The sad, sad little coffee table

Once upon a time, there was a sad, sad little coffee table with a broken knob sitting in the back of a going-out-of-business furniture warehouse on the side of the highway. It was all alone, collecting dust with a $100 price tag (what?). And it was orange and ugly, but wait… solid wood… nice lines. I like the plank style of the top. And the turned legs. Hm. “Would you take $20 for it?” (It didn’t hurt that I was also buying $600 worth of couches.)

Truth be told, I didn’t know what to do with it. But I had heard about this new “glazing” technique that everybloggy’s talking about, so I thought I’d give that a try…

(Forgive me for not documenting the journey, but it wouldn’t have helped much!)

I roughed it up with some sandpaper, and painted it with some white interior paint I already had. The glazing technique I got from here. I decided I wanted BLACK, but after mixing in the glaze, it was grey. Ok, that’s fine.


I tried to follow her instructions, but when I wiped the “excess” off… all of it came off. So I ended up just leaving it on there, just the way the brush laid it. The glaze was pretty easy to “massage” until I got it the way I wanted. And if I didn’t like it, I just wiped it off and started fresh. It was pretty easy (and VERY forgiving!).


When it dried, I finished with some wipe-on poly and added some lil black knobs, and viola! $20 coffee table, meet the inside of my house.

I like the way the glaze accentuates the crevices. (Crevices is fun to say, I’m going to use it more.)



The Backpack Wall

** Updated with measurements**   **Kinda**

Our backpacks needed a home. Aka, not the floor. Lemme just look around on Pinterest for a minute (emerges 7 hours later). I found an idea I liked but where can I put this?

This corner is wasted space between my kitchen and family room. Perfecto. I measured my space and modified the design to suit my needs. (oh, look, an outlet in the middle of the wall. super.)

(And on the right is where backpacks used to live. *outdated Target shiver*)
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I used 1x6s for the outer frame, 1x3s for the dividers and the “shelf,” and bought five black drunk octopus hooks. (I had screws, wood putty, basic tools and paint on hand.)

** Update** So many people have requested the measurements of the wood, but it will vary based on your space. Essentially:

  • Two 1×6″ on either side (I think they were 48″ tall)
  • Three 1×6″ horizontal boards in between the sides at the top, the bottom and in the middle-ish (like 2/3rds of the way up) … me thinks they were also 48″ long
  • Four vertical 1×3″ pieces were placed above and below the middle piece (the bottom two were around 20″ tall and the tops were about 10″)
  • One 60-ish” long piece of 1×3″ for the little shelf across the top 

IMG_1000s IMG_1003s

NOW ON TO THE WALL… To start, my MANual labor sliced off the base board and quarter round so we can build straight onto the wall. Thanks, babe! LOOK, your hands and right knee are famous! 

I started with the sides, then the middles, then the dividers (while singing to myself I wanna see you level it, just a little bit).

I used wood putty on the screw holes and seams and let it dry (and so ended DAY 1), then sanded it down and wiped off the dust.

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Next is taping and priming and painting. painting. paintinGAH. sheesh. (This took about 4 coats, including primer.)

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I taped off the tops because I’ve decided chalkboard paint would go perfectly here (thanks again, Pinterest!). Ooh, and the wall on the left, too. I made too much anyway. (Then I mixed another batch because the first one was light gray and chalk is white. Duh.)


I let it all dry overnight (finally the end of DAY 2), to give the paint/chalkboard time to set up. Here it is… before, and after! Tadaa! (FYI, that is an engineering print from Staples for $7, but that’s another post for another day.)


Here’s what I messed up on, so you don’t have to make my mistakes:

– So, 1x6s are neither six inches wide nor are they one inch thick. Shenanagans, right? They are actually 3/4″ by 5.5″, so take that into account when measuring and cutting. Same with 1x3s – they are 3/4″ by 2.5″ (I know… holy fractions, Batman).

– Walls and floors are NOT level, so WAIT to cut the smaller pieces until after the big ones are in place, then measure the space again. What should be 19.5″ in your design ends up being 20″ in real life, so don’t waste ya wood.

– Chalkboard paint can be made in any color, but make it dark enough so chalk will show up. Duh.