pretty unsightly, but since I don't have the correct paint color, I decided to go with the "cover & hide" method instead.
I used the same technique as this river rock placemat, with a few alterations...
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to make the mat sturdy, i cut out a piece of craft foam to size and covered it with shelf liner
then i drew my chevron design (meh, looks like charlie brown's shirt)
the "chevron" would've had more impact if this were another shape... say a square.
but charlie brown's stripe will just have to do!
what looks like cream colored stone is actually crushed seashells