White Washed Dining Table

It’s been quite a while since my last post, but I wanted to publish my latest DYI project so I could share on Pinterest. Maybe this will help those looking to transform a furniture piece without a lot of steps. That was my mission and I’m fairly pleased with the outcome as this was my first every painting project!

I acquired this beautiful solid wood (I think oak?) table from a co-worker who was moving and needed to get rid of a few things. I also recently got an apartment with a dining space which I’ve never really had before so I needed to find a table to fill the space without spending an arm and a leg.

Here are the  very simple steps I took:

  1. Sanded with the grain
  2. Painted with the grain one section at a time
  3. Wiped the section I painted
  4. Waxed one section at a time

First, I sanded the table down by hand with 220 grit sandpaper to dull the shiny gloss down and smooth out the imperfections. Including the legs and the two leaves it took me about 4 hours total. I read you can use an orbital sander if you want to cut down the time and probably do a more thorough job. (Turns out I found a paint that claims you don’t need to sand, but that was after the fact and I’ll share that product with you next).


This is the before sanded down table. That’s my cat Bean who was poised to lend a paw.

Next I started with the table upside down to do the legs first. I poured the paint into a painters cup with a handy little magnet that holds your brush (genius!). And added a little bit of water. I used water based paint of course.


I used Amy Howard’s One Step Paint Color: Ballet White (I purchased at ACE Hardware) which says ‘No Stripping, No Sanding, No Priming’ right on the front in small print. Yes, there’s Bean again trying to be helpful.


Here is a photo with the legs painted. I ended up sanding the edges a little more to get a more worn look later.

After I turned this puppy back up-right I put the leaves in loosely so the paint would be somewhat consistent when all pushed together.

This is the biggest lesson I learned in this project: Use more water to water down the paint! It’s recommended you use a 2:1 (2 parts paint 1 part water) ratio or even 1:1 because the paint goes on a lot smoother. And when you are going for the more white washed ‘Farm Table’ look the paint wipes off a lot cleaner.

I used two old jersey material pillow cases and cut them each into 4 pieces. You’ll use all of them and you’ll wipe off a lot of paint. You want to use a material that’s lint free.

I decided I wanted more white to contrast my very beige dining room, but I do wish I would have thinned the paint a little more and wiped a little more to show more of the wood. Rookie mistake. But I am going to live with it for now.


Amy Howard’s Clear Wax. I used this at the end and a little goes a long way! It seals the table giving it a subtle sheen that doesn’t take away the matte look. It’s recommended you reapply after a year. Note: you’ll only be able to use that brush for wax going forward.

There you have it! Simple for a newbie like me. Painting took me about 3.5 hours including the wax. Like I said, next time I’ll go less white and more rustic by watering the paint down and wiping more off making that Farm Table look. Hopefully that’s helpful!


Final Result. I sanded the edges down a little to make a more worn look. Next I intend to find a bench and/or some different chairs!

If you have any tips/comments/questions please share!


A Response to Fighting Fire with Fire

It’s pointless to argue with the NRA they have one focus and it’s only for the sake of its members. Yes I agree the media is largely to blame, and yes it seems we are protecting everyone except our children. However, the NRA is indeed using this opportunity to advocate for big gun business. They want to put trained government officials WITH GUNS at the entry ways of public schools to protect our children. Yet, they tirelessly speak about their 2nd amendment right and proclaim to their adversaries: “We have a right to protect ourselves FROM the government.” In their December 21, 2012 press conference they make a valid argument about the media’s responsibility for violence, and I do agree; but never do they address the need for a better education system; never do they address the need for better anti-bullying and anti-hate agendas, and never do they talk about tolerance—learning to love each other. All they talk about is fighting back with more guns. As long there are guns in this world there will be fear. Fear causes people to seize up, to think irrationally, and go into protective mode. How can we learn to help each other, and work together to end violence if we are constantly fearful?

“Peace is not only better than war, but infinitely more arduous.” ~George Bernard Shaw

The NRA has one answer to everything, more guns. I do not believe this is the association we want to be inspired by for change this day in age. A friend of mine said we need to “think critically” instead of having “knee jerk” reactions to the problem, in regards to people’s outcry for stricter gun control laws. Oh really? Are you saying half the population as having a spastic attitude about this? I’m pretty sure THAT many people aren’t thinking illogically about this. I think the important questions we need to ask can’t be answered with statistics and polls. I think we need to listen to the people. Listen to ideas, gather information and address it all. We have to stop bickering and ask questions:

How does a semi-automatic weapon provide protection?
Why are guns with the capability to take down 26 people by ONE man being manufactured?
How can we teach our kids to stop bullying each other and become more tolerant of one another?
How can we support the mentally ill so we don’t lose them to the deepest darkest places?
How can we lessen the fear we feel for our lives and our loved ones lives?
How can we start holding the media responsible for glorifying killers, and using people’s emotions to sell something?

Obviously these are just a few of the questions, but I think the answers start with us. We have to start taking responsibility for our choices. This is a great country and we do have control. But we have to stop being so one sided about things and start working together. Stop buying those bullshit magazines, turn the channel if news stations even so much as mention a killer’s name. Admittedly, these habits are hard to break; we seem to have a need to fill our lives with things other than actually looking out for one another. We should be holding each other up; encouraging good behavior—not putting the greedy, intolerant, evil, possessive, unfaithful, cruel, spiteful and vengeful on a pedestal. All of which culminate the media.


When you take a step forward, you are bound to disturb something. ~Ghandi

From a personal standpoint, I still can’t believe the audacity of people’s behavior towards each other. I once worked at a place that actually enabled people who bullied their peers. The act of consistently badgering and intimidating others with snarky comments and malicious nit-picking was a very common occurrence in this particular office. This created fear and pointless drama. I became very hateful of these people and I still struggle with forgiveness. Imagine a less sane person, and how/if they have the ability to overcome such hate. What about children? When they are battered in school on a daily basis how does this resonate with them if they don’t have a strong support system at home or even within their school. These are things we need to think about. Will the guy with a gun and a badge help them process these senseless acts of indecency? One thought that got me through the many years of being cut down, and weakened was that these people must really be in pain. What happened to them that they think that kind of behavior is acceptable?
My point is we have to start massive movement and say to people who are being assholes that we aren’t paying attention to them anymore. We are ignoring you now. You don’t get to have your 15 minutes of fame if you hurt people. In the mean time we need to really think about why we need guns. The very existence of guns in this world sways people to choose violence over personal healing. Guns are in my opinion THE easy way out. As long as guns are easily attainable people will turn to them. It’s a vicious circle.

Smithsonian Submission Number 1

It was a beautiful day in April 2012, the sun was shining, and the fountain was awake again after a long Seattle winter. This little girl was quite timid as the fountain shoots water to soaring heights along with the sound of a canon going off right next to you. It was fun to watch her laugh hysterically while recoiling from “danger”. This is one of my favorite images because it’s one of those wonderful Seattle moments yet not so obvious.

What will the New Year bring?

Dungeness Railroad Bridge

Happy New Year! I acquired a dslr this last year and started learning some photo editing. I’m sharing just a few of my favorite photos. Photography has always been fun for me even when I was little. It’s my hobby, and I can honestly say I have never had any other hobby last as long. I just love taking photos. I always have a camera in tow and my friends despise me for it. But who will be the one looking back when we are in our 80’s saying “damn, I wish I had a photo of that”? Not me, right!? Cheers to technology, travel, friends, family, and all those beautiful shots.  I’m looking forward to seeing what 2012 brings.

This photo was taken on Thanksgiving 2011 while standing on the Dungeness Railroad Bridge.

Starting a business

Recently council members in Seattle agreed to amend the ordinance, allowing food carts/trucks on public property.  Suddenly, the light goes on and I get this great idea for a food cart.  I’m not a cook, but I’m thinking to myself “tiny insignificant detail” right?  Well maybe, but this would be a small business venture and the very definition of a “start-up” is: a 102 hour work week, start-up capitol, and bye-bye social life.  Thus, you have to be dedicated, and I mean DEDICATED.  Perseverance is a must, meaning you overcome major obstacles, ignore your friend’s and family’s objections, and you eat, sleep, and breath your idea to the point where you grow sick of it. Then you keep going and going, envisioning the day of your grand opening or launch and hoping your business surpasses your own expectations with lots of accolades and beating all your objectives.  It’s not enough to just be business savvy and have the drive to become your own boss; you have to LOVE your product unconditionally.  This is my take anyway, I love my idea, I have a great logo, a good business model and I also have friends and family who encourage the idea.  It can be successful, but my discipline is lacking, I have a full time job that I have to maintain and I like my social life.  Something has got to give if I want to become this entrepreneur.  There are a lot of great tools out there to keep you motivated and walk you through the steps; SBA.gov, Mixergy.com, Suze Orman on O magazine, Seattle Times Small Business section etc. All have given me a positive feeling about my small business venture.  It can be done and there’s no time like the present.

Delicious Ambiguity

I wanted a perfect ending, now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, and taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.” ~Gilda Radner


Being fearless…

       The negative experiences I’ve had in my life have paralyzed me. I feel like they affect me in such a way my brain hangs on to them and never lets go. I freeze when faced with a fear, I don’t know what to do, I just stop, sometimes scream depending.  Everyday I don’t do something because I’m afraid of something. I’m so inspired by people who seem to be fearless. I know everyone is afraid of SOMETHING, but I feel I have more doubts than most people. As much as I express I hold back equally as much. There’s a constant inner monologue makes me self-sabotage and it’s quite limiting. Fear is my biggest enemy, bravery my biggest mountain. As I acknowledge this about myself I’m starting to think of ways I can overcome some of my fears….starting out small of course 😉

If you think there are no new frontiers, watch a boy ring the front doorbell on his first date.” – Olin Miller