Quick Update for a Plain Built-in Cupboard

A quick project.

This built-in in our dining room has always bugged me with its flat doors that have no detail. Dining room built-in, 1911 house.

The other doors in our house have a simple raised shaker style border, which aren’t so fun to dust, but look nice.

While we were painting the floors it dawned on me that it would be pretty easy to give the doors a quick facelift with some trim. The husband said “sure, it’s a good idea, but it’s certainly not a priority right?” I said “oh right” and then went out the next day and bought some inexpensive molding. He rolled his eyes.

It was pretty easy – it took about 4 hours. This is how we did it:

  • Purchased Trim. We used hemlock lattice molding (.25″ x 2.25″).
  • Removed doors. We unscrewed the doors from the frames.
  • Carefully measured and cut (with a chop saw) trim to fit door.
  • Notched out trim for hinges with X-Acto knife and chisel/hammer.
  • Applied wood glue to the back of the trim, lined it up on the face of the door, and clamped the heck out of it. Protected trim from clamp marks with wood scraps.
  • Let it dry overnight.
  • Filled in any gaps with Elmers Wood Filler.
  • Sanded and eased edges slightly with hand sander.
  • Primed, painted.
  • Re-installed.

Here’s what it looks like now. I also got some new simpler bin pulls and knobs. The husband’s comment was “oh sure, I guess it looks better – but, would you ever paint the entire built-in a color? It kinda looks like primer right now.”

What do you think? Should I paint it a color?

Dining room built-in after, with added shaker style border.

Dining room built-in (after) with added shaker style border.

Mod Podge the Chicken Coop – or How to Keep The Hens Happy

This post originally appeared at Mod Podge Rocks Blog. Check it out for more great crafting ideas.

exterior mod podge, chicken coop

Poopsie Lulu was upset. Her coop was looking shabby and in dire need of an update. It was High Time for a bit of love and attention.

Poopsie-at-the-Door-615x409She gave me a stern look.

Poopsie-Looking-Stern-615x528Yikes! I have a blog to write, Poops, (Hammer Like A Girl) – I am so sorry I don’t have time for this right now! You are a talented girl though – I bet you could tackle this on your own. (Time honored parenting advice) I directed her to Google for a few ideas.

Poopsie and “The Google”

Google-Chicken-Coops-2Whoa!! Dial it back a bit, girlfriend, how about we start with some Mod Podge . . .

So Poopsie and her coop-mate, Princess, did a bit more research and with a stroke of  cLuck they discovered the site, AllPosters, with a fine selection of poultry art! And cheep! Very eggcited, they set to work.

First they organized – gathering:

  • Paint brushes for Mod Podge, 1″- 3″ widths (which can be cleaned and re-used)
  • A pencil for marking where to apply the glue and paint
  • Mod Podge Outdoor
  • Mod Podge Antique Matte
  • A stiff squeegee/hand burnisher
  • Black paint, exterior
  • A small paintbrush for thin black lines
  • A wet rag to wiping off mistakes

Next, the girls cleaned and painted the offending front door.

BEFORE

Chicken-Coop-Door-Before-e1411414972265

AFTER

exterior mod podge, chicken coop Examining the poster they had purchased and realizing they were not happy with the overly pristine look of the print, they decided to experiment with aging it a bit by applying one coat of Mod Podge Antique Matte finish. These girls have discerning taste. After a 15 minute drying time it had just the right patina.

Holding the poster against the door, an outline was gently traced in pencil and filled in with Outdoor Mod Podge.

Modpodging-the-doorWorking quickly – especially for hens – they brushed the Outdoor Mod Podge onto the back side of their poster and applied it to the (still wet) door.

Modpodge-the-backThey carefully smoothed the poster onto the door with the squeegee/hand burnisher.

Modpodge-squeegeeNow those ever-clever hens decided to solve the problem of “glue creep” – glue creeping outside the edge of the poster and onto the door – by painting a border around the edge and about 1/2″ out. They also painted the distracting white edge of the poster. In this way the potential shine of the glue seems intentional. Free-handing the black paint gave the piece a more hand-made appeal

Paint-the-poster-edgeThe final four thin coats were applied the same day, allowing a 20 minute drying time for each coat. These layers were painted on all the way to the outside black line, insuring a good seal of the poster edges.

Thin-layers-of-exterior-modpodge-e1411358958596Well done my eggceptional girls! I knew you could do it!

Modpodge-Poster-FinishedHere’s Princess – she wants to share a joke with you.

Two ducks were sitting in a pond and the first one says, “QUACK!”, and the second one says, “That’s funny, that’s what I was gonna say!”

Princess
We love silly jokes and mod podge projects – send us something!

 

From Ugly to Lovely, Painting a Floor, Part 2

An embarrassingly long time ago, we wrote about a project we were working on – painting a fir floor. You can read about it here: From Ugly to Lovely, Painting a Floor, Part 1. (We didn’t realize that it would it be over a year and a half later before we wrote Part 2.)

After many delays (removing an existing wood stove, demolishing a hearth, installing new wood stove and hearth, patching various areas of the floor where there were old heat registers) it’s done! Well, the living room is done. The dining room isn’t quite done, but we are so excited by the results, we wanted to share some photos.

As a reminder, this is what the floor looked like before:

Floor_Before1

And here’s what it looks like now:

FloorFinished!

This is how we got there:

Because the floor was painted with lead paint, we didn’t want to sand it, so we used “Krud Kutter”. (Why do companies think it’s a good idea to use weirdly spelled names – what’s wrong with Crud Cutter?) This cleaned the surface and reduced the glossy finish and created a “tooth” for the paint to stick to.

Then we primed the surface using XIM UMA, a special primer/bonder. I’ve used this product in the past and have had great luck. It is designed for difficult to paint non-porous surfaces.

After allowing the primer to dry, we painted the floor. We used 2 coats of Pratt & Lambert’s WithStand floor paint in a special color mix of a dark charcoal gray, allowing 24 hours to dry in between coats.

The final floor:

FloorFinished2

The paint needs to cure for 7 days before placing any furniture or rugs. So meantime, this is what the dining room looks like:

DiningRoom_During

Yikes. I especially like the murderer’s glove in the foreground.

Make Vintage Votive Candle Holders

This post originally appeared at Mod Podge Rocks Blog. Check it out for more great crafting ideas. DIY votives: vintage candle holders made from glassesOver at Hammer Like a Girl, we usually try to use materials that have been cast off, scrounged, or salvaged. So when we first were planning this DIY votive project, we thought it would be a great idea to use cut-off bottles. You’ve all seen the technique online – soak string in acetone, wrap it around a bottle, light it on fire, turn turn turn to get an even burn and when the flame starts to die down, dunk it ice water, and the bottle breaks where the string was, essentially turning a bottle into a glass. It sounds so cool (and easy). We went out and bought acetone, dug in our recycling bins and went to work. Maybe we were doing something wrong, but for the life of us, we could not get a nice clean break. The edges were jaggedy, like something you’d see in a bar fight. So with singed arm hair, we went to the Goodwill, where we bought 3 glasses for $.69/each instead. Here’s some instructions – not how to singe your arm hair – but for making unique decoupage votive candle holders. Continue reading

Contemporary Take on Vintage Photos

This originally appeared as a guest post on Seattle Magazine’s website. We recently were asked a question about working with large format graphics so thought we’d re-post the article here.

Here’s a relatively easy project to display old family photos in a contemporary way. Enlarge, mount on plywood, and frame with flat steel bar.

FramedPoster_final

Continue reading

DIY: Lamp from Vintage Book Pages

We had some plastic “Zip” letters. We had an old 1961 Wizard of Oz book with cool illustrations. We thought “wouldn’t it be fun to make a lamp that reveals a little secret when you turn it on?”

This is how we made our magic-vintage-book-word-lamp.

Continue reading

Staircase from Iron and Salvaged Wood

The other day someone wrote in and asked about the staircase that is shown in one of our posts about re-using old doors in a remodel. I realized that we had never posted about the stairs – mostly because they were completed before we ever started blogging. I don’t have any pictures of the process, but for those of you interested, here are some photos/details of the final staircase: 

stair railing design, custom stair railing, metal and wood staircase, modern stair

The design came from our desire of wanting a mix of traditional Craftsman (like our downstairs) and a slightly contemporary look (like our upstairs).

The husband painstakingly built the staircase, using planed/salvaged Douglas Fir (when possible). We had a local metal fabricator, Atomic Fabricators, build the iron work, and provided them with plywood templates so the measurements and angles fit perfectly. We attached the iron to the wood with galvanized lag bolts.

The project took awhile and it was certainly challenging. In the middle of the process I would often catch the husband just gazing off into the distance in a trance-like state holding a tape measure.

One drawback: the fir treads are a little soft and we’ve learned the hard way that it isn’t a good idea to let your kids wear soccer cleats in the house.

stair railing design, custom stair railing, metal and wood staircase, modern stair

stair railing design, custom stair railing, metal and wood staircase, modern stair

 

 

 

Organize Your Spices: Make Labeled Tins

This post originally appeared last month on the blog Mod Podge Rocks. Check it out for great crafting ideas.

Do all of your spices in their random-sized containers drive you crazy? They have always bugged me – I could never find what I needed (so I would inadvertently buy duplicates) and no matter how neatly I placed them on a lazy susan, they never stayed organized.

Spices_beforeYou’ve seen spice organizers out there, and for good reason. But they can get a little expensive. Continue reading

Simple Organizing for Summer

A sure sign that summer has arrived in Seattle – wet suits and towels on the railing. It’s always this tidy (so not) –

Happy Fourth of July from Hammer Like A Girl!

Simple Organizing Project With Hooks

One of our favorite super simple organizing projects – recycled hooks on the stair railing 🙂

Have a great and relaxing Fourth!

 

Polka Dot DIY Wall Art from Paint Swatches

This post originally appeared last month on Mod Podge Rocks Blog. Check it out for lots of great craft ideas! Polka dot DIY wall art from paint swatches

We have always been inspired by the art you see nowadays in Pinterest-land where people use (free) paint swatches. (We’ve often wondered if the paint suppliers mind this upcycle trend.) We came up with an idea using paint swatches, paper, and large hole punches to create polka dot DIY wall art. It is a simple project that you can easily customize with your own color palette and favorite patterns. Continue reading