First project with all the kids

This is my favorite project ever.  It is not the one I am proudest of.  It is not the coolest.  It is not the best upcycle I have ever done.  But it is the best.  Because it is the first upcycle/diy project I did with all of my kids.  and that is just really cool!

D needed a bedside table.  When we were preparing for the move we thought we could only fit one bedside table in but it turns out we actually do have room for 2, as long as they are both tiny tables.  On my side I have the cabinet from our old bathroom.  I took off the back and covered it in a pretty scrapbook paper.  With the addition of my newly covered lamp, it looks great.  On D’s side we had nothing.  The, after a while we had a little boring table.  This table came to us from a freecycle pickup.  I was after the kids chairs but he wanted to get rid of the table too, so i took it.  It hung out in the basement in the old house, pointless and unlikely to ever get used.  I would visit it from time to time, and practically beg it to tell me how it wanted to be transformed, but nothing.  This table was silent! And when it finally was liberated from lie in the basement, it just sat there, on D’s side of the bed, mute.  Until one day, I was making the bed and I heard it whispering to me, much like the tin man, “oil can oil can”.  He wanted color!

(the table as it started and the pieces, pathetic brushes and chalk paint all ready to go)

I let D choose the color.  Which is to say, I gave him 3 options and he picked one.  Using the plaster of paris method which is my preferred chalk paint method, I quickly whipped up a tiny batch of chalk paint using his chosen color. (note here TINY!  If you decide to make and use chalk paint remember that a little goes a LONG way!)   Then the kids and I went outside to paint.  Now, for the record, I have a favorite paint brush.  It has a tiny handle, the bristles are angled, it cleans like a dream.  And I cannot find it anywhere.  I made do using the kids art brushes.  Pathetic.

The kids really only helped through the first coat.  The beauty of chalk paint is that it does not require primer or any prep work, although I did wipe the piece down and dust it.  That first coat is kind of like the crumb coat in baking.  We got the color on and set it to dry. It looked ok.  it really did, but not quite perfect.  My go to paint for small project like these is mostly from oops cans I have found.  At $.50 a piece, if I like a color I grab it.  The first color was an unmarked oops, so I have no clue what color it is.  But after the first coat, I added in a touch of a beautiful oops peacock blue to the chalk paint, just to deepen it a bit.  The original color seemed to “nursery-ish” to me and the deeper color ties in nicely with the new lamp.

The kids had SO MUCH fun painting themselves and the table!  Emily was very precise in her painting.  The kids were very…  imprecise.  Spencer especialyl liked to get as much paint as he could on the brush and then shake some off onto the table.  As you can see in the second picture, the paint goes on really nicely and covers really well!  So even with Spencer’s splatter painting technique, the color went on well.  And that is just the first coat!  I did not necessarily plan to match Sidney’s shorts to the paint, but it worked out well.


The first coat went on really well; we did not really even need a second coat, but I always do 2-3 coats when I work with chalk paint.  The next 2 coats I did myself while we played outside.  I set the paint board on D’s car for both height and to get it out of reach of tiny turquoise fingers.  it was actually really easy.  We would draw with chalk, play on the bikes, etc and then I would put on a quick coat and play some more.

Next thing we knew, we had a happy little table!

After three coats of wood wax, Emily and I proudly carried it back upstairs and put it on D’s side of the bed.


Such a happy little table!  I debated putting something artistic on the top, maybe a stencil, maybe a pretty design….  but ended up leaving it solid.  D is not a stencil guy…

And I love the way the room looks now!

I am not a fan of matchy matchy furniture. our set in the old house was a headboard, footboard, dresser and 2 nightstands, all matching. And it was fine. It was not 100% my style, but I married into it, and it did it’s job as bedroom furniture. It was fun this time around to incorporate more of my style. The headboard we chose because it was open and would let in light and not cover the window. The white nightstand (my side) started life as a bathroom cabinet. I covered the back panel with a pretty yellow and white scrapbook paper.   I chose the lampshade fabric specifically to contrast nicely with the yellow paper.   And now, of course, D’s bedside table goes well with the lampshade. So while it is not all matchy matchy, it coordinates so well! And I love love love the way it came out.  And I love that we all did it together.  And if we include the fact that D chose the color, it was a complete family project.

Next step, finish organizing the wall cubbies on the side walls and hang more art, and put Pinkalicious back in the kids room.

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One thought on “First project with all the kids

  1. I have got to try chalk paint! I like that you allowed your kids be involved in the project. Had it not turned out the way you wanted, you were there to back up!

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