Monthly Archives: July 2010

Coffee Table with Character

One of the glories of new-married life is free furniture. We were given a sturdy oak coffee table and I was excited to paint it. Unfortunately, I do not have the original picture of my coffee table, but here is a photo of a similar table that represents its original look (from Craigslist):

Ugly! Right? So, I decided to try to paint it white to brighten up my living room. Here it is after sanding, a coat of primer, and 3 coats of white paint.

Because the table is so Big and so White, I thought tan stripes might add an eye-catching effect. I used painter’s paper to make a mock-up.

This was a fresh, unique look, and I decided to make it permanent. First, I taped straight lines to the table and started painting, making sure to hold a wet cloth to wipe away smudges along the edges.

Only one coat of tan paint; and the table was finished.

In my living room:


Don’t Pass on Brass: How to Paint a Brass Lamp


Lamp After Closeup

Being on a tight budget, I love to thrift shop. I can be frequently seen pushing Hailey in her stroller down the street to The Salvation Army Thrift Store. I do sometimes have to get creative in how I fit my larger purchases into the stroller basket to push it back home again. This was the case with this long, heavy brass lamp. The lamp was on the shelf with a gigantic cylindrical lampshade that didn’t fit the lamp well and would never have made it into the stroller basket. Instead of wearing it on my head as I walked home, I opted to gift it back to the Salvation Army.

Here is the hard-to-look-at before:

Lamp Before

Quite ugly, but I liked the shape. Here are the steps I took to paint the lamp:

1) Taped off the bulb socket and the cord.

2) Sprayed the lamp with two layers of a white oil-based spray primer I had on hand.

3) Lightly sanded the drips with a fine-grit sandpaper. Wiped down with a damp cloth.

4) Painted the lamp with a layer of Valspar flat Bistro White using a brush like this trimming and edging brush to get into all the nooks and crannies. Since the primer was also white, I only needed the one layer.

5) Lightly sanded the drips with a fine-grit sandpaper. Wiped down with a damp cloth.

5) Painted two layers of Minwax Water-Based Polyurethane I had on hand. This protects the paint and adds gloss to the lamp.

After scouring thrift stores and Marshalls, Ross, and Burlington Coat Factory for a discount shade, I finally gave in and bought a drum lampshade at Target for $24.99. The lamp cost $7.99. All other supplies I already had on hand. Total cost: $32.98. Considering the fact that the lamp I had in mind from Z-Gallerie as I repainted mine is $139.00, I think I did pretty well.

Z Gallerie Lamp:

Z Gallerie Lamp

My lamp:

Lamp After

For more thrift store finds and tutorials, see Mirror Mirror and The Gift of Thrift.

Fun Coastal Findings (by Sarah & Anna)

Last week our family was away on vacation to the Oregon Coast. Knowing that ocean shores collects some of the best shopping, we made sure to capture photos of unique coastal merchandise. Our favorite shopping spot was Cannon Beach, known for its rock formation Haystack Rock and its treasure-trove of shops and galleries.

These glasses against the pink wall are very intriguing at Josephine’s, a pretty gift shop in Cannon Beach.

Our favorite find in Cannon Beach was Sesame and Lilies, containing two floors of beachy furniture and accessories. There website can be accessed here. You must visit their shop in the Cannon Beach Mall if you are in the area. Sesame and Lilies has everything from found items like sea glass, bottles, and fisherman’s net floats to new decorator rugs, pillows, and local artwork.

Sesame and Lilies

Can you beat this shop entrance?

Meals taste better when eaten with these:

What messages were contained in these bottles, I wonder?

No live animals were injured during the making of this blog post.

If your last name begins with “Z”, you need these end tables:

This birdcage looks like a pen-and-ink:

Sarah is dreaming about this mirror, rug, and tufted grey sofa.