I have not done a furniture project in ages (assembling Ikea and used furniture for the kids rooms doesn’t count!) and am excited to show you how I updated our living room coffee table.
Okay, so technically this is kinda of a second flip, because I bought this coffee table off of OfferUp ages ago and the woman who I bought it from had flipped it after getting it at a second hand store. Anyways, long story short, I decided to redo this coffee table because the wear of 8ish years was really starting to show. Between toddler dance parties a top it, ice cream movie nights, and fierce card games, this thing has stayed strong and sturdy which is fantastic, but the paint was rapidly declining from “distressed” to IN distress.
The top was black and the legs were white and that black just showed every speck of dust and dirt. I didn’t really have a vision, but I knew I didn’t want to have to buy any supplies, and I needed it to be a project that I could get done quickly so that it wouldn’t distract from the busy schedule.
Husband has two huge sanders in his shop and naturally, C found it for me and plugged it in when I mentioned I wanted to start the project- he’s so helpful with tools! This sander… it is amazing. The whole coffee table was stripped in 20 minutes. I.am.a.FAN.
I really like natural wood, but that stripped color wasn’t quite right; it was just a tad pale. I thought of ways I could keep the natural look but darken it up a bit without spending any money on stain. Luckily, I have a bit of experience with natural dyes and oo lala, coffee to the rescue! I brewed up some strong black coffee and poured it all over the table and let it sit for about 30 minutes, then I rubbed it in really well and did it again.
I left the black paint in the lines you see there on the top and sides because I really liked the look. After the coffee throughly dried I got my wood burning pen and wrote our names on the top. Kinda spontaneous and fun. I don’t have any plans to get rid of the coffee table since it is one of our most solid pieces of furniture, so I thought, why not? I got the wood burning pen years ago so that I could inscribe the year on a wood round from each of our Christmas tree trunks. They then become ornaments. It is a really special tradition.
I love the rustic feel and the imperfections of the sanding, I think it adds to the charm. However, it’s not all about charm, I need this table to last, so I sealed it with A’s help with two coats of clear wax. I was really pleased with how well the wax went on and how well it dried. It repels spills really well- yep, it was inside for two hours before it was unintentionally tested with a pouch of apple sauce.
I really hope it olds up well. I am happy it was such a quick and easy project.
There certainly is a magic in rearranging your space isn’t there? Nothing like a new coat of paint or tossing out a pile of clutter, am I right? As much as I like to decorate and refresh our home, I rarely get the time to do it. But necessity is the mother of invention, and with school coming to a close I had to make time to start the big project of switching A and C’s rooms.
Lil C is 2 and a half and around this age we start thinking about a “big kid” bed for the gradual transition she will be making to sharing a room with A. I’m not fooling myself, I know Pickle will be sleeping near me (for at least most of the night) for a good while yet. We all embrace this. Our philosophy is; let them be little. In the mean time, she can start having a more concrete space for her toys, books, and clothes. Where toddler property laws are concerned, if they like it, it’s theirs! A bedroom space helps solidify the concept that there are Pickle things, and there are Miss A’s things, and that it’s okay to not share all the time. To accommodate for both girls and all their things, it was necessary to swap C and A’s rooms. They were both very excited for this change much to my relief. The process took me a couple of weeks, fitting in painting, shopping for and assembling furniture, and sorting toys and clothes in between school and guild prep.. you get the idea- it has been hectic.
As a family of five in 1000 square feet of living space, we have to get creative with storage solutions. Since hacking small spaces is super “in” these days there are quite a bit of resources and inspiration online, however, doing so amidst the current price surges and supply chain issues is a whole other kettle of fish. To solve this problem I had to plan ahead, compromise on some furniture choices, and go with used options. I appreciated the opportunity to be frugal and resourceful but I’d be lying if said it all turned out exactly how I envisioned. But the deviation from the vision wasn’t all because of the current market.
As kids get older they have the audacity to start to get opinions, so despite what my Pinterest boards looked like, C and A had different ideas. Don’t get me wrong it’s their rooms, their choice, within reason of course. So while wildflower wall paper and off white walls is what I thought the girls would like, the overwhelming vote was for purple, pink, and gold. I have to admit, it reflects their girly style and colorful personalities very well. C was confident he wanted black walls but once I said no to that he wanted white. Less is more with this almost pre-teen; I was told more than once very nicely that a few of his past decorations in his room he did not want to use again because they, ”are kind of little kid ish, Mom.” *sniff* Growing up too fast I tell ya.
That’s what has been keeping me pretty busy these days! I am lucky to have such helpful kiddos. C even assembled some of the furniture by himself! Miss A is always so helpful with Pickle entertaining while I paint. The project took me longer than I’d like, but I am really proud of all the hard work the kids did to help make their new rooms happen. They each got chances to work on assembling things, and they both learned how to prep for painting a room and helped me with that in both rooms. Most importantly, they are thrilled with the new look and updated space.
Summer is almost here, and with school and our big extra curricular commitments are almost finished, we start our summer sports and prep for 3rd and 5th grade. With the bedrooms refreshed and a little more time on my hands (hopefully for a couple weeks) I look forward to writing more about our adventures home and abroad.