#Eureka - Chalkboard Wall - we had to do it

I thought I would share a little update on our dining room progress. I am still searching for a colorful table runner and dining room rug but it has come along pretty well. I found this table for $30 at a thrift store in Omaha, it has three sections, two are open now. I got it cheap because it wasn't painted the best but it works for now and I figured I can always paint it again. I liked the shape and the fact that it could extend bigger for when we had company. I found these comfy dining chairs at Nebraska Furniture Mart and love the modern look they give to the room.  I am still trying to master the art of photographing a home, especially light fixtures but I dig this fixture I found at cb2 .

Pinterest had convinced me to use chalkboard paint somewhere in our new house. I decided the main wall in the kitchen/dining area was perfect. It was actually the first thing we painted when we moved in. Here is the chalkboard paint we used. We used one coat of primer and two coats of the paint. It works well but I we didn't account for the wall itself not being completely smooth which makes it a little difficult to draw on. It still works and I am excited to have it. I made a little basket of all the chalkboard supplies that I kept on the shelf of the fireplace.  Right now I have one of my favorite quotes on there. I was thinking I could change the quote every few weeks and was going to put a few recipes up on the wall as well.

A lot of people have asked me where I got the Iowa City pillow. My mom and dad got it as a present for me at Raygun. Raygun has stores in Des Moines & Iowa City and also has an awesome online store. Check it out if you have not, they have great shirts. The owner has spoken many  times at my HOBY conferences about leadership; he is a great guy that I like to support.

#Eurkea- Painting Countertops

We wanted to put in new countertops but did not want pay for it. So we decided for the cheaper route which was painting them, something that I had not heard of before. Our good friend Randy at Menards encouraged us that even we, yes even we, could use the Countertop Transformation kit from Rust-Oleum to change up our kitchen. We selected the charcoal color option and found that it was fairly easy to do. It came with a DVD and had only basically four steps. The hard part was that it takes a long time to dry in between steps so it has to happen over a few days. We did it before we moved in so it worked out great. The kit comes with everything that you need (we had to get a few wipe cloths and paintbrushes that we did not have but then we were set). The kit is  labeled nicely and is very easy to follow along. The steps are as follows: 

1. The first step is to sand the current countertop. During this step we also had to keep Pax away because there would particles and fumes flying everywhere, this proved to be the most difficult part.

2. The next step is to cover and tape everything extremely carefully and apply the base coat. We moved out the stove to make it easier to get the edges of the counter near the stove. We also decided  just to tape up the sink and recaulk around it instead of taking the sink out - this worked well.  It is a very messy process so we covered up the sink to prevent any of the participles from getting stuck in it. After everything was covered, Bennett and his father painted on the base which is a black, tar-like substance.  

3. Before the base dries the decorative particles   must be applied. Now, this is the fun part. Using a little funnel you literally sprinkle the particles over the base which gives it the granite look. I took a little video to show what it is like. After the decorative particles dry overnight, than all of the loose particles need to be cleaned up with a vacuum. They were everywhere but vacuumed up very easily.


4. The fourth step is to sand the countertop again and apply the top coating. We applied the top coat with a tiny roller than worked nicely. The countertop has to dry for a few days without anything heavy being put on it which was not a problem for us since we did not move in our kitchen stuff until a week later. We have had the counter applied for a few weeks and it is holding up great and really helped turn around our kitchen. It is highly recommended and very easy to do - don't be scared to jump in and try it!