A few years ago I turned an old beat up piece of furniture into our family dining table. It still amazes me to think of the transformation our table went through.
I renovated this table with our family in mind. Meaning, from the beginning I wasn’t going to flip out about scratches, dents, or stains. I wanted a table that we could live at. A table where school and crafts took place, family celebrations, and fun nights with friends were welcomed.
For the past three years we have done just that with our dining table that also doubles as a chalk board. I’ve drawn on it with chalk for seasonal celebrations and other times left it white. It’s been fun having a table that is so versatile. But it’s time for a change…
In our townhouse I loved how bold the white table looked against our dark floors and furniture. It was elegant when it needed to be but practical at the same time. Over the years the top has gotten a little dingy looking though and needs a little facelift. I plan to keep the base white and choose a color from the benches for the top of the table. I love the finish on the dresser in the girls bedroom so this go around our table will receive several layers of a high gloss finish.
I plan to knock this little project out during ML’s next off week. It just seems easier to tackle when I have someone there to watch the girls for me.
In the meantime, I want to share some really creative chalk tables that I found on Hometalk. Hometalk is a social networking site focused on home improvement, gardening and DIY projects. With both expert and amateur users, the Hometalk network aims to create an online community where people share ideas, advice and experiences from personal home-related endeavors.
Before looking through Hometalk I had never thought about incorporating a big stenciled design onto the top of a table or even one that wrapped across several sides. I love how so many of these projects were trash to treasure transformations. I mean don’t these make you want to go find an old table stashed away in your attic and give it new life? Click the graphic above to get the details on any of these projects.
The title may be a little misleading. This is not a post of “How to Blog” or “The Secret to Blogging”, instead this is a post celebrating my 101st post.
I’ve been blogging for almost a year and I realize that some people reach the 101st post milestone way ahead of me but it has been so much fun. Generally, I try to blog twice a week (three times right now because of the Nehemiah study). I would love to go all “Young House Love” on you and blog consitently every day but honestly that’s just not gonna happen with me. Between taking care of Noah, cooking and cleaning, reading and commenting on other blogs, and completing projects to actually blog about two posts is really pushing it for me.
To celebrate this milestone I thought I would look back at some of the posts and projects from the past year.
Start the projector…
Starting out as a guest bedroom/office, Noah’s room received a complete makeover. We kicked off the transformation by painting the walls and then adding a crib, chair, and changing table/dresser. Want to know how we painted the dresser? Check out this post. And in case we didn’t have enough color I made a hot pink clothespin starburst mirror for above the changing table. We also scored a great deal on this fabric and used it as curtains, crib skirt, and for the office chair we repainted. My sister painted the custom painting for above the crib and I got a little crafty and made the butterfly mobile. After receiving so many books we brought a little order to the book shelves by arranging the books by color and adding colorful boxes for storage. To add a little more personality to the room I added a Cabbage Patch Doll lamp I made back in college and colorful poms for above the book case.
Noah’s Birth Story
In this Thankful Thursday post I shared my experience of going into labor while still at work, a strange craving for chicken noodle soup, and why I finally broke down for an epidural.
Dining Room Table Makeover: Our Fifth Anniversary Gift
We gave new life to an old beat up Duncan Phyfe table we found at a yard sale for twenty bucks. I made my own chalk paint and turned the top into a chalkboard! Now our table really does change with the seasons.
Now we have begun the slow process of transforming our kitchen… starting with purchasing a new rug.
Backyard: Planter Transformation
Working with what I had I gave my old plastic planters a facelift using a little spray paint.
Looking back I guess we really have accomplished a lot in the past 100 posts. Hopefully, the next 100 will be productive! I have enjoyed sharing with y’all along the way and really appreciate all the encouraging comments. Thanks for being such great readers!
Even though our anniversary has come and gone, we are finally getting to enjoy our gift to each other.
We transformed this old dining room table into an instant family heirloom.
But not without a little elbow grease. It’s hard to believe it’s the same table. I’m just in love with it now! This is actually the same table we have been using in our dining room for the past three years. I just always kept a table cloth over it to hide its imperfections. And boy did it have imperfections.
I am sure this table has a story to tell about all the abuse it received, but we will never hear it. We found this little gem at a yard sale a few years ago for twenty bucks! It was like love at first sight. A Duncan Phyfe table in need of repair. Even though we already had my great grandmother’s Duncan Phyfe table, I just couldn’t pass it up. I convinced Michael Luke that it would be perfect for us when we have a bigger house someday. A table for the kitchen and one for the dining room. We are still waiting on the bigger house.
So we loaded up the table and brought it home. The previous owner even threw in two of the table’s chairs for a dollar. We combined the best of each chair to make our desk chair. And since we didn’t have room for two dining tables, one moved upstairs to the guest bedroom before we transformed it to a nursery… now it’s in storage (waiting on the bigger house). We chose to keep the yard sale table downstairs because it’s smaller than my great grandmother’s, and let’s face it, we need all the room we can get around here!
Originally, when we bought it we had plans to refinish it and stain it. But as the years went on I began to entertain the idea of painting it. Like these tables I found on Pinterest.
I had dreams of it being an informal table where family and friends could eat and play together. Up until about a month ago, it had remained covered by a tablecloth, and then one day I decided to remove the table cloth in order to motivate myself to refinish the table. It worked!
And as I began to brainstorm about what wood gift (the traditional gift for five years of marriage) to give ML for our anniversary, I thought it would be neat if I could give him some piece of wood furniture. Then it hit me… we had a wooden table that needed refinishing! So I asked him what he thought about us giving it to each other as a joint present. He loved the idea! Especially since we plan to use it for many years to come.
The other weekend we moved the table outside, and ML sanded it smooth. I was completely amazed that he was able to remove all the dings, scrapes, and nicks on the top of the table. I knew then that our purchase had been worth it.
Friday, ML took off work, so we could celebrate our anniversary and work on the table. First, we went out and bought the supplies we needed.
We splurged and bought Sherwin Williams paint and primer. Since we plan for the table to get a lot of use, we wanted a durable paint that would stand up to the abuse we know it will receive. For extra protection we chose the door and trim paint in satin finish. Once cured, this paint will become much harder and more durable than typical latex paints for walls. For the color I chose Martha Stewart Living color Popcorn.
It’s just a simple clean white.
Saturday morning, I started priming the table. I just applied one coat but looking back on it now two would have been best because I had a few spots where the stain kept wanting to show through which required extra coats of paint.
I allowed at least four hours between all coats. It ended up being more than that most of the time since I could only paint while Noah slept. So late Saturday afternoon and part of Saturday night, I painted the first coat of paint.
With the first coat of paint, I could already tell I was going to love our decision to paint the table instead of stain it. Sunday afternoon, I found time for the second coat of paint. I thought it would be all the table needed, but after it dried I felt like a third coat was needed. Plus, it would add a little extra protection.
So Monday morning, during another one of Noah’s nap times, I applied the third and final coat of paint
At that point I couldn’t wait for Michael Luke to get home from work, so we could move it back into place. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to work on it until the late that night.
And here’s the best part.
I painted the top of the table with chalk board paint! So not only do we have a beautiful dining room table, but you can draw on it too. This will be perfect when Noah grows up someday. I do suggest rubbing the entire surface with white chalk and wiping clean before using colored chalk. To remove the color chalk just wipe with a damp cloth.
Update: Through trial and error I have discovered that side walk chalk wipes clean much easier than typical chalk board chalk.
I ended up making my own chalk paint since I couldn’t find a color I really liked. It was really simple (I used Martha Stewart’s recipe):
1 cup paint
2 tablespoons unsanded grout (I used white)
Combine together and stir until grout is mixed in. You end up with really thick pasty paint.
I suggest scooping some onto the actual surface you plan to paint and then using a roller brush to smooth it out.
After the entire surface has been painted and dried, use a 150 grit sandpaper to smooth the surface.
I also finally decided to invest in some Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. I know it is all over the blogosphere, but I wanted to give it a try on the claw feet for the table.
You may have noticed the feet on one side of the table. We were debating whether we liked the bronze with the white or just white feet. After seeing a few photos today of other white tables with bronze feet, I am going to leave them bronze. What do you think?
We are so excited that three years ago we decided to blow $20 on a table. We have invested less than $100 in it and now have a beautiful family table that will hopefully grow old with us. We agree this was the perfect five year anniversary gift for each other!
The table really makes the dining area look so much bigger and lighter. Beforehand, every thing was dark and heavy looking. The white table helps to balance the dark colors in the wood.
So what do you think of our gift? Have you found any yard sale or thrift store finds like this?