Hello everyone and welcome back! I have been busy getting things done, now comes the hard part of actually being able to edit the pictures and write a post. You'll have to bear with me, as you have been all year. The busy season is about to be upon me, and I don't know what I'll be able to get done or show you guys.
But today I have a kid friendly update to solve the "what to do with the glass inserts" in your coffee table problem. We struggled after Braxton was born with whether to buy a new coffee table or not. Ours was in great shape still, but had four glass inserts that we KNEW were destined to be broken if left in the table. We just couldn't justify spending upwards of $300 to replace a perfectly good coffee table.
Enter a cheap piece of wood and some paint.
Luis found a solution with thin MDF boards that he cut to size to fit in the inserts. It didn't look too bad, but after two years they looked like they were super dirty all the time. There were tons of food and water spills that you could plainly see, and they couldn't really be cleaned. I decided to paint them white and add some fun kid elements to each section.
In the above picture I had painted three of the four inserts with a white outdoor door paint. I know it's unconventional, but I needed something that would repel liquids and I had it on hand. I'll save myself $20 whenever I can, and this paint worked perfectly. You can see some of the staining on the unpainted insert.
Once these were painted and ready I headed to Micheals and grabbed these paint pens and a set of stencils. These paint pens are so much cheaper than the Sharpie versions, and actually worked much better in my experience. And I chose this stencil because it had letters, numbers and shapes. Perfect for kids.
I chose to use each section as it's own learning tool, four sections with four things to learn. Letters, Numbers, Shapes and Colours. I used pencil with the stencils first and just eyeballed everything. It's not perfect, but it works. I wasn't too concerned because it's such a temporary solution, the glass will come back once the kids are old enough. I just wanted something that would look nicer than stained wood.
I struggled at first with how to do the colours section. Big shapes with the colours written on it in a different colour? Try to incorporate shapes and colours together? In the end I decided to spell the colour out with the actual colour. I think this worked out the best because know they can associate the word (and spelling) with the actual colour.
I think it turned out great and more importantly the kids love it. I did the shapes first, and I wish I waited as I don't like how they turned out. But honestly, Braxton doesn't care and it's not worth the sanding, painting and re stenciling.
After the paint pens had cured for a few days I just put a thin layer of glossy mod podge over each board to make sure that the paint doesn't run when water gets dumped all over it. It's going to happen, let's not kid ourselves people.
And that's it! I know my coffee table looks amazing with bumper pads all over it, but those things are life savers. And eventually the plan will be to paint the actual coffee table because it is so beat up now. The stain is almost gone in some places, and the pads are ripping the rest up. Once we are ready to put the glass back in the table, I will start that update.
Hopefully this gave you guys some ideas for saving a glass insert coffee table for when your kids are a little bigger. Is wasn't too hard and took a small amount of effort, and it's a great way to incorporate learning tools into a room without making it a playroom.
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