back and do the same thing again right on top of it. As you build up layers of paint, it will start to look cool. Don’t freak out and quit at the ugly phase. Keep going until you love how it looks!

The fun thing about painting leaves (or flowers) is that you can find all kinds of items at Goodwill to paint them on. I’m now in the market for a dresser I think would look amazing painted white with a big monstera leaf or two across the front.

Here is my finished table at home in a corner of my porch.

This table is the perfect addition to my porch. I love having a little corner of summer to sit and enjoy coffee in the morning, even as the leaves outside in my yard are starting to fall.