So what was going through my mind when I decided to buy a white table? It has a drawer on each end, so that was kind of practical, right? The thing is, in our small home, this is the table: our breakfast, lunch and dinner table, our homework table, our decorate-Easter-eggs table. Following meals I was either shaking out a tablecloth at the back steps or diligently scrubbing. Sometimes I would succumb and declare “What the heck!” and let scrapes and marks be. And then, I discovered oilcloth which is fabric treated with oil to make it waterproof.

Kitchen - beforeOilcloth sellers are just a Google search away but I bought from a vendor recommended by a friend. At $8 a yard for the pattern I chose, I knew this project would low-risk.

When the oilcloth arrived, I placed it over my table and wrapped the top as I would a present; making neat “hospital corners” at the edges and trimming and tucking any overages covertly beneath the overhang of the table top. Because I can be fickle when it comes to decorating, I chose to secure the under-sides with easily removable blue painter’s tape as opposed to using staples.

Nine months of dinners, spills and school projects later, the oilcloth is still looking great. It’s very easy care, has saved me lots of time in scrubbing, and best of all it is cheerful and unique. Give it a try to protect a nice table, make-over an old table, or liven up a dull one.

Tip: Use leftover scraps to cover recipe books.