Tuesday, May 8, 2012

DIY Chalkboard Table Top and Chalkboard Backed Chairs

I posted a while back on a table I thrifted last year. The table was just $40, kind of old fashioned but solid and sturdy (unlike our last dining table set that fell apart after 2 years). They just don't make things like they used to... at least not furniture. I knew it would be the perfect table to refinish and I figured at $40 if I messed it up (quite possible) then it we be ok...

I waited until after we did our recent kitchen remodel (hopefully another post soon that's soon to come) before getting a jump start on the project. I knew I wanted to go the chalkboard route. I may have taken it a bit far... But its not often I refinish a dining table so I decided in addition to the chalkboard table top, to also do chalk backed chairs. Kind of like "director" style chairs. This way we can write names on the backs of the chairs, funny quotes, time out chair...things of that nature.
And after many hours of sanding and painting:
The whole process was kind of humorous to be honest. At first I was going to just tackle it sanding by hand. Then one day my husband came home with an electric sander for me (yes for me to use, not him, clearly  no interest in helping but I am happy to have his support)...

Turns out it was a "finishing sander" which still did the job on the table top but the rest of dining set was kind of sanding nightmare. It was like the never ending sanding project and at one point I gave up, then I went back at it the next night and so on.

Even now after its completed I have this "I didn't sand it enough" guilt but I just wasn't sure when enough was enough. One night at about 11pm after much sanding I thought "this table cost $40 and if I sand any more then that's just crazy." And the sanding stopped. But of course before the painting could start there was a whole lot of vacuuming and cleaning to get rid of all the dust, fun times!

Being the cheap person I am, I decided to just use up an old can of white latex paint instead of buying new paint at the hardware store. So the only supplies I purchased were a small can of chalkboard paint, a small can of polyurethane and sandpaper.

Since I didn't have a primer, I had to do two coats of white. As you can see, the table legs and chairs have a lot of detail in the woodwork so the painting actually took a lot longer than I thought it would, but it didn't bother me as much as the sanding... After two coats of the white I distressed it with sandpaper, just rubbing off areas that would normally naturally look worn on an old table. Then I did the final glaze on the white, 2 coats of the polyurethane - allowing it to dry thoroughly in between coats.

Finally, to finish up I painted two coats of the chalkboard paint on the table top and the backs of the chairs. After the chalkboard paint was thoroughly dry I cured it by rubbing chalk on it, and finally (finally) my table was finished. All for under $70. And alot of elbow grease.

Whether its a chair with a guest name on it, a time out chair (my personal favorite), a good girl/boy reward chair, homework chair, treat chair, you name it, I think there is a lot of fun to be had. As for the table top? I'm looking forward to making lists and playing games. My husband is excited to solve math equations with our little one. Good times ahead.
I ummed and ahhed about posting this project for a while. Mostly because this is so different from my usual crafts. And of course because I wanted to take decent pictures and my indoor photography is limited to weekends. Working full time there is just no time for taking pictures indoors during the week so sat or sun mornings it is. I managed to snap a few pics (quickly) last weekend.

I eventually decided to edit my pictures with the cinema scope effect. I'm kind of addicted to it right now...

As much as I felt like I was losing it with the sanding, I'm actually looking forward to my next furniture refinishing project. I'm looking for no-sanding involved projects... I just picked up and old school telephone table at goodwill for $7.50...

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Treats for you...

Being a cover artist is such an honor. I have been fortunate enough to have my projects on the cover of Take Ten a few times, and my daughter was on the recent cover of Create With Me. Much to my surprise, I recently had the honor of one of my projects for Stampington making it onto the cover of Somerset Life. A simple gift packaging project called "treats for you." A real treat for me...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Busy with instagram (and other things...)

I haven't blogged in the longest time... For a number of reasons. Mainly because the holiday season and January are without a doubt the busiest time of year for me, but now I finally feel like I will have more personal time to tackle a few projects around the house, get back into shape, and hopefully blog more often. In the midst of all the craziness I have been addicted to instagram, I'll be honest, its rather addicting... I finally got an iphone and have been looking at all the different picture aps for iphoneography and so far instagram is my favorite. Its almost too easy to take pictures and just let your iphone do all the editing for you. I actually havnt been using my slr as much as I was, shame on me! In January I did the photo a day challenge inspired by Chantelle from fatmumslim. I started February but I have been rather slack keeping up this month. I put together just a few of my favorite instagram pictures from January.

If you are on instagram then I hope you to see you on there, my username is vanessaspencer.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Look what Santa brought.

Look what the stork Santa brought. Yesterday I had the pleasure of photographing my good friend Kate's new bundle of joy - little Max. This 11 day old sweetheart makes me want to have another baby right this very minute! On Saturday night while I was trying to finish painting my bathroom I had the stocking idea and sent Kate a text all excited like "OMG we need to stuff Max in a Christmas stocking - do you have one big enough?" She surely must of thought I was 100% crazy. Best. idea. ever.

This little guy makes my melt. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Crate for Christmas.

My early holiday gift from one of my closest friends - Johanna. She knows me so well. This vintage crate she picked up from Goodwill - for $6!! I'm seriously in love with it and its now hanging on the wall in our living room. So far I just have a mini vintage camera displayed in it that I purchased from The Evol Pixie Supply Co. This present seriously made my day.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

a giveaway hosted by yourwishcake.

I'm a little excited this weekend.   My adorable friend Kerri is kindly doing a giveaway on her lovely blog yourwishcake and you can win this flower bib necklace I created:

Kerri's blog is always an inspiration and quite frankly I feel all kinds of special to be featured on there for a giveaway... She kindly photographed herself wearing one of my bib necklaces and lets just say she is obviously better at self portraits than I am. If you take a peek at the giveaway post you can see hers.
So hop on over to yourwishcake to enter the giveaway and to get to know Kerri. Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Holiday Boutique Craftiness

Recently my friend Jenn and I had a little booth at my daughters school for the annual Holiday Boutique. Jenn posted some great pictures on her recent blog post about it. It didn't go as well as planned but it was still a fun day, a good learning experience, and a great way to support the school. And now I have a ridiculous amount of handmade Christmas gifts so no complaints.... Here is a peek at some brooches/hair clips I'm adding to my etsy store soon, and a picture of the two of us at our table.


Happy holiday crafting....