Crafty Tale #2: The Coffee Table

Chris has always called this coffee table bomb proof, because it is solid, sturdy, and weighs a ton.  My father-in-law scooped out the top (that’s the technical term ) and tiled it with blue bathroom tiles many, many years ago.  We had it in our apartment for a long time, even though we never really had room for it.  It was a great place to put your feet up to watch a movie, sit on to tie your shoes (Chris!) or put a hot casserole dish right on the surface without needing a trivet.

I wasn’t sure what we were going to do with it in the house, so as an experiment, I re-tiled it!  I have never tiled anything ever, but with two bathrooms that need extensive work and a limited budget, I figured I’d better learn.  Besides, it looks so fun & easy on HGTV!

Impatient to start, I went with some off-the-rack Home Depot tiles, even though I would have preferred something a little more original.  I also got some quick-set mortar, a grout float (which is just an awesome name for a tool, regardless of what it does), grout and tile spacers.

I ended up having to cut all sheets of tile apart because even though they are the same size as the original tiles, they are thicker and lay differently.  The mortar layer was easy, I figured out the tile spacers pretty quickly and the tile went on nicely.  Then came the grout.

Grout is gross.  No one likes to play with wet sand.  No one.  And I had such large spaces between the tiles that it took a TON of grout to fill it in.  Grout is messy and “grout float” is more fun to say than to use.  I pretty much thought I ruined everything until I let the thing sit for a day then went over it again with a thin layer of grout and wiped all the dried grout film away.  I didn’t ruin everything!  A good wash with soapy water, a few coats of clear acrylic Mod Podge spray to seal it and the table is done.  I think it will look nice in the downstairs living room, which will be earthy-kinda colors with an emphasis on gray and brown.

If we thought the table was bomb proof before, thanks to all that grout and tile, it now weighs about twice as much as it did before and will serve us well as something to hide under the next time we have a tornado warning in the Hudson Valley.


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