Teal in the Dining Room

The dining room is painted (dun, dun, dun, duuuuun)!  It took forever because I pulled a muscle in my back and neck that left me doing next to nothing for the last week.  How did I pull it, you ask?  Yoga.  That’s right.  F%$^ing yoga.  Not even the strenuous hot yoga where you burn a calorie or two, but yoga for beginners.  I’m ashamed to say that yoga left me in pain for days…

I’m better and back into the swing of full on house projects and now that the dining room is painted, it’s one of my favorite projects because I ventured out of my comfort zone, first with the crazy rug, and now with the bold wall color.

This is what the room looked like before painting (and art):

Whole Room Side

And here’s what it looks like now:

1whole dining room

It’s coming along.  For the paint color, I really liked two teal-ish paints; one was dark and more green and the other was lighter and bluer.  Because I couldn’t decide between the two, I just had Home Depot mix them 50/50. My inspiration color was this and I think I got pretty close:

Dark Teal Walls

The art is from Artfully Walls which sells fairly inexpensive art in collections so you don’t have to rack your brain deciding if this painting goes with this print or if the colors clash; the “experts” put them together for you so it’s pretty fool-proof.  I did pick out the frames though, so I didn’t totally cheat.

1picsAnother good thing about Artfully Walls is that they have the collection hung up on a sample wall in the arrangement that they think looks best. After I received and framed the art, I went online to see the arrangement they recommended, but my collection was not for sale anymore so I had to rely on my wits, talent, and perseverance to come up with an arrangement myself.  To do this I laid the artwork out on the ground and just played around with the position and spacing.

1Staggering Up

1symmetically staggered

I went with the bottom arrangement since I like symmetry even if this is a loose definition of symmetry:

1Pics2

I like the way the art looks (especially against the teal wall), but they are reproductions of the real deal and I’d rather have the actual real deal, so my goal is buy one nice piece of artwork every year or two to have an actual art collection that I love and that I can pass on to the kids when they’re older and I’m close to kicking the bucket.  I love art and when things slow down (like when the kids go to college in about 9 years), I’d love to try my hand at painting.  For now, I buy what I like from real artists.

I still have a way to go in this room to include finding curtains, replacing the buffet which is actually a fish stand that we got at PetSmart years ago, replacing the chandelier with something more modern, and putting up something on the wall opposite the new art wall.  I also want to try some wainscoting because I can’t stand the ivory, beat up, old lady wallpaper that I have now, but I have to wrap up other projects first so for now, I’ll keep painting the deck…little by little that will get done!  We also have some guests coming to stay with us in August so our guest room needs some attention which I’ve already started thinking about.  More on that soon!

A Dining Room Table- FINALLY!

I finally found a dining room table that I like:

Restoration Hardware Table

It’s the Grand Baluster Dining Table from Restoration Hardware.  I love the lines of the table- the bulbous legs, the fact that the table top is NOT made of planks (it was hard to find a table that was not planked), the narrow width of the table which I need for my small dining room.

The table meets all my picky requirements, but the problem is that I didn’t like the finish and I didn’t want to pay $1,300 for a table where I don’t like the finish.  I wanted a darker table with a shinier finish. So, I looked on Craigslist and found one for $900 that seats 6-8 that was in the light gray/oak finish that I thought I could refinish to make it look the way I want.

This is the color of the table that I got off of Craigslist:
Oak Table

After carrying this heavy a%$ table down a flight of narrow stairs with another woman my size (wimpy) to get it into my van and almost busting my rear in the process, I took it home and decided to live with the finish for a little while.  Maybe it would grow on me… After about 5 minutes, I was mixing stain to re-finish.  I couldn’t deal with the gray oaky color.  It was too “country” for my taste.  There was also no protection from stains because of the raw quality of the wood and I knew that if I didn’t apply some kind of poly or wax, the table would be quickly ruined since my kids do their homework at the dining room table.

Table Top

I mixed ebony with dark walnut stain by Minwax since I wanted the table to be dark but still brown.  I applied the stain to the underside of the table to see how it looked before taking the plunge to possibly “ruin” the table.

Test StainHere it is with one coat applied:

One Coat

One Coat Close Up

After three coats, the table looked perfect.  It was just the right shade of dark brown except that there was a huge dented line in the middle of the table that happened when I took the table out of the van and the top rubbed against a plastic piece on my van.  I knew I did it at the time, but I thought that staining would make the line less noticeable and instead it did the opposite.  I know, lazy move… I should have just sanded the entire top then and there.   Lesson learned.

ScrapeSo…  I fell asleep that night thinking that I would just live with the imperfection.  I woke up the morning sweating and troubled…  who was I kidding! I’m type A!!!  I couldn’t live with my new table having imperfections!  I re-sanded just those areas until there was no more dent:

Sanded Table and tried re-staining thinking that I would try it this way first instead of re-doing the entire tabletop because obviously I DIDN’T learn my lesson.  I should have sanded the entire top because the areas that I sanded would not take the stain.

Refinished TableThe rest of the table was “raw wood” but my spots were “sanded wood” and I basically sealed the wood with my vigorous sanding and the porous wood was not porous anymore.  I applied  about 10 coats of stain to those spots and the spots were still too light because the stain would not absorb. UGH!  I was so frustrated and there was a lot of swearing involved before I bit the bullet, went to Home Depot for a palm sander, and refinished the entire top of the table.

I sanded the tabletop with coarse grit sandpaper until there was hardly any stain left and re-stained the whole thing which took another 2 days with drying time.  I applied 3 coats of satin poly also by Minwax to the top and it is finally done!  I am so happy with the result and can’t wait to find chairs to go with the table.

Here’s the finished product in all it’s glory!!!

Table Top Whole Table

Restained Table Table Leg

The pics make the table look like it has an organe-y undertone but it doesn’t.  It’s a rich mahogany color.

In this room, I still have to do a lot!:

  • Finally buy a dining room table and chairs!!! (that’s high up on the list!)
  • Eventually get rid of the old wallpaper since it’s looking shabby in places
  • Get some cool artwork to hang (ordered!)
  • Restain the buffet sitting in the garage and move that bad boy into the dining room where it belongs
  • Move the current buffet (which is actually a fish stand) to the covered porch or basement
  • Paint ceiling white
  • Get an area rug