Friday, January 31, 2014

Step 2: Wall Prep

This room was showing its age.  Both sides of the doors had Peter Rabbit wallpaper glued to it.  The boys' bathroom renovation from a few years back left the adjacent rooms full of nail pops.  Also a window installation left us with some damaged drywall.

First up, removing the wallpaper border from the door.  Rabbits belong in Easter baskets, not on doors.  I have no idea why I didn't do that sooner.  During breakfast I walked through the kitchen with an orbital sander in my hands while my family looked at me like I had lost my mind.  20 minutes later the rabbit was gone.  Not even enough time to take a picture of it.

Next up - give the walls some attention.  The wainscoting install method I'm going to use is to use the existing drywall as the back panel and build the wood stiles and rails off of the drywall.  It needs to be in really good shape (especially since it will be painted using an unforgiving semi-gloss paint).

To fix the nail pops I pushed the nails back in using a hammer and a nail set.  Then I drilled a drywall screw just below it so that the head of the screw would very slightly overlap the nail head and hold it in place, while still being countersunk so I could fill the divot with spackle.

I like the DAP spackle that goes on pink and dries white.  Otherwise I get impatient and try to sand too soon.  If you sand too soon you may as well start over.

Some spots around the window weren't salvageable but the bottom trim is coming off anyway to be replaced with the wainscot rail so I'm not fixing that just yet.

This part of the process is definitely not fun.  It looks worse and is a total mess but is so important to having a quality finished product.  The next boring thing I need to do in this process is the replace the baseboard heater.   It is almost 50 years old and it shows.  Like George Clooney I can't handle old.  Time for a facelift.  Because the wainscot will be built right on top of it if we're going to replace it, now's the time.

Scope creep.

Built-In Demo

It has to get worse before it gets better right?  Built-in demo time.

The morning before I started I was rushing around, collecting my oldest son's hockey gear ready for practice.  When he noticed it was me taking him and not the baby daddy he stated "I don't want Mommy to take me because she won't be able to get my helmet on because boys are stronger than girls."

What the what the?!

Yes I may sometimes be mistaken for a 14 year old...and yeah I'm barely 5' tall and maybe I haven't yet tipped into the triple digits in my weight class but I would like to think that I'm a pretty capable person.  If I physically can do it I will.  I won't even buy gas in NJ because it makes me uncomfortable to have someone pump gas for me.  Big on my child rearing bucket list is to raise boys who fully understand and respect equality.  Rant over.  And that folks is how I decided that I decided to make this room mom's project.

The biggest change to the room would be to knock out the middle 2 units of the built-in shelves.   This would make room for the bed. Flash back to the before:

I drew a straight line using a T-squre and then using a Dremel I slowly cut out the middle and base shelves, careful not to damage the shelves I was keeping.

These will be sanded smooth, patched and painted.  Hopefully it will look like they were never there.  I wasn't concerned about damaging the floors because 1) they couldn't look any worse and 2) we're shopping around for wall to wall carpet.

...and I just realized that the shoes I wore on my wedding day are in the top right hand side of this picture a few shelves up from the spackle.  Clearly I don't take care of my things like I should (or I just take way too good of care of my spackle).  

Happy accident: The missing shelves also make a nice jump for the boys' cars.  Obviously.

Next up for the shelves:

  1. Install sconces (mama doesn't do electrical so the husband will take this one)
  2. Add filler and crown at the top of the shelves.
  3. Add Baseboard
  4. Some kind of woodwork in the center
  5. Patch & Paint
I've never done woodwork and things like measurements and fractions throw me so this could be very, very bad.  I'm envisioning colorful language. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cool Cat

Brady is a cool cat.  In my next life I want just half of the self-confidence that kid has.  He can sport a pair of sunglasses indoors with a pink watch and somehow pull it off.  His room had to be cool.

Remember how I said I had crossed off wainscoting of my DIY bucket list and I never needed to do it again?  Well apparently woodworking is like childbirth.  You're so happy with the end result you forget all about it and do it again.  So here we go...

For Brady's room here's what I'm thinking.  White board and batten wainscoting 2/3 of the way up the wall with navy paint above.  Maybe capped with a ledge to hold pictures around the room.
This is the general idea with the shelves:
Source Unknown
Orange accents against the navy walls.
I'm currently debating whether to hang the sconces off the bookshelves or straight off the walls.  

Elle Decor
Here. We. Go. Again.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Domino Effect

When my middle child saw me working on the baby's room he asked me to work on his room next.  Since his 4th birthday is coming up I figured it was a good time (and let's be honest I'm always looking for an excuse to redo a room).

This was the room when we moved in.    Blue paint, wall paper border on the walls and doors and a row of built-in's.

When we moved in we didn't do anything other than paint it using leftover paint from the living room.   

His room is the smallest of the bedrooms and and further emphasizing the small size is a wall of shelving.  The shelving made the already small room very narrow and tough to arrange furniture.

Think, think, think...  Lightbulb!  The middle 2 shelves are the exact width of a full sized bed.  If I removed those and slid a bed in there I'd gain some real estate and give the room more of a square look.

Here we go!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Baby boy's room will continue to be a work in progress but I'm calling it good enough for now.  There is still a lot of blank wall space and we're still trying to figure out the carpet situation but it is an improvement over what was there.

I started by repainting all the baseboards, doors and trim work and swapping out the brass doorknobs for brushed nickel to match the rest of the house.  Then I painted the walls Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter.  

I added 2 new nightstands from Overstock.  The $140 price was way better than the identical $300 Pottery Barn version.  The lamp is from Ikea.  I've never bought an Ikea lamp but I was really impressed with the weight and quality for the $29.99 price tag.

I framed a screen print of the USA from Orka Posters using an Ikea frame.  

I used the cut out scrap from the mat to make the chalkboard football play art.

Added the faux metallic letters I made here.

I used the reward points from buying the nightstands to buy the navy map canvas below.  It gets a little lost on the wall so I may end up framing it to give it some weight.

New bedding.  Ikea gingham checked Euro shams ($1.50!), quilt, standard shams and gray and white checked duvet cover from Pottery Barn.  Spiderman sheets are hidden under all that :)

Still need to figure out this wall but will wait until the crib is gone to see what I'm working with.

Last but not least I moved the rolling storage crate to this room to store books.  Tutorial here.

So that's it (for now)!  Next up, figure out the carpet situation.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

DIY Chalkboard Art

This one goes down in my 'free art' category.  Using an old Ikea Ribba frames, the wasted cut-out from a mat from another project and some leftover chalkboard paint I created some free art for the boy's room.

Side bar.  I bought a graphic screen print of the USA from Orka Posters (I'll show you that later) and framed it using an Ikea frame.  I love Ikea frames but their openings are odd.  Not only are my incredibly talented parents responsible for most of the art in my house but they also cut their own custom mats.  Convenient right?  Dad cut a white mat for the poster and my $20 poster now looked fancy and custom.  I was about to toss the scrap cut out when a lightbulb appeared.

I painted it with chalkboard paint I had on hand and then sketched a football play with plain, white chalk.  Into a gray frame it went and I had myself instant and free art.

Just don't tell the O team that they don't have enough men on the field.

Monday, January 6, 2014

DIY Upholstered Headboard

Baby boy isn't interested in leaving baby jail his crib just yet which is fine with us but I'm getting his big boy ready for him for when he is.  

The goal = upholstered headboard that attaches to the existing frame.  I've made upholstered headboards in the past that hang on the wall but I don't love that installation method because when leaning up against the wall to read to them at night the bed frame pushes away from the wall.  The Internet is full of tutorials on upholstered headboards but not a lot on versions with legs that attach to the frame so I'll show you how I did it. 

- x2 2x4's
- Stain
- Wood conditioner
- Poly protective coat.
- Plywood or MDF (or really any flat piece of wood...I've used an existing headboard and a door for  past projects and they worked out fine).
- Fabric (I chose a solid navy duck cloth)
- Batting
- Foam or egg crate (I used Nu Foam - a mat of polyester fill, a urethane free substitute for regular green upholstery foam.  Either will work)

Step 1: Stain the bottom portion of the legs that will be visible.  Apply the conditioner (to ensure an even finish) and wait 15 minutes for it to soak in.  If I didn't already have any on hand I probably would have skipped this step.  Apply as many coats of stain as you need to get the color you desire.  I only did one coat.  It is for under a bed, let's not get crazy.  I sealed with with a coat of SafeCoat Poly.

Step 2: After the legs dry you'll need to attach them to your plywood or MDF.  This part was a little confusing to me because I wanted to ensure the bottom raw edge of the plywood was covered but also wanted to wrap the entire unstained portion of the 2x4's with fabric.  First I laid down a clean sheet to protect the fabric.  Then I laid the fabric down flat and the plywood/MDF on top of that.  I folded the bottom portion of the fabric up over the MDF/Plywood.  Then I laid the legs on top of the fabric.  I measured the distance I'd need the 2x4's to be by measuring the bed frame width.  The 2x4's were then placed and attached using screws big enough to grab both the 2x4 but not so big that it would come through the other side.

Step 3: Now that the legs are attached and the bottom raw edge of the plywood/MDF is covered it is time to upholster.  

  • Leaving the fabric on the floor flip the plywood/MDF part of the bed back over so they're separate. 
  • Lay the batting down on the fabric, then lay the foam/fill over the batting.  
  • Flip the plywood/MDF back over so that it is laying on top of the batting and foam.  
  • Pulling as tight as you can staple the foam and batting to the back of the bed.  
  • Once that is all secured pull the fabric over the foam and batting and staple that to the back.  I made sure that the fabric covered the 2x4's entirely so that nothing was exposed at a side angle.  
Following these directions I was able to ensure the 2x4's were completely covered from side angles.

This shot shows the legs that the frame will attach to.  It isn't yet attached because we're currently shopping for wall to wall carpet and would have to detach it in a few weeks anyway but it'll attach with some screws.

And let's hear it for the $1.50 shams I found at Ikea!

That's it!  I may add some bronze nail heads but I'm worried about my ability to install them straight.  What do you think?  Nail heads or leave well enough alone?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Anthropologie Hack - DIY Zinc Letters

I'm still working on the wall art in the baby boy's room transformation.  He's currently learning his letters and loves pointing out the letters in his name which gave me the idea to use his name in the art.  I love the zinc letters at Antropologie but the $18/letter price tag is a bit silly.  His name is short at 4 letters but $72 is too rich for my blood.

I picked up the 4 letters from Hobby Lobby and a bottle of black craft paint and silver metallic craft paint.  I didn't totally know what I was doing but @ $12 it was worth the risk of it bombing.

Step 1: Paint the fronts and sides of the letters black.

Step 2: After the black paint dries (I waited a half hour) paint over the black with a thin coat of silver metallic paint. While the paint is still wet dab the letters with a cloth to remove paint in some sections and let the black show through.  This gives it the galvanized look.  Work in small sections so that you can wipe it off before it dries.

I think the whole process took me a half hour max.  I'm pretty happy with how they turned out!  I'll mount them with 3M velcro strips once the paint dries completely.

$12 beats $72 any day (I'm an accountant in real life so I can do fancy math like that) and because they're cardboard they're much easier to hang than the real thing!