Fast forward several years. Add three children who turn a simple meal into a full-contact sport, one of whom (exhibit A below) has perfected wearing equal amounts of food as she ingests.
The black table will no longer look as sweet. Its glossy dark expanse will highlight every milk splatter and sticky-handed smear. After each meal you'll use a profuse amount of paper towels and spend too many precious minutes wiping the thing down, and eventually you'll sell the table and chairs on craigslist.
At least that's what we did. In its place is an inexpensive wooden kitchen table (blonde finish) that gets just as dirty but shows the dirt much less.
It's win-win. That is, until your children paint on the table, forget to tell you, and the paint -- which absolutely would have been hidden on the black tabletop -- seeps into the wood.
This leads me to today's tip: how to remove stains from a wooden table.
We tried a Magic Eraser, which is amazing and will remove anything -- including the finish off a table. (Note to self: the warning to test the product on an inconspicuous area first is a valid one.) My friend suggested using a toothbrush and toothpaste. "Toothpaste is just a bit gritty," she stated.
And whaddya know? Not only was the red paint nicely buffed out, but also the table was minty fresh. My toothbrush is shot, but that's to be expected.
Here's hoping that your children don't paint on your table, but consider yourself armed with one more tool in the arsenal just in case.