Starting projects…totally my jam…finishing projects…not so much. Please tell me I’m not the only one who is a stellar project starter but then lets them kind of fizzle?! Anywho, I needed to take some “workshop” photos for our shop listing on Scout Mob and our Etsy office space was kind of looking like this:
One of my favorite tricks of staining is filling all the nail holes with colored putty after staining but before polying. For most projects, this means you can pre-stain the wood, install it, then fill in the nail holes. The colored putty just melts right into your staining project and masks those nail holes like a champ.
Pssst…In another random exciting news, our Christmas tree is totally going up this weekend! Hootie hoo! Honestly, this is the earliest I’ve ever put up our tree (I’m usually a wait until after Thanksgiving is over kind of girl), but I just can’t help it. I’m itching to start decorating for Christmas! Anyone else have their tree up already? Or have been bitten by the Christmas bug?!
Today we’re unleashing upon you all our secrets. Well…no…not ALL our secrets, otherwise what kind of incentive do you have to keep reading?! Today, I’m revealing to you our “secrets of a stainer”. Did anybody get the Emily Henderson Secrets of a Stylist spoof in there? I’m sure a few of you die hard Design Star fans out there caught on. Anyway, Colby and I were staining and polying monsters this weekend. And we took our hallway to places it’s never been before…check out the hallway before/progress going on right now.
The pic on the left was taken a few weeks ago before we laid down the new floor and the pic on the left was taken after the last coat of poly went down on the trim and door. Beautiful, no?!
Anyway…let’s get to the secrets part because everybody loves a good secret. And we’re going to let you in on how we make the staining and polying process SOOOOO much easier. Our biggest secret to tackling stain and poly…Secret Number 1…pre-stain as much as possible! Staining is a stinky job. Seriously. And toxic. So we took our staining down to the basement where we pre stained a majority of the trim for the second floor. Staining, although stinky, is an easy process. You just slap it on:
We’re staining here using a gallon of Minwax’s Dark Walnut stain using a foam brush. We tend to use foam brushes alot for trim staining as long as the trim is nice and smooth, since the foam tends to catch on rougher wood. The foam brushes drip less and have a more even coverage (for more efficient staining) than their bristle brush counterparts. After swiping on some stain and letting it sit for about 30 seconds, wipe off any excess.
If you want your wood a darker shade, let the stain sit longer before wiping it off. And as always, use a clean cloth. It took us all of an hour to stain all the baseboards, window trim and door trim for the guest room and the hallway…if that. Then we just let it sit, dry out, and off-gas (detoxify) before installing it upstairs.
Confession time…we didn’t pre-stain all of our trim for the upstairs.
Actually, only about half of the trim/door surfaces were actually stained before installing.
And, in retrospect, boy did we wish we had stained everything before installing, especially the doors.
It can sometimes be really difficult to get stain, especially a darker stain, to penetrate the strange gaps going on around hinges, but it still can be done with a foam brush if you just smoosh it in there and rub off any stain that gets on the hinges afterwards. It cleans up quite nicely actually.
So why didn’t we pre-stain all the doors and the trim? I would normally say sheer laziness, but that isn’t true. More like, we didn’t know any better at the time. It had been so long since the last time we stained a door or some trim so we kind of forgot how much a pain in the butt it is to stain after everything is in place. Stain tends to get on the floor, on the walls, on the dog (totally not kidding here). And the last thing we need is Goose covered in stain. Although he would look quite dapper in a weathered gray stain. And with a smoking jacket! Hmmmm….
Even though we installed alot of the trim before staining, there’s still a secret that I’ve learned, which works just as well in the poly stages as it does the stain stages. To protect your walls, use a magazine cover (I used the Ikea 2013 catalog) or a cereal box to slide into that small gap (or just resting up against the wall) behind the top of the trim. Then stain or poly away.
It completely protects the walls and you don’t worry too much about cutting in. I suppose you could also tape everything off too, with painters tape. But I’m not much for taping. I find it too labor intensive and prefer cutting in. But stain is messy and doesn’t always easily wipe up, hence the magazine cover tip.
And as I’m revealing our staining secrets, I bet you’re wondering, “Angie, just how do you fill in those nails holes after the board is stained and installed? You can’t just use plain old, natural colored wood putty, can you?! I just HAVE to know?!” To answer your burning question, the solution is colored putty.
The stuff is the bomb dot com, the peanut butter to my jelly, my jam Stan! And you use it an awful lot like the usual wood filler except not really. You just take a tiny smidge of the stuff on your finger, rub it into the nail hole, and keep rubbing your finger over the board and across the filled in nail hole until the putty is well blended in with the wood and the nail hole is no longer visible.
After all the staining is done, we usually like to let it set for a day or two. This ensures that the stain is thoroughly soaked in so the poly can seal everything up. Thus, polying was our next step in the second floor trim progress.
All I have to say is “meow”…in a “doesn’t our hallway look sexy” kind of way. I love how a couple coats of poly is all it takes to really make the stain and wood tones pop. It brightens the color and makes for an eye catching finish.
We spent a decent amount of time polying all the trim and the doors, in the guest bedroom, hallway and the door/trim of the master bedroom. In total, it took us about three hours to slather the trim and the doors with two coats of polyurethane.
Why two coats? And not a billion and a half coats like we do on the floors? Man…you guys are a curious bunch this evening! Because the trim isn’t necessarily going to bear the same level of abuse that the floor will. You don’t walk on doors or walls or trim, unless you’re Pippy Longstocking trying to escape Ms. Bannister. Two coats is more than enough to seal the trim and protect it.
Oooooh…shiny. Not only did we stain and poly all the hallway and guest bedroom trim, but also the door and trim for our master bedroom.
Let’s just say, this project was LONG overdue by maybe about six months, which is not a good thing. Wood doors and trim really need to be finished ASAP. If they don’t get finished shortly after installation, they tend to warp and do crazy things. So finish those doors people! I repeat…finish those doors! We were lucky that our door was fine and survived the lack of finishing, but Colby has told me horror stories about some contractors not finishing their doors right away and running into big problems. It also technically voids your warranty on the door by not finishing them. There…that’s my spiel for tonight. My wordy, 1200 words post.
Pssst…What about you guys? Do you have any
deep dark secrets staining secrets? Or other DIY tricks that you swear by? Like using magazine covers to protect a wall while baseboard staining?
When we last left off in the guest room renovation saga, it looked a little something like this:
Walls up, joints mudded, painted ceiling and walls, and freshly installed wide pine flooring. It was already starting to look better, kind of like Kim Kardashian once she takes off all that makeup. But what would make the room look even more finished? TRIM! It’s like good eyeliner for those of us who weren’t blessed with ever-perky lids.
Trim installation was mad quick in this room. So quick that I couldn’t keep up with Colby as he was installing it all. The key to our quickness? We pre-cut and pre-stained most of the trim for this room, including the window trim. For instance, below is the window trim for above and below the window (more professionally known as the apron as my millwork salesman husband informs me), the extension jams and vertical trim pieces were just basic, straight cut pine.
Since all our trim pieces were measured, cut, and marked for their exact location in the room, all it took was a little nailing around with the Paslode finish nailer, trying to nail into studs whenever possible, to install all the trim.
And if you’re worried about filling in those nail holes with the wood all stained, that’s what they make colored putty for. It just disappears right into the dark walnut stained wood. But we’ll talk a little bit more about our staining secrets later.
Installing the baseboards was just as easy if not easier. Colby’s a maniac and “just knows” where all the studs are in this room. Maybe it’s because he put up all the sheetrock? Actually, he doesn’t really know. Since the sheetrock was all new in this room and the space had no baseboards, Colby could see at the very bottom of the walls (where the wall meets the floor…or where the space on the walls where the baseboards cover the wall), a few exposed screws in the wall. He didn’t mud those screws so he could tell where the studs were and they just get covered up with baseboard anyway so no need to conceal them with mud, primer and paint. So he located those screws and marked the studs on the wall above the baseboard, so he wouldn’t be covering up his markings.
Game day bucket Paslode go boom! I still can’t get that KFC commercial out of my head.
Because we like our baseboards chunky, we wanted to add base cap to the 4-1/2″ wide pine baseboards. The base cap we chose was the 1-3/8″ kind. The key to nailing in the base cap is to make sure you angle your nailing gun (or just nails) so that the nails drive straight into the face of the trim and into a stud. Trust us…nail guns make this process SOOOO much easier.
The only real tricky part to installing the base cap was around the corners of the room. Thankfully, there were only four corners in this space to work with. In these areas, you have to cope out the base cap, kind of like this:
It’s not an easy task, but we’ll try to explain how you do it. First you cut the trim at a 45 degree angle with your long point touching the wall that the trim is going into (in this case the wall on the left). Then, you take a coping saw and cut out the curved bevel part. Then the cut trim slides right on over the trim on the other wall.
That wasn’t too difficult was it?
The only problem that we encountered during this whole trim installation was dealing with the levelness of our floor. We have a bit of a gappage going on underneath the baseboard in one location.
When we installed the baseboard, Colby stepped down on it as hard as he could, trying to bend the board to the curve of the floor a little bit, while I super nailed it in place (aka…using about 8 extra nails, driving them directly into studs). But we were still left with a slight gap. We may end up installing some colonial stop (thinner molding meant to be added to the bottom face section of the baseboard). The colonial stop, since it’s thinner and smaller than the baseboard, is more easily bendable. We used this trick in the craft room across the hall and it covered the gaps seamlessly. AND added some extra interest to our baseboards. But we may just live with a gap between our baseboard and floorboards. But as always, we will keep you posted if we decide to add extra trim. But until then, we’re enjoying our freshly trimmed out room.
Pssst…Enough trimming around for us for a while. We’ve got a trim staining post coming up for ya. But enough about us, what have you guys been working on lately? Any room renovations? Or little makeovers? And happy (almost) weekend everyone!
The board and batten is up people…I repeat…the board and batten is up in the entry. After a couple of hours worth of installation thanks to the
boy toy husband, we officially have a board and batten-ed up entryway. And I’m not gonna lie, it kind of feels like jail in there…not that I would know what the clink feels like. I feel like I should be taking a coffee cup and clanging it up and down the wood trim while harassing the guards for smokes.
After Colby installed all the trim pieces I started getting the “oh-my-gosh-did-I-make-the-right-decision” sweats (not to be confused with the meat sweats). And ironically enough, later read a post from one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love, called The Middle Makes No Sense. This was one of those moments…you know…in the middle of a project and you fear
for your life you made a bad design choice. I’m totally fearful about the entry right now but I’m hanging in there until after we paint up the space before I make my final judgement. But alas, let’s get to the installation how-to portion of the program.
The first step was removing the trim pieces above the doors. We loved the crown in our inspiration pic for the board and batten that we wanted a crown-like trim piece going all around the small entry. We could have just installed the pine in the missing crown spaces but that would be what I affectionately refer to as “half-assing-it”. So down came the trim.
All it took was a razor blade along the seam (where trim meets ceiling) to break the paint seal, and then a nice little pull/tug with Mr. Crowbar to take them down.
With the old trim pieces removed, Colby measured all the spaces in need of crown-like trim and then disappeared to the depths of the man cave to cut the 3″ pine to the right lengths. Then reappeared, man card in tow despite using my pink hammer, to nail in the trim pieces. Hot tip…when you pound in a trim piece and wedge it into place, use a piece of scrap wood placed over your trim and pound on the scraps instead of your trim. You’ll keep from damaging/denting your trim that way.
With all the crown like trim installed the next step was installing the board and batten. We knew we wanted the boards spaced about 8″ apart, which is pretty standard. But to keep spaces even, and from having five 8″ spaces and one 3″ space, we calculated out our exact spacing, which ended up being 7.48″. And then came more measuring and marking batten installation locations.
Colby marked out everything, labeled the wall and labeled each piece of batten just to be sure each piece got cut and installed correctly. We have one serious unsquare, unlevel house and the entry was no different. Each piece of batten Colby cut was just a little different in length.
And speaking of the batten…we chose to use wood trim from the lumber yard called lattice. It was 1/4″ x 1-1/8″ lattice that cost a little over a quarter a foot. Cheap! Traditional board and batten uses thicker pine, usually 3/4″ thick. But in such a small space we opted to use a lower profile wood so it wouldn’t overtake the room.
With all of the lattice cut to size and location coded, the installation part was easy. All it took was dabbing on some construction adhesive, like Liquid Nails, to the back of the lattice.
Then lining it up and gluing the pieces to the wall.
#penbehindearishot #almostashotasplaidflannel And then Colby tacked the trim pieces using a nailer. We used a Paslode finish nailer but a simple hammer and nails would work just fine.
The glue/nail combo is important for this kind of project since there aren’t enough studs to secure all of the lattice to. Using both the glue and nails ensures that the wood will lay flat on the wall for a tight, seamless fit.
But we’ll still have to caulk all the seams to make sure everything is seamless before painting it all white. There’s gonna be some serious caulk flying around this jail cell! Sorry…did I go to far?! I retract that last statement.
With the first couple steps of our entry makeover (take two) checked off the list, here is what the rest of our “operation entryway” project looks like:
Paint over the mint entry with white paint, the same as the trim, Valspar’s Betsy’s Linen Install new crown-like trim pieces and lattice for a board and batten effect
- Punch and fill all the nail holes and caulk all the trim
- Prime and paint the trim glossy white
- Build a shoe-put-er-on-er bench…bonus points for rustic awesomeness
- Stain and poly said rustic awesomeness bench
- Build a coat rack/shelf combo to hang on the wall
- Paint the shelf a navy-ish blue
- Hang the shelf
- Assemble a wet boot tray
- Hang some art
- Fluff the space with accessories and organizational solutions
Two down and ten more to go. Next up…caulking and wood filler time.
Pssst…So it’s been pseudo snowing here in Maine the last 24 hours which has me itching for Christmas to come. We may need to interrupt entry progress for a few Christmas related posts. I see Christmas crafts in the near future! What have you guys been crafting up lately?
Next up on the master bedroom renovation…more affectionately known as the renovation that never ends (not to be confused with the song that never ends)…the window trim. Colby cruised through the window trim installation and finishing like a mob car chased by the cops. Before I could snap a solitary picture, the window trim installation process looked kind of like this.
So we’re skipping the “how to install window trim” obligatory post in lieu of a little oohing and ahing over the new trim. I swear I’ll do a how to post when we tackle it in our guest bedroom reno. By the time we get to that our nuptials should be over leaving beaucoup time on our hands for shooting the pics and writing up the details. But anyway……..ooooooohhhhh.
When installing the trim, Colby used basic pine boards that he trimmed down to size. He did add a little old world style, architectural interest near the top of the trim where he added this little bump out.
Here’s a closeup of the bump out (which I’m sure has a much more appropriate name).
It reminds me so much of the late 1800s trim that we had in our old, Victorian style apartment. It added just that extra little touch of character in an otherwise cookie cutter trim situation. Next up…staining.
Cue up the ooohs and ahhhs. We’ve used the dark walnut stain in the bedroom, otherwise known as the craft room, across the hall. And our master plan (cackle cackle….evil fingers) in this second floor remodel we’re amidst is to continue the dark walnut stain in the trim throughout the whole floor. We opted to paint each room different and style it different, like including the bead board in this room, but bring cohesiveness to the small second floor with the dark trim.
I’m really loving the dark trim, gray/green paint, and white bead board combo. I’m totally feeling it. And it’s just making me extra anxious to finish up all the other projects in this room so we can finally move back into the space.
If you crop out the floor, the room is starting to look really finished.
The floor is almost….almost cropped out in the pic below. Just squint a little bit, or place your hand over the floor. Yup…that works. No more severely scratched and damaged old red, painted floor boards.
And while Colby was busy installing window trim, he also uninstalled the old solid wood door, ripped out the old trim, installed new trim, cut a new door down to size shaving the bottom and the top, and installed the door. No big deal. Just another quick little project tackled by the Colbster. Seriously…this would take me about five months to do…once I got over my fear of saws of course…not twenty minutes like it did him.
Now we just need to stain it like the trim and door for the craft room turned temporary bedroom situation across the hall.
So what are the upcoming projects for the master bedroom you ask? Glad you asked. Let’s fill you in. I think it’s an appropriate time to make a list. Who am I kidding, it’s always an appropriate time for a list!
- Stain and poly the door and door trim
- Prime and paint the floor a glossy white color (very cottage style)
- Install and stain baseboards and basecap
- Start moving into the room
- Build wall to wall shelving for a closet (I still need to convince Colby this is a good idea…I’m not sure he’s sold…but he’s a guy…guys don’t always understand closets like girls do)
- Make curtains for the closet out of painter’s drop cloths
- Install blinds or curtains or both…oh my
- Oh…and how could I almost forget…a light fixture
There are about a gazillion and a half (sometimes a girl needs a half) projects for this room but I’m trying to pace myself and go with the flow a little bit. When it comes to room design, I like the noodling approach. Make a few minor changes/additions here….see what happens. But the next episode…nah nah nah nah nah…floor painting.
Pssst…Catch up on all the master bedroom renovations starting when we cleaned out the room (note the nasty before shots), absolutely demolished it, came up with a plan mood board style, sheet rocked, mudded and sanded, primed, painted, and installed bead board. Whew…alot of heavy stuff!