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What I Learned While Refinishing My Table {and a cookbook giveaway!}

crystalstine.meJoining with Crystal Stine and an amazing community of women this week who dare to bare the soul behind the pictures.

It’s amazing what change can do for a place.  Lighten up a dark space.  Widen a narrow room.  Increase joy.

Last spring my sweet friend Myrna gifted us with their old dining set.  Her handy husband had built her an Ana White table (do you know about Ana White?  Oh, she’s amazing.).  She knew I was wanting one about the size of her reject to replace our gargantuan oval table that had lived in the basement of Joshua’s parent’s house long before we got married and thought we’d like a table but had no money.

Also, I was just sick of that style.  I wanted something new and fresh that had a little bit of me in it.

Be careful what you wish for.

So Myrna’s table wound up in our storage shed until I could find the time to work on it.  Fast forward three months of school ending and that heart incident and finally, this July, I felt like I had time to work on the table.  So I lugged it around the house and into the carport (not alone) and set up shop.  I did some extensive research, on Pinterest of course, and bought the first round of supplies.

Then we started step one.  Sanding.

Yeah, that’s not so fun.  I’m not really a power tools kind of girl.  Honestly, the sander scared me a little.  I was afraid I would drop it while it was on and sand off my toenail.  But I tried.  I really did.

Then my husband, who knew this project was bound to take years if he didn’t step in, finished the job. That’s when I saw how beautiful the wood grain really was, and I thought, Why am I going to cover this up with a coat of paint?

Enter plan #2.  The whitewashed effect.  It would give the table the distressed look I craved while also showing off it’s natural beauty.  And it had fewer steps than Plan #1.

Back to the hardware store for an exchange and good to go….except that the best time to work on the table is probably when the kids are having rest time.  Well, that’s when I write.

You can see my priorities, huh?

So I took a deep breath, put on my supermom cape, and let them help.  That’s right.  I put paintbrushes and rags in the hands of my 8 and 7 and 3 year olds and embraced imperfection.  Because ultimately, it’s not going to matter that it’s a little streaky and uneven.  This is the table I roll pizza dough on and where Amelia will learn to write her name.  It’s the table that’s dripped with syrup at least once a week, and it’s the place where I’m hoping to embrace more hospitality.

It’s a project we finished together and that we’ll gather round together, hopefully, for many years to come.

Because I don’t think I’ll be refinishing another table anytime soon.

Have you entered the giveaway yet for the Real Food for the Real Homemaker cookbook?  This incredible resource is helping me grace my new table with real food, as well as get organized about menu planning and grocery shopping so that all my extra savings can go to the little projects that make a house a home.  You can enter here and read more about the book here.  My favorite feature is this handy excel menu planner that makes the grocery list automatically.  Can’t wait to try it out this week!



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