Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Timber and chrome console table

I have had a few different ideas floating around in my head for a console table for a while now.  I never could seem to settle on one plan though.  Then one day my mom and dad were cleaning out their shop and came across a piece of old barnwood.  Rather than burn it they decided to check if I wanted it first.  YES PLEASE!

It was the perfect dimensions to become the top of my console table.

So I got to work.

Here is the barnwood in all its natural beauty.  I wanted to keep the general rustic appeal of this piece so all I did was give it a light sanding with 60 grit 3M (the best) sandpaper so the sharp edges would be smoothed out to ensure no one risked a sliver or ripped clothes.  I didn't even square off the edges.  I like that the one end was cut at a slight angle.

Then I wiped it down with Minwax Pre-stain Wood Conditioner and stained it with Minwax Jacobean stain.  

And finished it with 3 coats of polyurethane.

Next came the metal base.  Although learning to weld is on my bucket list of things to do, and my father even has a welder in the deep recesses of his storage shed,  I wasn't confident that I would be able to get the corners matching and the seams, well seamless, on my first attempt.  So off to the local welding shop I headed to get a quote on two metal bases, 35" in height, and 10" in depth, using 2" wide heavy metal.  After a quick calculation in his head he decided he could keep the total under $100.  After I committed, he asked how soon I would need them.  I desperately wanted to say immediately, however, my honesty had me replying that it was just a project for my home so there was no real rush.  2 hours later I received a call that my table legs were ready!!!  He ended up being held up waiting for material on a big project and it was the perfect little filler job.  The price was bang on $100.  Not the least expensive legs in the world but many of the other options I was pondering in my head would have came to at least that.  And each base was perfectly matching, and the seams were smooth!!!

I sanded the bases with 120 grit sandpaper and then primed them with Zinsser Bulls Eye primer.  I painted it on but I would recommend using spray primer.  I just didn't feel like forking out more money and I already had this primer at home.  So I carefully sanded between each coat of primer 3x.

I screwed the bases to the studs in my workshop so that I could work all sides without having to wait for the paint to dry.

 One thing I learned while researching how to get a realistic chrome look was that a glossy black undercoat enhances the reflective qualities of the chrome paint.  So three coats of Rustoleum's gloss black were sprayed on.

I picked up two cans of Dupli-color's Chrome spray paint from Napa Auto Parts.  It seemed to be the best chrome paint under ten dollars a can.

I sprayed three light coats and the last coat I applied a little heavier to get a smooth finish.  Then you MUST walk away for five days.  Touching this paint within the five days will tarnish the chrome.  It has to be fully cured before it is handled.  Trust me.  Also, you cannot apply a clear coat.  It will ruin all the reflective qualities of the paint and leave you with a flat grey.  I tried it on another piece of metal.  Just to be sure.  It's true.

Then I attached my bases to the barnboard plank.  I used a framers square to make sure It was square to the edges and not to the uneven ends.

Check out that gorgeous texture! 

A few days after I had the table completed, my Mom informed me that she remembered the origins of the barnboard and why they had it in their shop.  It came from the McMillan homestead where my grandfather (who passed away in a tragic accident when my mom was 4) grew up.  I loved the table before, but now it has a special story to go with it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

X one off the Winter List!!!

When its just me and the kids at home it is wonderful having my craft room so close to the kids play room.  Occasionally it is just far to convenient for little fingers having scissors, buttons, thread, fabric, and pins so close at hand.  Especially little visitors who don't know the boundaries as good as my own children do. 
There are also a few times when my creative mess is left out as I haven't completed my project (like every day). 

Back in September I found a solution to this problem but when I presented it to my man his response was, "yah, that would probably be a good one for the winter project list."  In other words, looks good but I'm not interested in helping you with any more of your little projects for quite a while. 

Not being daunted by his less than enthusiastic response I started gathering the wood for this project.  All the rustic, weather worn boards came from my neighbours burn pile.  I dragged all the pieces out of his hazardous pile of garbage into our garage to dry.  Then slowly over time I sanded down every side of each piece collected with 60 grit sandpaper and my handy rigid palm sander.  I think my man finally got the idea that I was moving forward on this project whether I had his help or not. 

The opening for my craft room is 6ft wide by 8 ft high.  We opted to break it into two 3ft doors.  Using 3/4 inch plywood left over from one of his job sites we created 2 doors to use as backing since the wood I had collected was weak and not perfectly straight.  We (as in him) also cut four 4 inch pieces of the 3/4 inch plywood to use as filler pieces on each side as we did not have quite enough rustic wood.

We layed out the rustic wood and nailed it to the plywood.

Yup, some pieces were not even long enough but with the style of door I chose it would be covered up anyway.

Next up was the top and bottom panel cut the same width of the door to cover up all those gaps.

And the side pieces to cover up our plywood filler pieces.

The center cross bar and the 'x'.

We layed the wood out and used a framers square to figure out the angle needed to form our 'x'.

And two completed doors ready for finishing.

I used two coats of minwax dark walnut followed by two coats of polyurethance for the rustic wood.  The plywood I painted with Behr's Bitter Chocolate paint and primer in one.

My man picked up the barn door hardware from our local farm and ranch store 'Peavey Mart' for $130.  Each supporting bracket is screwed into a stud.  Very important as these doors are very heavy.

We attached the rollers to the backside of our doors but they can be attached to either side depending on the look you want.

Then slid the doors onto the rails.

And when I actually have my craft room clean they are great decoration for this long wall.


And a close up of how the Bitter Chocolate matches with the Dark Walnut.

And the backside of the doors just in case for some reason you wanted to close yourself into my tiny craft room.  I myself never plan to see this side of the doors.

And a close up of the rollers on the rail.

Once more, OPEN.


So, that's one project crossed of the winter list.  I wonder how many other projects I can talk him into before the first day of winter.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Creating Winter Planters

You may remember that I was extremely late in getting my planters going this summer.

Since the potatoe vine died with the first frost in September I was forced to update the planters for the fall season.  A simple combination of pumpkins and guards around the still healthy ornamental grass had us ready for Halloween.  Then shortly after halloween (like the next day) the pumpkins froze. 

Time to winterize the planters.

The ornamental grasses, although dead, were still standing up and I just couldn't seem to give them the old heave hoe so I decided to include them in my winter planters.  They would act as a good filler but just needed a little more color to them.  A light dusting with Krylon's Cherry Red spray paint still left them with their variegated color but added a bit of cheer.

After they had dried the pots were then taken back to their culvert stands where I filled them in with cedar, spruce and fir boughs collected by my mother at out family cabin.  Thanks Mom.

The green and red are a perfect combination on their own so I simply added a few neutrals that I found around the house for contrast.  I cut a piece of burlap (the very loose kind that you wrap your trees in for the winter) in half and tied it around each culvert.  Then I found the wooden flowers and balls in my storage room.  Rather than just set them in amongst the greenery and have them blow away with the first wind, I hot glued them to a piece of wire and stuck them in the dirt.

Using different types of greenery gave me some great, simple, tone on tone texture.

Once the ground is blanketed with snow they will really stand out.   Natural and free.  You can't beat that.

Update: The culvert planters came from my friend but they can be purchased in various sizes from any farm and ranch store.  UFA, and Country Living are a few options in my area that carry them.

Linking To: Simply Creation, Frugalicious Friday, Remodelaholic's Anonymous, Flaunt it Friday, Show and Share, Tickled Pink, Free For All Fridays

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Faux Brick Wall Tutorial

I really did not mean to keep everyone in suspense after I revealed in yesterday's post the faux brick wall I created in my craft room.  I simply wanted to link up with the Pinterest challenge and did not have the time to add the whole tutorial due to other commitments.  SORRY!

Without further ado, here are the details on how to create your own 'brick' wall.

I picked up from Home Depot a roll of this SuperFresco Paintable Wallpaper.  There are various textures to choose from.  The one I chose just has a simple line texture.  The wallpaper cost $21.95 and there are no other wallpaper supplies needed for this project.  No fancy prepping adhesive, no special tray, and no trowel.

Then I cut up the wallpaper into 'bricks' using my Olfa fabric cutting system.  The size I chose for my brick was simply just for practicality reasons so you can make the 'brick' whatever works for you. 

 I chose 6" by 2 1/4" simply because my ruler was 6" wide and 2 1/4" left very little waste.

Then right over top of my previous stencil I drew out my grid lines for laying my 'brick'.  I decided to have 1/4" 'grout' lines so that meant adding 1/4" to each dimension.  My lines were drawn for 6 1/4" and 2 1/2" rectangles.

To wet my bricks I simply used a plastic container big enough to fit the 'brick' in, filled with water.

Then simply dip the 'brick'.


And stick it to the wall in the upper right corner of your lines.

The best part about this is that you can rework, and fudge the placement as you go along because the strips do not dry immediately.  Just make sure to press down the whole 'brick' to get a good bond.  Especially the edges.  I just used my finger for this.

To get a perfect fit at the edge just simply dry fit the 'brick' in place and crease it with your finger.

Then simply cut off the excess. 

Here is a picture of something I never counted on.  I quite liked the look of the 'brick' with dark 'grout' lines. 

However, upon close inspection you can see light and dark spots from my stencil.  If you like this look, simply paint the wall in the desired 'grout' color before adding your 'bricks'.  Then I think I would finish it it a glossy clear coat just to make all the texture stand out.

Anyhow, since I wasn't about to remove all the bricks, paint, and reapply I carried on with my original idea.  I wanted some of the dark wall to show through to make it more of an aged 'brick' look.  I simply took my paint (Benjamin Moore's Timid White in a gloss finish), and dry brushed the entire wall.  Simply dip the brush,

Wipe off the paint lightly,

And starting in the middle of the 'brick', lightly paint over the bricks.  Because the bricks have some depth to them not as much paint falls into the 'grout' lines.

The completed wall.

And a close up of the texture.

I did up a quick sample board for those who want the pure clean 'bricks' just to show that this works as well.  I think the trick for this look is to make sure to use a glossy paint so that all that beautiful texture shines.

And here is my new light and bright space now that I painted the remaining walls with the same Benjamin Moore color Timid White.

And a quick BEFORE.


So tell me.  Which of the three 'brick' looks would you choose?  Dark grout, aged brick, or clean white?