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 Overstock.com.  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.

Lights, water, and heat. What more do you need?

November 19, 2013

 The last piece of siding goes on.  The siding color is actually really blue, this camera makes it look gray.  We will have to get some better pictures of it.
 The well has been dug and hydrants put in.  The water gets turned on this week.  It's the little things you miss, like running water.

Temporary heater sitting in the living room.  This heater gets replaced after they finish drywalling and we finish painting.

And on the 105th day there was light.  They hooked up some of the can lights upstairs and downstairs.  It's the first time the house has had light.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Finish for the exterior doors.

November 9th, 2013

 The front and back porch doors came with primed wood frames.  And they looked pretty crappy.  So we took advantage of the nice weather on the weekend to give them a nice finish.  I filled the holes and marks with wood putty then painted them with exterior white paint.

Then Brian put on an aluminum wrap over the wood brickmold.  The wrap is installed on the right side of this door and the original wood is on the top.  Hopefully this will protect the trim so it doesn't weather.  Now just to hope the workers don't dent it up too much before me move in.

And finally, I caulked the wraps and frame to seal it up and give it a nice look.  All that's left is to paint the actually doors and install our new doorbell.

We're wired for sound and other things...

November 2 & 9th, 2013

Brian pulls speaker wire in the house.  We ran a speaker in the kitchen so the I either play my iPod over it or the TV.  We really like this in our last house as you can hear the TV in the kitchen without having to turn the volume so loud.

We also ran speakers in the master bath, both front and back porches and downstairs for Brian's theater room.  We also pulled some Cat 5 for data and some HDMI.

In the gutter.

November 2, 2013

Seamless gutters get installed and they look great.  These guys and gal did a fantastic job.

Wires going everywhere.

October 28-30, 2013

 We got a tub.  The bathtub/shower for the 2nd bath goes in and plumber begins putting in the roughins.

 Exhaust fan roughins are in.

 Electrical wiring starts.

Lights going up.

It's crazy busy as crews are working all over the house and we are checking that everything is in right place.  Which means marking all the switches and providing measurements for everything.