Let’s just file this blog post under “really awesome tricks I learned from Colby (the PG-13 edition)”. Although, that may be a bit excessive, so I’ll just stick with the good ol’ “construction knowledge” category. So today we’re back on the porch remodel train and this time around we’re talking damaged wood and how to repair it instead of replace it. I tend to subscribe to the “it’s not vented, rip it out” school of thought but Colby is sooo good at saving wood, windows, etc. So when it came to the water damaged wood on the porch, we fought the urge to rip it out and put on our Nicole Curtis Rehab Addict hats on and opted to save it. And our porch had it…water damaged wood…lots of it! Damaged wood up the wazoo! What exactly is a wazoo?! Seriously?! Actually, maybe I don’t want to know.
After removing all the old porch windows we had some repair work to get to before putting them back in (hence why we removed them in the first place). Our main area of attack was the window sill which was riddled with water damage.
And peeling paint. So…much…peeling…paint. This is what we found underneath the old aluminum surrounding the porch window sill. It’s a bit rough, but definitely worth saving.
The first order of business was scraping. We had to get rid of the flaking paint and caulking and glue to see what we were dealing with. And when it comes to scraping, I don’t mess around. I typically pass on the wire brushes and go straight for the heavy duty scraper. But do you see the window sill damage here? All those dings, gouges and missing sections? That’s what we’re looking to smooth out and repair.
Now this is where I’m going to teach you a little sumpin’ sumpin’ so listen up. Do you all have your pencils sharpened? Notepads out? Ears…errrr…eyes at attention? So they make this stuff called plastic wood. It stinks. Like literally stinks not like Miley’s dance moves stinks, so you want to make sure you use it outside or in a well ventilated area. But this stuff is awesome! It’s like taking wood putty to another level. It’s a resin/sawdust mix which hardens just like wood. The stuff is even stainable.
This is the stuff that good wood repairs are made of. We’ve used it once before when we repaired our parlor floor, but this is my first attempt at blogging about it. You use the putty to fill in any wood areas that are cracked, pitted, or generally full of holes or uneven. In our case, the window sill was full of giant cracks, gappages, and all sorts of ginourmous holes. So Colby attacked the sill with a vengeance, scooping the putty out with a wood shim (although the more traditional application route includes a putty knife) and smooshing it into the cracks.
Here’s the before after for plastic wood reference sake. See how it fills in all the imperfections? It’s just like your basic wood putty except it’s one thousand times more durable after it dries. Don’t worry about being too messy with the stuff since you sand it down later.
As per usual, Goose supervised the whole process…once the putty dried of course. No need to have Plastic Wood tracked throughout our whole house.
The putty usually takes a couple of hours to dry, longer for thicker areas. Once dry, it’s fair game for sanding. We’re lucky enough to own a belt sander in our tool arsenal so out it came for the sanding portion of this program. But any sander would work (palm sander, orbital sander, etc.).
And voila…already looking so much better after just a good sanding.
Ignore the new piece of wood, the one building up the sill. We’ll get to that later in a “how we fixed our damaged windows” post. Until then, let’s just soak up all the glory that is a like-new, freshly painted, plastic-wood-ified new window sill.
And a shot of the exterior. See the difference between the new sill and the old window? What a difference a little Plastic Wood repair and some paint make!
And just so we’re comparing apples to apples, here’s the before shot of the same window/sill section. You can see the light, tan-ish areas where the plastic wood was applied and sanded down.
Next up in the porch renovation series, a little window repair. Spoiler alert…we totally trimmed the window sash on the table saw. And by we I mean the global we (aka…Colby) and boy was it scary! Let’s just say, measure twice and cut once has never been so important to us before. But all eleven windows survived and somehow I did too!
Pssst…Project spoiler alert. I’ve recently invested in some Annie Sloan chalk paint and may have just finished painting up a side table. I’m not gonna lie, totally addicted! Does Annie Sloan offer a 12 step program?! Have you guys used her products? Or milk paint?
Welcome back ladies and gentleman (or ladies and my dad and Colby since I’m pretty sure they’re the only “gentlemen” who read this blog), for another exciting rendition of the Inspired Design Challenge. Hootie hoo let’s get this
party challenge started! This week’s inspiration store….wait for it…Anthropologie! Man do I love Anthro! I have to admit that until last summer, I was an Anthro virgin. But then on a trip to Boston, I dragged Colby into a store and shopped around for a few minutes. I would have stayed longer but the store was about fifteen minutes shy of closing time. You can read all about our Boston adventure here. There may also have been a first-timer-in-West-Elm situation as well. But enough chit chat, let’s get to the goods with the Anthro project reveal:
And of course the inspiration was the ranunculus swirl Anthropologie shade. Do you guys remember this image? From back here?
And how I was going to wrap a lamp shade like the rosette shade? I bought the lamps, the shades, the fabric but barely got started. So when the Inspired Design Challenge rolled around it kicked my butt into high-rosette-making gear and I finally tackled the project. Which is totally time consuming….just an FYI for anyone out there wishing to recreate this. It took me three beers and four Red Sox games to finish just one shade!
So here’s the how-I-did it, first up the supplies:
I made two lamp shades so I picked up a pair of el-cheap-o shades from Target (I think they were about $10 each) and a couple yards of yellow outdoor fabric for about $10 total thanks to a sale and a coupon. Other supplies included a hot glue gun and a fabric cutting system. Trust me, the fabric rolling cutter thingie (can you tell I’m not a sewer?!) saved my sanity for this project!
The first step was to cover the shade completely in the yellow fabric. This provides a nice base so if your rosettes don’t 100% cover the shade, no white will poke through. I first traced the lampshade by rolling it along the fabric and tracing the edges with a fabric pencil. Then I just cut it out leaving about 1/8″ to a 1/4″ excess that will later be used to wrap the fabric around the edge of the shade.
And then it was hot glue time. I started with one edge and hot glued all along the straight edge. Once that dried, I rolled the fabric around the shade and hot glued the other seam, folding it over first to make a nice, crisp edge. You don’t really want jagged fabric-ness and fraying to be the seam you show so folding over the fabric prevents this.
To finish around the edges, I ran a bit of glue just under the inside of the rolled up part of the shade, folded over the fabric, and kind of tucked it into the rolled seam/glue. I worked in about 4″ increments all around the shade so I had time to tuck before the glue dried.
And voila…a fabric covered shade!
Now came the fun part, the rosette part. To make the rosette I used about 1/4″ strips of the leftover yellow outdoor fabric in various lengths. This is the reason why I used outdoor fabric, was for the rosettes. The fabric is somewhat stiffer so it helps hold the floral-ie shape better. So using my rotary cutter, I cut a ridiculous mound of rosette strips.
And then just started making away. I started the process by rolling about an inch of the fabric into a little bead, hot glueing that bead together so it would stay, then glueing it to the shade. Then using that bead as the center point, just wrapped it around in a rosette fashion tucking each layer of the flower behind the first.
Until I had a rosette that looked something like this:
Honestly, that was probably my worst one. I got a little bit better the more I made them. So I just kept wrapping rosettes, gluing them directly to shade as I wrapped, and varying their sizes so they weren’t all exactly the same until I had this:
I chose yellow fabric to kind of go with the “8-10-12″ wedding table number art hanging beside Colby’s nightstand in our master bedroom. Speaking of…shameless plug…it’s almost our anniversary…eeeeeeek! I can’t believe it’s been a year already! Man it went by fast!
So here’s the full bedroom shot. Excuse the poor photography. It was one of those oh-em-gee my flight for Haven leaves like now and I still haven’t packed and I’m taking pictures of this room anyway because I need to even if it’s bad light kind of situation. I’ll take better pics eventually…maybe after I finish shade numero dose.
Speaking of, in an effort to keep it real, this is what my nightstand/shade looks like:
Forehead…desk. I kind of ran out of time. I couldn’t believe how time consuming hot gluing all those rosettes was going to be like. But I’m totally going to blame Haven and our Etsy shop Roostic and not that I may have gotten sucked into HGTV star along with a Duck Dynasty marathon. Those shows just makes me happy, happy, happy. Hopefully I’ll finish the shade soon. Actually, it may have been a good thing that I haven’t yet finished both shades because at the Haven Conference (a DIY blogging conference that I JUST got back from) I learned that I’m basically a styling/staging/home accessorizing nightmare and I want to make a conscious effort to glam up and style some our spaces better, starting with our nightstands. I sense that our digital alarm clocks, especially my hot pink rubber one (seriously?!) will be getting the boot.
So now that I’m done my monologue ala Tina Fey Saturday Night Live style, it’s time to bring in the big guns and my fellow Inspired Design Challenge hosts.
And of course their lovely inspiration:
- Lindsay from Life Of Splendor
- Kristin from Bliss At Home (Kristin’s project will be up on Wednesday)
- Sara from Embrace My Space
- Jennifer from Brave New Home
So go check out their amazing projects, show them some love, and tell them I said hi! Next up on the Inspired Design Challenge, our last week of project goodness, World Market. You can get a sneak peak of my project on my Inspired Design Challenge Pinterest board.
Pssst…So I’ve mentioned this about a gazillion times, but how about one more time for the cheap seats in the back. This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Haven Conference in Atlanta, Georgia which was amazing! It was a conference geared toward DIY and design bloggers. I got to meet some blogging superstars, learn a few things, hob nob with some vendors/sponsors, but most importantly, make some new blog friends. In fact, I got to real life meet Kristin from Bliss At Home along with Lindsay from Life of Splendor. But I’ll share more details about the conference later this week.
That’s right, we’re going places we have never been before. We’re blazing a trail, bushwhacking it if you wish, and taking our Etsy office door from doorknob-less:
To officially doorknob-ed:
Yes, that’s right. Tonight, we’re learning how to install a doorknob where no doorknob has been before. This step is long overdue. What’s it been, three? Four months since we installed the door? Loooooong overdue! To recap the little door slab saga we first learned a little door lingo and then prepped the raw door slab for hanging and finally installed it. And today is the culminating day in our shameless money saving trick of purchasing a door slab and installing/trimming it ourselves instead of purchasing a pre-hung door. No joke, it has saved us at least $100…probably more.
But onto the doorknob installation process. It was simple…especially for me since my roll was to hang out, look pretty and snap pictures. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it. Colby did most of the grunt work. Oh…except I passed him things like the wrong doorknob…twice. But installation was a snap thanks to this handy Irwin doorknob installation kit. You can pick it up at your local hardware store for around $15.
You just center the jig in the middle of the door, or more specifically in the middle of the rail (or place it 44″ from the top of the door since according to my door salesman husband, that’s pretty standard). And then do you see the yellow button and measurements underneath it?
That’s the only other adjustment you have to make. You have to set the “Back Set” on the jig for your door. All doors have either a 2-3/8″ or 2-3/4″ back set. Our door, and most interior doors, have a 2-3/8″ back set. What is a back set you say? Glad you asked! It’s the distance between the edge of the door and the center of the doorknob.
With the jig in place, Colby attached the larger hole saw that came with the kit to his drill and bored out the doorknob hole, first cutting in from the front and then cutting in from the back. You don’t want to cut right through from one side since the face of the door will start to splinter as the hole saw breaks through.
The hole saw cutting continued with the smaller hole saw cutting through for the bolt.
This left two holes for doorknob installation.
The next step was to route out the edge of the door for the bolt plate. Again, the Irwin kit included a little jig AND the router bit to do this. It was as simple as attaching the jig, lining it up with the screw holes left behind from where you screwed the first jig into the door. Then you just attach the router bit to a Dremel or other rotary tool (or to a fast spinning drill but that’s not necessarily the best idea as it’s hard to control and drills are typically slower than rotary tools) and route out the marked spaces. Then, remove the jig and chisel out the middle part.
Same process goes for routing out the strike plate on the door jam. Just mark where the strike plate needs to go, attach the jig, route it out and chisel away.
You also need to drill out the hole for the doorknob bolt to slide into. Colby did this using a spade bit, which left a little too much wood in the hole (the spade bit wasn’t quite the right shape) and later needed chiseling out to be functional.
Oh yes, and I can’t forget….Goose “helped”.
Goose doesn’t like to be left out of home improvement projects…or anything. He really needs to be right in the middle of whatever we’re doing….literally. He was mad at us during doorknob installation since Colby was blocking his route to the window for scoping out neighborhood squirrels.
With everything cut, routed, and chiseled the only step left was actually adding the doorknobs to the door. We picked up two doorknobs, since our master bedroom door has been sans doorknob for oh…three years now. So home came both a locking doorknob and a regular doorknob.
We played a little doorknob roulette and decided to add a locking doorknob to the bathroom, the bathroom doorknob moved to the master bedroom, and the new hall/closet doorknob was installed in the Etsy office. Here’s the visual proof that yes, indeed we FINALLY installed a doorknob on our bedroom door. Look for the blue moon, folks!
In total, the whole project cost us about $30 ($15 for the installation kit and about $6-$7 for each doorknob). Time-wise, it probably should have taken 30 minutes or so, but took much longer thanks to a series of installing things backwards or installing the wrong doorknob (Colby was having an “off” day…maybe he should blame that time of the month…always works for me). Another long overdue task complete, a gazillion more to go. Ahhhh…progress!
Pssst…What long overdue projects are you all checking off your lists these days? Doorknob installation? We can’t be the only ones who put off installing them! I’m pretty sure adding outlet covers might be my next long-overdue-task to tackle. Doh!
Happy first day of the Inspired Design Challenge everyone! Are you celebrating? Jumping for joy? Eating cake as one should to commemorate such a fine event? As for me…I’m resting my tired (almost 30 year old) bones because let me tell you, after completing this project in 90 degree weather and suffering a minor albeit stubborn, eye injury, I’m ready for a nap. And FYI, my eye is fine now. Note to self…when routing wood with a Dremel A) wear safety glasses and B) don’t put your face close to the flying sawdust. Anyway….want to see what we made?! Bam! New, full length mirror frame for the upstairs hallway.
I know it’s hard to see, but it was late, getting dark, and we still have yet to install the light fixture in the hallway. It’s only been a three-years-in-the-making kind of project. I’ve also had a full length mirror project on my to-do list for about three years. You know, since climbing on top of your bed to check out your butt in the mirror gets old after awhile.
Yes, I do in fact climb on top of our bed in the mornings to check out my outfit before going to work. Even when Colby’s still asleep. Poor man. Why did he marry me again?! Oh right…that charming personality of mine…sucker!
Thanks to a trio of tiny bedrooms in our home, wall space and full length mirror space is at a premium. But we had a nice little spot at the end of the second floor hallway begging for a mirror. That spot also meant the full length mirror could be shared among all the room’s inhabitants.
We already had the mirror. It came with the house but it was unceremoniously framed. I wasn’t going to settle for just any old mirror frame. It needed some pizazz. So when I was charged with a Target inspired project, I swooned over this Nate Berkus for Target frame and knew I wanted to do something similar for our mirror.
When I first saw the frame online I thought it was just a basic white frame with a painted gray design on it. Nope…that sucker was routed out. As in each of those lines is a little indented. Way to up the difficulty factor, Nate! For those of you who want to replicate this project, here’s your warning…routing is difficult/time consuming and you could probably get the same effect by painting the lines. Challenge accepted…we routed.
The project started with building a basic mirror frame out of pine. We bought a pair of 1″ x 6″ x 8′ boards and cut them half down to 3″ wide for the frame.
And similarly to the bathroom mirror frame project, Colby notched out the boards so the mirror would recess into the frame and screwed it all together using a Kregg jig.
Then outside I took the frame to prime and paint it a glossy white.
Spoiler alert…we did score ourselves a fancy new yard sale coffee table this weekend for $25. More on that later.
After we let the frame dry it was design time. We opted to draw out the whole design for the frame before making any cuts. You know…measure twice…cut once. We didn’t replicate Nate’s frame exactly, but kind of came up with our own little pattern. But since the edges were cut and assembled on 45 degrees, it made it easy to draw all the cut lines at 45 degrees using a square.
There were essentially two different patterns for the frame. The cross hatches which are on the top and bottom of the frame along with the middle part of the side pieces.
And the single lines, which fell above and below the cross hatches on the sides.
Each line is spaced about 3/4″ apart (plus or minus since we had to fudge a few to make it come out even). Next step…routing out or scoring the wood using a sheet rock bit and our Dremel.
Dremels are so versatile. It’s our latest tool acquisition and we can’t believe we have waited so long to get one. The bit we chose to use for this project was one meant to cut sheet rock. So we expected the thing to break or wear out before we finished making all 300 plus cuts. But the bit was a champ and lasted the whole time.
The real savior for this step of the project was the jig that Colby made, which he just plopped on top of the frame, rested the Dremel guide against it, and routed away. I love jigs. I jig you not, it was THAT simple!
It took us about 30 minutes to make all the cuts, thanks to the speedy jig.
After some quick vacuuming, I whipped out some leftover, weathered gray stain from Minwax and stained all the freshly cut and exposed wood using a craft brush.
And then took the frame outside to give it a few coats of spray poly.
When you do poly, be sure to poly both the front AND the back of the frame if you didn’t already paint the back of the frame. Exposed, unfinished wood tends to swell and warp so you always want to finish your wood projects completely and as soon as possible, especially in humid temperatures.
And using some random hardware kicking around the workshop, Colby added the mirror, secured it in the frame using some brackets, and added some hang hooks.
And now Goose can also check his butt out in the mirror. The family that checks their butts out in the mirror together, stays together.
The mirror is what Cher from Clueless would call a Monet…it looks great from afar, but it’s kind of a mess closeup.
While we were making it, I thought for sure I wasn’t going to like the end result and was going to end up later scrapping it for a more plain jane frame. But now that it’s hung and can step back a bit from it, the frame can stay. Although, I should take some better pictures in some better light.
So now is the moment that I extend my hand to you and invite you, dear readers, to share your Target Inspired Design Challenge projects. Link them up in the comments or send me a pic to email@example.com and who knows….I may feature them later on. And also don’t forget about the other four lovely ladies co-hosting this little challenge:
- Jennifer from Brave New Home
- Lindsay from Life of Splendor
- Kristin from Bliss at Home
- Sara from Embrace My Space
They have all come up with some inspired design goodness. And because who doesn’t love a good little teaser, here is what they are all using as their inspiration:
It’s so funny…even though that I know which item belongs to which blogger, I could line up each of these items with the blogger blindly. Each item is SOOOOO them! So go check out their projects, slap them a lil’ sugar, and we’ll reconvene next Monday for a little Urban Outfitters inspiration.
Pssst…So what ya got?! Send me your projects!!!!
Beaming is what my face should have been doing after installing the faux beams in the Etsy office. But instead, it was doing the anti-beaming frown because it turned out more like this:
I like the beams, they’re great, and they do a fantabulous job of covering up those icky seams between the beadboard panels we installed over the weekend. I just don’t like the stain. But we’ll get to that in a little bit. Let’s accentuate the positive, shall we? And isn’t that a Disney song? Marry Poppins perhaps? No…I got it…Pinocchio. I believe one Mr. Jiminy Cricket sang it. Who’s down with oh Disney?! Yeah, you know me!
Anyway, let’s get down to the nitty gritty and get into the how-we-did-its and then we can talk more about the staining debacle. Seriously…I’m having a palm-face moment! To beam the office, we started off with 5-1/2″ boards we picked up at a local lumber yard. After measuring a little here and there, we took the faux beams down to the basement to make a few miter cuts since we’re dealing with an angled ceiling situation.
And before we went any further, we gave the beams a little test run to see how they fit and looked. Too wide. The 5-1/2″ wide boards seemed like a good idea at that time, but once we brought them into the teeny-tiny room, they dominated the ceiling. The scale just wasn’t right.
So back down to the basement we went to cut off about an inch of the board, bringing the total width down to 4-1/2″. We also had some gaps where the beadboard met the wall and instead of going the full beam route to hide the gaps, we decided to split the 5-1/2″ board in half to make it look like each end beam was half in the wall and half out.
The final workshop step was giving each board a nice little buff job. We didn’t want the faux beams to look too new and nothing says new like perfectly square corners on our faux beams. So I spent a little time with the orbital sander roughing up the edges of our beams.
Seriously Dewalt, send me some advertising dollars! Can I get an Amen?! You just don’t get better work-in-progress, branded, action shots from just anyone?! And I wasn’t even trying! #imanatural
With the beams cut up and roughed up, we took them back up to the Etsy office space for installation time.
Which pretty much went the same way as installing the bead board. Just caulk them up:
And nail them in, trying your best to always nail into a stud. We have a decent amount of strapping going on in this ceiling area so it was pretty easy to find some good wood to nail into (now that’s a “that’s what he/she said” moment if there ever was one).
After installing the four beams (two 4-1/2″ beams in the middle and two (2-3/4″ beams on either side), the Etsy office space was lookin’ a little somthin’ like this:
Now this is the part where I should have taken a few moments to evaluate the finishing situation. But I didn’t. I just jumped right in and started staining the beams without really thinking.
There’s already so much wood going on in this room (the flooring, window trim, door, door trim, ginormous desk) and adding another area of dark stained trim really did seam like a good idea…at the time. But staining those beams helped close the ceiling down further on the desk, visually speaking not actually. I swear, being in the room after staining the beams a dark walnut color made me feel like the ceiling was another two feet lower. Doh! So now I’m thinking that white would probably have been a better option. In white, the beams would add architectural interest to the space without overpowering the ceiling.
So now I’m playing the waiting game for the stain to fully dry and then we’ll see about priming and painting. This should be fun, priming over a super, uber dark stain. And a fresh stain too. But our next step in the room, now that we’re going the “paint it white” route, is installing the trim pieces at the top and bottom of the beadboard and then painting everything glossy white. Here’s hoping I can knock that AND my inspired design challenge project out this weekend.
Pssst…Shameless plug coming! Learn more about the Inspired Design Challenge in this post from earlier this week. And for those of you playing along, have you picked your project inspiration yet?