Our Three Dollar Table Makeover

I scored this $3 table in need of lots of TLC a little while ago and couldn't pass it up.This is what it looked like when I brought it home:

While sanding I discovered that the laminate layer on the top of the table was falling apart and missing some pieces, so I broke out some wood filler and went to town.  Then, I sanded it down and spraypainted a couple coats of Valspar's Exotic Sea in gloss.  

I wanted to do a patterned design on top of the table, but couldn't find any stencils I liked so I used cardstock with a cut out design.  I taped it to the top of the table with Scotch blue painter's tape and used a random yellow can of spraypaint we found in the garage when we moved in.  I also taped around the perimeter of the table below the cardstock to catch any stray spraypaint.  If you're doing two coats of spraypaint like I did, leave the stencil on after the first coat and allow it to dry.  Try not to peek because the stencil will move and it's tough to get the stencil back to it's exact place for the next coat when the paint's wet.  And don't worry if it doesn't come out perfect because it probably won't! After one coat of yellow spraypaint, I lifted up the stencil to see how it turned out, so I had to completely take off the stencil, wait until the spraypaint had dried, then had to match it up as best I could for the next coat of spraypaint.

After searching four different stores for one cute and colorful knob with no avail, I spraypainted the existing knob with my yellow spraypaint.

Voila! Isn't it cute?  

Total Cost: $7
  • Table: $3
  • Valspar spraypaint: $3
  • Cardstock w/ cutout design: $1

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    Sprucin' Up the Sunroom

    Last night Tim and I were talking about how we can't wait to use our sunroom when it gets a little warmer here (it's not heated). Since we've moved in, we've kept the french doors off the sunroom closed and have only gone in to check on our jacuzzi that came with the house - isn't that awesome, by the way? We're excited to use it, but we have to read up on how to use the array of cleaning chemicals the previous homeowner left us.

    This is what the sunroom looks like now:

    Our goal is to spruce up the room and take it away from that 'Xmas in July' theme for as cheap as possible with some fresh coats of paint and breezy curtains.  We're thinking of using 'Decorator White' on the paneling, and either 'Hawthorne Yellow' or 'Blue Danube' on the top half of the wall. What do you think? How would you decorate this room?




    We couldn't believe our eyes when we saw these two wooden lamp bases at Target for less than ten bucks each! They are super sturdy and were originally priced at $40 each!! We thought about spraypainting them a bright color for Spring, but decided against it. We really love the natural color of the wood and can't wait to put them on our nightstands when those are refinished. All we need now are some lamp shades and we're kicking ourselves for not picking up those at Target the day we found the lamps (they were marked down to an amazing clearance price of less than $5 each.) When we went back just a day later, they were all gone. Guess that teaches us to grab 'em before someone else does.


    Bringing the Outdoors In

    We love the outdoors - hiking, kayaking, mountain climbing, you name it. So naturally, we love bringing a little of the outdoors in. Literally.

    Check out this Natural tree stump side table from West Elm for $199.
    Photo from West Elm

    Luckily, we can save some big bucks because we already have our own little tree stump and branch side table. It's another completely free item given to us by my dad and I have no idea where he got it, but it's probably from the mid sixties. Because of our winter-like temperatures, I haven't been able to refinish this piece yet. I plan to do a dark stain/poly combo on it once the weather warms up a bit so this can be done outside. And hopefully that will be soon!


    Spring Has Sprung...But Wait!

    It's still Winter here! We can't wait to power wash our deck, open the pool, sand and stain our farmer's porch, and landscape a little, but just when we thought winter was over we get this:

    Which calls for us to cozy up to our gas fireplace. Yup, that wall color definitely needs to go (We have a couple of Ben Moore samples to try up our sleeves). We're also thinking of maybe painting the mantle white. Don't worry, we spared you the seashell sconces above the fireplace.


    Dining Room Furniture for the Bedroom

    A while ago I snagged this sturdy buffet piece for FREE. It used to be in my brother's bedroom and my mom was going to donate it. I saw some potential in it, even though it was stained a dark brown, had ugly brass hardware, and had my brother's name carved into the top.

    I don't have any before photos of it, but you can see how dark the stain was by looking at the inside, which I left completely untouched. I lightly sanded it by hand and then added a couple coats of Rustoleom Satin Paint in Heirloom White. I used a foam brush to make sure there wouldn't be any brush streaks and definitely took a chance by deciding not to prime and it worked out! A couple coats of paint was all it needed. I also spray painted the brass pulls, knobs, and hinges black for a cheap, easy fix.

    Even though it's probably meant to be dining room furniture, this baby is going right into the bedroom. I have so many pairs of jeans that I could probably fill a whole bureau and still run out of space, but because of the shelving inside, this guy's the perfect storage solution with plenty of room to spare. The only problem is it's so well-built and heavy, it might be sitting in the garage for a while because it's too difficult for Tim and I to carry upstairs together.





    Homemade Vintage Artwork

    We stopped by an indoor flea market not too long ago and picked up a page from a 1940 vintage magazine for $4. It's titled "Preoccupation" and it's an image of a woman getting ready for New Year's Eve 1941! We decided to pop it in a frame and use it as artwork for one of the bathrooms and spent under $10 for the total project, including the glossy white matted frame.

    We also picked up these cute vintage postcards dating back to around 1910 (one of them even had even been mailed and there is writing on the back!). They were about $1 each, the green frame was on sale at Target for only $1.50, and the recycled wood frame is a HomeGoods find, on sale for $4.
    'I Send My Love by Mail'
    'Somebody's going to get something they don't expect'


    New Bar Stools!

    Today I was on a mission to find a set of bar stools and/or a cheap farmhouse table. For some reason I never want to spend over $50 for something used, so since I was able to get both bar stools for $30 total, I grabbed them. What a steal for solid wood stools! They are in need of a coat of paint and the seats need to be reupholstered, but that will be a project for another day. Not so much luck finding the farmhouse table, so that will probably something we will try to build in the future. 

    Here are the bar stools in our garage. We're thinking about re-staining them a darker color, or painting them black. And I totally just realized that they aren't perfect matches, which I didn't notice in the store - oops!


    Now I Can Sleep Easy..

    No more wishing I had that glass of water next to me in the middle of the night on my non-existent nightstand thanks to our newest find - a set of Lane vintage end tables/nightstands! We unexpectedly found them at a consignment shop a couple of towns away, and got them for a steal - $25 each. Apparently they had been sitting in the store for years untouched!

    It took a little convincing (well, actually about 30 minutes worth) to get Tim to agree to the purchase, but we were soon loading them up into my tiny little Hyundai Accent and luckily they both fit! They may be a little lower than your average nightstand, but that's kinda part of why I like them, while Tim was a little worried they might be a little too low. I'm not sure on an exact measurement, but they are a couple of inches taller than my knees (I'm 5'2").

    I really like their classic look and clean lines, but can't wait to spruce them up a bit with a rich, dark stain and turn them into something I absolutely love. Or maybe we'll paint them white and add a decorative patterned paper on the inside panel?

    Here's one of the nightstands that we are currently storing in our garage for now. Pictures to come once they are refinished!


    My New Blue Snakeskin Boots

    My dad's birthday is just four short days away and I still didn't have a present as of this morning, but luckily, thanks to a few finds at a thrift store, he'll be getting three great items. I found an old brown and tan jug, an old butterchurn missing the pole, and an old barrel. And no, I'm not ruining the surprise by posting this, he was actually on the phone with me at the thrift store and told me to get them! I also got myself a pair of blue leather faux snakeskin cowboy boots for kicks and they're just my size! They actually may see daylight once or twice if I can get up the courage to wear them to a country show in the summer. I wonder if Tim will dare to be seen with me in my fancy blue boots?


    Bitten by the Rug Bug

    Here in Massachusetts we've been having a pretty brutal winter. We actually moved into our new home with a couple feet of snow on the ground and have had our fair share of below freezing nights. It's pretty hard to feel cozy sitting in front of the fireplace without a rug.

    My favorite thing to design a room around is a pattern or piece of fabric and I am LOVING Madeline Weinrib Atelier rugs lately. Seeing as there are no prices on her website and she calls her studio an 'atelier' (thanks, Google!), I'm gonna guess that owning one of her rugs can only be a dream of mine. Actually, the fact that one of our two cats, Teddy, prefers throwing up his hairballs on carpeting rather than hardwood or tile floors pretty much means that any expensive rug is definitely out of the question. But, even though a new area rug will probably become Teddy's favorite place to 'de-hairball,' it will probably act as a magnet for all of that loose cat fur that look like mini tumbleweeds rolling through the living room. (We do vacuum almost every day, but sometimes we miss a tumbleweed or two!)


    So, although I would not call West Elm's rugs extremely cheap by our standards, I'll bet they're a lot cheaper than Madeline's and I feel the designs are pretty similar too. I don't think I would really be able to tell the difference from her rugs and West Elm's if I didn't already know which one was which.  Here are my favorite West Elm and Madeline Weinrib rugs: 
    Andalusia Rug from

    Goldenrod Brooke from
    Steel Brooke from
    Peridot Mandala from
    Iznik Dhurrie from


    Local Photography

    My little brother, J.M., has been taking some really great pictures lately. Here are some of my favorites:
    "Boathouse on a Winter Night" © 2011 JM

    "Comfort" © 2011 JM

    "Mesmerize" © 2011 JM

    "Tangled" © 2011 JM
    You can check out more of his work here.

    All photos are property of JM. Please ask before using any of the above images.

    Nifty Thrifty Finds

    We recently picked up some great, cheap finds at some local thrift stores. We were lucky to find two horseshoe shadowboxes for $2 each which are perfect for decorating our sparse walls in our new country home and a $3 washboard we hung up in our laundry room.  We also found a small apothecary jar on sale for $2.50.  It makes the perfect cutip  holder for the bathroom!

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