Let the kids be kids



While on bed rest with the twins I read Chip and JoAnna Gaines' book Magnolia Story.  Part of the book talked about how she freaked out over the kids getting her white sofa dirty and that she realized she didn't have a space for her kids just to be kids. So, she created a space in her house just for them and they had a ball playing and coloring and she was able to relax.  That sounded good in theory, so I put it on our list of things we wanted to incorporate into our house.  It may come as no surprise to you, but apparently our kids are slightly different than the Gaines children 'cause our kids are kids ALL OVER OUR HOUSE.  Not just in the designated space I designed for them.  But that's OK, at least I had goals.

Before we moved in, I had sketched out where the furniture would go and realized that there really wasn't a space for the kids to do crafts, eat snacks, draw, etc and I really didn't want that to happen on the kitchen table.  So the only way to incorporate that idea was to make the coffee table work as a kids table.  

Now for the fun part.  Brett's Ma has several old barns and let's just endearingly say she likes to hold on to things...treasure hunting at its best. Quite a few things in our house have come from there - perks of being the first grandkid to get a house.  So in the winter when we were visiting, I poked around looking for inspiration and GOLD MINE!  For some reason no one else in the family was as excited about this as I was.  But can't you see it?!?!  Tons of potential.



I was so excited, that afternoon when we got home, I removed the metal trim from the outside, washed it up a bit and got Brett to cut down the legs to make it even.  Critters had made a few meals out of the legs, but we were able to salvage enough height to keep it at a coffee table size. 

 

 


Brett was thrilled that this piece of "junk" was the first piece of furniture we moved into the house.  

Audrey at least shared my excitement.
Audrey was done with the photo shoot at this point.


I've used a good bit of light brown/taupe colored chalk paint on several pieces in the house and had some leftover.  I sanded the table down and decided to paint the base of the table and benches that color.  I used clear matte polyurethane for the tops of the benches and OF COURSE I used chalkboard paint for the top of the table.  Let's pause for a second.  Chalk paint has a milky/matte finish and is a popular use for painting old furniture.  Chalkboard paint is black and you can actually write in chalk on it.  I used both the spray and brush on and found that I like the brush on better - it fills in any wood grain better and provides a thicker finish. 

The table needed some trim around the edges to finish it off and we happened to have the perfect piece of reclaimed pine from the house.  Brett made the cuts and I pieced it together during nap one day.

I was so into the project that I didn't grab any photos of the aforementioned DIY session.  But this is what it turned out like!




Let's highlight its practical features.
  • The trim prevents chalk and crayons from rolling off the edge
  • The benches fit underneath perfectly to save space when they aren't using it
  • Because it's chalk, I can just repaint it when it starts to show too much wear
  • I added a paper dispenser that holds an 18 inch paper roll in case they would rather color with crayons or markers vs. chalk
  • Even though it's a kids table, it is still a tasteful piece of furniture that passes the adult test

Now look at these kids being kids around this beauty!  Let's be honest.  It didn't stay looking so neat and clean for very long.  





And since we all love a good before and after...





And since this stay at home mama sometimes can't turn off the business side of my brain ("She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night." Proverbs 31:18), I thought that other folks may be interested in one of these for their kids or grandkids, so we're selling them.  Click on over to the Facebook marketplace page for more info.  

And remember,  RELAX!  Just let your kids be kids.  Enjoy them. Enjoy the mess and be thankful! For instance, as I was writing this blog, my kids traded the construction paper for hair.  OK, maybe don't relax that much.  I've really got this mom thing handled. 

Audrey has a new set of bangs.  Glad I grabbed some bobby pins last time I went to Walmart.

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