Linda's Cozy Mysteries

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How to Makeover Your Kitchen Table With Chalk Paint--By Linda Kozar

Linda Kozar striking a crafty pose
Wait, this is a blog for women of faith, isn't it? Sure it is! But this blog is also about three things Faith, Family and Fun. Hopefully, this project falls into the last category.

Here's the before picture of my kitchen table. Not bad, right? I bought this hand-crafted table years ago and fell in love with it. But over the years, the tabletop began to feel rough and uneven, staining easily from coffee mugs and spaghetti sauce. My husband and I didn't know that the top was finished with paste wax and just needed another coat from time to time.

So, after a light sanding, my husband painted a coat of Polyurethane on the table top. The result? Not so good. Immediately afterwards, our table would forever be "tacky". I liked to joke with guests about our "tacky" table. But it didn't take long for them to experience it for themselves. Literally, every plate, cup or glass stuck to the table! Let's just say you had to yank hard to clear the table of dishes or even to lift a glass to your mouth. At times it was almost comical. Especially during the Babes With A Beatitude Bible Studies. Every Tuesday, the table would be surrounded by women, trying hard to lift their coffee cups without spilling hot coffee all over the place.

In true Proverbs 31 woman form, I decided to tackle a home project and believe me, I needed a lot of faith to accomplish it! The summer of 2014, I decided enough was enough. A friend had told me about the wonders of Chalk Paint. She'd refinished a bedroom set and was delighted with the results.

Chalk Paint is a wondrous mixture of: One cup latex paint, One-half cup Plaster of Paris, and One-half cup water, that goes on over the surface as is! No need to sand (unless the surface is terribly rough). I should warn you that there is quite a bit of light sanding in store for you however. You will need to sand in between coats. Lightly. Not too bad.

Whaaaat? I almost jumped for joy and decided that's what I needed to do!

So, the day before I planned to begin, I assembled my painting supplies. I like to get that task out of the way so I can get right to the painting in the morning. Makes life easier.

  • A tarp or plastic sheet. (Do this project outdoors or in the garage as things get a bit messy).
  • Paint tray OR a use a simple plastic vegetable tray you buy some of your veggies in--without air holes at the bottom of course. Lettuce trays work great because the top closes. You can leave your project to take a break and come back to your paint without worry it will dry out. Great way to recycle plastic to good use.
  • Paint Brush. An inexpensive medium size brush will do, but you might want to use a few smaller ones to get into tight spots. I had a bunch of old brushes around the house. Maybe you do too.
  • Rags. You will need to use a few rags to test dab or clean off excess paint. Old towels work great.
  • Sandpaper. Fine sandpaper and/or a sanding block if you have one. Better yet, if you have a rotary sander, use that instead. You'll barely break a sweat!
  • Tack Cloth. To clean off the surface. Works great!
  • Latex paint. I chose the colors I wanted (which took a lot of time and thought) and bought the more economical half-pints of paint for under $5 bucks a can. You won't need a lot of paint for this project. The water and Plaster of Paris really stretch it. Also, search paint stores for clearance paint. You never know what bargains you'll find.
  • Plaster of Paris. Any craft store carries this. I purchased mine at Wal-Mart for under $5. Mine came with four packets to a box and I only used one packet to do the table and chairs. Lots left to do future projects!
  • Water. Just plain tap water.
  • Latex gloves! Use latex gloves when you paint, ladies. Your hands and manicure, if you have one, will thank you later. Before I started using gloves to paint, I would have to use a Q-tip dipped in nail polish remover to get all the bits of paint out of my cuticles. No more!
Mix your chalk paint in here and close the top when you take a break from painting.

I started off with the base coat in a shade of green I liked--Valspar's Herbes de Provence:

I let that dry, gave it a light sanding as the Plaster of Paris is gritty. I sanded the surface smooth and then applied the second coat, a different color entirely! Valspar's Cottage White. Why? Because I planned to sand it down to reveal little streaks of the green underneath for the rustic charm I was after.

Next, I sanded that coat a bit. Depending on the consistency of your paint and how well you covered, you might need another light coat. Just eyeball it. Sorry about the non-technical instruction, but creative people have their own lingo:)

Now for the stencil. I fell in love with a Martha Stewart stencil, but you can use any stencil you fancy OR if you're talented that way, design your own stencil. Ambitious artistes' might want to go ahead and paint whimsical designs directly onto the table. Whatever suits you best.

The colors I used (just tiny bottles of craft latex easy to find at Hobby Lobby), were: FolkArt's Classic Green and Spring green for the leaves and vines, Podge Orange and Napthai Crimson for the flowers.

After the stencils are completely dry, give the surface another sanding. The images should not be crisp. Whaaaat? That's right. You should sand them down and blur them out a bit. But it's all a matter of personal taste. If you want crisp stencils, go for it. I like the vintage sort of look.

The surface of the table should feel smooth to the touch. Caution: use your gloves for this touch test. The oils in your skin will leave behind blotches. Yech!

Use a tack cloth to remove all traces of dust and grit left behind by your hard work.

And now for the wax. I used Trewax paste wax. Definitely use gloves and work in a well-ventilated area. Do not wax in your house or it will create a very toxic atmosphere. The inside of your home will smell like charcoal briquettes! You could experiment with a safer, more natural alternative like beeswax. But I went for the toxic industrial stuff. Alas...

If you have a random orbital sander/buffer, use it! Or maybe your husband waxes his own car and owns an orbital buffer. Use it! Your job will be oh-so-much easier than buffing by hand.

Once the buffing is complete and your table (and perhaps chairs) glow, you're ready to dress your table. I kept my stencils to the four corners of the table with that in mind.

Shop for a table runner, or continue your craftiness and make one. Dress the center with an interesting piece. I found a bowl with a concrete base at Cost Plus for $14.99 and added some items I found on sale at various places. Place mats coordinate with the base color and serve a utilitarian purpose by catching bits of food and splashes. Mine are straw and easy to rinse off.

Voila', your refurbished kitchen table is done. Yes, I was sweaty and tired and inhaled toxic fumes along the way (next time--bees wax for the finish), but my fingernails weren't swathed in paint (thanks to the gloves). AND now my table is smooth, not sticky.

I can't wait for our Babes With A Beatitude Bible Study to start up again in the fall. The ladies are going to love drinking their coffee without having to jerk the cup up off the table in between sips.

And that, my friends is my craft journey with chalk paint. Thanks for letting me share it with you this week. If you have any questions or items I didn't cover, please leave a comment below and I will be happy to answer to the best of my knowledge.

Kitchen Table Makeover

Turn Shabby into Chic

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Titus 2 Woman--Am I HER? By Linda P. Kozar

You mean Banquet understands us "Titus 2" women? Good Lord! But this vintage ad brought a prompt to my heart that many of us need to revisit the definition. Here's a reminder of the scriptures that describe a Titus 2 woman:

Titus 2:3-5 "...the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things--that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

Mothers--if you've succeeded in raising godly kids without losing your mind--if you've gotten them off to college or watched them walk down the matrimonial aisle, good for you! Time to breathe a sigh of relief. Now God is moving you into a different role, that of a mentor to younger women.

Now you might be asking yourself, "what could I possibly teach younger women about marriage? I have no idea how my husband and I made it this far." But you did--thank goodness! You know you didn't do it alone. If God is at the center of your marriage, you've got a good thing going. And it's likely you learned some good and useful things along the way too. Think about it. You have the opportunity to impart Godly wisdom to a younger generation struggling with the same issues you did when you were younger. That is the heart of what a Titus 2 ministry is all about--training a younger generation of women to live a loving, biblical, spirit-led life.

Reverent in Behavior

The word reverent means expressing great awe or respect. Women who live a reverent life are living sacrifices (Galatians 2:20 "Bodies presented as living sacrifices, holy, acceptable to God, not conformed to this world,  but with transformed and renewed minds...")--dedicated wholly to the Lord in thought, character and action. This sacred devotion to God infuses and influences every aspect of your daily life. This means you are the same woman behind closed doors as you are in public places--an example to others of what Godly devotion is.

Not Slanderers

The Greek word for slanderers in Titus 3 is diabolos, the very name for Satan, the false accuser of the the brethren! Those who give in to gossip and slander are surrendering their tongues to Satan to be used for his evil purposes. Gossip can start innocently enough. "Did you hear about so-and-so? She did blankety-blank or was seen doing blank. We should really pray for her." Soon the conversation goes far beyond simple care and concern and a widening circle of so-called confidantes are all putting their two cents in. So make sure you have the proper motives and desires before calling others with sensitive information. Why not connect with a discrete prayer partner and actually pray for the person or situation instead? When in doubt, it's always better to take it to the throne, not the phone.


Resisting excess in every area of a believer's life is important. Self-control is a Godly characteristic and it applies not only to alcohol, but to any substance or action (overeating, workaholic, shopping or fashion, abuse of prescription drugs) that has a foothold in your life. Simply put, addiction means you are putting something or someone before God.

An occasional glass of wine is not a bad thing, but Paul stresses the importance of Titus 2:3 "...not given to much wine." In ancient times, pagan women turned to wine for solace. Romantic love between wives and husbands was not the norm. Husbands practiced infidelity without so much as a second thought. Men married women to bear legitimate children, to enhance their standing in society, and to keep house. As a result, many women turned to wine for a temporary respite from emotional and physical abuse or neglect.

Even after becoming believers, many women reverted to their old habits--turning to the cup instead of to God. Self-control is a mark of spiritual maturity. These women needed someone to encourage and teach them how to overcome these enticements with the Word of God and through practical instruction.

Now for the flip side. Some modern day believers pride themselves on never having tasted a drop of alcohol, and have no qualms about their opinion on others who indulge. However, they have no qualms about overeating or maxxing out the credit cards shopping or abusing prescription drugs.
I remember an incident in the checkout line at a local grocery store. A older man in front of me was vocalizing his faith loudly and obnoxiously to the checker. The man must have noticed my carton of ginger beer on the conveyor belt, because he started instantly proclaiming his disdain for alcohol and those who fall prey to it. Thankfully, he took his bags and left. However, when the checker rang up my ginger "beer," he seemed confused. "Hmmm, this doesn't ring up as alcohol."
I smiled. "That's because it isn't. Ginger beer is just like root beer."
The man in line took pride in his abstinence, so much so, that he failed in what should have been his primary mission. He should have used his faith to impart a sweet savor to those around him, but instead left a bad taste in everyone's mouth!

Teachers of Good Things

The Titus 2 women in the early church began to teach younger women about marriage. As mentioned earlier, the notion of a romantic marital relationship between man and woman was not the norm. And some believing women were married to unbelievers--which presented an even greater challenge.

This scripture calls for women to love their husbands (and for husbands to love their wives too!). Most men sought illicit sex outside of marriage, so sex with their spouse would have been sporadic, not the cherished, sacred sex life that would have created an intimate, godly bond between a wife and husband.
I'll never forget the call I received late one afternoon. A friend called to tell me she was in her car sitting in the parking lot of a strip club. She'd suspected her husband of frequenting strip clubs and followed him discretely one day. Most women, including myself, would have been full of anger and fury, and would have stormed into that club to confront him.
When I first heard her speak, I have to admit I was worried she might do something else to the man. I asked if she had a weapon. But she assured me that she didn't intend to do anything to hurt her husband. She simply wanted him to know that she knew what he was doing.
After breathing a sigh of relief, I talked to her and was particularly impressed with her calm and graceful attitude. She was prepared through her prayer life, and full of faith for this painful situation. Though I sensed the deep wound in her voice, I knew God was with her in a mighty way.
My friend filled me in on what happened later. She sat in the car next to her husband's vehicle and when he emerged from the club, the first thing he saw was her. She didn't scream or yell at him or create a scene of any sort. After he saw her, she drove away, tears streaming down her face. Her silent witness of his actions later brought her husband to repentance.
And her godly response to an ungodly situation left a lasting impression on me!
Believing women were taught and encouraged to love and pray for their husbands and to live a noble and godly life. The Titus 2 women prayed for and with these younger sisters, that God would uphold and transform their marriages. They also taught them practical ways to improve their marriages, their parenting skills and how to run a household--even a business. If you read about the Proverbs 31 woman, wives could be wise investors concerning business as well. Proverbs 31:16 "She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard." 

Today, women are still in need of godly models of what a true marital relationship is supposed to look like. Because so many marriages end in divorce, marriages that survive and stand the test of time and temptation are outstanding examples of success.

Unconditional love is referred to in the bible as agape love and is defined as the "selfless love of one person for another without sexual implications, especially love that is spiritual in nature."

Let's take the example of this agape love and apply it, like the Titus 2 women, to our own marriages and families and to both encourage and mentor other women!