Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Brass Chest Reveal

I started with a brass colored chest which I thought was pretty all by itself but my husband did not so I used my brain and thought of what I wanted. Then I read on the Zinsser primer can that it works with metal so I thought this was the perfect test.

and then I ended up with this!! 

I love it now, a little elbow grease and its custom to what I wanted. 


I'll post the how to later

Friday, July 26, 2013

Zoo or Ball pit very pinteresting

So my friend Kelly really wanted to make a stuffed animal zoo. They are all over pinterest, at least sort of all over pinterest. There are hundreds of different ways to do it. Thats the beauty of this project you make it to fit your space and needs. All the instructions on the web were different. So we kind of made our own using other peoples advice. We looked at the pictures here and then went on our merry way. I wanted to make this on a budget so I went to Home depot and sat in the wood section with a piece of paper and calculator and figured it all out, then I went and told Kelly how much it would cost  (about $20) and then I made the mistake of going to Lowes to buy the wood, there were different sizes, so I then sat there with a paper and calculator and figured it out again

I bought for 2 zoo's. We wanted them 5 feet tall and a two foot box all around. Warning this is huge!  We didn't realize how huge it was! Its ok though there is room for growth.

I would recommend but you don't need:
 gloves when painting
music in your ears
a fan if its hot 
a level

You will need:
a drill
a drill bit for your screws
some kind of finish (paint or stain I guess you could go all natural)  
We primed ours with zinnser oil based because we only wanted to use one coat of white latex instead of 6 to cover all the wood.
a saw for straight lines (if you don't get the guy at the store to cut it for you)
sand paper
100 feet of rope (if your making it huge like we did) We chose pretty colors.

 I bought 2 1x2x8 and cut them down to:
(8) 2 foot pieces of  1x2x8 
I bought 4 1x3x8  and had them cut down to:
(4) 2 foot pieces 
(4) 5 foot pieces

 Then these:

There were terrific!! You will need a square drill bit with these, they didn't split the wood and went in easily.
We used 12 1 1/2 inch
We used 24 2 inch size when attaching the squares we made to the 5 foot pieces just for more support

The screw eyes were for attaching the ropes we used 60 of these .99 for 14 at walmart

We started by cutting the pieces to size (you can ask the guy at the store to do this)
and then sanding all the rough parts with a 150 grit. Then we zinnser primered them:

Then we let them cure for 24 hours

Next we predrilled 5 small holes (we wanted the gaps in the rope 4 inches apart) in each of the 2 foot pieces (the ugly side) and hand screwed in the eye screws which wasn't hard at all

 Then we started piecing them together the 2 foot pieces were made into boxes:

We just used one screw on each edge and it worked well.
we put the 1x3 box on the bottom because it was heavy and we wanted it sturdy. 

Then we attached the first 5 foot peice and screwed it in with 2 screws and then put the other 3 in.

Then we shimmied the next box down to the half way mark (2 and a half feet) and used the level and screwed it to the other 5 foot pieces. A level might seem tedious but we did out first one without it and it looked crooked to us so we had to fix it. 

Then we put the top on. We made sure to use the level and screwed each corner in (if you cant tell the boxes go on the outside of the 5 foot pieces). 

Then you are ready for your rope! 

We chose colored rope because we were keeping them white. For this size we needed 100ft of rope! We bought two of the 50 foot kind and it was about $7 for both. Then you thread your rope. You are going to want to just continuiously weave it through so you only have to tie 2 knots at the end.

 Then you have your zoo! Here are our zoos together, you can see the beginning of the stuffed animals, we through a fat little panda in there.

 Here is is on its own again.

Now when my husband came home from work that day he was like "That thing is huge, we should use it for our giant bouncy balls. I thought that was a fantastic idea because they really dont fit anywhere so here they are!

 So instead of a zoo we have a ball pit and I love it. Kelly's is a zoo though and I will hopefully grab a picture of it at her house!!

The end!


DIY Ball pit, known as a zoo in some circles

This is a project I recently finished with my friend Kelly. 
She saw it on pinterest and asked if we could make it. 
That is the answer, Here are some of the final pictures. 
 Here is the beginning of a stuffed animal zoo

Here it is used as a child timeout box, ha ha thats a joke, he ran in there as soon as it was finished. 

But my favorite use which I will be using mine as is a ball pit:

Love it!


P.S the tutorial well its kind of a tutorial will be up in a minute or many.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Your everyday every house Windsor chair REDO

 Imagine a natural windsor chair.  Like these

 That is what we started with. Then my friend Katie sanded all the seats down with a 150 grit, make sure you get all the finish off.

 This takes many hours, if you want to use an electrical sander a mouse one will probably be your best bet. We sanded first then did we taped all around the part where the spindles meet the seat.  Then we started painting the backs and bottoms of the chair with Zinsser oil based primer. We used a roller and then a wooser oil paint brush. This is something you should do with gloves (we did not) and in the right temperature. If its too hot your paint will start to thicken very quickly and you will get goops all over your chairs.

 If you get tons of goops never fear you can just wait 24 hours and then lightly sand them off with a 150 or higher sandpaper and it will be nice and smooth for your final paint coat.  So after we zinssered them all we waited at least 24 hours and then started painting the chairs with the cream with our nice brushes. Then you end up with this.

 Ready for stain! We tested a small spot to make sure we would like the look

 It had this barnwood look which looked very rich and full of character so we wiped on the stain and tried to be careful to not touch the bottom of the spindles. This did not always work as you can see here

 at the bottom so I came back through and touched them all up like this

going up with the brush, it was like cutting in on a wall but on a much smaller scale.

Then I ended up with this on all the spindles of all the chairs!

Then I was ready for my finish. 
Before you put your finish on make sure to go and touch up any makes on the paint.
I used Rustoluems water based polyurethane for my finish. I did some research and saw rave reviews about the ease of application and how well it looked when dried so I tried it. I used a foam brush and did 3 coats (as recommended on the label) It only takes 2 hours to dry!! And it cures in 3 days!! So I used it and LOVE the results. I can’t believe how beautiful it turned out! There were also no fumes, it smelled like shampoo to me! I am sold on this polyurethane and would recommend it to anyone for ease of use (you can also see when applying if you have put too much on there, its like a fluorescent purple white color so you just go back and smooth it out until clear) 
I also used the polyurethane on the paint to give it extra strength. 
It didn't yellow too badly and turned out well.

 These chairs went from plain wood to a much richer and older looking finish.

 As with all stain you can't control how the wood will take it so the end look of the chairs was this

 The one of the far right was the most different but I think they all have so much character now. I really love how they turned out. Here are some pictures of the chairs in action.

Who knew a windsor could look to elegant. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Katie's table delivered!

They are delivered wohoo!!


Your Grandma's old oak dinning table

This is my friend Katie's table. It’s a very large tiger oak table. This table has 3 inserts so it is huge! She wanted it refinished. So I started.

To begin with you need to remove all finish and stain. You could use a chemical stripper but with tables I prefer good old fashioned sanding. I got out my ¼ sheet sander and started with a 60 grit. Table tops usually have many layers of finish so you need to start with a rough sandpaper not all sand papers are created equal so get some good stuff. I got this 60 grit at Lowes. Its by 3M. It said it worked faster and lasted longer, it was also more expensive at about $1 a sheet but it did the job nicely and quickly. Here is the table after 10 minutes

There were a few parts of the table that I had to hand sand.

 The edge needed this but with a few tricks it worked well  as you can see.

Here we are with all the finish and stain gone! Wohoo! It took many hours but I don't mind that.

Next I sanded it all down with a 150 grit which is what I like to use on oak right before I stain. So I sanded it all down and then used my shopvac to get all the dust off then I used my hand to get the fine dust off. I tested it with a rag and it was clean and ready for stain. 

See its all ready for stain!

 My friend chose minwax espresso stain.

So I gathered some rags and handy gloves

I did some testing under the table to see how long it would take and how dark I could get it. It was kind of a disappointment.

 The top left is two coats 15 minutes each, right next to it is one coat of 10 minutes, next to that is 7 minutes and next to that is wipe on and wipe off. The Bottom half is all two coats at different time intervals. As you can see it all looks exactly the same so I was rather disappointed that their instructions say it gets dark the longer you leave it on and that the more coats you do the darker it is. Maybe it was because it was oak. Either way I am not a big fan of minwax anymore and hope later to try out some wood dyes on other projects. This is essentially what I got:

This was the color we really wanted, which is what comes out of the can and then you wipe it off...

and get this

 I guess that’s just minwax. It still looks beautiful though and has a lot of character already. I did not use a wood conditioner and I am kind of glad I didn't because I think it would have been even lighter which was not desired. I left the stain on for 10 minutes and then wiped it all off.

* Warning you shouldn't stain in the sun light, at least I don’t think you should, I was in my garage and the sun was shining in on a few places and the stain would bleed little dots all over so I had to keep wiping them off until I figured out it was the sun and closed the garage door.

I let the stain dry for 24 hours then I started my first coat of waterlox finish. It was my first time using it but I heard and read so many good things that I bought some. Click here for a fantastic youtube Tutorial. It costs $33 a quart on amazon.com but I think its well worth it. I wanted an easy to apply finish that would be strong enough for a table. It is also supposed to hide scratches easily and after years of use you can  sand it lightly with a 320 grit and reapply which you can’t do with a polyurethane. So I used a foam brush and brushed it all on thinly and evenly. You need to let some airflow in the room its drying in or it wont set up right. I waited 24 hours as the can stated and put on my second coat.  After each second coat I lightly sanded with a 320 grit from 3M. I did 5 coats total.

Then I let it sit and cure for 7 days. I believe the longer you let it cure the better.

So I did this table backwards and waited until I was finished with the table top to fix the wobbles. Fix the wobbles first! I had my husband fix the wobbles with wooden dowels. If you want to know how he did it you can comment and Ill tell you.
Then I painted the legs with Zinsser oil based primer (no sanding involved) 

Painted it with the cream color my friend chose( Let your primer and paint dry as stated on the can before you put your finish on)  and then put a coat of Rustoluem water based polyurethane.

 It was FANTASTIC. The finish isn't too shiny it’s a satin really. And then let that cure for 3 days 

Here is the end result again! I think it all looks lovely!

a close up of the grain.

I am going to deliver her table and chairs and then take some photos of them set up in her house! I am so excited for her to see them. Here is the Reveal

Next up is the chairs and how they were refinished.