Decorating, Family, Humor

Welcome Back Kotter End Tables

Hello, friends! It seems like it has been forever since I was on here and really a week away from the blogosphere is like, well, forever in blogger terms but I truly appreciate that my loyal readers are hanging in there with me even with only one post a week. I love you all.

We spent the weekend in Ohio with family for my nephew’s third birthday and it was so good to be back there and see everyone. We also got to be a part of his baptism on Sunday as well by being his Godparents, such an honor for my husband and me. Another special part was that Annie got to help the minister baptize her cousin with the water. So touching, I had tears in my eyes. It was so nice for Mike, the kids, and I to go somewhere together as it is a rarity with his hours. He had a Saturday off for the first time in nine months!

Back to business!

When my husband and I were dating, he lived in a townhome in a golf course community not too far from where we live now.

It was the ultimate bachelor pad.

To give you an idea, the first thing you would see when you walked up the main stairs to the bedrooms was a huge framed Caddy shack movie poster.
And golf clubs.
And dirty laundry.
And I am pretty sure the previous week’s pizza still in the box.

Yes, it was the envy of all married guys in the Tri-county area.

And as cool as it was…well, to the male folk that is….there was definitely room for improvement.

The Welcome Back Kotter end tables I am referring to in the title were some improvements to which I am also referring. And the funny part of this story? I thought these tables were garage sale finds of my mother-in-law.

He bought these.
On purpose.
At a furniture store.
And probably paid full price.

Which made me laugh even more.
I love him so much, but as an interior decorator, he is not.
As evidenced by the aforementioned end tables.
Now I am not a furniture purist, but these end tables are end tables in the most basic form.
They have four legs and they hold things.

For seven years, I have looked at these bad boys and wanted to do something with them.
Like, put them to the curb for the garbage man.

But I would go to furniture stores and see how much end tables cost, sigh, and justify that no one really looks at end tables, anyway!

Their sole purpose is to hold lamps, remote controls, cups, food, magazines…

Holy crap, end tables have an enormous responsibility!

Then I would come home and be resigned with our humble little Sanford and Son end tables.


So recently, I have been busy painting furniture as most of you know. I have turned several pieces in my home that were destined for the furniture hall of shame into pretty exceptional key pieces.

For example:


Became this:


And that’s all I am gonna show you because I don’t want to appear all braggy.
I am showing you at home that you too can do these things for cheap.
You no longer need to be a slave to Pottery Barn, Ikea, or Target.
You can take roadkill furniture or outstanding garage sale junk finds and turn them into focal points in your home.
So here is my starting point:
And this is what I did:
– sanded one table.
I was going to do both, but the finish on the tops was so bad, I didn’t even need to sand the other.
I did a light sand with the power sander, so nothing over the top.

– then I primed each table with one coat of primer.

– I painted the tops of the end tables with the same color I used for my kitchen table re-do: Espresso Brown by Rustoleum.
I used only one coat and liked the look of it.
Very rustic  = very easy for me.

I wanted it to look distressed and not at all perfect because these tables are in the room that is lived in more than any other in this home.
Meaning I didn’t want to invest hours of time and scads of money to have these tables look like they did before this entire project started.

And they will look bad again.
Oh, I can guarantee it.
I have children and I ask no one in my house or company that comes over to use a coaster.
That’s why I won’t buy my end tables at Pottery Barn.
Because if I spent $1,000 on an end table, I would indeed ask you to use a coaster.
Or maybe I would just shrink wrap the end tables.
Or possibly just lay the 10 -100 dollar bills on the floor where the end tables would be and let the kids rip them, spill water on them, accidentally crumple them.

– Then I painted the legs the cream color I painted the kitchen chairs above.
Just for those keeping score so far, that’s no money spent on this project, since I am using all the products I used for the other furniture overhauls.
And here are the ever-important after pics:
See the tops?
 That is exactly how I wanted it to look.
There is some warping….see it toward the front of the table?….that was there before I started and I couldn’t get rid of that.
But you can only see it when the lamps are on.
Which in the winter months is pretty much all the time, but I will be so knee-deep into a seasonal affective disorder I won’t even notice?

The paint makes these tables look a little less than 70s shag carpet, love den, and a little more beach cottage.


Look how nice this room looks!!
All clean and model home-like!!


I took some normal “stuff” out of the picture to make it look, you know, prettier.


Below is how my family room usually looks when it is clean.
Toys, crayons, books, etc.
You know, like we live here or something.
The nerve.
And yes, this is even spotless for OCD me.


There you have it!
A totally free makeover so my end tables are less Welcome Back Kotter and more Mike and Molly.
Or more Modern Family and less Love Boat.
Or less TJ Hooker and more Keeping Up With The Kardashians.  
I could do this
Have a good one!

5 thoughts on “Welcome Back Kotter End Tables”

  1. You really gave these tables a new look. I know you have to be super happy with the way that they turned out.I'm visiting via Imparting Grace.


  2. Welcome back. . . your dreams were your ticket out. . . love it!Your end tables do indeed more beach cottage now. You did a great job on them! And I'm with you–don't want to spent my life protecting the beautiful furniture from people actually being able to USE it!


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