Rejigging an Old Table
Question: It’s a bank holiday, it’s sunny outside, and you’ve just moved into a new house. What do you do?
Answer: Get creative! REJIG-er Ellie decided it was the perfect opportunity to revamp a second-hand folding dining table…
It’s been less than a week since we moved into the new flat. You’d think I’d be unpacking boxes and finding homes for everything, getting settled and accustomed to being somewhere different, right? NOPE. Time to upend everything and paint a table!
I quite like moving, in a strange masochistic way. As stressful as it is, it’s also an opportunity to be totally ruthless with the stuff you own (in my case: so so many books) and decide what you want the next stage of your life to look like. Kind of a reinvention of self. Me and my partner Anders decided that this next stage of our lives looked very much like a Swedish-blue table.
We found a drop-leaf dining table going cheap at a British Heart Foundation furniture shop, which was exactly the size and shape we were after, but a really dark varnished wood (not our style). We bought it, enthusiastically not thinking about all the potential sanding etc we might have to do in order to be able to paint it.
Turns out that’s not really an issue. We’d heard of chalk paint, and I’d been looking at the Annie Sloan range of lovely colours with the “it paints over anything” promise. Hmm, well, what with the moving house and all, I’m a little skint this month. To Google!
I had a look at this tutorial for how to make your own chalk paint, and since we’d already got a lovely blue for another painting project (matching mirror, anyone?) I thought, how hard could it be?
I used the cheapest plaster alternative I could find, and some slightly grubby measuring cups that came with an old breadmaker.
The recipe is thusly:
4 tablespoons plaster
2 tablespoons water
2 cups of paint
I re-read the tutorial after leaving this to dry for a couple of hours. She says she put it on really thickly. Huh, ok, I’ll try that too.
After leaving it to (touch) dry, we brought it inside before it got dark. The undersides of the table and the chairs aren’t painted yet (we ran out of time), but I reckon a buttercup yellow for those would be real nice!
Overall this was pretty easy, it took a few cheap supplies and a paint-splattered sunny afternoon, and was very satisfying. I’m happy with the result, although after the bank holiday I might go and investigate matte varnish to protect the colour a bit. 10/10 would paint again!