Thursday, May 28, 2015

A deck with a plan.....

Hi y'all!  Summer is almost here and we are in the middle of a makeover on our back porch/deck.  We had big plans back in the fall to work on it but....well life happened and the plans didn't.   
I want to share some before pictures and our plan.  The picture below shows the view from our back door.  The deck railing when our home was purchased was lattice.  Several years ago we removed the lattice and put up narrow fence pickets instead (that is what you see here).  We are going to remove all of that and build a proper railing around the whole deck.  The deck itself will be getting a good cleaning and a fresh coat(s) of gray stain that matches the window trim on our home.  The porch ceiling, posts and  new railings will be painted white.    

We have 2 sets of stairs off of our deck, a wide set to the backyard and a narrow set that leads to our side yard.  The narrow steps are where that small gate is.  We plan to remove the narrow set of steps which will give us more usable seating space on that end of the deck.  Right now the table is in the center of the deck.   The plan is to create a lounging area on one end and an entertaining/dining area on the other end.  (I just recently scored a patio set at a yard sale!  WOO HOO!!)  I like the table that we have and we got a great bargain on it from Target a couple summers back, however I have a plan for it elsewhere in our backyard.  So, I would like to build a table that will seat more people too.

These two chairs actually came with the table set as well.  They bounce. :-)  I'm using this space as a conversation area at the moment.  The big hole in the railing behind the chair on the left is an opening for a slide.  The slide and the opening will be going away when we build the new railings. 

Here you can see our backdoor.  I am hoping my husband will install a light fixture just to the right of it.  Some patio string lights are a must as well.  This will be so great at night because right now, the only lighting we have lights up the backyard and not the deck.  

To the right here, you can see the wide set of steps that leads to the back yard.  When the sun comes up in the morning, it shines very bright in that opening.  Adding some outdoor curtains should help that.  Curtains will soften up the space too.  (Plus, I just need want some flow-y outdoor curtains) 

Here is the view of our deck from our backyard.  

The structure is in very good shape.  We hope that our improvements will extend the life of it further as well as make it as function for our family as possible.  The table always seems to get piled with stuff and the porch is just a walkway to the yard most days.  When we are finished we want the space to be an extension of our home.

**Below is a patio love seat and two chairs which I scored from a yard sale down the street for $40!!  I am going to spray paint the frames and replace the cushions and it will be as good as new!**

Feel free to follow along with my Back Porch inspiration board on Pinterest.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The story of a wardrobe: Part 2

Hi friends!  I'm back today with Part 2 of our wardrobe story.  Last week, I shared Part 1 with you.  Here is how we left her.  I think she is going to be a real beauty!!

I had painted the whole base piece and the drawers, inside and out.  However after looking at the drawers in place, I felt like they needed a little something extra.   I decided to paint the inset trim white.  

I was not looking forward to the loads of time it was going to take taping those drawers off!  Ten drawers with four corners on each drawer equals 40 corners to go around with tape!  YIKES!!!  Then..........
Aha moment!  I remembered that a while back I had snagged several packages of Scotch Painter's Tape for Hinges on clearance (you know, just in case) at my local True Value store.  Hopefully these 'stickers' were going to cut my taping time in half!

I cut each sheet in half as straight and square as I could then I taped one half of one hinge 'sticker' in each corner.  Each "hinge sticker" sheet covered four corners.  All that was left was straight runs with my Scotch Blue Painter's Tape!

This is where my story grows dim......

You see, I had just brought home a new can of paint from my local Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Stockist, The Weathered Cottage and was in the process of shaking the can upside down (as is my common practice) and the can slipped out of my hands, landed on my kitchen floor and proceeded to POP OPEN!!


There was white paint splattered everywhere!!  In fact, I wish I knew more about physics because there was paint found in places weeks later that didn't make sense as to how it traveled and landed there.  I was completely speechless.....almost all of my freshly painted drawers had white paint on them in places that I did not intend for white paint to be (as did many other spots in my kitchen).  I am so thankful that my lovely mom was standing in the kitchen with me when I did this.  All we could do was look at each other and laugh hysterically.......after a good tearful laugh, we started cleaning it up.  I tell you what though, this spillage experience has made me a forever fan of Annie Sloan chalk paint.  It wiped up with water so well.  I kept saying "I'm so glad this isn't latex paint! I'm so glad this isn't latex paint!".  The drawers wiped up well.  They needed a little sanding where the splatters landed and some touch up paint but all was good as new and we moved on.

Up next were the doors and the trim for the doors.

More taping followed....

When I removed the tape there was quite a bit of touch up to do.  Here's a photo of 3 doors waiting to be touched up, in my living room!  Yes, that is how I roll.  My poor family suffers through periods of having the living room (and kitchen) overrun by furniture pieces!  They must love me a whole lot! :-)

The next step was to join the two 'towers' so they would become one solid piece and would not sway.  To do this, we used a shelf that came with the cabinets and cut it into 2 pieces (by we, I mean my husband).  The smaller piece would face outward and the larger piece would face down.  I used my trusty Mini Kreg Jig to drill some pockets holes then we were ready to join 'em up!

I used my favorite Makita drill and Kreg screws like these to attach both pieces to the 'towers' on either side.

Here's a photo from the top side.

If you like to DIY furniture and have never used a pocket hole jig, I highly recommend purchasing one to add to your tool arsenal.  It joins pieces together very securely, plus it is super easy to use.

Next up on my to-do list was to add trim to the base piece.  This is the step that really made it look like one cohesive piece of furniture.  I added flat trim above where the doors go, shoe molding where the 'towers' meet the dresser, decorative trim along the front and crown molding at the top.

Here is how she looks with all the trim waiting for a final paint job. (I apologize for the cloudy appearance of the photos,  it was dark outside when I took these in-progress photos and before I owned a DSLR)

 Here is the dresser!  I am thrilled with how it turned out.  It was worth every minute it took to tape off those drawers.  The new hardware completely changes the look.  I purchased the cup pulls and drawer pulls from my local Home Depot.

There are still several things left to do:

  • Stencil and attach backing
  • Attach shelf brackets to the center section 
  • Install closet rods &
  • Attach doors
See y'all soon with the final reveal!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The story of a wardrobe: Part 1

A long while back, I shared that I got a dresser and hoped to turn it, plus two other pieces of furniture, into a wardrobe for our daughters' room.  The plan looked like this.
Our plan was to use this dresser and 2 identical cabinets that we found on craigslist.  Really, we only used the top of the cabinets.  The drawers we get to use for another project down the road.  The reason why we decided to use these cabinets instead of just building a top for the dresser is because the cabinets were built out of sturdy oak plywood and cost less than buying 2 sheets of pine plywood.  Plus we ended up getting another 6 drawer dresser for free with the cabinets.

I began by removing the wood pulls, the cabinet hardware and the trim on the front of the cabinets.  Below you can see the difference between the two cabinets after the doors, hardware and trim were removed.  {Tip} If you are planning on reusing hardware, take a photo before removal to refer to when you are ready to reuse it.

The trim was held onto the front of the cabinets with glue and wood dowels.  My husband took a hack saw blade and cut off the dowels that were stuck in the cabinet so they would be flush with the edge.

Next up it was time to cut the top off of each cabinet.  We needed some way of guiding our circular saw along the side of the cabinet, so my husband screwed up a scrap piece of wood for the saw to slide along to make sure we got the straightest cut possible.  We also used ScotchBlue Painters Tape on the cut line to help ensure a smooth cut without chipping or splintering the wood.

We were left with 2 cabinet tops and 2 drawer bottoms.

Now it was time to get painting and then on to reassembling.  I had been seeing chalk paint used for furniture all over the place and could not wait to get my hands on some and try it.  I read wonderful reviews about how chalk paint would stick to surfaces without having to sand the surface or use primer.  I decided to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White on the main part of the wardrobe, Provence on the doors and drawers and Scandinavian Pink (by special request) on the inside of the drawers.  After removing all of the drawer hardware, I sanded the drawer fronts to minimize the appearance of the old hardware lines.

Here are all the drawers after a couple of coats of Provence and the dresser after a couple of coats of Pure White.  I have to say that I loved using this paint!  It dries so quickly and you do not have to wait 4 hours between coats like you do with latex paint. (sometimes even longer depending on the sheen)

Of course I had to try out just one drawer to see how it would seemed to be shaping up nicely!

After most everything was painted, we began to assemble the wardrobe.  The tools we used were a Mini Kreg Jig Kit, Kreg Washer Head Pocket Screws, my favorite Makita Drill, wood dowels and a Quick Square

We used the Kreg Jig to make pocket holes along the edges of the cabinet tops so we could securely attach them to the dresser.  For a little extra insurance, we also drilled aligning holes into the dresser and the bottom of the cabinet tops to insert wood dowels.  The dowels really helped to make sure that the tops stayed square as we screwed them into the dresser.

Then we attached the cabinet tops to the dresser.

Before we went much further in the assembly process, we decided to move the piece out of our kitchen into the girls' room.  I wasn't real sure of how sturdy it would be and I didn't want to take a chance on it breaking or splitting.  Plus, the dresser itself was quite heavy, then we added more weight on top of it.  

And that is where I am going to leave y'all for now, looking at a strange, boring white piece of furniture with no drawers.  I promise, it gets better!!

Be sure to stay tuned for my "painting in the kitchen woes" story.   


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.