Free sounds good to me! :)

August 10, 2010

Behold the return of the $10 Table.  In Texas, we furnished our entire apartment with items we were able to acquire for free from friends, craigslist, etc.  Recycling second-hand items really helped us to feel like we could still make a home even if we couldn’t go on a shopping spree at the local Ikea.  Not only that, it’s so much fun to put a part of yourself into something and work hard to style your living space while you make it your own.

One of my favorite projects was our dining room table.  A couple in Austin posted on craigslist and gave us this entire set for free when they decided to buy new furniture.  It’s clearly a child of the 80’s with nylon seat covers and gold metal trim, but we were able to use our imagination, graciously accept the table and chairs, and made plans to update + reupholster.  Here are the before and after shots!

A can of spray paint, clearance fabric from Walmart, and a Saturday night was all we needed to have a great table and the empty space in the dining room was no more.  We enjoyed that table on our own and with guests.  It was good to us, and when it came time to move on and follow the money (Jay’s promotion + transfer offer) we actually sold this table for $60 which helped fund our move to Colorado!  (Side note: I literally had people fighting over this table and the girl we decided to sell it to loved it almost as much as we did)

Our new apartment is about 1/2 the size of our apartment in Texas so we don’t have room for a dining table, but we do have a coffee table that was in dire need of sprucing.  We got it for free from our temporary apartment that we stayed in for the first month in Colorado.  We had initially planned on just painting it black to match the futon cover, but I thought it would be more fun to paint it “chalkboard” and display chalk in the first part of our remote container.

Kind of like a piece of art that can always change.  And, needless to say…the cost of this table is equal to the cost of a small can of paint and a morning on the porch.

No detailed How – to – Guide necessary for this project because it was SO incredibly easy!

  • Start with your fabulously free piece of tired furniture – rest assured it will be looking brand new and adorable in a few hours 🙂

    • Cover project area (I saved the tarp we used to cover our mattress and various items stored on the top of the car during our last move).  You will need a sheet of sand paper, a very small can of paint – in this case chalkboard paint, and something to stir the paint with.

    • Use sand paper to get the table’s surface down to the original texture (I usually need help with this part of any project…I hate the sound/feel of it and Jay’s muscles get the job done in a more timely fashion).

    • Mix paint (who needs to buy tools to stir the paint when nature provides branches!?).
    • Paint away my loves.
    • Give your masterpiece of a first coat a few hours to dry,  go ahead and touch up some rough spots, and then make sure to give the flat surfaces a solid second coat.

    • From this step on, I brought it inside to keep it safe from weather.com’s rain predictions, and kept the furbabies in different rooms to keep it safe from their little paw prints.
    • The directions say to give it 24ish hours to fully dry before attempting any art work.  It was difficult but I helped Jay to wait until the following morning before attempting his first crayola chalk masterpiece.

    I think it’s important to note here that this was the first of our many projects that I came up with and executed all by myself!  I’ve really started to LOVE diy projects and even if I had the money to go out and buy things new, I don’t think I would.  My bestie thinks this project in particular has potential for a business idea.  I think she might be on to something… silly sort-of grown ups like us aside, chalkboard furniture would probably appeal to a lot of new parents out there, right? Definitely something to think about…I mean kids find a way to draw on walls/furniture/etc anyway…might be nice if it were erasable and not punishable 😉

    Have you started any DIY projects recently? -OR- Share your favorite!

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      2 Responses to “Free sounds good to me! :)”

      1. Amber said

        What a cute idea! Have you ever seen the magazine Ready Made or instructables.com? Great place to find DIY projects and ideas…..I recently found a bunch of floppy discs around the office…after drilling holes in the corners and using fasteners – BAM – pen holder lol Came out something like below only yellow 😀

        http://www.instructables.com/id/Floppy-Disk-Pen-Holder/

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