84 Comments

  1. April
    December 8, 2016 @ 1:41 pm

    Brilliant!!! You may have just solved MY countertop dilemma, as I have been unable to find salvaged soapstone or even remnants fo my relatively small counter. My husband is not a Paul, but he is pretty handy. He unfortunately feels overwhelmed by the many projects I pick for him. Once I show him your cheerful video of Paul tackling the project with you, he may decide he can work in one more. Paul may not have been cheerful in the undertaking, but the music creatively covers any under-the-breath cursing or ear-splitting swearing. Keeping the video focused on the process, without showing Paul’s face was also a move in my favor!

    One question: what became of the pool table body once you stripped the slate?

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  2. Kiki
    December 8, 2016 @ 1:43 pm

    alright people, I’m officially outing myself as a poor ignorant nobody. As a Swiss woman living anywhere but the US, I have no idea WHY a pool table would have a slate – where and why and maybe pool playing is NOT being done in a bathing suit? (OK, I’m kidding here but still in my life there are no pool tables, ever).
    Second: IF slates are to be had, YES YES YESSSSSSS….. I’m always for natural material and if they come for literally free – I’m even more for them. Haven’t had the time to watch the video yet but will do ASAP and I’m sure all will be clear afterwords.
    Now, third point which bothers me already for a long time. I had twice xxxx stone working surfaces and was very, very happy with them. Everything hot or cold went on them, I cut up my veggies, no problem, you srub the surface with whatever, fine. And then I often was in B&B – category ‘upper class’ with marble surfaces in bathrooms, I was twice in friends’ kitchens with marble counters and it was a pure nightmare (and I can’t explain why it’s so difficult as marble in real life is withstanding water and stuff perfectly well). In both cases and in the many B&B’s there were always notices saying: Please don’t leave anything on the surface (especially not anti-perspirants etc), don’t leave the surface wet, don’t do this and that. Heck, if I want a natural material, you want it EASY…. Can you share your accumulated wisdom please?! Many thanks

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  3. Eliza B.
    December 8, 2016 @ 2:00 pm

    Great thinking ! I love it and your new foster kitten is a doll ! Good for you for figuring out how to get a great countertop cheaply and for fostering another kitty . Bless your kind ( and clever ) heart !

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  4. Meg Wyeth
    December 8, 2016 @ 2:10 pm

    I fall into the ‘special snowflake’ category. I have always loved slate and carrera. I’m not very practical. When you stated the pool tables had slate tops I was thinking, Duh! I knew that. Why had this never occurred to me? this is why you brain is brilliant.
    PBW…Paul is Elivis’s medium. She is sending you love every day.

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  5. Holly
    December 8, 2016 @ 2:38 pm

    Mind blown…. Can we just agree that your crazy ideas are pure out-of-the-box genius????!!! Searching Craigs List immediately.

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  6. Sherry
    December 8, 2016 @ 3:17 pm

    I had no idea! Brilliant!

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  7. ActualConversationsWithMyHusband
    December 8, 2016 @ 3:18 pm

    DAMMIT!! Our stupid house came with a hideous orange pool table that we sold for 50 bucks because we wanted it gone… if I had known that there were beautiful countertops in there… well, it would probably be taking up space in my garage right now. But STILL.

    Oh, the agony of seller’s remorse.

    Seriously, though… it was orange. And the bits that weren’t orange? Still ugly!

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  8. Krissy Clark
    December 8, 2016 @ 3:20 pm

    You are my hero. That is all.

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  9. Joy
    December 8, 2016 @ 3:26 pm

    Elvis just finds it easier to use Paul’s already created email than to try to create a brand new email from Cat Heaven. 🙂

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  10. Duncan
    December 8, 2016 @ 4:30 pm

    Great idea! Would it be crass to ask what the price difference in a used pool table and the countertop slate would be? Curious

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  11. Amy Davis
    December 8, 2016 @ 5:16 pm

    You guys are so smart! This will look fabulous! Curious if you considered sealing your slate as that would protect from staining/etching but as a designer who understands the limitations of stone but loves it for its imperfections I’m totally cheering you on over here!

    PS: I have a pool table I would LOVE to give you. Just don’t tell my boyfriend 😉

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  12. Donna
    December 8, 2016 @ 5:41 pm

    Love the idea – wait to see implemented!

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  13. Linda
    December 8, 2016 @ 5:45 pm

    I love re-purposing the slate! It’s not like you my dear to banish something to the curb because of a character mark from Mother Nature. Natural character like any other stone, no need to banish it to the curb. That is not like you, please take another look, and look upon it with new eyes to find the perfect place for it.

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  14. Lynn
    December 8, 2016 @ 8:42 pm

    The Elvis emails melt my heart. And the free slate countertops make it grow large with jealousy. I mean, happiness for you.

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  15. kate
    December 8, 2016 @ 11:31 pm

    it took me about 2 seconds to start scouring craigslist for free pool tables in my area – i am not as fortunate as you, but i’ll keep scouring since we’re moving into our new fixer upper house tomorrow!! i’m ecstatic at the thought!! one question, you said a standard sized pool table has 3 pieces of slate in it… as in, stacked on top of each other, each the size of the pool table?? or 3 side-by-side pieces, making up the size of the pool table? Just trying to figure out how many tables i would need to be on the lookout for. Thanks! My husband is a little less skilled than yours but just as willing to do crazy diy projects to save money and make me happy 🙂

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  16. Danielle from Storypiece
    December 9, 2016 @ 2:37 am

    Your genius is showing! I love this idea. 🙂

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  17. judy
    December 9, 2016 @ 8:31 am

    Every post I read of yours makes me wonder just what your IQ is…your writing ability,the wit humor and expert explanations of how you find the things you do are so clear,organized and result in such happy outcomes. As a charter member of the ADD club before anybody even knew there was such a thing..I try to emulate your methodology but when I look at your immaculate wood floors and anticipate the wonder of your future Kitchen and the ultimate WIN…Paul. I have to sit down and take a nap. Have you had any offers for a DIY show from HGTV? I would pay to see it.

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    • penny
      December 10, 2016 @ 11:59 am

      Yes!! HGTV for victoriaelizabethbarnes!! of course, then she wouldn’t have time to do things to her house anymore and Paul would get old and flabby, lets, rethink this!

      Reply

  18. Lisa L
    December 9, 2016 @ 2:19 pm

    This is fabulous! I’d love to see a video how you get the slate out of a pool table!

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  19. penny
    December 10, 2016 @ 11:56 am

    OH OH OH oh oh oh…I see countertops in my future!!!!!! YAY old pooltables!!!!!

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  20. Brittany
    December 10, 2016 @ 5:01 pm

    i would think that only the person who actually builds pool tables would know that they contain slate. Your husband is amazing and you should get him on Jeopardy. So excited for y’all on your new countertops!!!!!

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  21. Renov8or
    December 11, 2016 @ 11:48 am

    Brilliant! I used slate when I renovated the kitchen in our old Brooklyn place, and that’s been my fave countertop ever (compared to granite, butcher block and marble). I oiled mine once a week with food grade mineral oil — I liked the contrast of the darker finish with the glossy white cabinets we had in that kitchen.

    When we moved, we had tenants who chipped the edge of the countertop — some kind of accident involving a cast iron skillet. Having had near misses with heavy skillets myself, I understand how it could happen. The point is, the chip somehow didn’t diminish the look of the slate. The countertop just looked more seasoned.

    Next kitchen I do I’m definitely investigating pool tables. What an awesome tip. Thank you!

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  22. regis
    December 11, 2016 @ 11:07 pm

    I have a few pieces of old slate blackboards I’ve been hanging onto, as I want to use them for a countertop, but wasn’t sure whether they needed to be sealed or not. Thanks for the research. I can now go boldly where at least one other woman has gone before. You rock!

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  23. Laura Kloss Marcheschi
    December 12, 2016 @ 9:39 am

    This is A W E S O M E! Genius!
    I was thinking the same as you…pouring water on an electric saw= S C A R Y!

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  24. Karen
    December 16, 2016 @ 12:06 am

    So is the slate one large piece or a couple small pieces. If you did a large island would you have a bunch of seams?

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  25. Sarah
    December 18, 2016 @ 12:14 pm

    I’m just sayin’, Craigslist where you live is about a bazillion times better than Craigslist where I live.

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  26. Margaret Ann in Biloxi MS
    December 19, 2016 @ 12:12 pm

    This came JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME! I am mid reno of a 940s bungalow! I wanted soapstone, but, my budget is getting scant! We do have TWO pool tables stored in our ball room! YAY!!!!! I need more details please!!!!!

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  27. cirelo
    December 20, 2016 @ 6:56 pm

    This is not a weighty objection to slate, but I stayed in an AirB&B this summer that had a slate tabletop and the sound of the dishes scraping against the slate really grated on my nerves.

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  28. Jackie
    December 22, 2016 @ 12:48 am

    I used a piece of 100 year old slate chalk board for the counter top in my bathroom. I was looking for a pool table, but this came up on craigs list first, and was a lot easier to take home! The reclaimed sideboard I used for a vanity has a bow front, so I cut it with an angle grinder and diamond bit. (that’s also how I cut the sink hole, and I used a dremel with a diamond bit for the faucet hole.
    I LOVE it! It adds the uniqueness that I wanted looks fantastic with my copper sink, and saved me about 900 from the quote for a rounded piece of any remnant stone with labour.
    I wipe it with a mix of bees wax and mineral oil once in a blue moon. It darkens it a little (I think it was a lot lighter than your piece- oiled, it’s close to the colour of the piece on the piano.).
    The only issue I have is water drops leave marks- not in the slate, in the beeswax mix. I’m going to try changing up the ratio of the wax to oil (I just melted some wax over the stove and added oil before letting it solidify) and see if that helps.
    I’d be happy to send photos if you’re interested.

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  29. Deb
    December 23, 2016 @ 1:32 pm

    Wow!!! You need a TV show. Or a whole entire magazine. Just for you. To share stuff like this that no one else would think about! Hmmmm I never wanted a pool table either until now.

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  30. Debbie Wilson
    December 29, 2016 @ 4:50 pm

    Just wondering how you removed the slate from the pool table? Is that what the slate is attached to?

    On a completely different topic, you are hilarious and your ” more is better” and “why pass it up?” attitude ( read sickness-my husband’s term) makes us related somehow!

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  31. LinkyPearl
    January 16, 2017 @ 6:55 pm

    I have slate countertops. I nabbed them from a 1900s school house. Yes, they were blackboards, but the ones back then were real thick. The counters were built from wood (or something), then clad in the wet-cut slate. They stay cool all the time, even in wicked Va. heat. (so, baking, yay.) Mine are 16 years old and have been treated with anything but kid gloves, and I use heavy Le Creuset pots. Scratches (from jars, from wine bottles, from tinfoil and sloppy guests) basically wipe right off with barely a buff from a scrubber pad or vigorous tea towel. Twice in their lives, I removed everything from their surface and went over them with steel wool. They’re not waxed but they are not chalky … maybe from oils or something? They’re beautiful and I still love them. Save some slate dust from your cutting in a jar for the future. If you were to get a big crack, you can mix the dust with epoxy and fill it.

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  32. Pamela
    January 20, 2017 @ 12:52 pm

    Egad Victoria! Puleease write something to us! If only a dribble, it’s better than not hearing how you are coming along with the house, your creativity, adventures, and interests. I just miss hearing what is happening in your wonderful world, and the amazing, unique you! Your blog is filled with so much personality and inventiveness, that it feels like I am going into withdrawal!

    Reply

  33. Elizabeth Roberts
    February 4, 2017 @ 7:27 pm

    Love you and the crazy amaizng things you do.. do you have a pic of the finished slate island and counter.. I thinking of taking on this project for a friend

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  34. Alice Schmid
    February 14, 2017 @ 9:58 am

    Wait a second!!!! What happened to the rest of the sofa reupholstering?

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  35. Wendy Molinaroli
    February 17, 2017 @ 6:56 am

    We are about to redo our kitchen in our home, instead of my office. I showed my hubster the slate idea and he loved it. I am now scouring where I live for free pool tables. I don’t want to share the video and give my friends any ideas of stealing my future counter tops! Lol. Mine. All. Mine.

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  36. Michelle Kocar
    February 25, 2017 @ 12:38 pm

    did I miss the post showing how you installed the countertops? we are struggling with how to join the 3 smaller slate pool table pieces in to on longer countertop run without the seams showing. How did you do this?

    Reply

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