Ruh Roh

Ruh Roh.  That's my Scooby Doo accent, if you're not sure.

I sort of, kind of, in a round-about-way ruined my kidney table.  Although it's not quite a kidney.  It's more of a . . . . boomerang.  We call it the back table.  It's where all my crap  teacher stuff  piles  the best learning happens!

Here it is before the, uh . . . um . . . before the "incident".  We'll call it the incident heretofore.

It's also in a different location here.  That's not the problem.  But look at how pretty it is.

Then I covered it with black butcher paper for Open House.  Not a tablecloth.  That's important to know for later in the story.

When I tore off all the butcher paper on Friday . . . this is what I found.

People, that's permanent.  

I tried.

I scrubbed.

I don't know what was in my creek water, but I think it was lethal.  This does not bode well for the over one hundred people who drank it at Open House.

It ate away at my table.  Like, for real.

I was dumbfounded.  That means -- found dumb while I stood there staring at my table.  Found dumb.  Stupidfounded.

Look at it for last year's Open House.

That's tan butcher paper.  From the same company.  

Except that's not creek water.  It was pond water because I had a Habitats theme.  

Can I let you in on a little secret?

It's not creek water or pond water.

It's blue gatorade.

Gasp.  Shocking, I know.

And I have never had a problem with it.

But something between the blue gatorade and the black butcher paper combined together to create a flesh eating table-disintegrating solvent to make me get in trouble so that I am a stress case with one more thing on my plate!!!!!!!

I told the hubs about my problem because he is known around this house and my classroom as Mr. Handy.  And if anyone can solve this problem, he can.  No doubt.

This is what he said.

"Why didn't you use a tablecloth?"

I think I rubber-necked at him.  Which means my head spun all around in defensiveness and anger and shock.

Why didn't I use a tablecloth?  

Does that help me right now?  That's like asking someone whose computer crashed if they backed up their files.  

"My computer crashed!  I lost everything!" I cried.

"Didn't you back up your files?"  the hubby asked as he pushed his glasses up his nose with one finger.  (He doesn't wear glasses.  I say this for effect.  And this may or may not have happened when I had a PC before my Mac.  I'm not admitting anything.)

Why didn't I use a tablecloth?

BECAUSE.  I got tired.  I didn't want to make one more trip.  I'm cheap.  Black butcher paper worked.  

Just shut up.


He says he'll take a look at it.  This summer.  Or next year.  Or whenever.

In the meantime, I know that Jennifer at First Grade Blue Skies covered her kidney table in contact table.  Check it out.

This is definitely a possibility.  I just don't see how in the world she covered it so neatly.  With nothing amiss.  I don't get it.  I've already bugged her for step by step directions.  So I can tell Mr. Handy.

And I have to say that I truly loved my gray tabletop.  Loved it.  Wah.  :(  

I just can't believe that I ruined it.


Any ideas?  Any tutorials?  Anyone make any other similar mistakes today?  It's a little lonely in the boat right now.  I'm just kind of rocking back and forth . . . I could use a friend and a cocktail right about now.

Thank goodness for The Bachelorette.


  1. Oh noooo!! I'm so sorry to hear such anguish in your voice... uh words.... I have no ideas but just wanted to "be here with you"

  2. You can try one of those Mr. Clean sponges. It can't hurt it worse, I don't think.

  3. I would try the mr. Clean sponge too! Those things work amazingly...another idea...a teeny tiny amount of finger nail polish remover. NO PUN INTENDED! Let us know what worked!

  4. After learning about how you level the things on your board, I can't imagine the process of you trying to get that contact paper perfectly flat!!! ;) I can't wait to hear how you cover it though!!
    Apples and ABC's

  5. Wow!! That is some crazy concoction of Gatorade and butcher paper!! Don't know how to get it off, but good luck :)

  6. Oh my!! I am so sorry. That is something that would happen to me. If I think of anything I will let you know. Good thing it is Monday and the bachelorette is on. That always makes me feel better!

    Totally Terrific Teaching Tools

    Lohren Nolan

  7. Try hairspray, or goo gone, or soft scrub, or alcohol, but not all at once! Each of those have cleaned surfaces for me. Did you happen to have one of those liquid air fresheners spill there when you weren't looking? One from bath and body works got turned upside down and ate the paint off my wooden table.

    Second In Line

  8. That is hilarious! I am so sorry!! It really wasn't too hard, you just line it up with the edge and peel as you go (if that makes sense)...as in, peel a little bit...press...using your hand or a squeegie thing to smooth it...then unroll a bit more and repeat. Then do the next row =) I trimmed the edges with scissors when I was done, but left a little bit so I could press it down over the edge of the table...LMK if that doesn't make sense =)
    First Grade Blue SKies

  9. I have no words of wisdom, but something kinda, sorta similar happened to me. Except it wasn't black butcher paper, I had no paper down at all. ...and it wasn't gatorade in a large jar, it was a chameleon in a large cage. A friend was moving and lent me the chameleon for my classroom while she was in transition. The only place the large cage fit was on my kidney / boomerang table. So there it sat for an extended time. I gave it water each day and didn't realize that the water was leaking under the cage and onto the table. When my friend came to collect the chameleon the table did not have any discoloration, but it did have permanent wrinkles (as in BIG, LARGE I hope I never get them wrinkles). To this day the wrinkles are still there. But the table is no longer in my room. Someone else wanted a larger kidney/boomerang table and I wanted a smaller one so we traded. I did tell her about the damage, but she didn't care. Honestly, if I had to pick I would go with discoloration over a mishaped table. I really think there is a way to fix your table. I don't know that it is, but I think there must be a way!
    Love to you,
    An Open Door

  10. 2 people beat me to the Mr. Clean Sponge suggestion, but that would be my first choice. Good luck.

  11. Oh No.. that REALLY sucks.
    Did you try mixing bleach with baking soda to make a paste and let it sit there over night and "suck" out the stain? Or leaving SoftScrub on it overnight?

    Usually that kind of stuff gets stains (like wine and stuff) out of laminate - which is what I think is on those tables.

    I would be totally freaking out, too. You poor thing.

    I have some graffiti gone stuff that takes off EVERYTHING. That might work. Your janitor might have some of that laying around.

    Good luck.... aaahhh I'm stressing out for you! Lots of {{{hugs}}}} to you!

  12. Oooh Myy Goddd!! Okay first of all, "ruh roh" is totally a Ben F reference! hello!??! {and the bachelorette is currently on in the background...the guy is talking about his speech issues...} Secondly, I can't believe that happened! Why didn't you use a tablecloth!?! Your response was HIL-AR-I-OUS!!! "Does that help me right now?" HAHHAHAHHA! Thirdly, Michelle's comment cracked me up! I can only imagine...
    And lastly, I really don't have any advice for you. Maybe Governor Brown can buy you a new table??

  13. Aww Man- that stinks! Wait. Does it stink? cause that would stink even worse!!!
    What if you didn't cover the whole table, but got clear contact paper and put it over a Important POster - something you refer to often...and it would be easy to change by just lifting the clear contact paper, changing poster/paper, and then putting down a more contact.
    Just a thought- hope it works out.....and NO WAVERING ON GOING TO VISIT YOUR SISTER, MISSY!!

    Going Nutty!


  14. I had the same type of thing happen to me and a Mr Clean Magic Eraser took it right out. Good Luck!

  15. If Mr. Clean doesn't work use Oops (Ace Hardware) I have the same table & it gets EVERYTHING off! I mean EVERYTHING? Good Luck!

  16. I am so sad about your table. I have no wisdom because I used Super Glue while making a project on my nice, stained, Thomasville dining table without putting a tablecloth down and then tried to remove it with Super Glue remover which removes ANYTHING! So now there is no varnish there, went right down to the raw wood. Hey - maybe super glue remover would work - of course then you would have no laminate. So sorry!
    First Class Teacher

  17. I am sorry:( I am really sorry! This is bad! I am not trying to make matters worse, but this is BAD. Really, I think this should be a post on TBA:) Send me the draft...hehe:) It's a winner for sure!
    Big hugs!

  18. Mr. Clean Magic eraser gets my vote.

  19. You are too funny! I hope it works 'out' for you.

  20. Yikes - and we drink that stuff!?!? I have no words of wisdom...but the contact paper seems like a good solution,as long as it stays put for a long time. I'd ask for full disclosure and honesty from Jennifer about that...does the contact paper pull up after a few, ummm, rounds of learning at the "back table"?!?!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

  21. You'll have to let us all know if ANY of the above suggestions work. I have to admit I laughed through your whole post, while at the same time feeling bad for you. When you were describing your response to Mr. Handy's comment, I imagined a Linda Blair moment (think Exorcist) when you wrote about your head spinning! AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH! Hope the rest of your year goes MUCH MORE SMOOTHLY!

  22. Not sure it will help with the table, but I can attest to the power of Oxy Something or Other Spray. I was snuggled up on the couch with my niece...our feet up on the coffee table with a blanket over our legs. Unbeknownst to either of us, my nephew was under our legs, drawing ON THE RUG with a dropped Sharpie!

    I was ready to fork over the cash for a new rug for my sister, but I scrubbed the lines (yes, there were multiple lines!) with this Oxy product and they came out!

    You'd think they would revoke my teaching license for leaving Sharpies and small children unattended.

  23. Question: Did it eat into the surface of the table?

    Question: Don't you hate when people start a question with the word question?

    Answer: new table.

    I can't believe it started at 9 for you. I was asleep during the rose ceremony.
    But I managed to see who left...some things are just that important.

    Was that an egg breaking in the coming next week scenes??????

  24. Oh no! I would have never guessed Gatorade would do that!!


  25. Not sure what kind of damage we are talking about here. I get worried about the "flesh-eating" part of your description. However I would like to suggest the cleaner Fantastic! It truly is Fantastic! My son and my friend's daughter colored on the walls with markers and we both instantly thought get out the Magic Eraser. We started scrubbing with little progress and then we thought well maybe if we just squirt something on it, it will come off easier. We got out the Fantastic and that marker just melted right off the wall! There was no scrubbing we just wiped it off with some paper towel! I LOVE Fantastic! I hope it works for you with similar results! I have also have a butcher paper leak before onto a plastic table and Kaboom worked as well as Fantastic! Good Luck!

  26. If it's just a stain Tilex with bleach and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. If it ate into the linoleum...sucks for you. lol sorry. Good Luck...and when are you coming to OK/TX???
    First Grade @ Klinger Cafe

  27. Did you by. Chance try shaving cream? Don't know id it will help with this but it's great for cleaning. Gets permanent market off :)

  28. My custodian has gotten me out of a similar jam before...some kind of spray sticky toxic stuff that took up permanent marks (our janitors are fabulous, heroes). I'll see if I can round up a name. However, it did smell toxic and deadly and might be outlawed in certain states.


  29. LOVE the Scooby voice! SO sorry to hear about your table!!
    Finally in First

  30. Ok, so in the off chance that the Mr. Clean sponge or any of the other ideas don't work...I say cover it up. One of my team members had her husband cut white shower board in the the same shape as her kidney table. Now she can use it as a dry erase surface during her reading groups as well. It doesn't get rid of the stain but at least it makes the table nice and usable. Hope that helps.

  31. My table was beyond repair so I got permission to paint it with chalkboard paint. (Thank you Pinterest!) Now we can use it to take notes on our reading or to work on math problems. I then branched out and painted the old door to the connecting classroom. It has been a big hit with my students.

  32. Can you paint it with blackboard paint maybe? I'm sorry that happened, can't believe Mr. Handy wasn't more understanding lol!

    Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

  33. At Home Depot or Lowes..they do sell countertop paint! You know..for those countertops stuck in the 70's with orange or green! Rolls right on..had a friend use it with good results in her kitchen!

    Lisa G

  34. So isn't a teammate of yours moving to 5th grade? Surely she doesn't need her itty bitty 1st grade sized table for kids that are most likely taller than you. So just sneak in during the dark of night and swap! Good as new.

  35. SOFT SCRUB! Seriously the best miracle worker ever!

  36. I don't have a solution to your problem, but I do have a recipe for you:

    Creek Water (in my neck of the woods... midwest) is vodka, lemonade, and a splash of sprite. Try it, and it might make you feel a little better :)

    Let's Teach Something

  37. My carpet now has a stain in one area due to laying tie-dye shirts on top of garbage bags to try. Some how one shirt leaked through?! I'm not sure......I plead the 5th and if anyone asks what it is, I'm going to say its been there since I moved in:):) I also was moving items in my room, tripped over my ELMO cords which then knocked my ELMO on to the floor, breaking the dial. I plead the 5th on that one, too:)

  38. ack, sorry Kristin!! I've been covering my tables with contact paper for a few years and purposely got a gray pebble texture paper this year so it would look like those fancy matching tables our school doesn't have! Let me know if you'd like a link to the paper...my sister always helps me apply it and she's a total genius at it (I guess her trick is to cut it into smaller, manageable sections).

    love the accent!!

  39. I've used Dow Foaming Bubbles (can...not spray) to get Easter egg dye off of my table tops. It looks like your table has the same type of top as mine. Also, nail polish remover works great on perm. marker. Good luck!

    The Daily Cupcake…A Kindergarten Blog

  40. Oh no!! I am soo sad about your table! I would be so upset. I hope the hubby can get it out!! :(

  41. Oh gosh I laugh everytime I visit!! I second (or third.. or seventh) Mr. Clean! He is a bald genius!
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  42. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser!Try it!

  43. Teachers always have the best ideas...keep us posted !!! I had baby chicks in my room this month and I burned a hole in the new countertop with the heat lamp......at least the chicks survived !! Good luck :)

  44. I hope you get that off of your table or come up with a perfect solution! I would call your table a rainbow table. That is what a friend of mine calls hers. Mine was always the back table. In other words, the place to pile random things!


  45. Paint it! Lime green with white polka dots. Go for it!

  46. omgosh- that's some serious gatorade.
    I'm gonna say that BLACK is the end-all, be-all.
    I mean think about black icing on a cake- or black marker on your hands...black IS, in fact, lethal. lol
    Maybe try fingernail polish remover?? It'll smell to high-heavens, but it might work...
    and p.s...so jealous of your curtains!!

  47. Kristin...I asked my custodian and the stuff they use is from Sunrise (Environmental Scientific) and it is call EXETER. It really works on permanent marker (I had a spot and tested it just to be sure). Hope that helps.

    Terri Izatt

  48. OOPs cleaner is awesome. I had a child paint tables with whiteout. It came right up.

  49. So sorry about your table - I'd be devastated if the same thing happened to mine. Oh, wait - I got permanent marker on my wooden,dining room table. Toothpaste took it right off!! You might want to give it a try on your table.

    Good luck! Sue

  50. I have the same table (except with red trim) but for some reason the tabletop absorbs everything! Very strange but the mr. clean eraser does work.

  51. What about painting it? I painted the tables in my craft room a lovely pebble blue (light grey-blue) and they have lasted for years. I used oil-based paint and it did take (I think - it was 5 years ago) about a week to dry to the point that I could put anything on it permanently.

    That is my plan in my classroom. It is easier than contact paper and more permanent (also cheaper). Kids tend not to pick at the seams ('cause their aren't any) and you have more choice in colour, AND you can paint anything else in the class (like the book shelves) as well.

    I am lucky, school doesn't start until just after Labour Day and we get in on the 17th, so the paint has lots of time to dry.

    What did you end up doing (since I am reading this MONTHS after the accident)?