"You Did WHAT to Our Playroom, Mama?"
By TheAmericanMama on November 20, 2013
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When we moved into this house, I was thrilled to have the extra bedroom for no reason other than my vivid dreams of a living room with no toys. As many of you may guess, this was only a figment of my imagination - a house with children equals a house full of toys. So although I adored the intentions of shelves lined with blocks and a space to call their own, my children ended up doing the opposite of what I had in mind. Instead of toys all over my house, I now had toys all over my house. Wait, what? Oh, and a completely underused room. It ended up being that neglected place where you store things that you want to procrastinate. When their friends came over, I was so embarrassed by the clutter (and worried for their safety just a little, honestly) that I usually told them to pick out toys and go to the bedroom or outside. Not to mention, it was a nightmare to clean. Toys that were once organized with labeled bins eventually ended up in a tornado of sorts under the couch, table, mixed with important things shoved in the closet.
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***[So many makeovers happening - I haven't come up for air! I've been a little MIA lately, but only because I've been busy being creative. Which of course is the best kind of busy. You may notice some changes around here as well, since Miss Josi Denise officially made the jump to self-hosting at Wordpress and underwent a full code and design renovation. I'm excited to be up and running again, and welcoming all of the new readers.]***
Sigh. Someone rescue me. Then, as I was staring at the mountain of paperwork in the corner of our living room one day - it dawned on me that we needed a space to do more of, well, what we do. What we do is crafts. And office work. And lots of reading. Movie-watching. Coloring. And yoga, when I find time. I can do this, I thought.
It definitely was not an easy project. Or projects, plural. But was it worth it? 100%. About two weeks and a major sewage disaster (unrelated, but effective) later, I now have an amazingly cozy, bright little space to escape into writing. (Or be filled with children scribbling on my books, but you know.) I can close the door and relax into a yoga video, plop the kids on the couch for a Disney movie while I cook, or work on my laptop while the kids have separate desk spaces - my son to do homework and my daughter to color all over herself with permanent markers she stole from the desk when I wasn't looking.
At a few points in the...renovation, I guess you could call it, there were some worrisome moments. It got messy. Then, it got really messy. At one point, I even lost my toddler in a box of stuffed toys for a brief moment. But then it got better. And my husband even put up with the stacks and piles of papers and toys and sh*t all over the house without too much complaint, which is appreciated.
When my mom recently moved out of state, we acquired a ton of furniture from her apartment that until now I wasn't quite sure what to do with. A few (ok, several) cans of spray paint and a no-school monday later - voila. I love finding creative uses for old or mismatched furniture. A lot of her pieces fit well in our decor but the coffee table (with a crippled leg) and end tables (converted into adorable beachy antique pops of color, in a post soon on our living room re-design!) just didn't flow with the rest of the house. So this sad little misfit sat in the garage for a couple of months until a sale at Michael's turned up an impromptu can of chalkboard spray paint.
I've never used chalkboard paint but I have to say it was easier than I expected. I removed the legs first, sanded the top lightly until smooth, and sprayed on two coats (with one hour dry time between.) For the edges I used white semi-gloss spray paint which I didn't tape off, just carefully sprayed under, but you could if you want to be meticulous. It's worth noting that if your old furniture is previously finished with a gloss or lacquer - you must sand or use a strong primer (the kind that works even on plastic is great) or the paint will not coat evenly. The chalkboard paint has a texture, and I sanded the top pretty well, so it came out just fine (so much that I even painted a table in the kid's bedroom too - I wanted to put chalkboards everywhere!). But the sides, which I did not sand or prime, ended up with this crackle effect. I actually like it, and it inspired my other vintage-style tables (upcoming post), but if you want a clear, even coat - make sure to sand and use primer.
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