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Why My Grandmother Would Love that I Wrote All Over Her Coffee Table


My grandmother wouldn’t mind that I painted and then wrote all over her coffee table. She was one of the most giving people you’ve ever met. She truly was the type of person that would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. I strive to live up to her legacy every day of my life.

She was also a very lucky lady. I mean lucky as in she could spot a four-leafed clover in a field of them. She was constantly finding money on the ground.


When I was living with her my freshman year in college, she made me do a U-turn on a street because she saw a five dollar bill in the middle of the road! She was a hoot and loved to make people laugh with her jokes or just dressing up as a bunny every Easter.


(That’s my sisters and me in the floral skirt.)

She also won several contests in her life. But, she rarely kept her winnings. One of the things she won was a solid construction coffee table. When I was moving into my first apartment, she gave it to me. We used it for years until my design tastes changed and I bought a new one. Grandma’s coffee table moved into our attic. It sat there for years, buried under bags and suitcases.

When the big tree fell on our house, we did some serious purging in the attic. I should have taken the coffee table to Goodwill or sold it at our yard sale. But, something made me keep it a little longer.

Then the GMC Hidden Treasure Adventure came up on the horizon again. I remembered how little furniture the Habitat homeowner had last year and I found myself staring at my Grandmother’s coffee table. And I knew…I just knew that it deserved better than our dusty hot attic.


I hauled the coffee table and an old potato bin (from Holly) in the back of the GMC Acadia on our way to Haven.


Read about Holly’s potato bin turned night stand!

When we got to Atlanta, we unloaded our furniture and began priming and painting (in the hotel room…yes…we…did!)


We painted until 2 am. We were joined by a few friends like Jessica, Kim, and Beth.


I painted the legs Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg blue. Then I gave the top a few coats of chalkboard paint and sanded between coats.


At some point Holly asked me if I thought my Grandmother would mind that I was painting her coffee table. I knew in my heart that she wouldn’t because it was for a good cause.

On Sunday, as I brought the coffee table into the living room, Jocie and I were amazed how well it coordinated with her purchases that she had collected to furnish and decorate the room with.


As the minutes before the reveal grew fewer, I thought we shouldn’t leave the coffee table blank. We all gathered around the little table and left our chalked messages for the new homeowners. And I knew at that moment that my Grandmother didn’t mind that I painted and wrote on her coffee table. I knew that she couldn’t be more pleased and happy that her table was about to be starting a new life in a new Habitat home.


Signed by:



Will you help continue my Grandmother’s work: When my grandmother was alive, one of her ongoing gifts was to the Ronald McDonald house. She collected can tops and hand delivered them to the local house when she had collected several bags. The Ronald McDonald houses still collect soda can tabs as a fundraiser. If you live near a house, check to see if they accept them. Better yet, next time you feel the need to get some McDonald’s fries and a Diet Coke. Clean out your coin tray at the collection bin under the teller’s window. Every little penny helps. My grandmother would totally appreciate it!

22 replies
  1. Kim @ Sand & Sisal
    Kim @ Sand & Sisal says:

    I loved this post Brittany! Jess & I enjoyed helping you paint at midnight! I think your table idea was brilliant and I know your Grandma is so proud of you and how generous, selfless, and loving you are!

  2. Diana W.
    Diana W. says:

    OMG! What a lovely post!!! I had tears in my eyes while trying to read all your signatures. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Colleen Taylor
    Colleen Taylor says:

    What a great tribute to your Grandmother Brittany. My grandparents raised me so I can truly relate to the special closeness she has in your heart. I’m certain your Grandmother is smiling down upon you & your kindness.

  4. brenda
    brenda says:

    thank you for this lovely article. It is always so nice to be reminded of the blessings we have enjoyed in the person of our grandparents and parents. even some really wonderful aunts and uncles.

  5. Stephanie
    Stephanie says:

    I loved this post so much! I lived with my grandma while I was in college too. she would have felt exactly the same way. Once my sister accidentally broke an heirloom crystal candy dish that had belonged to her own mother. I couldn’t understand why Mommom wasn’t more upset. She looked at me like she couldn’t possibly understand why anyone would ever be upset about something like that and said, “Oh, honey. It’s just a dish. Your sister is a child!” She always knew people were more important than things and at her funeral it was standing room only because she literally made everyone she met feel like they were one of the most important people in the world. It sounds like you had a similar grandma!

  6. Christine
    Christine says:

    The coffee table was meant to be in that space! Your grandmother sounded like an amazing woman and I’m happy to say she passed that down on to you! You are amazing Brittany! xoxo

  7. Laurie
    Laurie says:

    She sounds like a wonderful woman! How lovely of her to want to share her luck. Or was she so lucky because she was so giving? I always think that if your hand is open in the act of giving, it also means it is open to receive.

    I love that you shared her legacy with the Habitat family.

    You also helped me rationalize getting one of the yummy yogurt and fruit parfaits at McDonalds. My change tray totally needs to be cleared out! 🙂

    • Brittany Bailey
      Brittany Bailey says:

      Laurie, I never thought of it like that, but I think you are right. Maybe she was lucky because she shared it so much. You get what you give ;-).

      And don’t come back to me if you get addicted to McDonald’s parfaits ;-D.

  8. christine
    christine says:

    This blog post so warmed my heart! I loved learning about your special relationship with your grandmother, and what a great way to honor her by passing along her love and kindness to someone in need. Great post!


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  1. […] seems I have a penchant for painting my late grandmother’s old furniture. You may remember the coffee table I wrote on of her’s. This kitchen cart was […]

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