Our Home | Work Corner | Bemz Slipcovers | DIY Table Refinishing

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


As our children grow up, so do the spaces in our home.  We have a playroom on the first floor of our home that really wasn't getting that much quality play time anymore.  There were piles and baskets of toys that, when picked up, made it a rather enticing space, but within minutes of it being tidy, Charlie would come in like a hurricane and spread every little action figure, instrument, toy truck, etc. all over the floor.  I was fighting a losing battle.  So slowly the toys have been replaced by more books on the overrun shelves and the play kitchen and train table have been replaced by a work/project corner.  We always knew the room would eventually become a children's library/homework spot so this space will continue to evolve that way down that road.

^^For the desk, I stripped the paint off of a table that Jimmy found out for the trash in our neighborhood a couple years ago.  He picked it up thinking I could do something with it and use it for the boys.  It was painted a sickly yellow on top with dark, hunter green legs and underside.^^

I will be very honest and say that the hours that went into this DIY probably don't justify the result.  It was my first time (and maybe last?) stripping paint and it was a bit of a pain.  The table top was a breeze and went just like I expected.  I had hoped the bare wood underneath might have a nice patina or reclaimed wood look to it, but it just looked like light, boring, bare wood.  As for stripping the paint of the legs, I first tried the same stripper I used on the top and nothing came off.  I upgraded to a heavy duty chemical stripper and still barely anything.  I was starting to think the legs were colored using a green Sharpie!  I tried heavy grit sand paper and only then could I get down to the bare wood. It would have taken many, many, MANY hours to finish all the legs that way and given its intended purpose that hardly seemed worth it.   So, I painted the legs (Benjamin Moore Bennington Gray.  I used oil paint.  Sorry.  Still nothing really like it when it comes to painting wood, in my opinion. )

As for getting the top the color and look I wanted, I just started experimenting a bit.  I applied 2-3 coats of Minwax in Dark Walnut.  I brushed it on with a foam brush and almost immediately wiped it off with a soft cloth.  Then after a couple days, I used Briwax in Dark Brown to deepen the color and add some variation.  I wiped it on (generously), let it sit for 20 minutes or so then buffed it off using steel wool.  It was a great arm workout! :)  I didn't top with a poly coat because I wanted it to look a little more matte and I like the idea of the finish wearing off in places.

^^ Here are the products I used, minus the Dark Walnut Minwax which I threw out before I had a chance to take a photo.^^


^^Ikea chair + Bemz slipcover^^

I have long loved the smaller Chelsea Editions check and felt like these Bemz covers copied the look pretty darn closely.  Super impressed and happy with the quality and fit!!

^^Les Indienness pillow cover, in gray^^

I like looking down the little hallway adjacent to our kitchen and seeing this cozy corner.  I also love the green lamp (Ballard) among all the browns and grays in the room.  I like it so much that I've been using this spot to do bills, write weekly menu plans, and update my calendar.  Andrew hasn't once touched it for homework but I think eventually he will because it allows plenty of space to spread out his materials and it's close to me if he needs help.  Thanks for taking a peek.  And my apologies for the less than ideal DIY steps and slightly burry photos, I should have used my tripod, bad blogger.  DIY will never be my thing but I am happy with the results.  For now. 

13 comments:

  1. Tessa- that little corner nook came out just precious. I just love when you share spaces in your home- they are always beautiful yet still functional and practical for living with children! (a feat that is harder to achieve than it sounds. I know you can relate:) )

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  2. Glad to hear you're happy with the fit of the Bemz slips. I bought some a few years ago when first introduced and they fit horribly. Turns out, I was their first US customer and they had them fitted for the European version of the chair, which is different. Crazy. So they made new ones, but they still don't fit quite right. Everyone someone asks where I got them, I hesitate to share. Love your little corner! xo!

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    1. so interesting... they do have two options for sizing now on each fit. i bet that helps. i was pleasantly surprised. :)

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  3. This is a lovely corner! You have such a beautiful home. We have a basement playroom which looks like a bomb hit it. Same as you, I clean and organize it... but it never stays that way for long. I have a love/hate relationship with Lego :)

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  4. Can you give the source for your rug? And are you happy with it? Need to replace the rug in our family room and I am looking for a little more texture since all my babies are up off the floor! It also needs to be large, 12X15. Thank you! Love your style!

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  5. the rug is from pottery barn a few years back. it has worn exceptionally well. i believe it is jute/wool blend and it softer than typical sisal or seagrass. you'd have to check on sizing.

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  6. What an adorable chair. Why have I never heard of these covers before!?! I will definitely be looking into these as we need some extra seating at our dining table but I'm hesitant to purchase anything too pricey with our 3 little hooligans who haven't quite learned how to properly use a napkin:) I have a question for you about your kitchen cabinets. If I remember correctly you used Farrow and Ball paint - do you know which finish you used for them. And did your painter use any type of protective varnish over the paint?

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  7. What an adorable chair. Why have I never heard of these covers before!?! I will definitely be looking into these as we need some extra seating at our dining table but I'm hesitant to purchase anything too pricey with our 3 little hooligans who haven't quite learned how to properly use a napkin:) I have a question for you about your kitchen cabinets. If I remember correctly you used Farrow and Ball paint - do you know which finish you used for them. And did your painter use any type of protective varnish over the paint? I've never used F&B paint before....do you really think it's worth the hype?

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  8. Tessa, I would love to sit there too! So adorable. And, why haven't I heard about Bemz's covers before? I checked out there fabric options and was pleasantly surprised!! Will definitely have to consider them. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. Hi Audrey, Yes, I did use F&B in the kitchen on the cabinets, shelves, walls and trim, everywhere! :) For the cabinets I used the Estate Eggshell formula. No, the painter didn't use any protective finish b/c F&B didn't recommend it and I was afraid that doing so would change the final quality and look of the paint. I think one of the best parts of the F&B paint is in the chalky looking finish. So, as a result I do get little chips here and there, very minor and easy to sand and paint over. Is it worth the hype? To me, yes, it is really beautiful paint. I especially think it shines in older homes and their neutrals are by far my favorite colors but I also think Benjamin Moore makes gorgeous neutrals and can achieve a very similar look for less. So it depends. Hope that helps!! xo

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  10. Thank you Tessa. I love chalky/very matte finishes as well. I was considering using Annie Sloan but after completing a few other projects with it I'm concerned about the quality considering how much abuse our cabinets take:) I will definitely keep your advice in mind.

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  11. so warm and beautiful.....do tell about the drapes!!!!!

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  12. IKEA chair and slip? Love! Your room looks beautiful-the drapes, bamboo blinds, walls are gorgeous. I think the table turned out great but I am definitely on board that stripping furniture is NO fun! I'd rather paint it any day (but love the look of natural wood too)

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