Monday, June 7th
My focus last week was on one thing (after caring for my baby, of course). That one thing was converting two end tables into something that I can love to look at (and love might be too strong a word). See, here’s the story:
When I married Joe, I adopted 2 stained-oak end tables. Good bones, but the truth is, the look was way passed it’s prime. Between my collected-over-the-years and handed-down furniture and Joe’s, we have quite a smorgasbord. As anyone who truly knows me can attest, I dream constantly about what I want our house to look like. Joe appreciates a well-designed and decorated space (now), but he’s really not interested in the details and doesn’t think about it all the time like me. My goal has been to use what we’ve got and make it work as we gradually (emphasis on GRADUALLY) collect new furniture that is “ours.”
Tangent – My sweet mom gave us my long-coveted white slipcovered sofa for Christmas. Most people think I’m crazy, including Joe, but I will argue all day long that white slipcovered furniture is practical with kids. Hello, bleach and washing machine. Can’t do that with an upholstered piece. I can now say that we’ve had it about 3 months with a drooling and spit-uppy baby, eat dessert on it every night, and I still love it.
Back to the tables. So after we got married and I moved in, we painted the tables red. Generally, I’m not wild about red in the interiors. I can appreciate it in certain situations and it has it’s place, but caution should be taken. I went with red because we had extra paint lying around in the shed from a previous homeowner and the color coordinated with some tones in the artwork above our mantel. So, after sanding and some paint, we were happy with the transformation. Almost four years later, I’m over it. The red that is. My VERY practical husband would argue that you work with what you’ve got instead of buying new when at all possible during tight financial seasons. I agree. Well, I agreed…until this week.
After weeks of deliberation, I decided the tables would work best in the room if they were painted black with a rubbed finished. I would allow a little of the red to show through, so I would be reminded of the table’s past, and then in other places I would sand through to the original oak. Seems relatively simple, right? I got to work with my electric sander, sand paper, and spray enamel. After my first day of work, I was disgustingly sweaty and had enamel over-spray all over me (including in my nose – and I wore a mask) and in the carport (yes, I used lots of plastic sheeting, too) and I was also not pleased with the paint’s coverage – totally uneven.
So, to not bore you with the details, the saga continued for four days – fixing problems made by the paint and by me. The weather was very humid and very hot, and with using black paint, outside in the sun was not a good idea (paint will bubble up). When the weather was overcast I would work in the grass, basically moving the tables back and forth. The project took twice as long as I anticipated, and I had set way too high expectations for myself.
Sunday came and since we were headed out of town, I had to stop working. The fun needed to end, and I don’t know who’s more relieved, Joe or me. Maybe one day I’ll look back and think this was a good idea. But right now I’m thinking…why didn’t I buy those cute end tables at Two Women and a Warehouse?
Sunday, June 13th
So here we are, a week later. The paint fumes have dissipated and Joe moved the tables into their place – flanking the white sofa. I’m happy enough with them, though I think it’ll be awhile before I paint another piece of furniture…or Joe lets me. (I still have to put the drawer pulls back on once they’ve been polished.) If you’re wondering where the coffee table is, we moved it out of the room to allow for sufficient crawl space.
Now, on to the next project!