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

Backpacks needed a place to live. Ideally, someplace not on the floor. This corner is right in between my kitchen and family room. Perfect. (And this is where they used to live. Yuck.)

And so, after many hours of “researching” (on Pinterest), I found a post I liked and measured my space to copy it. I mapped out where everything would go (oh, look, there’s an outlet in the middle of wall. great.) and set off to Home Depot.

I used 1x6s for the sides and horizontal boards, 1x3s for the verticals and the “shelf,” and bought five black screw-in hooks.

Here we go…

First, I cut my wood pieces to the correct length, based on my *precision* measurements.

Next, I had my MANual labor slice off the base board and quarter round so I can build straight onto the wall (we pried it off with a putty knife!).


It’s time to start screwing boards into the wall (if you don’t know what countersinking is, now is the time to Google). Level it all!!


(I had to re-cut the smaller boards because my walls and floor aren’t perfect… or perhaps my *precision* measurements were off)

Now that everything’s up, putty the screw holes and seams… and let it dry. Then sand it down.


Next is tape and paint. paint. PAINT. sheesh. (This took about 4 coats, including primer.)


Hmm… I taped off the inner squares because I’ve decided chalkboard paint would go perfectly here (thanks again, Pinterest!). Ooh, and the wall, too. I made too much anyway. Hm. Then paint again because the chalkboard paint was too light. Thaaaaat’s better.


Now you let it all dry overnight, to give the 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:

– “one by sixes” are NOT actually six inches wide or 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 perfect, 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 your wood.

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

– trying to cut a tiny piece of wood with a table saw can result in said saw winning a gold medal in the shot put if you don’t have a good grip on your piece. (Thank goodness no one was standing in my neighbor’s driveway.)

– Lastly… I bought enough hooks to place two at the top (similar to my inspiration’s post, just below the “shelf”) but trying to hang jackets there just covered up the chalkboard and backpack hooks, so I took them off.