The Christmas Gift of a Living Room Suite

Hi again! It’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog because nothing too exciting is happening here on Robin Lane, especially when it comes to home renovations. Andrew and I have been busy working our multiple jobs and saving money for the bigger projects to come.

We are getting ready to come up on F-O-U-R  years of Robin Lane Living and I cannot believe how much we’ve done and how much I still want to do. But that’s for another blog post…here’s an update on our last bit of change.

October 2017-Andrew and I start discussing Christmas and my birthday (December 21) and what we are hoping to get and realize that we didn’t have enough items to really ask for, so I proposed my genius plan for NEW LIVING ROOM FURNITURE.

Don’t get me wrong, the furniture we had was great, but it was old (I’m talking like 20 years old) and was starting to really show wear and become uncomfortable to sit on. This furniture really had made it’s mark on my life, though. My parents bought the furniture for their “fancy” living room when I was about 10 years old. It sat in our home and was rarely used, because who sat in the fancy living room? When I went away to school, my dad packed it into a trailer and hauled it to VA so my roommates and I could use it in our apartment and then hauled in back when I graduated. Andrew and I used it in our townhouse when we first got married and then moved it to Robin Lane where it has been used every day.

Andrew kind of blew off my idea of new furniture, but I hadn’t given up hope yet.
Screen Shot 2018-01-07 at 4.47.53 PM

November 2017- Andrew and I continue to talk about Christmas and gifts and the furniture idea comes up again and he agrees to go look with me with the idea of that being our Christmas gift to each other. We went to Ashley Furniture and looked around but we weren’t thrilled with anything, so we headed to Big Sandy Superstore. We found an Ashley Furniture living room set, ironically, that we both liked and thought was comfortable and could withstand the 95 pound ball of fluff that runs our house, and after some haggling, got what we both considered a great deal!


The couch, two chairs, one end table and the coffee table were in stock, so they could be delivered the following Saturday and then we would have to wait for the love seat and other end table to be ordered. We were thrilled with the idea of having the majority of the furniture so soon and we worked quickly to get the room prepped.

The fun part here is that the house had been half way decorated for Christmas, so we were cleaning and moving around the Christmas tree.

Screen Shot 2018-01-07 at 4.44.38 PM

December 2017- The majority of the furniture was delivered right after Thanksgiving, so we were able to enjoy it during the Holiday season and Big Sandy called me about half way through December to tell me the rest had come in and they were ready to set up a delivery time. I went ahead and had the store hold off on delivery until after Christmas so that we could get all the decorations down and really figure out how we wanted to set up the layout.


All in all, I’m super pleased with how the new furniture has updated the look of the living room and even more pleased with how comfortable the naps are on this new couch!

Screen Shot 2018-01-07 at 5.02.35 PM


Mom-O’s Dinette Update

My Mom-O passed away at the end of April and left behind some beautiful pieces of furniture. One piece in particular, a dinette, was eye-catching with all the hand carved details it boasted. It was this same grandmother who graciously furnished our home when she and my Pop-O downsized, so I already had the matching dining room table on Robin Lane.


One could tell this dinette had been well-loved and used by the wear and tear it exhibited. It had some scratches and marks, discoloration, and one of the doors would not shut. It however, was still beautiful and just needed a little TLC.

The matching table is down in our basement being used as a craft table, since it also has some wear and tear, so I wasn’t worried about the two pieces matching or even being near one another. I instead decided I wanted to paint this dinette and use it on our screened-in back porch for storage and serving food.

2015-04-25 14.49.11 2015-04-25 14.49.33 2015-04-25 14.49.54

The first step was to remove the doors, drawer, and hardware. I decided to just spray paint the old hardware to save some money.

2015-06-17 19.54.16

While the hardware was drying, I sanded the entire piece and used wood filler to fill in gashes and holes. Once that part was finished, I primed everything with two coats of Valspar stainblocking/bonding primer, sanding in between coats.

 2015-06-15 14.55.45 2015-06-15 15.00.26

Once the primer was dry, I used the leftover white paint from the floor and trim and fireplace projects to paint. I used both a small roller (for the flat top) and an angled brush to get into the cracks. I did three coats. Once the last coat was dry, I used a clear, brush-on polycyclic protective finish. This will help seal the paint from scratches.

*It is important to note that this does not go on with a yellow tint like other types will. 

minwax polycrylic_thumb[2]

2015-06-17 20.15.55

You can see how I used painter’s tape to tape off the inside, this is because I decided I did not want to put the doors back on. I knew that since the door wouldn’t close to begin with, there was no way I would be able to get it to close with three layers of paint on it. I also wanted to keep the old beautiful wood on the inside showing. It did not have any damage and was such a pretty shade, I knew it would look nice exposed.

I put the newly painted hardware back on the drawer and put the drawer back into place and with Andrew’s help, carried the “new” piece out to the back porch. I added a few little knickknacks to give it some style and could not be more thrilled with how it turned out!

2015-06-22 17.57.12 2015-06-22 17.57.51 2015-06-22 17.57.27

It fills up the extra space along the wall nicely and pairs with my antique ladder. I have hanging up. I know this piece will be something we use for years to come and I like to think that Mom-O would be pleased with its updated look!

2015-06-22 17.57.04

2015-06-22 17.56.51Project cost:

Dinette: $0

Primer/Paint/Supplies: $0 (left over from another project)

Spray Paint: $0 (left over from another project)

Sealer: $17

Total: $17.00

Chalk Paint Adventure

So our screened-in back porch is amazing! Andrew and I absolutely love being able to sit out there under the fan and eat dinner with no bugs bothering us. It still needs a lot of work to make it pretty, but I’ve been working on it-slowly but surely.

Something that had been bugging me is all of the grilling necessities – charcoal, lighter fluid, matches, scraper, etc, just sitting out there. I knew that they need to be out there, but I hated them just lying around. I went to our local Goodwill and found an old tv stand with doors on the bottom that I thought would be a great size for all the grilling supplies without being overwhelming. The best part though? It cost me $7.00.

2014-06-17 11.32.29

Well this thing was ugly and outdated. It needed a facelift desperately. One of my friends Kristin had written a blog about using chalk paint to re-do furniture and I thought it was something I could do.

Check out Kristin’s blog here:

**Kristin uses a different Chalk Paint recipe than I did, but they both worked, so either one can be used.**

I initially looked at buying chalk paint, but it was sort of pricy for just needing a little bit, so I did a little Pinterest Research and came up with the recipe I used.

Step 1: Prep your furniture

The great thing about chalk paint is really no prep is needed. You do not have to sand or anything, just give the piece a good wipe down to get rid of any dust or dirt. If you are planning to use multiple colors like I did, you will need to use painter’s tape to mark off the parts you want a specific color.

Step 2: Make your paint

You will need 1/2 cup of Plaster of Paris mixed with 1/2 cup of water. Mix well-I used a whisk. Next pour in 1 cup of any paint you wish to use and mix together until it is nice and smooth.

I used two different colors, black and a light blue.

2014-06-17 11.32.02

Step 3: Paint

This paint was so weird for me to use. It’s a little thicker than normal and your strokes don’t matter on the first coat. Depending on the color, more coats may be necessary. I ended up putting on 4 coats of black and only 2 of blue. This seems like it would be tedious, but the paint dries within 30 minutes and you are ready to do another coat.

2014-06-17 11.57.34

You can see how I had to tape off certain parts and how weird the stroke marks look at first.

This is what the black looked like after the second coat.

This is what the black looked like after the second coat.

Step 4: Wax

I used a Minwax matte varnish finishing wax that I purchased from Lowe’s…it was my only option and worked really well so I was pleased with the outcome. The purpose of the wax is to make the chalkiness of the paint go away and leave the piece with a nice shine. I used cut up t-shirts to wax it all over and it worked perfectly.

photo 3 photo 2 photo 1

I was definitely pleased with how the table turned out! Its cheery and fills up the awkward corner in between the steps and the screen door. The cabinet underneath is perfect for all the grilling supplies and this project is one of my Top 10 easiest!

Project Math:

Cabinet $7.00

Blue Paint- $2.98 (I bought a sample size and had some left over)

Black Paint- $0 (I had this left over from a previous project)

Wax- $9.97

Plaster of Paris- $6.78

Total Cost: $26.73

Normally this is more than I am willing to spend on one project, but I have supplies left over that will definitely be used to paint other pieces after seeing how easily this was done. 🙂