Tricounty News

A cure for tired tables

The end tables are tired. The wicker is weary. Scratches and dings show on the surface from years of wear. If they could speak, the tables would tell you they are exhausted Ð nearly as exhausted as the chairs, which are weather-worn and sagging in all the wrong places.

The recliner is declining. The couches crushed. The dining room drained. The staircase is yawning. The drapes are drooping and the kitchen is fatigued.

So ... very ... fatigued. It is faded and crumb-laden and does not feel like entertaining. At all. The whole house feels worn out, without vigor, in a word: pooped. If the walls could talk, they'd say, "We need a nap."

Either that, or a do-over.

I am aware of this because my eyesight has been better than usual. Over the last few weeks, my normal super-mom vision increased exponentially, and now I can see I am in dire need of a house-lift.

I blame this on one simple factor: high school graduation.

Yep, we've got one of those "graduates" at our house this year, and despite promises to not get caught up in the whole "I-better-clean-the-oven-just-in-case-someone-looks-inside-it mentality," I have noticed the wear and tear that descends on a house after years of use.

We could use a new couch. New flooring would fill the air with eau du nouveau carpet (pronounced "car-pay" Ð very French). A new fridge would perk up our kitchen, just like a flat screen TV would take the family room from twentieth century to new millennium. We could retile the bathroom, reshingle the roof and some of that maintenance-free siding would be like a facelift Ð for the house.

We could be like that pink bunny, and well, you know.

There's only one problem with my plans. It's the thing often following high school graduation and is referenced by a two-word term: college tuition. A house-lift is not in our budget.

Therefore, I find myself in the middle of a conundrum: collagen for the house or college for the daughter. There's no need to deliberate on the answer. The house ain't getting any fancy treatments this year (or for the next three for that matter).

Still, the tables are tired. I may not be able to buy new ones, but I can purchase the do-it-yourself answer to changing the world: spray paint.

New from the store may not be in my budget, but new in a can sure is.

I put this premise to the test last weekend. I used 19 cans of spray paint (in various colors) on my tables, chairs and even a magazine rack. The room is smiling and rejuvenated. The tables are tremendous, the wicker wide-awake, the magazine rack amazing.

It was hard work. My back aches. My shoulders droop. My hand throbs and my spray paint trigger finger lost all sensation somewhere around can number 14.

In other words, my tables are no longer tired; but I am.

Jill Pertler is the author of "The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication" at, or check out Slices of Life on Facebook. She provides writing and design services through