Friday, August 26, 2011

Lighten up, wood ya!

Our dining room is filled with an abundance of dark heavy wood.  The walls are dark.  The furniture is dark.  The woodwork is dark.  But, I'm not quite ready to be the first owner to paint the original dark woodwork.  We've also got "popcorn" ceilings and that's just fine with me.  At least there are no cracks!  It even has glitter in the textured finish and when the chandelier is turned on, the ceiling sparkles!

Here are the wood furnishings currently at home in the dining room.

On the left is a secretary filled with a small part of my blue and white addiction collection.  The dry sink on the right is a $20 estate sale bargain destined for an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint treatment.

Mix-and-match sideboard with window-turned-mirror mounted above.  The mirror also needs to be painted.  Below, on the left is a bedside table from an old hotel.  The sconce on the right doesn't do much to lighten up the room.  It's a $12 find that is hanging on a nail, covering up more nail holes.


You can see where our plaster repair ended inside the dining room archway.  I'm not going to paint the gloomy green walls until we've repaired the many cracks AND as you know, we've already got one room in progress.

Here it is.  My version of a farm table, but with a lot more flexibility.  Without the leaves it is a 42 inch square table.  With the six leaves in place it expands to a whopping 102 inches! 

The legs are equipped with casters, so it's a snap to pull apart and add the leaves.  It even has a 5th leg in the center to prevent sagging.  The leaves are lightweight and store easily in the bottom drawer of the sideboard.  Our previous table was round which explains the round rug.  I've also picked up these mismatched chairs ( 2 more in the garage ) that will get new updated skirted cushions and a paint treatment.....eventually.

So, to temporarily lighten up the room, I made a faux grain sack table runner.  Here are some simple instructions to make your own and these are the supplies you will need:
  • Length of burlap from the fabric store.
  • Craft paint.  I used Folk Art navy blue.
  • Scruffy stencil brush.
  • Masking tape.
  • Paper towel and newspaper.
  • Professional painter's palette a.k.a. styrofoam plate.
To start, cut the burlap in half lengthwise to the width you want.  Fold the long ends under 3/4-1 inch and press.  Lay down 3 rows of masking tape on the long edges and remove the middle piece of tape.  This makes for a nice straight stripe.

Load your brush with paint and blot on paper towel.  Rub paint on between the strips of tape and pull tape off when done.  Place newspaper under the area that you are painting. 

For the small stripes, lay a strip of tape overlapping the large stripe.  Lay a second strip next to it, leaving a narrow piece of burlap showing through.  Paint the thin stripe and remove tape.

Continue taping and painting in this fashion until you have the striped pattern you like.  To finish the runner, turn up short ends 3/4-1 inch and press.  Sew a 4/8 inch seam around entire piece and apply fray check to edges to prevent burlap from fraying.  Normally I would fold the fabric under twice for a finished hem, but I thought it would get too bulky and not lay flat on the table.  If you don't want to sew the hem, you could use iron-on hem tape instead.  That's all there is to it!

The paint will look slightly mottled which only adds to the aged look.

Dark and dreary.

Much better, don't you think?


  1. Very creative lady! Send some creative vibes my way! ;)

    Love the runner. Very cool.

  2. Very pretty! I recently made a pillow slip with the same treatment and drop cloth fabric.

  3. You have some gorgeous pieces of furniture there...and I hear ya on not painting the woodwork...we have been *talking* about painting ours for 10 yrs...not sure if we will or not...this farmhouse style works with wood so maybe I'll quit fighting it?!
    You only have *1* room in progress?!

  4. Yes, it is quite the "cheery" room!! Kudos to you....:)

  5. Love it! Gotta love drop cloths. I have that same table. I'm debating on whether to swap it back out replacing my frenchy one I'm using now.

  6. LOVE!! I am absolutely going to try this! Just beautiful!!

  7. Clever and creative. Love it!I hopped over from the feathered nest hop and so happy I did. Hugs!

  8. Thanks so much for giving me this neat idea!!!


  9. Hi, friend! You've got so much creativity in your blog and I'm admiring all your creative posts. Can you please share them with us at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop? Hope to see you there at the party :)

  10. Yup...I would like to put in my order for 2 please! ;0) Hmmm...what color stripes...?

    Yes, criss-crossed will look lovely!

    Yes...I love it!

  11. Love your table runner! How clever you are! Love your home also. Great furniture.

  12. I LOVE your dining room. It didn't feel dark or dreary to me. It looks very "English Cottage."

    Your table runner is a very nice touch. ;)

    Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

  13. Hi Vickie, thanks so much for leaving me a comment! We may have achieved loads in two weeks, but I think we're still high from the paint fumes! I am loving all your bits of furniture in your dining room - they look gorgeous and the runner makes so much difference to the room. Such a good idea. Best of luck when you do crack open that paint tin and I look forward to seeing what happens next! Zoe

  14. I think your dining room is just beautiful. You have some gorgeous antique pieces that look great just as they are. I just love your blue and white collection and the runner!

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  18. Sorry, I think I just drooled all over your dining room table. :)


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