Saturday, October 15, 2011

Master Bedroom Closet Redo

The master closet in our rental house was completely impractical. It is a "walk in" closet, but it only had one bar to hang clothes, and it was up so high that I had to stand on my tippy toes to reach. It was also so close to the wall that the clothes hanging up couldn't hang straight. Not only that, it was the original baby blue that was in the house when it was built in the 70's and the floor was hideous! But don't take my word for it, check it out for yourself. (The lighting isn't great since these pictures were taken during our walk through and there was no electricity. Sorry!)
Left side and shot of nasty flooring.

Right side. The previous renters had a shoe thing hanging on the wall. You can also see the rod at the very top left of the picture.

As I tried to figure out what to do with this closet, I couldn't help but notice all the hardware in the closet from previous renters attempts to make the closet work. (if you click on the pictures and look at an enlarged version, you might see them) I actually went and bought a "closet kit" at Walmart for $38 that I thought would work. (Ironically, I think it was the same kit that the previous renters had tried to make work) Luckily, before I pulled it out of the box I realized WHY it wouldn't work in this closet, or any other kit, for that matter. The hardware needed an area about 12 inches to attach to the wall, but the "wall" next to the door was only about 8 inches.

After looking online for closet ideas, and checking every store for a different kit that would work, I finally decided to build the closet myself! AND I would build it for $60 LESS than the closet kits that MIGHT have worked, AND it would be solid wood, not wire.

First, I had to fill in all the holes, and there were TONS. After that I painted the walls, then painted the trim.After walls and trim painted.

Then I redid the floor. The existing flooring was a snap in place old square wood floor, that looked like it was leftover mismatched pieces put together in a puzzle like pattern. (That's a mouthful!) It also smelled like wet old wasn't pleasant. So I went to Lowe's and found the cheapest stick on tiles that they had, I wasn't necessarily looking for the cheapest, BUT the one I liked the best that was a decent price happened to be the cheapest. Perfect! It is EASY to install and really easy to cut. All you need is scissors, a ruler, and a marker...and maybe some knee pads (ouch).
In progress.

All done.

After the floor sat for a few days, I took some measurements, figured out the placement of everything and went to the store. I bought the wood and had them cut it for me at the store. I got it all cut except for 2 or 3 pieces that were too small for them to cut, so I cut those with my jig saw. I sanded them, made sure they worked in the closet, then I painted them white. After all that, I started putting them up in the closet. It wasn't hard, but it requires patience, a leveler, a stud finder and a good drill. I decided to put up 1X4 supports, and then 1X12 shelves. I located the studs and used my drill to drill a hole through the wood and through the stud for my screw. After I had the holes, I would double check to make sure it was level, and then put them up. It took me a good 3-4 hours to do the whole thing, but I was working alone. After all the supports were up, I put the wood shelves in. The top l shaped shelf, was made by putting two straight pieces together and securing together with a heavy duty mending plate. Then I painted it white, so you couldn't see it.
Got supports and rods up

Shelves are in.

I still had the problem of moving the rod out far enough from the wall that the clothes could hang straight. To fix the problem, I put a piece of wood between the door jam and the wall to make it even with the door jam, and secured it that way. I was reusing the closet rod that was in the closet originally, so I could only secure it on one side, but it still worked beautifully.

Better view
The other rod that I bought for the bottom rack, only used one screw so it was perfect to screw directly into the door molding.

Just goes to show that with a little imagination, some elbow grease and A LOT of incentive (we desperately needed the storage), you can make anything work! The best part, the whole thing cost me, paint, floor, wood and all about $45. Now I have a nice, functioning closet, and more storage!

Lower half finished.

Top half finished.
The whole thing.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Still Alive

So I apologize, profusely, for taking so long to write again. In the time since I last wrote, I had 2 garage sales, got ride of A LOT of stuff (including a rather impressive pile of scrap wood :-( that I had illusions of grandeur with especially since I don't have a miter saw...yet and a whole lot of paint), packed up our 2000 sq ft house and moved. We also took a nice vacation to see some sights on the way to Utah, where both our families live. We had a wonderful visit, which always goes too fast, with both our families and then headed to Oklahoma. It took us a while to find a place, since we had been promised a comparative place on post to our last place, but then that fell through at the last minute and we had to scramble to find a house off post before my husband had to go back to work. We had to settle for a 1400 sq ft, 3 bed, 1 3/4 bath house that was built in the early 70's.

There is ceramic tile in the kitchen, dining room, both entry ways and the hall way, but the rest of the flooring I think has been here since it was built. Since this is a rental house, I didn't want to do to much, but I have been busy making inexpensive changes here and there. Can't wait to show you all the things that I have been working on. I have already built a closet for $40. That is to say that the closet wasn't functional so I built the insides. It is SOOOO much better now. I painted most of the house. Laid a new floor in the closet that I redid and the front coat closet. Today, I am suppose to redo the flooring and caulking in the master bathroom, and while I am at it, the caulking around the back splash in the kitchen. Then sometime soon (hopefully) I will refinish the existing bathroom vanity and mirror in the main (full) bathroom. Most of the money that I have spent has been to make this smaller house functional for us. When you moved from a 2000 sq ft house with a 1 1/2 car garage, to a 1400 sq ft house that includes the 2 car garage, it makes for some creative thinking!

This house needed a lot of work not just on the inside but the outside as well. As I type this I have guys on top of the house ripping off the old VERY worn roof and replacing it (finally!), the garage door was replaced, and I got a new faucet in the kitchen. I talked the plumber into buying a nicer faucet and letting me pay the difference, since I was planning on a new faucet anyways, it saved me about $30-$40 by having the home owner pay for the cheapest one and then I paid the difference for the nice one. (SO WORTH IT)

On top of all that, we also put our son in football for the first time ever and I am coaching my girls team in volleyball. I played volleyball in High School and I LOVED IT! I am having so much fun coaching and playing again, but once again, it is very time consuming. I don't know how parents with kids can keep sane with kids in different sports.

So that's some of the stuff that I have been doing. Please forgive me for the long absence. I will post tomorrow about my closet and the flooring. Until then enjoy some ugly pictures of our "new" place before all the changes.

These pictures were taken on our walk through before we rented it, so there was no electricity, so some of the pictures are kinda dark.
Nothing says, "I WAS BUILT IN THE 70'S" like wood paneling on the walls!

This is my sweet husband walking on the one good thing in the house, the ceramic tile. I shutter to think what the flooring was like before they put this in! Anyways, this is the dining area looking into the paneled room, aka the TV room. To the right of my husband is the door to the garage, to the left is the backdoor leading to the backyard AND one of the things that sold us to this particular house, the school right outside the back gate!

This is the main bathroom.

This kitchen is among the best kitchens that I saw when looking for a place to rent within our budget. Another house we looked at in the same area had an avocado colored sink with orange counters...ORANGE counters ~shutter~!

This is the master bath. The flooring had holes in it, and it was permanently stained yellow in some areas. That's just gross!

Here is one of the weird things about this house. This was taken while standing in the master bath. My daughter on the other side is in the master bedroom closet. I am very grateful to have the shelf space, but this is just weird!

Here is the before mentioned master bedroom closet. The flooring looked like odd shaped leftover pieces from another project (I'm guessing that this flooring was in the kitchen before the tile!) The walls were baby blue, which I am convinced (with evidence) was the original paint from the 70's. There was ONE closet rod that was hanging so high that I could only reach it by standing on my tipy toes. The rod was also so close to the wall that the hangers could not hang straight. It was the worst designed closet that I have EVER seen!

Thanks for stopping by. Come by tomorrow for the pictures of the refinished closet!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Working On It.

Thanks for all the comments and emails about the table and chairs. I am working a post to explain the process, since SO MANY people have asked, I just haven't had the chance to finish yet. We are getting ready to move, my husband is gone for training and it's has been busy with this being the last week of school, and getting ready for a garage sale.
I just wanted to let you know that I haven't ignored you or forgot about you. I will hopefully get to it soon!

Thanks for your patience!

Friday, May 20, 2011

I Got Featured!

I had no idea that Brooke from "All Things Thrifty" was going to feature me. I sent her an email when I finished my blog post about the table and chairs, but didn't hear back. Then all of the sudden, I start getting comments from people saying that they found me through All Things Thrifty. I jumped right to their site and whatdayaknow...there are my table and chairs. Yipee! My first feature. I feel so special!

Not only that, but "All Things Thrifty" was one of the very first websites that I ever found when I started researching refinishing furniture. After I found their site, I started reading everything in their archives and literally spent days reading through everything. It was there that I discovered and fell in love with the technique of glazing ! I wish I could say that I am super confident in my glazing abilities, but it's still a learn as I go process. However, I would have never had the guts to try it without all the help from All Things Thrifty!
After reading everything, I started following link after link that they had on their website. After hardly any time at all, I had a HUGE list of blogs that I was following. So I am even more thrilled that the blog that started it all with my furniture refinishing obsession was my very first feature. So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU All Things Thrifty for making my day!

Now I would just like to sit back for a second or two (or three) and bask in the glory of recognition for all my hard work... ...aaannnnnnd, that's enough, don't want to seem conceited. ;-)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Finally Finished, Table and Chairs!

I haven't been around much. Sorry about that. I have been working like crazy to finish as many projects as I can before we move next month. Can't afford all the weight that my "collections" will add. Hehehehehe

The number one project on my list to finish was a table and chairs set that I have been working on for almost a year now. I actually got the chairs first, then kept my eye out for a table with a similar look. To see the pain process I went through on the chairs (or at least one of them) go here.

I was super excited to find this table for a good deal, and picked it up within an hour of them posting it! She said she had about fifty offers for it from the time I called and the time I got there 20 minutes later. (I forgot to take a before picture, so my friend who has the exact same table, took a picture and sent it to me. Thanks Brandi)

I thought of a couple different way to complete this, but eventually I discovered two-toned furniture. I fell in love! So, I combined my new found love of two-toned furniture with glazing and came up with this.

Here it is, all finished. Now for a closer look at the details.

I am thrilled with how the whole thing turned out. I already have similar plans for the table and chairs that I am redoing for our family, and for our master bedroom furniture. Now that I know what I am doing, maybe it will go smoother! HA!

Everything is a learning experience and I learned A LOT with this project.

Just for fun, here are a few more Before and After Pictures:
Thanks for stopping by!

Now onto other projects.

Linking up to these blogs:

Tatertots and Jello: Weekend Wrap Up Party

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day. My husband worked all day and didn't get home until after 8:00 at night so the kids and I enjoyed a nice Valentine's dinner without him.
I didn't do anything big. We had heart shaped biscuits with sausage gravy. It's breakfast food, I know, but someone made it for us for a dinner and we have been having it as a dinner ever since!

Then for dessert I made a brownie cream cheese heart shaped dessert.
I had to leave one plain for my pickiest child! They sure were yummy!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Please stand by...

We are experiencing some weather difficulties. IT. WON'T. STOP. SNOWING!

In the last few weeks, I have had one nice day (see pics below) where I was able to get out and paint, otherwise it has been all rain, snow, or just COLD. Don't get me wrong, I like snow, when I am living in places where people know how to drive in it, and they have the ability to deal with it. Not so much here where any talk of snow sends everyone into panic mode! It's crazy! The kids have had more half days, early out days and canceled school days this year then I had my entire school career, and that includes college!

You'd think that with all this snow forcing us inside that I would get some inside projects done, but we thought it would be more fun to hibernate and play Wii. What can I say we just got it for Christmas 2 months ago. :-)

But just so you know that I have not been sitting around doing nothing, here is a little peak at some of the stuff I was working on.
I was finally able to get the last 3 chairs sanded and primed(back on that one warm day). Unfortunately I ran out of primer before I could finish, then of course, after I got more, it got cold again. Live and learn!
Primed these with a gray primer. These side tables will be black when I am done with them, and there is a matching coffee table that still needs a little more work before I can prime and paint it.

Here is a great before and after, but it wasn't by me.

I was helping a friend redo her dining table and bench. I helped her sand and fill stuff in with wood filler, sand some more, and paint. It was a lot of work because there were a lot of decorative "holes" that did nothing but accumulate food, so we filled them all so she could keep her sanity when cleaning off the table.
We worked most of the day and only got the first coat of paint done before I had to leave.
After the first coat of paint

She finished up painting and then sealing it with a polycrylic satin finish on her own. It was her first BIG project and she did an awesome job!!! Here is a picture of the final product that she emailed to me.

(She refinished the table and one of the benches, then bought a bench and the 2 chairs)

Great Job Brandi!!!

Next week the forecast says Sunny and in the 50's. I sure hope that the forecast is correct, I have a garage full of projects that are waiting for the weather to warm up! I should have more to show after that!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Refinished Dresser turned Entertainment Center

I have had this dresser in the garage for a while. It has been patiently waiting its turn to be refinished (I was also airing it out, since the place we got it from stunk big time!)

When my hubby got his new TV it was obvious that our old entertainment center wasn't going to work anymore, so he started eye-ing this dresser. Finally, he convinced me that it would make the perfect entertainment center. All it needed was a little paint and love.

So we dragged it out of the garage, and started by repairing some of the damage to the top and front.
Then I took out all the drawers and fixed any that needed fixing and tightened anything that need it. Luckily this dresser was VERY solid and well made, so it didn't take much.
Then I gave the whole thing a light sanding.
Then I painted it.
I did 3 coats of roll on Satin Black paint, the a final coat of Satin black spray paint to give it a final finish, especially on the drawers where it was hard to get into the design.

Finally we just put back on the existing hardware and called it good.
Here is a closer look at the finished product. The flash makes the hardware stand out more, but I'm still not completely satisfied with the way the hardware looks against the black. I was thinking about spraying down the hardware, but I'm not sure what color to spray them. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Other than the hardware, it has turned out to be perfect for what we wanted and needed. It fits the movies and games perfectly. I also redid the small shelf next to the entertainment center so that it matched. That holds our DVD player, sub woofer and Wii, and then we cover them up with the little curtain.