Map Quest

There’s really no denying it. I love books, and I love maps. I even love books about maps! They are totally my jam, and I don’t really care that they are “trending” right now. I’ll be driving that (band) wagon until the cows come home! Seriously though. I love me some maps.


Which is how we got to today’s post… can you guess? About a map! During one of my solo trips this whirlwind of a summer, I purchased a National Geographic Magazine at an Airport down south that just so happened to have the most wonderful map included inside! I was stoked. I didn’t even bother with the magazine portion any more, and just sat and looked at the map. I know, I’m totally that weird girl in the airport that you purposefully try and avoid eye contact with so that you don’t get asked questions like, “Do you know where Hadrian’s Wall is?!” or “Do you know which river touches more countries than any other?!” Yep. Totally that girl. (And if you were wondering, Hadrian’s Wall is in Great Britain, and the Danube touches 10 different countries!)


Anyway, so I suddenly had this awesome map. And no where to put it. Le sigh. Until I found this awesome little side table on a visit to see my grandparents. And I had another one of those “light bulb” moments. It was awesome. I knew what I had to do… Modge Podge that sucker right onto the little side table for the most perfect little reading corner.


So first thing’s first, I had to sand that bad boy down so that it was nice and smooth for his new paint job. This was really fun for me since it was the first time I got to use our new sander (!!!) and really make a mess!


As I was sanding the not-so-great paint job in that coral-pink color, I started to uncover some cool looking decals underneath the layers of paint. For me, it was kind of like uncovering some buried treasure!


So after more sanding, I was finally able to start painting. For primer I used the basic Killz white primer/stainblocker/sealer that I always use and had on hand. I did give it a few coats, just because I didn’t want anything coming through over time. I think we did 3 coats of primer on this bad boy, just to be safe.

We then let the table cure for a couple of days outside (and in the garage when it rained…) before we got around to picking out a paint color. This guy looked great in white, but it wasn’t quite what I wanted. So we made our weekly trip to Home Depot and picked out a quart of Behr’s indoor latex high gloss paint in Sterling, which is a really soft, muted grey that I fell in love with and took all of 3 seconds to pick (don’t you love it when that happens?!?!).


Again, using a foam roller and a small angled brush we knocked this guy out over the course of a day or two, putting on another 3 coats of of the grey and letting it cure completely before bringing it in the house.


Then the real work started. By far the most difficult part of this project for me was to cut the map to the correct size and shape. It’s not completely perfect, but we think that it looks pretty great. The best way that I found to do this was to lay the map out flat on our kitchen island and place the table upside down on top of it, where we wanted the map to show. Using a pencil, I then traced around the outside of the table on the map.

Using an exact-o knife and cutting board, I carefully cut the shape out. Then I placed it on the table and trimmed any necessarily edges off of the map, using the table as my guide.



Next came the Modge Podge. This kind of Modge Podge (in the purple jar instead of the usual orange) is for use on furniture. You can pick it up for about $8.00 at Joann’s. I just followed the directions on the back of the jar and placed a coat of the stuff directly on the back of the map using a foam brush. I then gently laid the map onto the top of the table and put it in place before I worried about air bubbles.


To remove any air bubbles, I used a braler and scraper (that you can find right next to the Modge Podge at Joann’s for about $5-6) to push any air our from underneath the map, working from the center, out. And it worked pretty great!

I then waited for it to dry before I added the top coats. I ended up using two coats for the top coat of Modge Podge, that I just applied with a foam brush, waiting for each coat to dry before adding another. Just following the directions on the jar.

When I was sure it was nice and dry, I moved it into place for it’s new home in our living room…


This is what it looked like before we “updated” it:

living room 1

And now, this comfy cozy reading nook!


The chair was actually a generous gift from my grandparents when I moved into my first apartment, many moons ago that we just now were able to collect from their house. Isn’t it gorgeous?

And the lamp is a HomeGoods find, for about $50 or so. I love that it looks like an old barn light. Super neat to me! And the inside of the lampshade is painted blue like the flowers on the chair! It was just too perfect to pass up on!


I seriously love the color of this map! So classic! It reminds me of a globe my siblings and I used to have when we were growing up. Pretty good freebie from a magazine if you ask me!

What have you guys been re purposing lately? Anything that just happened to “fall into your lap” like this map did for me?


5 thoughts on “Map Quest

  1. Pingback: You are my Sunshine! | joyosphere

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