Sunday, December 8, 2013

In a yellow submarine, in a yellow submarine.

November 20, 2013

Septic tank gets delivered. 

And buried in the backyard.  A lot closer to the house than we had planned.  Still waiting to talk to those guys to find out how this changes my landscaping plans.

Downstairs office.

December 1, 2013

The ceiling for Brian's collection.  So Brian has allowed me to decorate his room this time, he really should consult my Pinterest account before making such decisions, but no take backs.

We are going to be putting a wood planked stained ceiling in there.  The wood will be coming from various places, I have already gathered some pieces left over from construction.  Since the wood will have some gaps between the planks we decided to put up a barrier for dust and stuff.  Have to protect all that important office stuff that goes on. 

We used a product called Reflectix.  It is really a cross between aluminum foil and bubble wrap.  It is used for insulation as a sound barrier in ceilings, walls, etc.  It was lightweight, installed by stapling to the trusses and according to the package, flame retardant. 

 Here's the ceiling when we finished with the Reflectix.

Some wood pieces I have been collecting for the ceiling.  This is mostly cedar left from our front porch construction.  Basically a collection of 1"x somethings.

Shhh...they won't notice the hole.

December 7th, 2013

So if you get new drywall, the first thing I suggest you do is make a hole in it.  Since we had to build out the wall in the laundry to accommodate the plumbing through the floor because the floor trusses we're being less than accommodating, we wanted  to put in a recessed dryer vent.  We had asked the electrician to put one in and he forgot.  So Brian and I fixed that problem by cutting a hole, putting in the new vent and then stealthily putting back the drywall.  Better to fix the problem now while the drywallers can mud it then to mud it ourselves later.  There is one construction task I have an aversion to and that is mudding.

Tongue and Groove ceiling.

December 5-8 2013

The drywall mud is freezing and cracking.  So the drywallers stop work and the construction crew comes in to put in our ceiling.  Like white knights with hammers, they get the ceiling up in a few days and hopefully on Monday it will get insulated.

The crew does an awesome job.  Thanks guys for working on Saturday to get this done, not to mention the freezing cold temps to contend with.  The ceiling is unfinished wood, I will be priming and painting it.

Baby it's cold in here.

December 1, 2013

The electrician brings a new heater.  And this time, I'm not naming this one and getting all attached.  The new heater works great for a couple days as the temps stay moderate.  The drywaller is able to proceed with hanging drywall. 

 December 3, 2013

There drywall hung, now that wasn't so hard.  We decide last minute to drywall return the windows in the garage and the drywall hanger has already left.  So rather than stall this project anymore, Brian and I hang the drywall in the garage windows.

It feels like a small victory at this point.  Which is soon to be shortly celebrated as the temperature plummets again.   Now the temporary heater tries; but it can't keep up with the heat loss through the ceilings, which are not insulated.  We were hoping to drywall, paint the walls, then install the tongue and groove ceiling in the main space upstairs.  Mother nature laughs at this plan.

Drywalling begins and then freezes.

November 19, 2013

So in preparing for the drywallers, Brian and I put down a layer of rosin paper in the garage.  Last time we had a garage drywalled, I spent hours trying to get the mud off the floor in order to paint.  The drywall stills showed through and we gave up on having a painted floor.  Not this time, the paper is getting pretty torn up in places, but hopefully it holds together long enough to finish mudding.

We also moved a vent that is too low in the stairwell and move some wires that we had put in our basement wall for a future project to be in the right spot.


The drywallers get to hanging drywall and then start taping and that's where things go south, just like the temperature.  It finally gets cold here and not just a little.  The high is about 12 degrees.  The temp heater in the house dies completely, the house is frozen along with our progress.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ikea kitchen cart hack. Turning a boring kitchen cart into a fabulous bathroom vanity.

I wanted an interesting and fun bathroom vanity/sink for the guest bath and what a better way to get one than to make one.    This project met all the criteria for one my DIY adventures:

1)  It was cheap, I spent around $150 
2 )  The finished product looked better and more fun that some boring vanity you find at the home improvement store
3)  And most important, this project took way more time than I thought it would

Let's get started.

FÖRHÖJA Kitchen cart IKEA Gives you extra storage, utility and work space.

Step 1  Purchase one of these.  It's a Forhoja kitchen cart from Ikea.  Forhoja is Swedish for small piece of furniture with many small parts to paint.  They cost $99.99 on Ikea's site.  I got mine 20% off during the kitchen sale.

Step 2  Unpack and layout all the cart parts.  Admire what I call the Mary Poppins syndrome, there are a lot of pieces that come out of that box.  The two drawers that came with the cart, you don't need them for this project, set them aside, I have other plans for them.

Steps 3, 4 & 5 (optional)  Lightly sand all the pieces.  Paint with chalk paint, because you found the recipe online and everyone said that chalk paint will go on anything and you don't need primer.  Find out the next day the paint scratches off with your fingernail (in some places, sticks like glue in others), realize everyone online lied to you. Spend two days sanding off all the paint and starting over.  Or you can skip steps 3-5 and go directly to step 6.

Step 6  Prime.  Ikea furniture is coated with an impermeable coating, it's resistance to everything including paint.  Unless you know its secret weakness.  Primer for plastics.  I learned this trick after repainting some kitchen cabinets three times.

I wanted to keep the wheels with a natural wood look.  So I taped them off.  Taping these things is like wrapping an odd shaped present, you use way more tape than any normal person should use.

Step 7  Now you paint.  Just regular paint would never do for one my projects.  So I tried out chalk paint for the first time, it's all the rage on Pinterest.

 In a container, I used these cheap plastic Rubbermaid containers because they have a lid and a 1 cup measure line on the side, mix 2 1/2 Tablespoons Plaster of Paris with 1 1/2 Tablespoons of cold water.

I thought this would be really lumpy, but it's not.  It mixes to a smooth milky consistency in a short time.

Add 1 cup of paint.

I used Sherwin Williams, Urban Bronze.  If you ask for a sample of a color at Sherwin, you will get a 31 oz container of paint for around $6.  I even had a 20% coupon.  This is about a quart of paint which is plenty for this project.

I painted my cart with a foam roller and brush only in the areas I couldn't get the roller in.  Now two things I learned about chalk paint.  1)  The first coat looks horrible.  Like a 3rd grader painted it.  The second coat redeems itself.  2)  It dries really fast.  Like I started on the second coat as soon as I got the first coat on all the pieces.  And it dries to a very matte finish.

At this point your going to realize that I wasn't lying about the many, many small parts to paint on all sides.

Step 8  Assemble your cart per the Ikea instructions except for a few small changes.

This part, it's the middle piece of wood the countertop attaches to.  These two pieces of wood come already screwed together.  You need to unscrew them and cut out a chuck from the middle.  Why?  Because your drain to the sink needs somewhere to go.

This is what they look after you cut them.  And below is what they look like on the cart.

Step 9  Stain and seal the countertop.

I sanded the top

 and then applied a coat of wood conditioner.

Then two coats of Minwax Golden Pecan.  I was after a color that would bring out the wood's grain without making it too dark.  Then followed that up with 3 coats of matte polyurethane as I wanted to be careful the wood would not be damaged by water

Next we cut a hole in the center of the countertop using a hole saw for the sink plumbing.

We then applied Tub and Tile polyseamseal around the bottom of the sink.  This is an oval basin sink.  I got this little gem on Ebay for $30 including free shipping.

Then place the sink on top of the countertop.  The plumbing should stick out through the hole like this.

I then sealed the around the base of the sink with the Tub and Tile seal.  This stuff goes on white and dries clear.

This is a picture of underneath the countertop where we anchored the cabinet to the wall with an L bracket.  We did this in two places.

Here's the semi-finished product.  We still need to cut some fake drawer fronts and I will like to get some baskets to hide plumbing.

I found this wall mounted faucet at  It is actually sold as a kitchen wall faucet, but it makes a great bath faucet.

I found these matching shower curtain holders at Ace Hardware for $8.

The ruffled shower curtain is from Gordman's.

I found these cute hooks at Hobby Lobby.  They make great towel holders next to the tub.

I also got this great rack at Hobby Lobby.  It works great to hang a hand towel and the baskets hold soap and washcloths.  We still need to finish trimming the bead board in this room.