We are in one of the final phases of our decade-long remodel – putting up door trim. We wanted to use some old (and decrepit) painted trim that we had removed during the demo, but it looked like crap. But when we looked a little closer, it just looked like crap on the surface, so we decided to get the heat gun out and remove the several layers of paint that were gunking it up.
Old trim, before stripping.
It went pretty quickly and was much easier and less messy than using a chemical (or citrus-based) stripper. There were still fumes though, so we used masks and good ventilation. After removing the paint, we gave it a quick sanding with a random orbital sander, filled/sanded some nail holes with wood filler, then 2 coats of paint with a self-priming paint.
Looks like new (or at least less crappy)!
The ultimate in blow dryers.
Go Monica go!
Sanding with a sander that is missing its dust bag. Messy.
Stripped and sanded, ready to paint.
Great paint, although I should’ve gone one sheen glossier. Oh well, next time.
Our intention was (6 months ago) to remove the existing mortar bed of the hearth so we could lay a new tile hearth flush with the floor. I’m embarrassed to admit that we haven’t made any progress with this project since last spring. For a reminder of where we left off, read this post.
A quick re-cap: we removed the wood stove and its tile pad, revealing “faux” tiles made from concrete which sat on a mortar bed.
The first layer of concrete was easy to remove with a chisel and hammer, but there was a very stubborn layer of concrete underneath. We went to work on removing it. Continue reading →
We found these HUGE casters at Second Use (where else?) and immediately thought “coffee table”. (Actually what I immediately thought was that the husband would kill me if I brought home another big metal piece of randomness – like this and this and this.)
We made several sheets of this gift wrap for the holidays and it was a hit, so here’s a quick how-to tutorial. Change the color scheme and it can work for any occasion throughout the year.
Project: Sew pages of a book together with contrasting top-stitch thread and roll on ink with a brayer to create unique, recycled gift wrap. We used an old encyclopedia and pulled out pages that related to people’s interests – the music section for our musician friend, printing press section for our graphic designer friend, and the biography section for our literate friend. Continue reading →
Here’s a tip: If you have a design idea floating around in your head – a new deck, staircase, fence, arbor, etc… build a quick model from cardboard or balsa wood. You don’t have worry about being too precise or neat – it just helps to see your idea in 3-D so you can see it from various angles.
Below are a couple of prototypes we’ve made – as you can see we weren’t too worried about fine craftsmanship, but it gave us an excellent idea of how things would work together and what modifications to make to the final plan. Continue reading →
Ten years ago, we made the mistake of planting 3 Leyland Cypress trees (too) close to our house. We wanted to create a screen between our house and our neighbors. The trees turned from a cute hedge that provided dappled shade and privacy, to a 40 ft dark forest that shaded out our entire backyard. Usually we are tree huggers, but in this case we turned into tree cutter-downers.
After we spent $600 to have the trees cut down, I thought the least we could do was to commemorate them with a small side table (a $600 side table).
Leyland Cypress slab left over from our logging project.
An old metal (maybe welding?) stand, picked up at RE-Store.
This is the first post in a new category where we show little photo collections of some of our projects. The intent is less “tutorial” and more “look at things differently, you never know what can go together to make something new and one of a kind”. Enjoy and please let us know what you think! We love feedback.
Steam table, on its way to the scrap metal yard. Stripping it of its silver paint revealed iron legs and galvanized body/shelf. Removing the screwed-on top revealed a solid copper lining (like a silver lining only better).
Old Douglas Fir lumber from Second Use Building Material.
Old set of hinges, from a gate we removed in our backyard.
Finished side table with hinged plank top for access to storage.
Top lifts for storage.
Steel bar reinforcement.
Original stamp of manufactuer: Stanley Doucette, Los Angeles.
Old exposed hinges.
Doug Fir plank top.
Iron legs and galvanized shelf exposed after stripping of silver paint.
I needed a light for my workspace. I wanted to find a really awesome Pendant Light. I poked around online and found some that were amazing, but a little too expensive for me to handle. I had a very basic $17.00 IKEA pendant light left over from my kitchen update. $17-40.00 was more like my budget. But, it was so small and lacked any funk at all. Plus it looked like it belonged in a kitchen.
I have a cottage style home which means very little storage space. I purchased an armoire from a friend several years ago with the idea that one day I’d paint, stain, or at least change the door handles.
It’s time for a purge!
My armoire with age spots and all
I used for a desk. A nice piece of furniture, however, it’s not sized to sit at with a chair.
I wanted to modernize the whole room. It currently serves as a makeshift office, spare bedroom and a lazy catch-all storage space. The thought was to get rid of a lot of useless stuff and shift the room toward a contemporary office space that could quickly convert into a bedroom when guests arrive.
At one time, I thought having red in the hallway would add life and spark. The palette from a stir stick view seemed to be a good choice.
Lesson Learned: If there isn’t natural light available you’ll need a lighter color than you might think. In fact, less color just might be better. That doesn’t mean you should never choose rich bold colors. It’s all about the light. Continue reading →