Of Blemishes and Tables

During their move last year, my in-laws generously gave us a dining room set that had once belonged to my husband’s beloved grandparents. It was/is not an antique, but the twenty-year old set is lovely and classic with the added sentimental attachment. Perfect for our breakfast room. So, we happily discharged the multi-purpose bumper pool table to the lake house and welcomed the addition. The table came with one pea-sized blemish on the surface. Nobody knows where the tiny boo-boo came from, but it seemed to add character as if my grandfather-in-law had scribbled a secret code for future generations to decipher.

Entrusting a sentimental piece of everyday furniture to a home with young children and a lax mother is not always a good idea.

I should mention that table cloths and pads also came with the table, beautifully pressed and meticulously folded for my use. Uh huh! My mother-in-law seems to forget that I am allergic to ironing so, while her efforts were much appreciated, they were really quite futile. Especially since they were quickly donated to Goodwill, in hopes that a more needy (and earlier generation) home will put them to good use. For the past year, our new table has endured meals, homework, legos, crafts, and card games in a naked state (the table, not the occupants) save for four vinyl placemats.

Dining room tables really should be covered in polyurethane like those in restaurants. Then, when acrylic paint is accidentally tipped over on the table and oozes under vinyl placemats while the family leaves for the day, there would be no worries about coming home to a disaster.

I blame myself really. My son and I were working on his Pine Wood Derby car and I had ‘backed off’ to allow his creative juices to flow. I was probably careless in allowing this project at this particular table, but this space is, after all, where my children’s minds grow. In my defense, I did cover his quadrant of the table with newspapers laid atop his placemat. As if! So, why am I surprised that he set the opened acrylic black paint bottle on the uncovered section of gleamingly perfect table top?


Obviously, by the time we returned to find the drying puddle on the quasi-heirloom, the damage had been done. The good news is that I successfully removed the paint. The bad news is that the wood’s finish came off with it, leaving a brand new blemish the size of an orange. Part of me is mortified, though I’m not angry with my son. It’s more of a “My mother-in-law will kill me” kind of fear. I have a feeling, though, that E’s great-grandparents would be laughing at this situation and telling me not to fret over it. It adds more character, right? And it will give my grandchildren something to ponder about one day. In fact, maybe I should have E sign his contribution to the table. Nah!



Now, I’m rushing off to buy an industrial strength table cloth. Maybe it should be covered in polyurethane.

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One thought on “Of Blemishes and Tables

  1. I had a glass table top made for our kitchen table. It wasn’t my idea it was my mother’s. I love the idea of seeing the raw wood and running my hands over it. But she convinced me it was the smart thing to do and that the table would not disintegrate at the hands of my children if properly taken care of. I hate that glass table top! Food gets underneath it. It’s heavier than the largest billy goat gruff which makes removing it a two-person job. Plus, it constantly needs cleaning or must remain covered with a tablecloth. Another one of my mother’s helpful hints. I don’t like tablecloths!! I never get to see my wood table! So when Mom leaves for Canada, the table top and the tablecloth are both going out to the garage.

    If you’d had a glass table top on your table you’d still have paint underneath it. So don’t worry! Enjoy the character of your table!

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