Painted Nursery Rocking Chair

I have had this rocking chair in my possession for years now and it’s been in my family for at least a hundred years.  I can still remember my Grandma rocking in it when I would come to visit. She used to tell me that it was her Mother’s before her. I honestly do not know how far it goes back.

But it has seen better days. Too many years in storage had taken its toll. With the new nursery nearing completion and the birth of our son right around the corner, we knew we wanted another rocker in his room. But lack of space was an issue.

I brought the rocker up to the room and we found that it would fit perfect. But it needed a good finishing before it would work. It was obviously worn and many of the parts were loose.

Rocking Chair Before

Since this was an upholstered rocking chair, I knew there were going to be a lot of staples holding the fabric in (like 200+). This left a lot of holes around the seat of the chair making a sand and stain option unavailable to us. So we decided to spray paint it.

After all of the staples were pulled (which took about 2 weeks) and drops of Gorilla glue were applied for strength, I sprayed the entire chair with a primer.

Rocking Chair Primed

After the primer dried, I took some wood putty and filled in all of the little staple holes that surrounded the entire chair.

Staple Holes

Once the wood putty was dry and sanded, I sprayed the chair with a gloss black Rustoleum enamel. The dry time of this paint is about 2 hours but if you are looking for a highly durable spray paint with a great clean finish, high highly recommend using it.

Rustoleum Enamel

Two coats of black paint and a lawn chair cushion and our rocking chair is new again!

Rocking Chair After
Before and After

Basement Entertainment Center

I had been holding off on this post for awhile because I felt the basement entertainment center wasn’t 100% done yet. But as I read other DIY blogs, I often see posts coming in mid-stream. If they can do it, why can’t I?

The basement center or “bar” was one of the first projects I started at this house. The cabinets I  purchased from a guy that I found on Craigslist and their acquisition has been quite the story to tell. Let’s just say it involves a remodeled home and an overly enthusiastic Russian couple with very little DIY experience.

After I got the cabinets home and unloaded, I set out to give them a good sanding. After all, they had many years of built up grease and dirt on them.

After a really really good sanding, I gave each cabinet a coat of primer and then black paint. I actually painted the entire cabinet inside and out. Looking back, I probably didn’t need to do quite an extensive job. Painting the inside of a cabinet that no one is ever going to see is a lot of unnecessary work.

Moving into a new home and having a limited budget, we decided to try and reuse the existing hardware as much as we could. The biggest issue with the hardware was that it was a worn brass. If you are an active reader of this blog, you will remember that we dont like brass! So off to the store we went in search of some paint to resolve this issue. We settled on Rust-oleum silver.

Once everything was dry, I brought it all down into the basement for assembly. Since this is a basement, I wanted to make sure the wood of the cabinets remained free from moisture so I spread out DRIcore subfloor panels beneath where the cabinets would touch the concrete. It did elevate the bar up about an inch but is not noticeable especially with the carpet coming right up to the cabinets.

I assembled the pieces, screwed them together and to the wall, then topped the entire thing off with a Formica countertop we purchased at Home Depot.

Some future plans for this space include putting an electrical outlet at bar height and another one directly behind the fridge space. Once that is done, we will put up a tile backsplash.

Teen Beauty Station

It seems like overnight our oldest daughter has gone from being unconcerned with her looks to spending all of her time going over hair tutorials and practicing new looks.  Her wish list now consists of curling irons, blow dryers, hair rollers, etc. I started to picture all of these items clogging the sink in her shared bathroom or scattered on the floor. I could imagine her sister banging on the door asking her to hurry up so she can use the bathroom. A solution needed to be found to prevent an internal war in our house! I then remembered back to my childhood when my sister would get ready in her room, a dresser full of the before mentioned items and I wondered if a similar solution could be found.

After a conversation with Ashley, it was agreed that Art Girl should have a space in her room to do her hair and to get ready for school. This of course got my creative juices flowing and I set out to design a “Beauty Station” for her.  Even better was the fact that I still had the bottom part of that old dresser that I used for the dresser to desk conversion a year or so back.

Below is the conceptual drawing and where this all started.

I started out by cutting off the top drawer of the two drawers that I had left. Some painters tape is key to making sure that you dont chip off any unnecessary wood when cutting.

I then topped it off with some 3/4″ mdf with a routed edge.

The back of the station is an old door that I picked up at second hand supply house for a few dollars. It got bolted to the dresser with 4 bolts and some Gorilla Glue.  At the very top of the door I put a shelf that I picked up at Goodwill and then topped it off with a scrap piece of wood. I felt like it gave it a very nice custom crown molding look.

The next step was to add a mirror to the door and put molding around it. The mirror I already had on hand and was one of the $10 dollars mirrors you can pickup at Wal-Mart. The trim I also had on hand. The sides pieces are chair rail from the kid’s rooms and the top and bottom pieces are window casings that I used on another project.

I wanted to add another small drawer to this piece to hold smaller items like bows, barrets, etc. Since I was trying to do this project for little or no money, I cut an old display case in half, built a box around it, threw on a knob and called it good. (you can see the smaller drawer in the finished pics below)

Now all the functional pieces were in place, the entire station just needed a few coats of paint. Luckily I had all of that on hand too. The pink for the molding is actually the same pink that is in the room for which this station will end up. I tried to antique it a bit using some glaze but it didn’t quite turn out like I wanted.

Here is the end result with paint.

So now that the station was complete, I still had the issue of no place to put hair dryers, curlers etc. That was the whole intent of this project in the first place. Many ideas had crossed my mind including PVC pipe (danger of melting), professions holders (too expensive) and silverware  holders (my choice). The silverware holders won and I managed to find some on the internet for only $2.00 apiece!

Now that I had the holders, I needed someplace to attach them. Lucky for me, I had an old wooden stool sitting around the shop that never really found a home.

I borrowed a hold saw from a friend and cut 4 holes into it.

In order to hide the silverware holders from view in the front of the stool, I cut an old drawer front to size and glued/nailed it into place.

Here is the finished holder with everything in place and glued down. I finished it off with a few coats of black enamel spray paint.

Now everything is done and ready to go into my daughter’s room for her styling enjoyment. 🙂

Distressed Dresser Project

I have been wanting to distress a piece of furniture for awhile now. We have several pieces in our home that we purchased already distressed but the process always intimidated me.  After getting this gorgeous dresser from Ashley’s folks I decided to give it a try. Oh, did I mention that this dresser actually belonged to Ashley’s Grandma? No pressure to not screw it up!

I wanted to get this project done rather quickly but I also wanted to make sure I did a good job. I started out by doing a real light sanding over the entire dresser. I followed this up with a coat of my favorite primer: Zinsser Water based

After the primer dried, I again went over the entire dresser with some 220 grit sandpaper. Not a huge sanding but enough to knock down any bumps and runs in the paint. After the priming process I covered the dresser in a black paint that I had lying around the garage. The point of these layers is to allow different colors to shine through at the end when I start to really sand it down and distress it.

After the black paint was dry, the real fun began. I was a bit nervous to begin the blue color because I didn’t know how it would go over the black. I could see me doing 4 coats before I finally got the color I wanted. I started out using a foam roller but quickly realized that it wasn’t getting the coverage I wanted. I wanted brush strokes that the glaze could adhere to and enhance. A foam roller’s finish is just too smooth for that look.

The paint I used for the blue is Behr Premium Plus in Interior Flat. I think it might easily be my favorite paint. It went over the black easily and with only two coats! I am currently working on another project using a different style of paint and after 3 coats, my black is still showing through!

After two coats of the blue, the real fun was to begin. This was also the moment of truth. I could easily screw up the last week’s worth of painting with a quick rub of my sanding block in the wrong spot! I ran upstairs to check out the other pieces of  distressed furniture we purchased and it looked like they just sanded randomly but in spots that would be susceptible to wear and tear.  So that is what I did too.

I began by sanding down edges and then did a few strategic spots on the top, front, and sides. After awhile, my nerves settled down and I really began to have fun with it. After the sanding was completed, I brushed the entire dresser down with some glaze I had left over from a Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation kit that I had. A quick wipe down with some cheese cloth to take off the extra glaze and I was done!

Ashley and I originally were going to replace all of the original hardware with new pieces but because of the varying hole pattern on each drawer and some custom “key” holes, we decided to just repaint the old hardware with some Rustoleum aged bronze spray paint.

After everything was painted and dry, we brought the dresser upstairs (with the help of a great neighbor) and staged it into the new nursery (which is also going to be a project post soon).

The finished product looks amazing, especially in the nursery, and I think I have found a new DIY love. Distressing furniture is fast, easy, and really hard to screw up which makes it perfect for me! I am not the best painter.

Here is a full visual recap of the process.

Project featured below!

I was featured on Remodelaholic

Cozy Couple Makeover

I told Ashley a few months back that if she ever came across a Cozy Couple at a garage sale, that she needed to buy it. After seeing all of the Cozy Couple makeovers on Pinterest, I knew that I wanted to do the same thing for our kids. Imagine my excitement when she calls me at work one day and says she found one!

Now that I had the Cozy Coupe, I needed a theme. I have seen Batman, lowrider, and custom colored Coupe’s but I wanted something different. Something original. Right now our little man is into Superman so I figured that would be a safe bet.

So “B” and I started the unassembly process.

We first took pictures of everything to make sure we knew how to put it back together when finished. I have found out with past projects, this is very important. In the day of digital cameras and cell phone cameras, this is very easy to do and well worth the extra time.
After disassembly, I began the painting process.  I used Krylon’s “Fusion for Plastic”.

This paint is specifically designed for painting plastic but I was not impressed. Even after waiting the “7-day” chip proof duration, my paint immediately began to flake off in spots. It says no sanding or priming required. I am not sure if it would have helped though.

Before I painted, I pulled off all of the stickers except for the dashboard. The headlights and taillights were going to be custom but the dashboard I wanted to keep original. So I did my best to cover it with painters tape and then prayed that when I was done and pulling the tape off, the sticker wouldnt come too.

The new headlights are made from reflective tape and the tail lights are from reflector signs. The taillights didnt fit the “opening” that the previous stickers occupied so I covered them with painters tape and used a hole saw to carefully reduce them in size.

After the 7 day “waiting” period, I put everything back together. “B” came down the next morning and was blow away. I know this because he rounded the corner in the living room and said “WHOA!” He spent the rest of the morning sitting in it, eating, watching TV, and driving around the house. Success!

Before and After

Finished product

Outdoor Projects Completed

We just got done with a pretty busy weekend and were finally able to cross a few things off of the old list. What a great feeling that is! Here is what we got done:

  • built a water barrel stand
  • put together the kids trampoline
  • built a cover for the concrete waste water culvert
  • built a raised garden
  • broke the guard off of the circular saw
  • mowed the lawn
  • weed and feed
  • cleaned out new nursery

OK, so not all of those things were good. I really miss having the safety guard on my saw for one. But one small mishap still doesn’t darken the projects we were able to accomplish. I don’t have a lot of ‘in progress” pics mostly because I was too busy trying to get everything done, but the end result pictures give a pretty good idea of what we did.

If anyone has any questions or comments, feel free to drop us a comment below and we can answer them the best we can. Thanks!

Ladder Shelf

Ashley has this old ladder that once belonged to her Grandmother. For awhile it sat in the corner of our room upright holding our stereo, books, and other decorations. When we moved into our new home, Ashley decided she wanted to hang it on the wall and use it as a book shelf.

A quick trip to Home Depot for some “L” brackets and a little bit of time finding some studs to screw into and we have a new book shelf!  I think it turned out great and Ashley loves it too!

New Deck

We finally finished the deck! To date this was the biggest project that we have tackled at our new home. It didn’t help that it was almost always 100 degrees or above everyday that we worked on it. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

Here is what the deck looked like when we first moved in.

The pictures are a bit deceiving and it makes it look like the deck wasnt in that bad of shape. But up close it was easy to see plenty of wood rot amongst pretty much all of the boards.  We were just going to replace the top boards but after we ripped them off, it was quite apparent that we needed to replace the supporting posts as well.

We decided to go with 5/4″ x 6″ pressure treated lumber instead of the 2″x6″ cedar that the deck currently was composed of. This was mainly a decision based on cost.

Although the deck wasn’t flimsy to begin with, we wanted to do a few things to make the deck even more secure. We accomplished this by adding some more braces between the joists (were only three braces originally). We added everything else you see in this picture.

We were also surprised to see that the original support posts were not really in concrete but rather set on the ground with a small 3 inch concrete “pad” poured around it. We ripped those out and put down Dek-Block‘s®  instead. Although not as secure as a poured concrete footing, we felt it would suffice for this deck.

 Once we had the new support posts installed everything else just sort of fell into place. We put down the new deck planks, installed new railings capped with solar lights, and built out new stairs. The project was a ton of work but the end result is amazing and everyone that see’s it thinks it looks amazing.

Outdoor Farmhouse Table

One thing Ashley and I said we really wanted on the new deck was a table. A table that was capable of having 8 people sit around it in comfort but that also looked cool and was function for the space when not in use. I also knew that I was going to have a lot of old cedar 2×6’s when I pulled the decking off. I really wanted to be able to resuse this so I set out on the internet to do some searching.

I stumbled upon ann-white.com and her modern take on the old farmhouse table.  As soon as I saw this table I knew it would be perfect for our needs and would look awesome with the old reclaimed wood that I had to use.

I proceeded to download the plans and modify them to my needs. I left most of the table as it was but did lengthen it to 84″. This was done to allow for three patio chairs on each side.

After some careful searching through my wood pile, I pulled out what I considered some of the better pieces to use. I was able to cut off any rot that I found and I also ripped down some of the boards to make the 2×4 skirts.

It was my initial intent to sand this down with some 40grit sandpaper, stain, and seal but everyone that has seen it (and Ashley) says it looks fantastic the way it is. I guess I will probably leave it as is.

New Thermostat

This isn’t much of a post but I wanted to get something up to show everyone that we are continuing to do work on the house.

This was a simple swap. Removed the old thermostat and installed a new energy efficient model that allows us to schedule temp changes throughout the day (even though we have yet to do that).

As you can see in the last picture, I need to repair the wall above the new thermostat to cover the spot where the old unit once was.

Old Thermostat
New Thermostat