Dumpster Diving

For the first few weeks of our reno project #1, we were still living at a VRBO nearby which made for a lot of back and forth. At the crack of dawn on the morning that work began, the last thing I shouted at Ronny as he left the condo was “don’t let the demo guys toss anything from inside the house before I get there to salvage what I want”. When I got to the house, (granted a full hour later than intended…I have a 5, 3 and 1 year old…), the haul-away truck was filled. And this was the second truck fill of the morning, meaning the first load had already been deposited at the dump. Now, I’m totally a go-with-the-flow/look at the bright side of things type of person, so this was just a small ripple in my day…YA RIGHT! I definitely had an adult tantrum that morning. I’m starting to think, 10 years into marriage and 3 kids later, that everyone has officially muted me, like I might as well be speaking another language at this point to everyone around me.

So part of the story with buying an auction house is you volunteer to clean up the previous owner’s mess, i.e. throw away all their junk from the past 50 years. And honestly, I’m pretty confident that the vast majority of the crap in the truck loads was just that: crap. I had already done several walk-throughs of the house and picked out a few items worth keeping and most of the rest was legitimate trash. But in the backyard, I had specifically set aside one cute little wrought iron side table that I wanted to repaint and set by the pool. Surely they had left my little side table. Wishful thinking. Already tossed. My temperament was not going in a good direction at this point. The college-aged boys had halted demo as their job assignment had slightly shifted from “toss all the garbage” to “stop tossing garbage”, and they had begun to help the crazed mom on her mission for the beloved side table. The haul-away truck had to be searched. 3 kids in the 4runner, at least two of which were crying to be let out, and mama’s digging around in the trash truck in flip flops, flipping her lid about some dumb side table from the 80’s. Not only was it not my finest hour, but the table was definitely nowhere to be seen. As I was digging around however, I found a solid wood coffee table and smaller matching corner table, which sent me even more over the edge. Solid wood furniture was now being thrown away from the house?! Who is in charge here? And where were these tables from anyways? I hadn’t even seen them in the house. At this point one of the very respectful boys said “ma’am, please, I don’t want you to get cut on glass. I’ll pull it out for you”. Yes, you’re right you will. Don’t throw away my solid wood furniture! So I got out, somewhat reluctantly, and they removed my tables and set them nicely inside. When I came back a few minutes later, one of the boys said that he realized these weren’t from our house at all, but from the house they had been at earlier that morning. Meaning I was salvaging someone else’s garbage at this point. “Do you still want them ma’am?” Definitely decently embarrassing….but it was time to move on. Yes, yes I do want them. Perhaps they would ease the pain of my lost white iron side table and we could all just move on and get back to tossing trash.

We don’t have a lot of furniture here yet. No couches, patio chairs, no bed for our room, and much of our stuff is still in storage here as we are renovating. Choosing furniture is complicated for me and it takes me time to select the right fit. I also love finding old pieces (free is a real perk!) and restoring them. My husband does not share this struggle with me nor does he understand the dilemma in picking out furniture at all. For him it’s incredibly simple; walk into Costco, choose the couch that is the most comfortable to sit on, and buy it. While we will stall indefinitely on couches (don’t have time to watch TV anyways!) one piece of furniture that is pretty essential for our family is a kid’s table for the girls. It has always seemed to get used all the time. Since we didn’t have one here yet, I was on the lookout for one and then this table just fell in our lap…or should I say, it fell in the dumpster.

my current favorite spray paint

After a good clean, sand, and prime, I used Rust-oleum chalked blush pink spray paint <a rel=”noreferrer noopener” href=”http://<a target=”_blank” href=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01JB78CBG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B01JB78CBG&linkCode=as2&tag=havenrestorat-20&linkId=121bed78687402d0ce9f772734e76932″><img border=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B01JB78CBG&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format=_SL250_&tag=havenrestorat-20″ ></a>""link here. I’m in love with this color. It’s so pale it looked white as I was painting in the bright sunlight. Next to the actual white chairs, it’s the perfect muted pink. I hadn’t used chalk spray paint before and this brand has several really nice shades. While I love the paint, I didn’t love the chalky finish on the kid’s table because I like to be able to wipe down their messes easily. So I ended up putting a coat of poly on the table after, which pretty much negated the chalky affect. This spray paint would be fantastic though for other projects where constant food spills aren’t an issue! I plan to use it to redo a mirror soon as well as a wooden chair.

I’m pretty happy with this sturdy table and the overall price (1 hour of morning frustration, 5 minutes for Ronny to tighten a table leg, $7.99 can spray paint)! I love mixing old with new, especially in the girl’s spaces. The little white chairs are new from Target (Pillowfort brand). One woman’s trash is truly another woman’s treasure!

kid approved

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