Kid’s Table Make-over

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This project is long overdue.  I scored this kids table off Craigslist for a whopping $10 over a year ago.


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Not only was it not really the right colors for my boys, but the fabric on the seats was not quite what I was going for in our playroom. 

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These pieces have been sitting with an assortment of other misfit furniture in the storage area of our basement…ummm…ya…don’t judge.  There is a method to my madness.  Sometimes I hold off on furniture until I know exactly what I want to do with it.  In this table’s case, after spotting this colorful ikat fabric on sale at Joann’s, I knew it’s makeover day was here.


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It was exactly what I had been wanting to find for this table.  The ikat was available in a few colorways and the stars must have been aligned because the boys actually agreed (a rarity) that they liked this color combination best.


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This is one of the simplest projects and if you are just starting out in the DIY world, it’s a great one to take on as a beginner.


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I chose to paint our table using Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Pure White and Florence.  I know so many others would have taken a can of spray paint to it, but I chose chalk paint for several reasons

  1. For something smaller in size like this table and chairs, I knew that I could quickly cover it in chalk paint with a brush in a short amount of time.  Chalk paint dries super fast (10-15 minutes) whereas if I had used spray paint I would have had to wait in between coats and then allowed for 24 hours to let the paint cure.  I was simply in a hurry.
  2. The weather was less than ideal for spray painting at 30 degrees.  Typically, the temperature needs to be above 50 degrees to use spray paint otherwise you can get cracking.  Boo to cracking.
  3. Chalk paint can be done indoors, right in the middle of your kitchen, while the kiddos are having their quiet time.  Total bonus.

First off, I removed the screws on the underside of the chairs to separate the chair frames from the actual seat.  This allows you to paint the frame without the risk of getting the paint on the fabric of the cushion.  Super easy.  Then, I applied my first coat of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Florence to the chair frames and tabletop.


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Just slap it on there.  It will look terrible when you first start.  Don’t freak out.  You want your first coat to be super light…you are just putting a small thin layer down to act sort of like a primer to hold your 2nd and 3rd coats.  It will be streaky and that’s ok.  I promise.  See, here is my first coat


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Totally.not.even.  Once you have this on, doing a smoother second and third coat if you need it, is a lot easier.  I used a brush and got a super smooth finish on the top of the table.


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In between painting the coats on the table and chair frames, I worked on replacing the fabric on the chair cushions.  I removed the old fabric simply by pulling out the old staples.  This is a super easy step…so many people skip it and just place the new fabric right over the old one.  By removing the old fabric, it allows you to actually  inspect the “cushioning” to the seat.  These two guys were both in great shape so I left them alone.  *If yours are not, then you can always add more foam or batting to soften the seat to get it perfect for your loved one’s bum* 😉


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Once you have your cushion the way you want it, it’s just a matter of getting the fabric lined up to the seat the way you want it.  I knew I wanted this big ole diamond right in the middle of my seat.  Personally, I like my seats to match each other.  Helpful tip: if you are doing several seats (for example, like chairs for a dining room), make sure you have plenty of fabric to get the same repeat of pattern on all the seats.  Depending on the scale of your pattern, you may need more fabric than if you were just using a solid fabric.


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So, I simply placed my cushion on the wrong side of the fabric making sure the diamond was exactly in the middle and cut about 2 inches all the way around the outside of my cushion.  Once I had that cut, I placed it right side down right on top of my fabric (still right side down) and lined up my pattern so I could use easily use the cut out as a guide.  That sounded way harder than it was.  Pictures will probably help, so here:


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My first cut out is on top and I lined it up with the bottom layer’s pattern to ensure both seats were exactly the same.  Then I just cut around it like a guide.


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Take each cushion, top side of the cushion facing down and place it in the middle of your cut outs keeping your fabric right side down.  Try to line each cushion up at the exact same point on each cut out.  If you have to mark your fabric, you can do so with a chalk or an invisible ink marker used for sewing.


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At this point, you can break out your heavy duty stapler.


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I like to wrap the most visible edge first which for the most part is the front edge of the seat cushion.


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Take the front edge and pull it up and staple it in place.  Make sure not to pull too hard on the fabric or you will get puckering along the edge and puckering is not cool so try to avoid it.  Sorry if that came off as gross.  Pucker is kind of a gross word, now that I’m thinking about it…:/  Moving along…corners can be a little tricky depending on the shape of your seat cushion.  Sometimes you need to create a fold in the corners and have to tuck your fabric a certain way.  Just play around with it and it’s similar to wrapping a gift.  Once you find something you like, just try to accomplish the same thing on the other side.  My seat cushion had nice rounded corners so I knew that I wanted a seamless look.  So, I just pulled the fabric to get a soft edge and stapled as I went creating folds on the underside of the chair.

***Two things to note…we have 2 huge dogs…they have done a number to our wood floors.  I am highly aware of it and these pictures do make it look TERRIBLE!!!  I constantly ask Sam Sam “the floors are fine” man, if we can refinish them.  It would be quite the project as they make up our entire first floor.  He says no…at least until he sees these pictures!?!  Holy beat up floors Batman!?!  Want to know what else I did as soon as I saw these pictures???  Ummmm…I ran to the bathroom and cut my pinky and ring finger nail and I might have screamed the whole way, too.  ???  I rarely get manicures (obviously!) so I don’t pay too much attention to my nails, but I have NO IDEA how I hadn’t noticed how strange and kind of scary this looked.


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Glad we got those two things out of the way, aren’t you?  So back to the corners.  You can see how I am creating folds on the underside of the cushion as I work my way around the corner.  Just keep pulling and folding and stapling.


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I usually like to do the the front two corners first and then work my way around to the back doing the back edge last.  If you make a mistake, no biggie…rip out the staple and try again.


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By the time, I finished recovering the seats, my final coat of paint was dry.  I applied Annie Sloan’s Soft Wax to the painted table and painted chair frames to protect and seal the finish.  I use a brush to apply it and then switch to a piece of cheesecloth (or old t-shirt) to rub it all in making sure to hit all the cracks and crevices.  Once the wax was dry, I buffed the painted surfaces with the same piece of cheesecloth and reattached the seats to the chair frames with the original screws.  And BOOM! the kids have a new coloring table.


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They were thrilled.


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I think Oliver could have colored all day..


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