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.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Evolution of the Girls' Room

Hi!  I wanted to share a little bit about the evolution of our girls' shared bedroom today and the reason I decided to DIY a wardrobe for their space.....

When my oldest (and back then only) daughter Paige (aka Jellybean) was three and transitioned to a "big girl" day bed, we gave her room a makeover.  A makeover which began with Mommy just trying to scrape a small part of the popcorn off the ceiling.  I'll never forget the day my husband came home and asked me what I was doing.  Well, we were off and running after that!  Scraping the ceiling led to crown molding which led to...well, you get the idea.  Jellybean's special request??  Rainbows.  After finding the perfect rainbowy bedding, we painted her walls, put up new window treatments and added cubbies & shelving for storage.  The space was "just right"!  

Shelves, shelves, shelves....
Here you can see that we utilized those shelves to their maximum potential.  Looking back, it amazes me how easily just one child filled up a bedroom!

Two years after redoing Jellybean's big girl room, we were blessed to find out we were expecting our second baby.  We had to figure out the best way to fit a crib, a changing table, and all the things that come with a new baby into this space.  It had been 5 years since we last had a baby in the house and one easily forgets how much schtuff they come with.  We had to make the best of what we had in our quaint, 1930's, 2 bedroom, 1 bath house.

I was thrilled to find out a baby girl was on the way!!  You see, our first time around, a gender neutral nursery was in order because we did not find out what were having until the day she was born.  (sorry I can't find any before pictures)  I was giddy excited to be able pick out girly crib bedding to match Paige's rainbowy room.  It was a challenge.  There just wasn't much to choose from in the way of bright color's for a baby's room but I eventually found a set that I L-O-V-E-D! It arrived about a month before #2 was born.  We re-worked the shelving around the room and added some new wall art then the room was "just right" again!

A little less than 2 years later baby Morgan (aka Gummy Bear) transitioned to a "big girl" bed (aka a twin size mattress on the floor).  Between their clothes, toys (for 2 completely different ages) and books their space seemed to be getting more chaotic day by day.

Keeping it real!

We needed a new bed to hold Morgan's "big girl" mattress and preferably another one that matched for Paige to sleep on.  The daybed just wasn't working for us anymore.  The trundle was convenient when we needed it, however it is very pinchy in the way of toddler fingers.  I had to come up with a plan to make 2 twin size beds fit and still leave enough play area for the girls (so my living room wouldn't be taken over by toys.) I had an idea to make their closet solely into toy storage and find some way of storing all their clothes in one large storage piece.  I started looking around at clothes storage options online.  I came across the Stuva system at Ikea.  I loved it, it was kid friendly and could hold hanging clothes and folded clothes.  However, I would need at least 3 of the combination shown below for what I had envisioned.  Together that would have cost over $600 and that was not in our budget.  
My wheels started spinning.  I began looking at different ideas all over the internet.  Then I came across this dresser and 2 identical cabinets on craigslist.  An ambitious idea to make there room "just right" again was born.

Just in a few short years, the girls' room has gone through so many changes in order to keep up with how they grow and change.  It is always a challenge to make sure their room is functioning well for them.  In fact it feels like our home is always going through changes in order to best suit our family. Reminds me of this Lowe's commercial.


Do you feel like your home is always changing and improving?

I do and I love every minute of it!  I can't wait to show you the outcome of the wardrobe project and then their beds which we built ourselves.

Have a blessed Wednesday friends!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Shed to a Schoolhouse Side No.2

Great news!!  Side No.2 of our Shed to Schoohouse makeover is finished and ready for caulk and paint.

In February last year, my husband and I began to reside our shed with the hopes of turning it into a "Schoolhouse" that we could use for homeschooling.  **squirrel trail......At the end of the 2013 Summer, we decided to put our daughter back in school.  She really missed her friends and her school!  She had an amazing '13-'14 school year and we couldn't be more proud of our book-aholic!! **  We have continued to make progress over the last year on this project.  It has certainly been a challenge, but we have learned so much along the way and are thrilled with the outcome so far.  Here is what we started with.  Some major TLC needed to be given to our dilapidated backyard shed which was once an apartment with dark paneling and a half bathroom.  Our plan is to take it one side at a time and repair the outside then we get to move on to the inside.   Side No. 1 was an amazing transformation!!


Without further ado, I introduce you to Side No. 2.  Do you see that window?  It faces our side yard and further on, some of our front yard.  In order to see those yards through this window you have to stand on a stool on the inside.  

I was able to talk my husband into switching the windows from Side No. 3 to Side No. 2.  
Below is what we were left with after prying off boards so we could frame for the larger window.

Here is the new window installed.  So much better!  Now we can see the front and side yards without having to stand on a stool on the inside.  Also, when it was on the opposite side, our carport ran right through the middle of the window.  Who wants to look at the top of a carport??  This was a win-win kind of change! Yippee!

Below we are prepped and ready for plank siding.  We also replaced any 1 x 12 boards that were in all around bad shape.  Cutting all those angles was so tedious, especially using a circular saw to do it.  Let's just say, I am gonna be an old pro when it comes to handling a circular saw by the time we are finished with this project.  

Here she is, Side No. 2 in all her yellowy glory! (Don't worry, she won't stay this color)  Isn't she just beautiful!  Again, it is quite the transformation!  Can I just for go the other sides and paint Sides 1 and 2 NOW!  Hahaha, patience has never been my strong suit...

Here is the before and after of Side No. 2 of our Shed to Schoolhouse Renovation:

Now I can't wait to build a window box and fill it with flowers and landscape and start on the inside BUT I have to!  Have you ever just wanted to skip ahead on a project just to get to "fun stuff"?  I certainly am having to reign myself in, but just 2 more sides to go then on to the "fluffing"!  In the wise words of Dorey from Disney's "Finding Nemo" "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."

Have a blessed day!