Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Adventures in Chalk Painting My Table

Over the past 3 years, this Savers table has gone from a distressed creamy white color slapped on by moi, to a crayon covered and scratched surface. The brown stain I used to distress the table had been worn down from frequent Fantastic rubdowns. 

Now know this. We use our table for way more than eating. Proof above and below. It's craft central, a learning station, a game board/card playing/puzzle space, and a messy, kid friendly kind of place. We are not gentle with it. Actually we are gentle with very little around our house. 

Knew I needed to repaint it since it was looking wayyyy more distressed than intended, and wanted to do a better finish on it so messes would wipe off a little easier. 

As is this is the first step to many a project, I Pinterested and internet searched.
Found these pics I liked. 

ballard designs

restoration hardware (I could have this one for just $1,295 ;)

this one was on my pinterest 'tables' board

 Before I started straight away with the repainting, I thought I'd try to strip the table down to just the original wood. If I could find it. It would be so nice to get the look of the restoration hardware table, yet was doubtful/hopeful I could get to that thousand dollar distressed oak look.
Yet I sanded. A lot a lot. And then I had Isaac use this paint stripper spray stuff. It was super messy, but it worked well.

While I was in this starting over process, I also tested the chalk paint to see how I liked it.

We could get some spots to look more 'distressed oakish', but lots of the table just looked like a dark stained wood table. Not close enough to what I was looking for. Sorry, Ike, for the constant mind changing habit I have.

So that's when I decided I better go with painting it. I'd been wanting to try Annie Sloan's chalk paint for a while. Can't believe I waited so long. But that part of the story is for later in this rather long adventure...

You see, while I was deciding on which paint color to go with, I went on my weekly trip to Savers. And guess what I found. 


Marked $100, but with my handy ole 20% off coupon, it was $80 for whole set, table and 6 chairs. 

Had to buy it. Maybe it would work in my dining nook where we craft/eat/play/LIVE? It had a cottage type feel I really liked.
If it didn't work, I was sure I could resell it on Craigslist. 

Got it home. Tried it in our room for about a week. Isaac was thrilled I had him rearranging furniture several times so I could 'decide' which direction I wanted to go ;) He is a TROOPER, I tell ya. We had our round table out on our back patio while we tested out this farmhouse style table (with a beautiful leaf that was stored underneath and everything... man it was a find!). I liked it. But, ultimately, I decided that our round table is a better fit for our squarish eating area. The rectangle Savers one was so pretty, and provided more surface space to eat/work/live, but I just kept wanting that familiar circle shape back under our light fixture.

I sold it on Craigslist for $180 in one day. Guess I should have asked for more. But it was still a nice profit. I'd like to go into the business of finding bargains and reselling them for a bit more. It would be such a fun way to make money. Yet, I'm afraid I'd either turn myself crazy with disorganization, or turn into a hoarder.

So now back to painting my round pedestal table.....

I chose the color 'coco' in Annie Sloan's collection. A brownish gray color. The chalk paint is way fun to use and is perfect for an imprompt-a-crafter like myself. Plus, the White Goat store that sells the stuff is a few blocks from our house. It's pricier than regular paint (con), but you need less than you do with other paints (pro). AND it looks just like what I want it to look like with no prep work and little finishing work. Huge perk.
Since this project, I have painted at least 5 other things with the chalk paint. Including that black hutch piece you see in the same room as our updated table.
Maybe those chalk paint projects could be future blog posts as well.

All I did was paint one and a half coats of the CoCo straight onto the table. 
Isaac-- hide your eyes. 
All that sanding and stripping was totally unnecessary. This paint would work well on just about any surface. 

This chalk paint is virtually odorless. Or at least much less strong smelling than normal paint. Which I really really liked. After it dried for 24 hours, I used the Annie Sloan clear wax to rub all over it. I read several blog posts to see how to do this step right. Basically, I just used an old soft rag to wipe a thin layer on the table and then I'd kind of just wipe it off gently. Seems like I did it right. Probably could have gone with a cheaper wax, but I splurged for the AS stuff. Really liked it. I think I'll try adding some brownish stain to it in the future to see how it looks when I make it darker and rub it on to distress a different piece.

Finally, after 24 more hours, I had Isaac put on a coat of this lacquer sealer stuff. I had been told that if you use the piece a lot and if it would be getting wet frequently, that I'd need to seal my chalk paint job to keep it lasting longer. Ummm, I'd say that we use our table often enough to qualify for needing that sealer stuff. Major understatement. 
This product was recommended by Katie on this blog.
Found it at Hope Depot. On the label, it had some harsh chemicals and warnings, so Isaac wore gloves and handled this part. He just painted a thin coat of the stuff over the top surface and edges of the table. 

And here is my finished table. It looks all nice and organized and tidy in these few pictures. We had a dinner party at our house this past weekend, so I was motivated to get this project done. While it was tidy for all of about 24 hours, I took these pics.

I had two of these chairs sitting in our living room area. I really liked them and their slipcovers I had bought a year or two ago on clearance at Ballard Design. Been mad at myself for not buying 4 of the slipcovers when I had the chance, because ever since I would envision how cute 4 of them would look around our round table. Lo and Behold, I found them on eBay a few weeks  back. So excited!!!

Now, I have 4 of them :)) I donated 4 of the other old wooden chairs to Savers, and got 3 coupons in return. Which we all know I will happily trade in soon.

 The slipcovers slip off easily for me to wash them. They also hide spills, crayon markings, and crumbs remarkably well. 

That pretty much concludes my Adventures in Chalk Painting our Table. 

I also hung some plates on the wall. Still trying to decide if I like them there. And that big wood piece above the window/built ins, I'm trying to decide what to put on it. It's been blank for a long long time... ever since I rescued it from laying on the side of the road. 


I'm thinking I may find some rustic metal letters like the ones above (or like the ones on the Park Hill Home sign) and put a word on it...SMITH maybe? Or maybe a key word from one of our favorite Bible verses? It'll hit me one day.

Here the kids are this morning, adding syrup stickyness to our newly chalk painted table with our festive Jack-o-lantern pancakes. Glad I know how easy it will be to repaint the surface after another 3 years of abuse.

Happy Halloween! 
I'm hoping to be post our costume pics tomorrow.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Tis the Pumpkin Season

Here's what we've been up to the past week....

We carved that little pumpkin together. It was just the right size for us :) My kids did NOT like the pulp. I had to do all the scooping out. 

They seemed to prefer the pumpkin drawing activity rather than the watch-mommy-carve-activity. Luckily for my porch appeal, the marker washed right off :)

We've been quite crafty lately. I've been trying to stick around the house a bit more than usual as I'm in the process of potty training Charlie. I'd really like to just have one in diapers come December. We tried the training a few months ago without much success. So far, he seems to fall in line with what other moms have told me... boys take a bit longer to train than girls. He's been more successful this go 'round so I'm cautiously optimistic that we are on to something lasting this time. He is in a diaper in the picture below, but typically he is running around naked as a jay bird.  The nude method worked really well for Annette. Glad we have all tile and hard woods in our house. Makes it a lot easier to clean up accidents. 

I will have glitter in my grout for years to come after this messy fun.

We painted some Jack-o-lanterns the other day. I love the way these turned out.

I love mixing colors with them. It's one of my fave art activities. 

Isaac built a perfect little fire in our chiminea the other night. We had so much fun roasting hot dogs and smores in our own backyard. 

We headed to a friend's pumpkin patch cowboy themed party this weekend. Perfect weather and setting.

Charlie is super into riding toys lately. He can do his strider bike like a pro now (the kind of bike that has no pedals) and he's also figured out how to go pretty fast with pedals too. Both are important gross motor skills in my opinion.

Below you see Charlie pointing a gun, fake of course, at the birthday boy himself. Cute little cowboy.

This is a shout out to Aunt Martha pictured above. Did I really just use that term? Shout out. Reminds me of listening to the radio at my friend's lake house in the 7th grade. Anyways, we love you Martha :) 

Last Thursday night, we had another type of party. Out at P. Allen Smith's farm house, Isaac and I sat with friends raising support for a cause.
For the last two years, I've had fun helping out on a committee raising funds supporting my OB doctor, Dr. Wendel, and the UAMS maternal fetal medicine endowment. 

The farm is gorgeous. Would love to renew my wedding vows to Ike out here one day ;)

Dr. Wendel, his wife, and a bunch of us volunteers helped set up for the event. 

The event was actually postponed to the following evening due to some scary weather forecasts. We were worried it would really affect the turnout, but luckily we still had a great crowd the next night. 

The million dollar goal was finally reached the night of the event. Woo-hoo!!

It was really special sitting with lots of other gals who've also been blessed by Dr. Wendel's expertise and the UAMS program. 

Can't wait til he delivers our third in just 8 weeks or so... Well, that's if this baby comes when I am predicting he will. I'm so so excited to meet him!!!

- morgan

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


My Granny, my dad's mom, passed away several years ago. Miss her tons. Every time I cook pancakes or eat English peas, when I see ducks on a pond or lake, when I hear certain hymns, when I see a lady in a church hat, when I wear one of her aprons, I remember her. Dearly. Wish she was here now to play with my kids, to tell them stories like she did when I was little. She is very missed.

Today, her husband was laid to rest right next to her. My 'Pop'. He was technically my step grandfather as Granny was widowed by my dad's father when my dad was just 17. But Pop and Granny were married before I was even born....the only grandpa I ever knew (since my moms father passed away when I was an infant). He was very much the real deal to me and my sisters.

His impeccably told stories and the way he could recite poems will forever be sketched in my heart. He helped me memorize several of them when I was in elementary school. Wish I had written down or memorized more of them. He loved in a language I easily understood, and this was long before I knew about the 5 love languages and my deep need for quality time. He was just good at conversation and good at making the most of ordinary moments. He was a great peanut loving, tomato growing, leave raking, bird watching, kid loving, poetic Pop.

He'll always have a special place in my heart and his letters, stories, and memories are priceless treasures.


Monday, October 15, 2012

The Fair

Realized at about 10:00 pm last night that today was free kiddie day at the fair. Knew we had to go. We went a couple years ago and it is still one of my fondest memories with my two kiddies. We saw pigs being born right before our eyes. That didn't happen this year, but we had just as much fun as we did two years ago. Maybe more, since both my kids could do most of the rides this year. From 9-11, you don't have to pay to park or for rides. Best kid fun deal around.

Working on our patience in some of the lines.....

Think my kids like rides :)

Such a great morning. My little poser would agree.