The Breakfast Nook

From the moment I saw our kitchen for the first time, I noticed the empty space in the corner. My first initial thought was why didn’t the flippers continue the cabinets all the way down? I somehow had to fill the space. The previous owners had place a small breakfast table with a few chairs there, but the walls had so many scuffs from the chairs hitting. I’ve always loved the idea of having a built-in booth in the kitchen or dining space, and I instantly thought that would be the perfect solution to one: fill the empty corner, and two: having seating without banging up the walls! I starting looking for a round table that was about 3 ft wide, that could be butted up to an L-shaped seating area. After I searching for several months, everywhere from Wayfair to thrift shops, I had finally found a table on Craig’s List for $50. The only draw back was that it was about 60 miles away in Davie. I was up for an adventure, but I just had to see if Ryan was too.

I work at about the midway point between our home and Davie. Ryan and I came to an agreement that he would meet me at my office and we would drive down together to get the table after work. So that’s what we did. Once we met up the seller, we we’re very pleased with the quality and sturdiness of the piece. He said that the table had belonged to his mother, and that she had had it for as long as he could remember. He was happy to see it go to a good home and that a newly married couple that would get some use outbreakfast-table of it. From the moment I saw the listing, I knew that I wanted to refinish it but after knowing how much this table meant to this this sweet man, I was even more excited to breathe some new life into it. We got home pretty late that night, but it was definitely worth it.


Now to fixing her up! As you can see in the photos, the table had a very orange finish all over. Since the table was going filling the empty corner in our kitchen, I wanted the table top to match the color of our cabinets. I started with sanding the top down to the natural wood, which took FOREVER. I had not done enough research on the different types of sand paper grit. I think I started with 180 or 220 which is much too fine for removing a varnish. I it took me a good two hours which is just ridiculous. I can say that my sanding these days has become much more time efficient! I should have used 80 than smoothed it out with 220. Once that was done, my father in-law came over to show me how to stain the top. This was the first time I had ever used a stain. I chose to use Minwax in Dark Walnut. I recommend using a high quality brush that is meant for staining, and one that will not have the bristles fall out. It’s a total pain trying to pick them off the wet table before it dries. I let the table dry until the next day (you can typically wait 4-6 hours).

Next, I used Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane Semi-Gloss Base to seal it. Again, use a nice brush with bristle that won’t fall out. You’re not going to want to pick them off. I wish I knew this before working on this project, I can’t stress this enough!! I covered the table top with one coat and let it dry for 6 hours. Then I sanded it down with 220 grit. HUGE MISTAKE. Learn from metable-3, don’t use anything lower than 380 in-between poly coats. The stain started coming off, and I basically had to start ALL over. I stripped the top back down, re-stained, and added the new poly coat (not all in one day obviously). I was so bummed, but this is how you learn if you don’t do enough research before hand. I lightly sanded in between coats and added one more. I thought I was done. Great! Yay! Breakfast nook is complete!… Not so fast!…

Fast forward 6 months(ish). A friend of ours had built an amazing bar in their house from scratch. I couldn’t get over how smooth the wood 3b665bbb-d811-49ab-95e3-1cdc2c167add_400_compressedsurfaces was! I had to ask him what his secret was because compared to this, our table was still a pretty gritty. This bar was beautiful! He told me that he had used Varathane Polyurethane Semi-Gloss Base, and he actually let me borrow what had left over!. He said I would probably be fine to do 3 more coats since I had already done two before. So that night that’s what I did! Ryan helped me move the table into our back patio so I could finally finish this table right. I used 400 grit sand paper on the table top, wiped it down with a wet paper towel and then dried it. I had bought a really nice brush for this type of application from Lowe’s. I us044359134634ed my new brush and neatly coated the table top and let it dry. I was amazed at how FAST this poly coat dried! After waiting only 2 hours (opposed to 6) I was about to sand again between coats and add another. Make sure when applying the poly coat you’re going with the grain of the wood (VERY important).  The next day I sanded one more top and added my last coat. Let me tell you, the table top feels SO much better than the first time I had tried using the sealer. I was finally happy.

french_linen_896Now to the pedestal, when I had originally finished the table top, I had also painted the pedestal with one coat of ASCP in French Linen, which in my opinion is the perfect greige. It’s such a pretty neutral! This time around, I added a second coat of the chalk paint and after it dried I used Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Wax to seal it. When I first started looking into chalk paint and the wax’s I assumed that the wax would make the furniture sticky. I was SO wrong! After doing much more research (and watching Miss Mustard Seed’s videos on YouTube)  if you use the right amount, it doesn’t make it sticky at all! The wax is meant to help preserve furniture. Once I applied the wax, I buffed it out with my microfiber cantique-waxloth. Milk and chalk paint both have very flat finish. The wax provides a  beautiful satin-like shine. Once I let that sit for about five minutes I then applied the antique wax (see link above for furniture wax). I only added this to the detailed areas of the pedestal and the edges of the legs. I tried to really get it into all the crevices I could. Again, buff it out and let it sit. As mentioned before in the previous post, the wax takes about 30 days to fully cure so one must be delicate with the piece until then.

I’m so glad I went back to fix this piece up from the first time I had worked on it. The second time around has made a world of difference in the appearance. It looks so much smoother and richer!

So back to my wanting to have an L-shaped booth. That project is definitely on the to-do list when both Ryan and I have time; but for now, we’re just using the extra chairs from our dining table (when the leaf isn’t used). That is a project that I’m very excited about and I’ll keep you all posted on when that finally makes its’ way into the works.

Thank you for reading!






All it took was a Hurricane…Our Buffet

Hello all! After going through Hurricane Matthew yesterday and being off of work today, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to finally write my first blog post!

I have been dreaming of this buffet station since we bought our dining room table. I knew exactly what I wanted: it had to be at least 5ft long, have drawers, glass doors, a somewhat coastal or farmhouse feel…and I knew it had to be blue/turquoise. I made daily trips to Home Goods and thrift shops…for over a year!! I was hoping to find either something that wasn’t too expensive OR something that I could refinish myself. I had my heart set on a cabinet I had seen several times at Home Goods. Of course, once I realized that it was what I wanted for my space, I would never see it again (in that color.)

On my lunch breaks & on my way home from work I would pop in and cross my fingers that they would have that turquoise cabinet. I was tempted several times to just purchase it in another color in hopes that it would look nice with our dining room table, but I never pulled the trigger. I wanted to have that “OMG THAT’S IT!!” or “I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT IT! feeling. As months went by, I started to give up. As the frustration began to build, I decided I needed to put my time and efforts into something else. I was worrying to much about it. My mom likes to say when I have something on my mind or like something too much, I just suck the life out of it. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not, but I guess you can say that it means that I’m determined & that I don’t give up  easily.

So, in the mean time, I decided to start looking for a light fixture to put over the dining room table. After spending a few hours online”window shopping” for lights, I received a text message from one of my best friends (Afton) who knew exactly what I was looking for (in a buffet table.) She sends me this photo while she was shopping at Costco:


“Would this work?” she asked. I asked her what the dimensions were….”OMG, IT COULDN’T BE ANY MORE PERFECT!!” I replied.  It was over 5ft long (72″ to be exact), had drawers AND glass doors, and feet!! I knew it when I saw it. It was the one. It was built much better than the one I had seen at Home Goods with ball bearing drawers and it weighed a ton! It was also only $50 more than the other one! Costco only wanted $450 for this piece and after doing my research I saw that it retailed for well over $1,000 on Wayfair. Like many of you, I like to have that feeling that I got a great deal! Oh, and did I mention Costco only had about four or five of these pieces!? I kept telling myself (1) Good things come to those who wait and (2) What’s meant to be will be. This was obviously meant to be!! So, here we are. The piece is out of the box and I just couldn’t stop staring at it.

img_2749-1Here is a good picture of our space before when we brought the buffet table home. Ryan and I were both so happy with it.

When I had decided on the idea of having a buffet table on that wall, I knew I wanted to have shelving above it to display some of our serving pieces, wine glasses, & our coffee cups. The cabinets in a kitchen were starting to seem pretty cramped because they’re very shallow and the way we had all of our cups & dishes organized just wasn’t working. I new I needed to spread things out. I wanted to place the items in there that were pretty but not used all of the time.

bp_hfxup314h_bb_kitchen_detail_appliances-and-open-shelving_203502_697425-1244818-jpg-rend-hgtvcom-1280-960I had always liked the look of these open shelves with the large iron brackets. They were industrial, heavy, & had clean lines. I found them on Etsy from Tired Trucker Designs & placed an order in the powder coated bronze. His work is awesome if you have a chance to look at his shop!


There is no way that those brackets are coming off our wall! We had purchased the wood at Lowe’s a while ago. The stemware rack was unfinished wood and came with all the screws to attach it to the shelves (also bronze.) I just needed to find cup hooks in the right finish. I thought I wanted bronze, but I ended up going with cup hooks in antique brass from Home Depot because they matched the cabinet’s hardware. I couldn’t believe my vision was finally  starting to come to life!

img_2943I had wanted to try Valspar’s Furniture Paint because it could be tinted. I had previously used chalk paint on another project but I couldn’t find the color I needed. I had a difficult time matching the paint color to the buffet. What I should have done was just taken one of the feet off of the cabinet for Lowe’s to color match it.  I picked up several paint chips from Lowe’s & Sherwin Williams the past several times we stopped in. I thought I had found the perfect match with Sherwin William’s Vintage Vessel, but for some reason they couldn’t get the paint mixed in that color so the next best thing was Salt Marshes.


I wasn’t happy with the color. It was much too light. I had also tried using Valspar’s Antiquing Glaze, but I just thought my application made it look dirty. I was just over all disappointed with how it had turned out so far. I also didn’t care for the raw edges of the wood on the sides. It just didn’t look finished.

After taking a break to figure out how I wanted to move forward, I made two decisions. (1) I wanted to add decorative molding to the front and sides creating more of a finished look. (2) Now was the time to try Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint. I had my eye on the color Kitchen Scale. I also had watched (all) her tutorial videos (she’s my Blog IDOL) & saw how you could easily mix the paints img_0063together to make custom colors at home. I had ordered a small 30 gram packet of Kitchen Scale from Amazon (I would die without Amazon Prime.) One night after work (I think it was Monday) I tested it on a scrap piece of wood to see how the color would match. It seemed to be a perfect match!

I had seen that the paint line carried what they call a “Bonding Agent“, which is a type of glue that makes the milk paint adhere to a surface that is not porous (a previously painted surface). Since I had already painted the shelves with the Valspar furniture paint I needed to mix it with the milk paint.  If I had just painted the raw wood with milk paint at first I wouldn’t have needed the bonding agent. If I didn’t use it, I would have had the chippy look which I do like, but for this project it was not the look I was going for. So here I am Tuesday morning at work playing on Amazon (that ADD..) & I ordered the bonding agent one more bag of Kitchen Scale paint…should be here Thursday after work. Perfect.

Here we are on Tuesday night having dinner and we hear that Hurricane Matthew may be coming in our direction. Great. Another “hurricane.” Shouldn’t be that bad, right?? Well, it’s Wednesday afternoon & we girls at work are starting to freak out a little & we’re wondering if the office and schools are going to be closed. My first and ONLY thought…what about my Amazon delivery?! If they close the schools…that means the mail won’t be running. What the heck am I supposed to do with no power to keep myself busy?!! …My safety is not my first thought….it’s my PAINT! What’s wrong with me?! So next thing I know, I’m looking up the closest retail location that carries it. The closest location is in Jupiter, about 10 miles away from my house, but almost 40 from my office (I have quite the work commute but I try not to complain). So what I’m thinking to my self is, how the heck am I going to make it to the shop in time to get my paint? Their hours are 9-5 and I usually don’t get home from work until almost 6. Luckily, since everything was shutting down and the office let us leave early to prep for this hurricane, I shot straight up the highway to Gus & Max’s in Jupiter. My husband’s only instruction was to pick up enough food for us to eat during the storm. I’m thinking okay, I got this. I’ll go get the paint first and then hopefully all the food won’t be sold out. I can’t let him know that I put our shelves before our stomach’s. I gotta get in and out! No dilly-dallying!! So I make it to the shop & I walk in; this place is beautiful! I felt like I walked into a decorator’s candy land. There were all these beautifully painted pieces of furniture, slip covered chairs, home décor, & shelves full of beautiful paint colors! I was in heaven (cue angels singing!!). The staff was an absolute delight! We were chatting…I felt like I had already known them for years! Here I am, getting side tracked. We have a hurricane coming (a Cat 4, might I add), & I’m in a home décor shop. Again, what is wrong with me?! Okay, time to go (but I’ll be back!) and get food at Publix!

Moving on….talk about getting off track!

I got the paint, the bonding agent, AND I got the food! We’re good to go! Bring on the hurricane…now that I can keep busy and finish this project! My husband thinks I’m nuts (sometimes). I tell him if he wanted a boring life he should’ve married somebody else. LOL

So moving on. . What I didn’t say above was that Patti from Gus & Max gave me a little sample of the color Ironstone to help me lighten the blue, in case Kitchen Scale on one large piece was too dark. So here we are on Wednesday night, & I’m just ready to paint!! I’m not waiting for the power to go out, so I mix the paint (I used my KitchenAid Mixer) & I added a little but of Ironstone. I didn’t want to use too much because I was afraid of making it too light. Clearly, I didn’t use enough because once the shelves dried they were WAY too dark! I was so bummed…AND frustrated!! This is the second time the paint didn’t work out! I tried to tell myself not to worry about it & I would try again in the morning.

img_0089So here we are on Thursday morning ready for this hurricane to come through & I’m ready to paint & get this project done once & for all! This time, instead of starting with Kitchen Scale I decided to start with Ironstone. I thought it would be easier to start out light and keep adding the blue until it was darker enough. Let me tell you, that was the way to go! Once I painted all the pieces for the wine rack (I completely unscrewed it and painted each piece) & the two shelves, I let it sit for 30-45 minutes to dry. After that, I added a thin coat of Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Wax. I let that set for a few minutes, and then buffed it out with a recommended lint-free microfiber cloth.

img_0106Now that the shelves were painted & waxed, I reassembled the wine rack & attached it to the bottom shelf. Then for the LAST touch… installing the cup hooks! This was something that Ryan offered to help me with. We added six hooks, two rows of three. I was excited to display my coffee cups that I had purchased at Z Gallerie a few years ago because the design on the front is so similar to the doors on the cabinet. That’s it! She’s done!!

At the end of all of this, it may have taken a hurricane to give me the time to finish this beauty, but I’m SO happy that I can check this off my list (along with this first post!) Luckily, in regards to the storm all we had was a little bit of roof damage over our garage (from a tree splitting), but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed.  It was supposed to be much worse. You can always rebuild your home but you can’t rebuild a life. Thank you for reading this (long) post. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it!!

I would love to hear your comments & what projects you’re currently working on! Thank you so much for visiting!


Until next time!