Fast forward a few seasons to this fall. I've been itching to fit my dining room with some storage to house my inventory so that it's easily accessible when people stop by the house to see my work. My dining room is smallish, a boxy extension of the living room so typical of 1940s houses, so storage options can be tricky. I had two small spaces where I could see putting some storage, so I started browsing online to see what Ikea, Canadian Tire, and all the others had to offer. I was underwhelmed at the options and defeated by the prices.
But then - click! - the proverbial light bulb came on, and I thought, "I'll make something." And then - cachunk! - a giant floodlight came on, and I thought, "I'll make some tables out of those cupboard doors." I knew there was a reason I got them!
Chalk Paint to the Rescue
As you can see above, the cupboards were pretty beat up from sitting around for so long. I didn't feel like putting much more effort into refinishing them and I actually liked the distressed look they had, so I wanted to paint them with something that would adhere well, but still allow me to bring out some of the cupboards' distressed character. After some research, it looked like chalk paint would be my best bet, and because I'm cheap, I decided to make my own.
This recipe worked beautifully. The paint covered really well (with no primer!!!). I did a couple coats of soft white, followed by a couple coats of soft green, and then went over everything with some wet sandpaper to bring out the distressed texture of the weathered cupboard doors. Spiffy!
Great Legs: Pallet Wood
For the table legs, I used planks from some old wood pallets I had salvaged from a few different places. I coated the wood with some white chalk paint, and once again distressed the finish with some wet sandpaper. The distressed boards were a great match for the weathered cupboard doors.
My story about these quirky tables would be incomplete if I didn't mention someone who inspires me with her imagination and incredible talent with a can of paint. My friend Jen Vanderherberg takes discarded and neglected pieces of furniture and lovingly rejuvenates them into gorgeous, artful pieces. Her husband is an expert salvager, and together they find beautiful articles of furniture whose beauty has been worn down or stripped away. Jen uses an array of techniques to restore and/or refinish them, and then works her magic with chalk paint or milk paint. Set aside a couple hours, and spend some time perusing her blog to see all the gorgeous work she has done. To give you a taste, here's a wee sample of my favourites:
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Jane Hogeterp Koopman
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