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Updating a 1990’s Butcher Block Table

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I don’t know about you guys but I am ready for a few things to change. I am ready for a little warmer weather, to be able to have friends and family over, and for this whole stay at home thing to end.

I hasn’t all been bad around here though. We live on 15 beautiful acres of land that allows us lots of space. Another benefit is knocking out small projects that were going to get done “one day” like cleaning out storage buildings, organizing the linen closet, fixing some minor cracks in the Sheetrock, and paint touch ups. We also have a few projects coming up. Before the world slowed to a crawl we had a new washer and dryer delivered and installed (FYI- in the country you have to switch a gas dryer from natural gas to propane and that is a pain.) With the laundry upgrades, the laundry room is about to get spiffed up. I am getting excited about that one!

We also did a project that turned out beautifully and will make our main eating area much more functional. Every since we moved into the house we have had a table that was once in our formal dining room as our breakfast room table. I really do love the table and we have had it at least 35 years. It just hasn’t worked well for us in the space that we have.

This is the most recent picture of the table I had before it got moved out.

The design of our ranch house is a little unusual. The front door of the house, that is really not convenient for guests, opens directly into the space that our coffee bar and table are in. When we moved in the former owners had closed the front door off completely and had a china cabinet sitting in that space. We have installed that beautiful mahogany door and added a really large porch so the space gets lots of traffic now. The space isn’t very large and when we have a crowd over it is tight in that space.

We kept using the table there even though it wasn’t a great fit because, well, we liked the table and we already had it. The 47 inch diameter table had a leaf that extended the length when we needed more seating which was great. The final straw that forced the change (and I am glad it did) was when moving back into the house after getting the flooring replaced the leaf was damaged. It was time to go. I started looking on Facebook marketplace and found this solid wood table for $50.00. The information on the underside said it had a1998 shipping date.

It was solid wood but had some wear on the top.

My son gave us some dark walnut stain from a project they were working on and oil based poly for the tabletop. I found a mistint can of paint at our Home Depot a while back that I knew would be perfect. It is almost a dark pewter gray. My husband did an amazing job sanding and sanding the the top, staining it and then applying three coats of semigloss polyurethane to the tabletop.

The color is closest to this picture. For some reason the other photos look greenish.

This table is going to work so much better for us. When we have a party we will be able to move the table against the wall as additional serving space. The 32 inch width gives almost another foot of walking space through the area. It feels good to make progress on the house during this time of such uncertainty and sad news. We have decided to use this time to turn lemons into lemonade on our little corner of the world and get projects we can do without bringing others onto our property.

I hope this week finds you and your family safe and healthy. We love hearing from you.

Blessings,

Karen

Mersman Drum Table Troubles

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We have a cat named Chloe. She is a 17 year old, grumpy cat who works hard to make sure we all know that she is queen of the house. She only eats soft food ( extra gravy variety only) and cat treats. Chloe hisses at everyone, and she would probably smoke and drink whiskey if she could figure out how to make that happen. Her feeding time is somewhere between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. We either have to get up, give her a clean bowl, fresh water, and food or she will stand in the hallway and yowl until we do.

The picture above is the best shot I could get of her. She was making another attempt to get up on the table after I had run her off twice.

I was given a 1950’s mahogany Mersman drum table with a damaged top and today I am going to tell you the tale of the table. The photo below is not mine but is similarly to how the table looked when I got it. The only exception is that my table had a large stain on the tabletop.

By now you may be wondering what a table and our old grumpy cat have in common. Well, I named this table Chloe. Does that give you an idea how much trouble this table was?

In my quest to get my stash of unloved furniture moved along I started work on the drum table. Everything except the top of the table was in great shape. I have no idea what in the world was spilled on the table but it soaked in and the top couldn’t be saved. Even after sanding, painting ( primer then paint) and polyurethaning the top the darn stain bled through. I had to get out the serious primer to knock it down. It took two coats of primer. That was when I knew this table would be trouble.

It took three coats of paint to get the top smooth. I spray painted the feet and drawer pulls old gold so I decided to try stenciling roses on the top. Finally I added a coat of poly to seal it…again.

She turned out pretty didn’t she?

I have been pretty spoiled selling my furniture up here. Nothing has been posted more than a day or two. The piece took a while to sell. There were two no shows, then I got sick the morning that a real live owner was coming to get it. I had to let the buyer know I would have to deliver it for them once I felt better. My son volunteered to take it to the new owner but it wouldn’t fit in the back of his car.

The final, and I do mean final straw was the delivery. The table tipped over on the way. I stopped the car and checked the paint. Thankfully there wasn’t any damage to the paint job so I continued on. When I delivered the piece to a sweet older couple, this was laying in the back of the suv.

That darn table.

Drum table 1, me 0.

I literally gave the table to the couple for free and walked away.

Bye Chloe.

Ever have one of those projects?

I hope you week has been amazing.

Blessings,

Karen

Quick Home Office Makeover

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The one room that has been totally neglected since we moved in to our suburban home is my office.  It has been our dumping ground, a storage space, and an all around under used space in our home. 

   
   
I know what you are thinking, and you are right.  What a mess!

When I changed jobs recently the need for a home office became critical.  I am currently sharing a really small office at work and I need a quiet place to get some of my tasks done.  

As the closing on our property has been slow Mr. Math and I  came up with a plan to deal with one of the things that have piled up in the office,  paint.   I just can’t pass up samples of paint in the oops bin.  I also love spray paint and sometimes forget I have a color so I buy more.   We decided to use a 6 1/2 inch space behind the door to Store all of the spray paints and samples that I have.  I think that having them all in one place may stop me from buying more than I need…I hope anyway.

Mr. Math installed white brackets from Home Depot that were under $2.00 each and bought the plastic coated shelving.  He did have to notch around the door trim.

I am getting a ton of storage out of unused space here.

   
   
While the shelving unit went up, I sorted though my closet and made it more organized.  I donated a few loose items, and cleared the trash.    Believe me folks, this is organized in my world. 

  
A new rolling cart from Aldi will be where I keep the things currently. Getting worked on.  Check out the Wednesday ads for Aldi, folks.  They have some cool things that randomly pop up.   My vinyl cutter also now has a home that makes sense. 

  
The best part about the makeover were the curtains.  $29.99 for a pair of 96 inch long lined curtains from Homegoods.  I had to buy two sets but for $60.00 total they pack a punch.  

   
   
Everything else in the room came from around the house.

I added in some of my favorite sayings and an old drop leaf pine table tat can will be pulled out for projects and I rearranged.  All in this quick makeover was just over $100.00.  

  
   
I have more “S’s” but this weekend I couldn’t seem to put my finger on them.  They will be added to the wall as they turn up. 

 
A friend made this awesome sign doing a particularly tough time this last year and I love that I can see it when I walk in from the laundry room.

  
I hope you had a productive weekend.

Blessings,

Karen

Saginaw Furniture Company Expand-O-Matic

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I am always amazed at what I find at garage sales.  At the time I was at my latest garage sale, our house was being inspected so I wasn’t sure if the house would pass.  I had already told myself we were killing time, not buying.  I did pretty well… except for two milk glass mugs and a wooden bowl until I spied something I had never seen before.  It looked like a desk, and I could tell it was old, but what  clinched it for me was the fact that it expanded to become a six foot long table.  What in the world?  The leaves were missing but I had to have it for my long hoped for my craft/ Murphy bed room I am planning at our new spot.  When the bed is set up the table can collapse to be a bench.  

   
  

   

  

  

The price on the desk thing was $25.00, and I couldn’t resist. 

When I got home I started checking online to see what I had.  It took some searching but I finally found it.  Saginaw Furniture Company Expand-O-Matic.  It was probably from the late 40’s or early 50’s. They changed the name to Expandway later but I love the older name.

They were made for New York apartments and were sold up until the 60’s.  The top drawer is lined  and divided to hold silverware.  Apparently the morning mini home market has made these cool again and these puppies are selling for $600.00 complete.

  
Mine is going to get stainable leaves.  The top and leaves will be dark walnut..  The base is going to be painted teal.  I already have the perfect chair for it when it is a desk.

  
Here are some shots from Etsy.  All I could find were sold. 

   
I wish I had those leaves but we should be able to do something that looks nice.

  

  

Mine only expands 6 feet.

 

I also am changing jobs so the suitcase wall will be moving into the craft room along with the sewing cabinet.  As soon as the leaves are done and the Murphy bed built, the room will be done.  This may be the easiest room to put together at the house.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Blessings,

Karen

Drop Cloth Upholstery

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Recently one of my favorite stores to walk through, Harbor Freight,  had cloth drop cloths on sale with a coupon for $2.99 each.  (Right now they are on sale for $6.99 which is still a deal.)  If you don’t have a Harbor Freight near you, I am sorry.  Just kidding.  They have a great online store and any order is $6.99 to ship.  

  

Hubby picked up two for me when he was out and silly me, I planned on using them for drop cloths.  When I looked at them, I knew that I would be using them for tons of stuff.  The drop cloths are 4 foot wide by 12 foot long and the fabric is heavy weight, hemmed, unbleached cotton.  I now have 5 of them stacked up and ready for use.  I am seriously thinking they are going to be curtain panels in our new home.

My very first project with my drop cloth fabric was to recover the bench at the foot of the bed.

We made this bench from four table legs I grabbed (with permission) out of the trash at a garage sale.  It has been in the room since we moved in.

I got out the drop cloth, the ironing board, and removed the bench top from the bench.

 

 

I set up the ironing board and ironed the drop cloth.  What does it say about me that I know where the saw horses are, but had to search for the ironing board?

 

 

Here is a hint.  Get a spray bottle out and Damien the fabric along with the steam feature on the iron.  Set the iron on high and put on some tunes.  It will take a while.

Once the fabric was ready I set up the saw horses, cut the fabric to fit, got out my staple gun and covered the bench top.

 

 Tah Dah.  I could have stopped there but I wanted to tie in the coral color I am adding to the navy bedroom.  I wanted the look to sort of mimic a feed sack look so I taped off three stripes.

 

 

Here are the stripes finished.  My Hubby, Mr. Math wasn’t home so he didn’t cringe when I just “eyeballed” the stripes.  I wanted them to look rustic.

  

 Please note the shoes under the bench.  Don’t judge me.  I live in this house with a very patient husband who really only resufuses to do two things; put shoes in the closet and clean toilets.  I choose my battles.  The best solution we have agreed on is that they have to go under the bench.

I did get the shoes out so you could see the bench but it totally confused another member of our family.  

 

 She was determined to see what was under the bench.    

  

Here it is finished.  

I hope you guys have a great day.

I love hearing from you.

Blessings, 

Karen 

   

When Furniture Finds Its Way Home

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A sweet couple that used to live across the street from us moved to Hawkins, Texas- population 1278.  When they moved they sold me their farmhouse table.   They just did not think that they had room for the long table in their new dining room.   I really only bought it for the legs because the top was not solid wood.  The table hung out in the Garagemahal for months, and I do mean months.  It was heavy and had to be moved any time that I was working on a project so I started to think I just needed to get rid of it.  I decided just to paint it all out and sell it.  I mentioned on Facebook to my friends that I was going to be selling the table and guess who responded that she wanted it?  The original owner!  As soon as I started on the table, a friend gave me two chairs and a bench that I knew would be joining the table.  They we’re a mess, but wood.

I also had four other chairs hanging out in the Garagemahal that I bought for a song at Canton.

Do you like mixing and matching chairs around a table as much as I do?  I love painting mixed chairs the same color.    All in my friend ended up with a table that seats 8 for her dining room.  The fabric on the chairs is young and fresh, just like my friends.

  

I love the Behr sea salt bottom and the revival mahogany together on the table but next year when our life is a little slower I would like to change out the top for a stained solid wood top.

  

My buddy waited a long time to get her table and chairs (like since November)  but this past Saturday I got the chance to go and visit their little bit of heaven.

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I love the dark mustard walls with the upholstery.

They call their home the Crooked T Ranch, I think it is charming.  I am smitten with her sunroom/craft room and her bathroom has an original fireplace and chandelier in it.

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A Bench From Bits and Parts

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Well operation trash to treasure went well this weekend. A year ago I bought four sets of headboards/ footboards for $12.00.  One of them ended up on my front porch.  One ended up as a gift for a friend.

making a bench frame

The one that ended up being mine is partially assembled here.  The others are in the background.

The last two have been hanging around the garage ever since. The double bed one was a mid century teak veneer headboard that had a broken leg and the twin set was mostly that not real wood, you know the stuff…sawdust and glue with contact paper on top covering it all, except the four bedposts which were cannon ball style solid wood spindles. It was the grossest piece of junk in the garage. Mold was even growing on the swollen wood like substance. Mr. Math has seriously asked to get rid of that particular set more than any other piece in the garage. I just kept thinking inspiration would strike.

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Finally, it came to me…marry the best of both sets to make one bench.

The bench is going on our lake house front porch . It is going to be a functional seat to put on or take off shoes. No bells, no whistles, no arms… Just painted wood with stained slats for seats.

I came up with the idea of using the bed posts in the moldy set upside down as the legs of the mid century set. The curvy legs add to the straight lines and cutting the footboard in half horizontally allowed more of them to show.

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I decided to do slats for two reasons; I like the way the stained slats look and leaving little gaps between them will allow for rain and dirt to fall through.  Here they are all cut, sanded and ready for stain.  Minwax Jacobean stain is my go-to stain for a dark color.

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After staining this collection of mismatched boards from the scrap pile looks more uniform.

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If you know me, then you know the steps to getting paint on a piece.  Sand the flat places, use liquid deglosser on the curves and gooves, prime it all with Zinser primer.

I feel like I say this a lot lately but seriously, the weather is just not my friend right now.  Here are photos of the 90% completed bench.  I SOOOO very much wanted it to be out on the porch when the realtor showed up, but alas, no luck with the weather allowing me to finish.

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Here are the photos of the bench all put together.  There are two boards that need painting and it needs a good coat of Poly before going on the porch.  This bench out of bits and parts will probably end up being one the most used benches we own.  I am going to make rolling crated to go under it for shoes.

I would love hearing from you.

Have a great day,

Karen

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