Have you noticed how all our Friday posts have catchy titles with “Friday” in them, but absolutely NO consistency? Fashion Friday, Freaky Friday, Furniture Friday…wait, are you seeing consistency yet?
You got it, we’re throwing out f-words like nobody’s business ;)
Anyway, I feel I’ve mentioned my new house in passing a few times without ever giving any real details. Fact is, we’re in a new house, and have been for just over a month. In that time we’ve moved walls, built closets, redone flooring, painted top to bottom (minus one room left to do), acquired both heat and laundry (not sure which I was happier about) and made plans to redo the kitchen.
Having two kids, limited construction experience, and not-too-strong arms means there are many areas in which I have not helped. Although, said not-too-strong arms did move a fireplace and armoire up the stairs, both of which weighed at least as much if not more than me. I had visions of my heavily-muscled beloved losing his grip on the bulk of the weight and hearing an unpleasant splurch-crunch as the furniture item landed atop me on the tiled floor below.
Clean-up, aisle one. Can someone grab this guy another wife? This one’s no good. Doesn’t even know what apostrophes are.
But I can paint. I love to paint. I’m not kidding when I say that I find watching paint dry a truly enjoyable activity. In decorating school, I was really just biding my time through space planning, perspective drawing, and business plans. I was all about the paint. Colour is my life, my passion, my love. I worked for various Benjamin Moore paint stores for 6 years, and loved every minute. I was surrounded by colour. My home needs to be full of colour.
Since my mother-in-law was kind enough to tackle most of the ceilings and walls with my menagerie of colours, my evenings have been spent on furniture. I have always loved the look of painted furniture, and my mismatched collection of bargain finds over the past 10 years is the perfect canvas. There’s just something about painted furniture that I find so welcoming, warm, and comfortable.
One of my projects was a coffee table. When we moved to Ottawa, I sold my glass-topped, sharp-edged coffee table out of deference to my new baby who I assumed would be unable to resist impaling an eye on it. In Ottawa, we purchased a storage ottoman that served as a coffee table, despite its unstable, narrow top.
When it was time to move this time around, I happened across a perfect free coffee table, with a matching end table! It was wide, basic, and sturdy, and damaged enough to be considered paintable. Everyone was happy.
Then I saw another coffee table I wanted, for only $30. I got that one too. My husband barely batted an eyelash at the 3 new tables stacked in our little rental house, waiting to be moved.
That second coffee table is the one I revamped, and I’m so happy with the “feel” it gives the room…although I now realize a large round coffee table would’ve been more suitable to the space. I’m keeping my eyes peeled.
Here’s a rundown of the process, starting with my inspiration pieces:
And this is the table I ended up with (sorry for the lousy picture):
It caught my eye because it had the country-style legs and feet I was going for, as well as a grooved top. The top was very dry and cracking in a couple spots, but I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this!
I primed the legs with an oil-based primer and painted them twice with Benjamin Moore’s Advance paint, which I highly recommend for coverage and leveling qualities. This 3-day process provided plenty of entertainment for the kids in the mornings…this is why I paint in the evenings.
I wasn’t too worried about their antics since then I took sandpaper to my perfect paint job:
I love this look, and creating it is both fun and challenging, as the GOAL is imperfection and irregularity, and the tendency is to try to make it uniform. I really try to rub down the edges that would naturally rub, with a few extra sanded parts here and there. I’m still not sure if maybe it needs a little more distressing, what are your thoughts?
In the pictures it looks very white, but in actuality it is very cream, similar to my first inspiration picture, which is a much softer look with the wood top.
For the top, I applied two coats of a combination stain/sealer to give it some sheen and protection.
I’m really quite thrilled with how this turned out. I did the same finish on a little oak end table I had, to give them coherence despite their totally different styles. Here it is in its new home (not sure what was making me so crooked!):
Now I need to recover a couple armloads of cushions to break up the brown-ness of the room, hang some things on the walls, and call it a day for the living room!
PS. Decor suggestions and/or questions are always welcome too, especially colour related ones ;)
Alicia Louwerse says
Hey Anna, what kind of stain/sealer did you use on the coffee table?
And also, what kind of oil base primer and clear coat did you use on the coffee table? How is it holding up? I have a coffee table that I hope refinish in the next few weeks – I want to make sure I do it so it’s good and durable, it’s going in our new family room/play room downstairs :)
I used a 2-in-1 stain/sealer on the top, Saman brand makes a nice one with lots of colour selection in oil or water based versions. For the painted portion, I primed it with Zinsser’s Cover Stain oil based primer and painted it with regular latex paint (satin is a nice finish if you want the distressed look, not quite as shiny as semi-gloss). If you use a good quality paint you don’t need to clear coat the painted portion. Hope that helps!
Looks GREAT!!!! So now we need some more pictures of the sidebar etc!!!! AND I would love to see a picture of your bedroom!!! Heard it looks GREAT! Maybe you may just have to skype me and take me for a “walk around”!!!
I need to get some things on the walls and the finishing touches done and I’ll definitely be posting whole-house pics :) Our laptop webcam doesn’t work anymore so I don’t think we could do a walk-around on Skype :(
I suppose I will have to be happy with the whole-house pics then!!! Pity your webcam doesn’t work… you may have to get one! You do have one on your desk top though right??
Yes, we do have one on the desktop! We will have to skype sometime even if you can’t see the whole house :)
Where did you go to find that coffee table originally? Flea market? Kijiji? I’m looking for some revamp projects.. including coffee tables.. our ikea ones aren’t cutting it anymore.. ps.. any color choices (not in paint) but in pillows and curtains etc. to liven up a brown living room?
I found mine through a Facebook furniture group, basically a Craigslist or Kijiji type thing…I love the idea of thrift stores/flea markets but you have to go often to get great finds, and with 2 easily bored little ones it doesn’t really work :) For colours, I’m accenting with turquoise, red-orange and cream/yellow…green and turquoise or green and yellow are nice and fresh too! I ordered a bunch of fabrics for a great deal from fabric.com and can’t wait to recover my throw cushions!
I can’t believe you resurrected that missing apostrophe and hid it (twice!!) in your post. Sigh… this could all have been avoided if your beloved did the gentlemanly thing and stood downhill from you on the stairs.
Interesting look on the table. Our stuff tends to look like that after a few moves… so all you need to do is move more often!
Lol, he tried that route but it meant I had to haul the weight up the stairs, walking backwards….and I walk backwards about as well as I drive backwards.