the “factory table” update

by | Oct 17, 2017 | Furniture Makeovers, Kitchen, My House | 42 comments

Since I’ve had a few people ask, I thought I would give an update on the “factory table” I purchased off of craigslist and stripped down several weeks ago.   Well, I had plans to paint and finish it right away, but with cold weather looming, I felt it was more urgent to paint the kitchen cabinets.  I needed to be able to spray the doors outside, whereas the table can be painted inside in any sort of weather.

I was also able to just throw a tablecloth over it and out of sight out of mind.  Right?

It is still unfinished under there, though, so it’s on my to-do list.

A small part of my procrastination, other than working on other things, is that I’m not 100% sure how I want to bring the furniture, fabrics, and everything together in this room.  It really needs some fabric and so much is going to key off of that choice.  Right now, everything is very neutral and feels a little unfinished.  Well, because it is!

I really love the blue check that is in there, but I only have a few yards of it, not the 20+ yards I’m going to need for all of the curtain panels I would need for this room and the adjoining living room.  So, I’ve been looking at different fabric options and I always come back to checks.  I just love the classic look, but they are relaxed and can work with so many other prints if I want to swap out pillows every couple of years.

I found this small-scale check that’s a similar size to the one I have, but the color is a truer blue, with less green in it.

And then there is a large scale version of the same check…

I’ve ordered samples of both, so I can see and feel them in person and make a decision from there.  I had ordered another fabric sample a few weeks ago that I liked and they might work together.  We’ll see.  It’ll mean redoing some of my upholstered pieces or swapping them around, but that’ll be a better option than trying to match fabric that is no longer available.

So, here is what I’m thinking…

If I pick one of the checks, I’ll use it for curtains, some upholstery, and will most likely redo the backs of the dining chairs in it and make skirts.  I’ll then paint the table base in MMS Milk Paint Linen and finish the top in Tough Coat.  I do want to paint the end chairs, but I’m not sure if they will be in Linen or perhaps in Boxwood?

Decorating can be like dominoes, as I’m sure you’ve experienced.  You need to make the decisions in sequence or you might end up in a dilemma of your own making!

So, slow and steady wins the race…


  1. Jessica

    I really like where the kitchen is heading. I also appreciate seeing the process in real time, since it helps me set proper expectations when I embark on a project. I think the idea of the end chairs in boxwood, especially with the truer blue in the check fabric, is a great one. The color scheme reminds me of a lot of the meadows paintings with the blue skies and green trees and grasses, which is such a great reference.

    I am excited to see which way you go with it. Thank you for taking us along with you.

  2. Heidi

    It’s good to see the projects evolve. I feel guilty when I buy something and then ‘sit’ with it a while, sometimes a long while, because ideas evolve. So good to see your progress in a similar way. Makes me feel better and take less notice of the Mr who comments when I don’t get straight on with these decisions

  3. Starla

    Thank you so much for the fun update!
    I’m so glad you’re taking your time to make good plans for a great final result. I adore checks also so, in my opinion, you can’t really go wrong with either one…though my leaning at this moment would be the buffalo check.
    Again, no bad choices.:)
    Enjoy your new home and the process.

  4. deb

    What happened to the chairs that came with the table? I like the change.

  5. amy

    the first image that appears when I open your page… thoughts were, ‘WOW, it is really starting to look like Marian’s home with all the perfect touches!’ Love watching it come together and everything in between.


  6. Laura

    Hi, Marian… catching up here as a new reader. So, my thoughts about colour in this space. Have you decided on a colour for your butlers’ pantry? If so, would you tone the end chairs to the pantry cabinets? What I am thinking is if you did the pantry in Boxwood, would you want the chairs in Boxwood to match or to tone with Boxwood; a reference but not exact match (am I making sense?!? ) In any case, What first drew me here was a picture I saw that included your use of small checks. So classic! Everyone seems to be doing Buffalo checks, and they’re lovely, but the small woven checks in your example are just timeless and bring something special to your space.

    Ok. My 2-cents worth! 🙂 Laura.

  7. .Bland McPherson

    Order both large and small prints. The backs of chairs can be re eyecatching with a “different” print; and pillows can be made with one fabric on each side to change things up and add visual interest.

  8. J

    Don’t paint the table legs, too much painted furniture. I think the table legs and bar stools in natural wood color add something. Otherwise, it’s definitely looking more like your place.

  9. JaneS

    Oh, definitely the big check. From any distance the small checks get lost. When you’re done will you come and paint my kitchen cabinets?? Pretty please?

  10. Sally Baur

    I wouldn’t paint the table it’s beautiful as it is. I’d use the buffalo check for the tablecloth and smaller check for curtains or vice versa. I’d leave the chairs as they are too. It’s nice to have a mix.

  11. Marianne

    I am so crazy for Buffalo Checks in any color .they make such a statement!

    I partnered those with the with the smaller check for my drapery panels and trimmed them with fringe.

    I have panels because. I knew they would never be closed.

  12. Cora

    The big check is dramatic, gorgeous and perfect in this bigger space.

  13. Lydia

    What if you went small for the table cloth and accessories and the big one for the curtains.

  14. Courtney Folk

    Your kitchen is very similar to mine, I have similarly colored granite, similarly colored stainless range. I painted the cabs white with no glazing and used the same hardware pulls as you. I painted the kitchen a faint periwinkle blue, and used a muted dreamy toile fabric with cream, beige green, and brown for ruffled slipcovers. I also added tarnished silver bowls with african violets and ivys and the violets were pink or dark purple. It made the granite and the floors glow warmly, and the colors worked throughout the year, with the periwinkle being close to the color of the sky, and the greens and browns of the toile reminding of grass, sand, twigs. The greenery made a big difference. With a kitchen with such ‘new’ clean lines, natural elements make it not feel so commercial.

    The great thing about this was it still spoke to the areas of my home that were blue/white, but made the design a little more complex/sophisticated.

  15. Diane Ruebel

    So many wonderful suggestions. Here’s a recent experience from Camano Island. This summer I recovered the outsides and back of my wing chairs with what I believe is the same buffalo check you are looking at. I then used the textured blue from the color way inside. Then I stitched 2 large pillows created from the same buffalo check on sides of wings for my brand new long awaited textured cream linen sofa, again from the same color way. Next, I raided my true indigos purchased 10 years ago in Sidney and stitched reversible medium sized pillows for the wings. All those blues/whites create such comfy fun without being too matchy. My experience echoes Bland’s insights. Diney

  16. Lori

    I love the buffalo check! That would look so nice with so much fabric. It’s very contemporary but still works well with your farmhouse style. The small scale one might get too busy.

  17. Connie

    We are building a new home and I decided I needed a rectangular table instead of my current round one. I bought one with ladderback chairs at a flea market. I decided to paint the legs of the table as well as the chairs black. I first refinished the table top (it is maple). I polyurethaned it. Then I redid the chair seats with new rush (thank you youtube). I really like the finished products. All that to say, I think your paint choices would be great, and you may like the warmth of the wood table top. Having the contrasting end chairs that pair with the pantry would make a nice transition from one area to the next. I will look forward to seeing what you end up with.

  18. Karen

    I love the texture in both of the checks! Maybe use one for curtains and one for accents?

  19. Vickie Shields

    Chiming in with my two cents…I LOVE the Buffalo Check!!
    Have a beautiful day!

  20. Marlene Stephenson

    Slow is the best, i made some curtains for dining room that didn’t look right once i got my end chairs covered in different material. Everything has come together but gave curtains to a friend and had to make more, so now i take it slow.

  21. Lori

    Could you please share your source for the buffalo check fabric?

  22. BettyAnne

    Please let all of us know about the change in chairs!!

  23. Lelaniie

    Wow woman where do you get the energy to do so much in such a short time!? Even if I had it, it takes me ages of research to make sure what I want is really what I want. I have always been in love with blue, but decided to step out of my comfort zone and decorated my living rooms in creams and orange. One year on and I’m so sad I did. I will be transitioning back to blue soon! Really love your home and thank you for updating and sharing with us!

  24. mary

    Did you know that Buffalo check was a favorite of Thomas Jefferson and it was considered “formal” back in n
    in the day.

  25. Susan

    Small checks are very nice, like homespun of old. Buffalo checks to my mind are also nice but kind of cliche. I absolutley love some of the shibori indogos that I have seen from Japan and the batik indigos from Thailand….mixing it up a bit might be interesting– still gives you lots of texture and wonderful blues and neutrals – maybe add some other textile patterns to your checks?
    I personally love your table as it is and would not necessarily paint it at all.

  26. Cindy Hayes

    CHanging the subject entirely, but where did you put those fabulous red toile chairs that were in My of the fireplace when you first moved in?

  27. Kathy Riddle

    Did you ever read the book, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” to your sons when they were young? That is what I think of when I am trying to decorate! (One thing always leads to another, and another, and…..)

  28. Tina

    I’ve been looking at natural fiber rugs for under my kitchen table. Could you tell me about the one under your table?

  29. Norma Rolader

    Great ideas and thank you for sharing with us can’t wait to see when it is all done

  30. T. Day

    It is so much fun to watch you transforming your new house into your home. I have always liked Buffalo Check! Are the French chairs from Restoration Hardware? I’m looking for some for my dining room. Merci!

  31. Kim P

    Sounds like a good plan miss mustard seed.
    Also to Courtney Folk, boy is love to see pics of your place !

  32. Mary Ruth

    Am I the only one who sees the table top sags? I like the idea of Buffalo check on the table, better scale for the larger room. Love your chairs in that room.

    • Miss Mustard Seed

      I think it’s just being warped a little by the camera lens. It definitely doesn’t sag.

  33. Mo

    Country Curtains is going out of business. I had been eyeing the buffalo checked curtains for me living/dining room for a while. I was able to get them finally with the big discounts they are offering. Might be cheaper for you than ordering material. I had ordered a sample a long while ago and they are made beautifully.

  34. Anne

    Another vote for the Buffalo check. As a Designer, I can see that you need the larger scale for this size room. It would give it a much more open look.

  35. Karen

    The buffalo check would look nice. I worry the smaller check would be too busy with so much of it in the room. (curtains, pillows, chairs, etc.) The smaller check would look a bit more ‘country’ than it seems you would like. The larger check retains a little elegance and casualness all rapped up in one beautiful package. My 2 cents, of course it is your choice. LOL

    • Sheri

      I agree that the buffalo check is the one I’d go with. I’m not a fan of the smaller check………maybe because of the texture of the material or that particular color.

  36. D.Kit Somers

    In case you love fabric and like to visit the places that carry it. SR HARRIS has two locations one on Hiway 13 west just north of Burnsville or the fabulous Calico Corners fabric store in south Minneapolis (Edina) by The Galleria. There is always Jo Anne Fabric, Hancock, Hobby Lobby ect………….The other SR Harris location is up north of the city near Hopkins. Sid Harris owns them. Can be overwhelming, and fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. Rebecca Neustel

    Boxwood on the end chairs would be beautiful with the blues. I keep thinking of boxwood with a faint white glaze. I guess I’ll have to do that on something that has some great detail. Did you finish the upholstery on your daybed?

  38. Mary

    If you decide to get rid of the tablecloth, I’d love to have it!


  39. shell shockers

    The kitchen is neat, clean and very cool. I like so much


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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