Friday, July 11, 2014

A Little Obsession With Painting

My Not-So-Empty Nest

It's been four days since Monday and another three days until the next Monday and yet I'm choosing today to participate in Joanne's Make it New Monday.  This month she talked  about giving up on perfectionism so perhaps waiting to join her link-up on Friday is my nod to that!


This summer I've had a little fascination with paint.  Like, if it has a neutral surface, it better look out!

It all started with my kids' wooden picnic table that we keep on our back deck.  Maddie received it as a gift years ago, back when we lived in a town house and had only three kids.  The spring  we moved, three years ago, I painted it white, but the table had seen better days. 

Then our dog used it as a chew toy when he was a puppy and we considered throwing it away, but the kids still enjoy sharing a snack around the table so I decided to give it a makeover.

I asked Brian to replace the wood on the benches and then I got to work with my paintbrush.  I bought a pale aqua paint to do the base of the table and then I brushed leftover chalkboard paint (from another project) on the top to make it part-snack table, part-art table.

Is it perfect!  Absolutely not.  If you look closely, you can see where, despite painter's tape, the black paint smudged into the aqua paint.  Plus the animals have already started chipping away some of the paint near the bottom of the legs. 

It's a lot prettier, though, and the kids love it!

Next my eyes turned to a wreath on my living room wall.  It was one of those things that hung there so long I didn't notice it anymore.  It had red berries and looked pretty at Christmas, but wasn't really a color I love or wanted to use in my house.

I considered giving it away and I considered putting it away until Christmas, but on a whim I bought a can of spray paint.  

The wreath didn't take the whole can of paint, though, so I started hunting for another surface.  I've always thought our plain-Jane folding chairs were a little boring.  We keep them in a closet and bring them out for extra seating at parties, but they certainly aren't homey.

A can-and-a-half of spray paint later, they still are not kind to the behind, but at least my folding chairs are cuter.

Speaking of chairs, I went to a yard sale a few weeks ago of a couple who was selling the entire contents of their house.  By the time I arrived, most of the furniture was gone and what remained was a little overpriced.  I sifted through the contents of the garage, though, and purchased a $2 chair that was dirty and had paint splattered on the seat. 

I brought it home and gave it a good douse with the hose.  With a combination of soap and water, a Mr. Clean Eraser, and a bit of elbow grease, I removed the stray paint drops from most of the chair.  Then I spent several morning hours priming (1 coat), painting (2 coats), and staining (2 coats) the seat of the chair.

The best part? The primer was left over from a long-ago project  and the paint was left over from the kids' picnic table! 

This beauty now has a place in our living room in front of our built-in bookcases. The kids think it doubles as a kitchen stool.

Next up in my painting line-up?  An end table I bought for $5 that wants to make its home in our dining room...or maybe the wrought iron basket I found in our shed last weekend...


  1. I love all your aqua painting projects! That's one of my favorite colors. I really like to paint, but it seems like I haven't painted anything in a long time. When we built our new desk recently my Dad actually did all the polyurethane because I didn't want to deal with the fumes.

  2. If good enough is better than undone, then late is better than never!
    Your painting frenzy certainly paid off with some really nice results. I love the colors you chose, and using chalkboard paint for the picnic table... genius! Your chair/kitchen stool find looks like a great bargain at $2. Sturdy chairs are hard to find at such a good price.

    Thanks so much for linking up this month. I really do enjoy seeing other peoples' makeovers!

    1. I definitely agree with sturdy wooden chairs being expensive. We recently looked into buying a new set of dining room chairs...let's just say we may be looking for mismatched ones at yard sales or thrift stores for now.

    2. Really, any wooden furniture can be expensive. I am more and more intrigued by the idea of mismatched furniture, though, including dining room chairs. If you paint them the same color or even paint a part of them like I did my chair, it brings the individuals together like a set.

    3. That's what I'm leaning towards now, especially after calculating the cost of a set of 8 or 10 :) Either that or building two benches and only buying two chairs, but then I have to actually have the time to build them. We're already planning on building a new table in the next year or so (the 6 foot table we have now is rapidly getting too small), so I'm not sure I want to make time to build benches as well.

  3. I have a coffee table and a playhouse I've been wanting to paint for a while...just not quite brave enough, yet.

  4. What fun! I love sprucing up the house...and doing it "on the cheap" is very satisfying. Love the picnic table!!


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