Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Week 13 Assignment - I will finish this bathroom too...I WILL, I WILL, I WILL!!!

So here I am...back in the bathroom again!!  (For the proper effect, say that phrase to the tune of "Back in the Saddle Again".)  But I'm confident this weeks project won't turn into my Week 13 Assignment as well.  How can I be so sure, you ask?  Well, because I'm sick and tired of it being half done!  Plus, I'm giving myself a smaller assignment!!  And if I finish it, I'm going to get started on my assignment for the next week.  Sneaky, I know...but I am a little gun shy after my last assignment.  :)

So what am I going to do this week??  I'm going to install the trim around the bathtub that I promised WEEKS AGO! I found this "Miter-less Trim" at Home Depot and am going to use it to frame in the tub surround...and cover up all the drywall damage we have.

And I'm using some of the things I've learned along the way to make sure it goes smoothly.  House of Fara who makes the trim has a great tutorial section on their website, so I'm going to use their "How to Install Window Trim" tutorial as a guide.  And since the Glidden Trim Paint I have come to love takes FOREVER to dry, I'm going to paint the trim after I install it.  I know it goes against my husband's (and probably everyone else's) recommendation, but since there still isn't room in the garage to paint it in place I'm going for it! I'm going to use the tips I found on Ask Anna to make sure my paint lines are perfect so hopefully the hubs won't be able to say "I told you so!"  And the best part??  I get to play with power tools again!!  :)  Wish me luck!!  See you next week...

Week 12 Assignment - Results

What a week!!!  I'm sore from head to toe but I feel like a million bucks!  The sanding and staining took forever...but thankfully I had Tracy to help.  It's a tedious task, so if you can have a friend along for the ride it definitely makes it more tolerable!!  :)  Man, do I owe Tracy!!!!

Here are some additional things you may want to keep in mind if you want to give it a try...

  1. Safety glasses and masks are a definite MUST while you are sanding.  You never know where your pallets have been and the last thing you want is getting their secrets in your lungs and eyes!!  :)
  2. If you aren't super limber, you may want to consider sanding before you but your daybed and/or table together...that goes for staining too.
  3. Speaking of staining, if you use the Behr Waterproofing Stain I should warn you...it's super runny and drippy!!  If you can, I highly suggest staining over a surface like grass or dirt that won't be ruined by any stain that drips down.  
  4. And don't use your "favorite" paint brush...whatever brush you use will be ruined by the time you're done...not by the stain but by the pallets.
So...want a peek at the (almost) finished product??
Once the sanding and staining were complete, it was time to assemble the outdoor dining room.  I found my globe lights at Party City for $14.99/each...they were the only ones I could find with white cords instead of green.  I ended up using 5 strands.  My HD boyfriend suggested attaching eye hooks to the fence and house and using zip ties to attach the light strands to them.  It's a perfect solution because it's easy to do, and if I ever need to change the strands out all I need are a few new zip ties!  

I love how the space turned out!  We ended up taking the center extensions out of the table because it was just too big for the four of us...which gave us a bunch of extra room for a fire pit at the far side of the space.  I've been dying to find a safe place to have our fire pit but don't like the idea of having it in the middle of everything with two small kids, and I finally found it!!  

The only thing I didn't get done is scrubbing the heck out of the tables and chairs...I ran out of sunny days.  But I plan on tackling that in the next couple weeks in my "spare time".  Definitely before summer!!  That and a little decorating (I have some ideas for the wall of the house and Tracy wants to turn the pallet remnants we have into wall planters on the fence) and we'll be set for summer!!

The one positive thing that came with the rainy days is it gave me time to make my bolsters for the daybed.  I just have to say BOLSTERS ARE THE COOLEST THINGS EVER!!!  They are super easy and look much harder than they actually are!  I did have to do some re-engineering since my bolster inserts were 30" and the pattern I found  was for shorter inserts, but once you start sewing it's pretty easy to visualize what you want the final result to be and make the necessary adjustments.  After making the first one I was so jazzed I decided I should try and make my very first tutorial to show you how easy they are to make...but unfortunately I was distracted by a non-napping 4-year old and cut the fabric wrong for the second bolster.  I was able to do some more re-engineering and the second one turned out just fine, but I thought I shouldn't base my first ever tutorial on an OOPS!!  Guess I'll just have to make another for my bed when I do my Master Bedroom Makeover and show you then.  

So here is the finished daybed...bolsters and all!!

The only "downside" to this project is it has made me feel invincible!!  I find myself pinning all these projects on Pinterest that involve major construction with little to no hesitation!!  I now have a bee up by butt to build a whole storage/bench unit for our entryway thanks to Ana White...but unfortunately it will have to wait a bit.  First I have to head back to the bathroom...

See you next week!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Week 12 Assignment - The Finishing Touches...Mother Nature Willing!!

According to my iPhone, the weather this week is supposed to be sunny and warm.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Mother Nature cooperates so I can put the finishing touches on my new outdoor dining room and the Hubs' outdoor cigar lounge!

First on the list, sanding and staining the daybed and coffee table.  The Prudent Baby Tutorial suggests using an outdoor poly, but everyone I talked to about it warned me against using outdoor poly because it begins to peel and chip over time and you have to sand it off completely before you can reapply.  I have absolutely no intention of sanding these pallets more than once, so I opted for a penetrating weatherproofing stain I found at Home Depot.  It comes in Solid, Semi-Transparent, and Transparent and I chose Semi-Transparent in Cordovan Brown.  It was the closest match to my original plan of staining it using my trusty Espresso Stain.
The best part about this stuff is if you do need to reapply it over time, you don't have to completely remove what's already there like you would with a polyurethane.  Just rough up the surface a bit a reapply according to the Depot.  I like that!!  Even better...Tracy offered to help sand and stain!  Let me just say that if you don't have a Tracy you really should get one!  :)  I definitely couldn't live without mine!!!  She's a great friend and inspiration, and kicks a$$ with power tools!!

Next on the list, assembling my new outdoor dining room.  I'm going to take an idea from a wedding Tracy and I went to last year and install globe strand lights between the house and fence to create a little ambiance and add some much needed lighting.  I think it will be MUCH more inviting than the motion flood light that's currently lighting the space!  :)  I found some at Party City and think they will fit the bill.  I'm also going to scrub our teak table and chairs to make sure they sparkle.  I'm using Tracy's tried and true technique of scrubbing the heck out of it using Simple Green!!

And in my spare time, I'm going to make bolsters for the sides of the daybed to cushion the pipes.  I found this pattern at Connecting Threads and bought two 8" x 30" bolster inserts on eBay.

So keep your fingers crossed that the rain is over!!!  See you next week!  :)

Week 11 Assignment - Results

What can I say...I MUST have done something to piss Mother Nature off big time!  I live in Southern California, land of sunshine and perfect weather.  Two weeks ago it was 80 degrees, but this weekend nothing but rain!  It wouldn't have been a big deal except I couldn't start this week's project until the Hubs went out of town on Friday.  What was this week's project, you ask?  Guess that would help to let you in on the surprise, eh?  :)

So the Hubs' birthday is coming up, and he's been dying to have a space outside to smoke cigars and watch TV (since I won't let him smoke inside) and for his birthday I'm giving it to him!  I started by pulling in some favors from a friend who owns a landscape company and had crushed granite installed in our side yard which used to be home to all our crap we didn't want to throw away.  It was a total waste of space that will become the new home of our outdoor table and chairs once the rain stops and the stabilizer cures.  I have big plans to make it a beautiful outdoor dining room and I can't wait to show it to you.  Just have to wait for Mother Nature to cut me some slack!  :)  Hopefully next week...

Where the table and chairs used to be is going to be the Hubs' new outdoor lounge...complete with a DIY daybed and coffee table made out of pallets.  I saw these posted on Pinterest a while back and knew they would be perfect.  I just didn't think I could pull it off.  But thankfully, I have Tracy (a.k.a. Bob Vila with Boobs) and together we took on the Pallet Daybed I found on Prudent Baby and the Pallet Coffee Table I found on Joy Ever After!!

Originally, we thought we had all weekend (Thursday night through Sunday night) to get this done...but like I said, Mother Nature hates me!  Instead, we had to do it all Friday since Saturday and Sunday had a deluge of rain in the forecast!  Somehow, we were able to complete the construction but unfortunately the cosmetic stuff will have to wait until next week when things dry out around here.  I will say that I am just giddy with how they turned out!!  I don't think I have ever been prouder of anything I've made!!  Except my kids of course!  :) And it wasn't nearly as hard as I was expecting it to be!  But I know Tracy is a huge part of the reason I didn't give up halfway through crying!!   I did learn a few valuable things along the way so in case you want to give them a try I'll share what I learned.

  1. In Prudent Baby's tutorial, she used two swivel and three fixed casters.  This thing is crazy heavy and we couldn't see how you would be able to move the bed easily front to back and side to side so we opted for five locking swivel casters.  
  2. She didn't have a back on her daybed, but I didn't have a wall to put the daybed against.  We ended up cutting about 12" off two pallets and used them as a back.  We bolted the two together and then attached them with about a dozen L brackets (six on the front and six on the back...pretty much anywhere a 2 x 4 on the back lined up with a 2 x 4 on the base).  I may also go back and install a few metal straps from the base to the back inside the pallets on the back anywhere the 2 x 4's are flush.  It's pretty sturdy now and it's probably unnecessary, but knowing that big, clumsy men are going to be using this I figure better safe than sorry!  :)
  3. When picking the pallets for the bottom of your daybed, try and choose two pallets where the 1 x 4's on the top line up.  I didn't think to do that and as a result my arm rests aren't even...one is closer to the front than the other.
  4. She bolted her casters on, but we were afraid the wood on the bottom of the pallets wouldn't be strong enough, so we attached mine into the 2 x 4 frames with wood screws instead.  Make sure you pick really beefy casters, especially if you expect multiple 200+ pound men to be sitting on it!  :)  If you do go with the wood screws you may want to pick up a few rubber screw protectors to cover any screws that don't line up with the 2 x 4 frames and end up being exposed.  We cut the exposed screws with a Dremmel but they were still pretty sharp, so the screw protectors should keep the little ones from getting scratched.  Hopefully!!  
  5. She said she used 3/4" bolts in 2" and 3" lengths, but when I saw how big they were I thought that must have been a typo.  I ended up using 3/8" bolts instead.  I didn't use any 2" bolts because I attached my casters with wood screws, and I ended up needing several bolts that were longer than 3" due to the construction of my pallets.  You may want to pick up 3 or 4-5" bolts just in case.   
  6. For the bottom cushion I found a really gross, cheap twin mattress on CraigsList and hermetically sealed it in a $10 zipper vinyl mattress cover I found at Bed Bath and Beyond. It's waterproof, but rips pretty easily, so I put a tarp under the mattress to keep the pallets from snagging the bottom of it.  I also had an old felt backed vinyl tablecloth that I wrapped the top with so the dogs (we have three) wouldn't rip the top.  I'm going to cover it with a fitted sheet but of course I couldn't find one in the right green in any of the local stores.  I did find one online but it won't be here until Wednesday.  :(
  7. For the cushions on the back, I found these great "outdoor floor cushions" at Costco.  Man, I LOVE Costco!  They were less than $20/each and they are gorgeous!!  I'm also going to make two bolsters for the sides...  
Coffee Table:
  1. We used Gorilla Glue to attach the 4 x 4 posts to the pallets prior to installing the L brackets just to give it a little more sturdiness.  Make sure you have HUGE clamps to hold things in place until the glue dries!
  2. We used much smaller locking swivel casters on the coffee table than we did on the daybed and attached them with wood screws into the 2 x 4 frames instead of bolting them.
  3. 4 x 4's are pretty expensive so you may want to check the remnant area at your home improvement store.  I highly recommend getting yourself a Depot Boyfriend.  Mine, Anthony, cut my 4 x 4 remnant into 4 6" pieces because I didn't have a saw big enough to cut it at home.  He also led me around the store helping me get everything on my list (helping me save money along the way) so I didn't have to go searching.  You know you spend too much time at the Depot when you go back to get one thing you forgot two days later and your Depot Boyfriend comes up to you to ask how the daybed is going!!  :)
 So they still need to be sanded and stained and I need to add some finishing touches, but here's a peek into how they turned out.  Please excuse the tarp...had to take a quick picture in between rainstorms!  
Well...are you as impressed with us as I am???  :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Week 11 Assignment - SHHHHHH!!!

After the mayhem of the last few weeks, I hate to do this...but this week's assignment is going to be a secret until it's done.  Why??  Well, the main reason is I'm tackling something well outside my comfort zone and I'm not exactly sure I can pull it off.  Considering my track record lately I figure it's better to be safe than sorry!  :)  I'll give you one hint, though...it's outside!!

Check back next week to see how I did!  Wish me luck!!  This time I think I'm really going to need it!

Week 8 (and 9...and 10...) Assignment - Results

What can I say...I'm a bad blogger!  :(  My Week 8 Assignment got the better of me and became my Week 9 and 10 Assignment as well.  In my defense I have one valid and credible excuse...SPRAY PAINT!!!  If nothing else I learned one very valuable lesson from this assignment...I HATE SPRAY PAINT!!!  As far as I can tell there is not one single benefit to using spray paint:

1)  Ease of use?  HA!!!  Between having to wait for "perfect painting weather" days, all the prep work to protect everything you don't want paint on, and just the overall inconvenience of having to paint outside I would have to say this is not the case...at least for me.  Using spray paint turned a two, maybe three day project into a two week one.
2)  Smoother finish??  NOT!!!  Between the drip marks, the splatter that comes at the beginning and end of the can, and the junk that accumulated on the cabinet while it was drying outside I definitely don't have anything I would consider smoother than if I had used a roller.
3)  Fewer coats???  I DON"T THINK SO!!!  I ended up using three cans of spray primer and almost four cans of paint for this tiny little cabinet.  After three coats of primer (two coats, sanding, and a top coat) and three coats of paint with the same process, I am a little baffled by the claim on the can that the spray paint covers 2 x better.  Better than what?  Crayons???
4) Better Adhesion????  ONE WOULD HOPE BUT UNFORTUNATELY - NO!!!  Even after all the prep work and coats, with proper drying times in between, areas of paint on the inside of the cabinet peeled off in chunks when I took the tape off that I used when painting the back wall of the cabinet.  I'm not exaggerating when I say I cried!  I almost scrapped the whole project and swore off painting laminate for good...but once my blood pressure came back down to normal I decided to head to the Depot to buy a sample of flat paint to match the Dark Walnut spray paint, grabbed a paint brush, and went to work.

All that said, the cabinet and the mirror are finally done.  Yea!!!!  Although I wasn't able to find a wallpaper that I liked, thanks to Pinterest I found something I liked even better.  It would give me the pop of color I was looking for, and I would be able to match the green in my towels perfectly.  It also gave me a fabulous finish for the glass in the door...thanks to Stacey's idea of replacing the glass.  What is this fabulous find you ask?  Cutting Edge Stencils!!!!
I chose the Casablanca Craft Stencil and tried using it on the back of the cabinet with a Behr Ultra Flat Sample in "Wasabi Powder."  Unfortunately, the size of the stencil wasn't conducive to working in an enclosed area like inside a small cabinet and I just couldn't get the stencil to lay flat...even with spray adhesive.  So I ended up painting the inside a solid green.  But don't be surprised if you see me buying a sheet of plywood, stenciling the flat piece with Dark Walnut and Wasabi Powder, and replacing the current backing on the cabinet in the near future!  :)   I did use the stencil to etch the new glass I bought using a tutorial I found on Make It and Love It.  The stencil definitely works better on flat, open surfaces!!  And I would definitely recommend a lighter base color with a darker stencil color.  With the dark brown base it was hard to get good coverage with the green.  You have to use very light coats to prevent bleeding and I couldn't get good coverage.  On their website they recommend using Benjamin Moore "Aura" paints because it has great coverage...may try that next time too!

To top it off I found the exact door pull I wanted at MyKnobs.com.
So even though it took longer than I expected, I am thrilled with how the cabinet turned out!!  Take a look and let me know what you think...

The mirror was much easier than the cabinet, thank goodness!!  I ended up priming it and painting it with the same spray paint I used on the cabinet.  Then I went over it with my Mercury Glaze from Martha Stewart.  I'm still not 100% sure I'm digging how it turned out.  I'm thinking I might do one more coat of the glaze to lighten it up a little bit, but I decided I should wait a little bit to see if it grows on me.  I don't hate it...I just don't know that I LOVE it!!  Do you???

With all this complaining, I almost forgot...The Crates!!  I did two like in the Master Bath but I'm thinking I need one more.  The toilet in this bathroom is shorter and farther from the wall so I'm thinking a third one will be good...especially since storage is such an issue in this bathroom.  In my "spare time" (a.k.a. someday...) I plan on making some fabric boxes to fit in the top and bottom crates (two each) so I can use them to store less attractive goodies (i.e. Make Up and other primping supplies).   I ended up staining them with the Espresso Stain but decided not to do the Mercury Glaze.  I liked how the darker stain went with the dark cabinet.  Plus, since this bathroom is not nearly as "Bling!" as the Master, I thought the glaze might just be overkill.  Do you agree?

Wow!  This assignment really kicked my butt!!  Maybe I should take it easy next week???