Our family doesn’t “sit around” very well. Jocelyn is at the dance studio 5-6 days a week, Phil works 6-day work weeks almost every week, and Henry gets toted around with the rest of us. So, when we have several days of down time, we get stir crazy. We have to find something to do! So we decided to make a repurposed wood table!
I’ve been wanting an actual table for my computer and white board to sit on my for my early-morning VIPKID classes, so I asked Phillip if he could “quickly build me something out of leftover wood.” Of course, Phil, the expert carpenter, can’t just make a quick, half-@$$ project. Even though it only took him about an hour with a very simple design, it turned out to be a rustic, beautiful reclaimed piece of art!
Before I saw what Phil had built, I had promised Jocelyn that she could decorate the top with washi tape, stickers, and paint – and then I’d Mod Podge over it. Once I saw the beautiful wood, I kinda didn’t want her to “ruin” the top of it – but a deal is a deal! Phil sanded the top to a smooth finish but left the legs rough cut and rustic. I gave the kids globs of Crayola Paint with Glitter (no fancy or expensive paint needed!) and foam brushes. Jocelyn wanted to make it into a “sunset” and BudBud just slimed paint around with his brush. It was very…umm….bright red/orange (even though they somehow used blue, purple, and green as well!?). Phil came in and said “oh.” Think, mama, think…what do do next…?
We broke out more Washi tape (glitter and emojis, of course) and Jocelyn and I took turns creating a funky border. Okay…now I see some potential! I then had the idea to turn our project into a representation of our family and a piece of lasting art (since it most definitely had become a family project). As Jocelyn added little gems and sequins from her scrapbooking supplies, I went to work on my Silhouette. I created a stick figure representation of each of us (Jocelyn the dancer, Henry the gamer, Phil the builder, and Me – well between Phil and J – the ultimate helper/supporter of our family’s dreams and successes!).
Jocelyn tried to use small stickers to write “family” but they were tiny and not a great pairing with the wood. We decided to use the Silhouette again to create a stencil to paint over them. Phil liked the bald spots the stickers left behind and suggested we leave them instead of painting the “naked” wood spaces. He also suggested that perhaps, instead of Mod Podge, we use Envirotex, an epoxy formula that I had previously used for our kitchen countertops. It is a common coating for wood bar tops (the glassy wood finish you often see at bars and restaurants) and is much, much, MUCH more durable than Mod Podge. It creates a super-thick barrier, up to 1/4″ thick, that feels like a combination of plastic and glass.
Once all of the creating was done, I mixed the “potion” (what Henry calls Envirotex). It is a 2-part formula that you combine in a 1:1 ratio. I did a small amount first (about 1 inch in a plastic cup), stirred for 3 minutes, and poured on the top of the table. They directions recommend doing a thin coat first, to help seal the pores and prevent air bubbles from leaking out of the wood and into the final project. I poured from a plastic cup, gently pushed the formula around (foam brush or thick popsicle sticks work well), until everything had an even, smooth coat, and let it dry for ~5 hours.
For the second coat, I mixed the remaining Envirotex (it filled two, 8 oz cups) and dumped liberally. The goal was to get it as smooth and even as possible and to let it run over the edges and drip down – sealing the top and edges together. (Side note: We put an old drywall scrap down first, or it would have been a disastrous mess and impossible to clean up!). I let this coat dry overnight and didn’t put anything heavy or wet on it for another 48 hours, allowing it to finish curing. Now we have a pretty indestructible piece of amazing family art and a table, all wrapped into one. Phil said the top is easy enough to unscrew – so should we ever grow tired of the table, we can take off the top and display it like art.
My heart is full and my VIPKID classroom is all set!