…question from a struggling college student

I want nothing more than to help a struggling college student that cares about her kitchen table look! I received this email yesterday and am sharing it in the hopes that it helps others. I know there’s a lot of confusion about getting this weathered wood look.

“Hello I just watched probably 10 of your videos! I am moving into an apartment in Chicago and have recently picked up a round oak table at an estate sale. It is that awful yellow golden color. I really liked the video you did on the restoration hardware inspired white table. Eventually I want to get the soft comfy chairs to go around the table so my place looks comfy and cozy!

Question:

1. Do I have to use a sander in order to get that yellow color off before painting?

2. How much do I sand before I start painting?

3. And what number sand paper do I use?

If you could help me out in any way possible! Thank you.

Sincerely, a struggling college student haha” (Attached photo)

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As you can see, what College Student (CS) has is your typical, dated, wood pedestal table. It looks like it is in great shape and a round table can work in so many spaces. In fact, DH and I bought a white round table for our first home and I still have it (even thought it is now used for kid’s crafts!) I think it’s always a good bet to buy a round table.

So, like I’ve said in the past, the biggest factor in getting your weathered wood look is that you MUST HAVE A TEXTURED WOOD. You will most likely see this kind of texture in older furniture that is oak. When I say texture, it means rubbing your hand on the surface and feeling ridges and lines. The reason you need these ridges is that this is where the paint will pool and the “non-ridge” part is where the paint will be lighter. This contrast is where you will get that beautiful, weathered look as you see below.

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CS, do you see how your table is shiny? I hate to tell you this, but it’s because it is not textured, it looks like there is a layer of poly over it. Even if you sanded this poly off, you still will not get these ridges and undulations that naturally come in oak. The closest you can come to getting this look would be to paint thinly on your table to try to achieve a contrast. I say this hesitantly because it may be hard for you to get the look that I know you want. But, you can get a pretty distressed look like on my kitchen table by painting this way. Paint thinly and then take your 100 grade sand paper and sand the edges to achieve this. I did not use any wax either so that it could continue to weather.

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I hate to disappoint with this information, but if I may, I do want to encourage you that you can still get a beautiful and dramatic look just by painting a round pedestal table. Here is one that I recently did myself.

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Also, until you can afford those comfy chairs that your referenced, I would also think about painting them. It looks like you have nice, solid wood chairs there and I have painting many similar ones for clients that turned out beautifully.

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I wish you all the best in creating the space you want. I am confident you will because you’ve already selected this set. This is just the beginning, College Girl! 🙂

…i’ve been working on a lake house

Hi Friends!

I am here, but I am a busy bee this summer. I am working on our little lake house and will be for most of the summer. I am going slowly because, well, I want to play in the lake!

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Yes, there is a part of me that would just like to “fix”, update and redo everything around me, and there is another part that wants to experiment and try something a bit different. I don’t want to have the same exact decor here as I do at home if that makes sense. I want to create a feeling that will refresh my family, calm us and help us recharge. At first I had the idea that I was going to literally paint everything in eye sight white – including the floors, which I still want to do.

This is what I was envisioning.

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Can I get an amen?!

And I plan on doing many of these things as inspired by Pinterest. I will eventually paint the kitchen cabinets, a fireplace, some wood furniture. But, part of me wants to incorporate the shades of blue that I am noticing in every catalogs that comes in the door. Like this:

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I think the risk is that with a lake or beach home, you don’t want to decorate too literally. Some blue and make one pillow referencing a lake is okay, maybe a few shells, but you don’t want to overdo it because I think it can be come a bit too much. I want it to be a subtle nod to the water around us.

I think when planning out a space you need to collect pictures that inspire you. You may not know why you feel moved by them, but that does not matter right away. What you want to get an idea of is the tone of the space. Pinterest is a great place to make a motivational board or even a three-ring binder with magazine clippings. I have at least two of these going at all times. If I see something in a catalog or magazine, I will tear it out and stuff it in the binder. It’s not very organzied in there, but it is all in one spot. I found myself really loving some of this gold, white and blues. Now, how to work it all together?

I keep going back to the movie “Something’s Gotta Give” with Jack Nickolson and Diane Keating (one of my fav movies!). The Hampton’s Beach home was literally to die for. I think I’ll start there. Oh – and she was a writer! Like she wrote her plays at the beach house – can you imagine? I can think of nothing better. Truly inspiring for this gal.

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PS – It wasn’t until I started looking up these images that I found out that this very beach house is an extremely popular search for its decor.

…ollie, owen and the bird

If you know me and Blue Egg, you know Ollie and Owen aka my orange tabbies that are total photo-bombers. They just can’t help themselves. Take a look:

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You get the point. They can’t help themselves. So, yesterday I had to run an errand and because it was an absolutely gorgeous day I left a veranda door open because they were enjoying it so much. I even took a picture because they looked like old grandpas just lounging, living the life.

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When I walked in the front door about 20 minutes later I was starteled to find feathers spread all over my kitchen. I had to blink a few times to realize what they were and when I crept around the island, I was so distraught to find this. Brace yourselves, Friends.

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I know! It’s too horrible! I screamed into the phone, as I was on with Dear Heather, while I figured out what to do. I gently wraped him in a bag, dug a shallow grave in the front garden and said a prayer. God bless this little bird. 🙁

I have no idea how Ollie and Owen even accomplished it because they have never properly been outdoors. They somehow managed to snatch this bird off the railing or even in thin air and brought him into my kitchen. I know it’s a “gift” when a dead bird comes from a cat, but I haven’t quite forgiven them and am def. giving the silent treatment. Needless to say, when I searched for them after the funeral, this is what I found.

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Clearly not remorseful.