Monday, August 11, 2014

I love it when a plan comes together. (A before and after.)

I completed a project!

This is a big deal. I am the queen of leaving things half-baked when is comes to up-cycling and repurpose-ing (am I making up words with hyphens now?). Ironic, considering my children's tendency toward the same half-baked-ness drives me absolutely batty. *ahem*

I'm really not that bad. It's a matter of lacking storage, really. If I had a garage or barn where I could store pieces until I had a chance to work on them, nobody would notice. As it is, my dining room is my work space and often my storage space - I paint, saw, and sand there if it's too hot, cold or humid, or the piece is too heavy or cumbersome to take it outdoors.

So it was with this latest project which involved a heavy wood door that I turned into a headboard in our master bedroom.

 Before - big bed, no headboard.

Let me give you a bit of a timeline.

Sometime this spring I brought 3 old interior doors home from work. I saved them from the Dumpster after they were torn out during a renovation project in our 100-yr-old building. For a few weeks those doors leaned up against a wall in my house. Two of them are still there awaiting future projects. The third was the perfect height to turn lengthwise and use as a headboard.

So I set about making plans. Surfed Pinterest boards to find a simple design I liked. Picked up some paint stripper thinking if the wood underneath those layers of (probably lead-based) paint looked any good I would give it a rich-looking stain.

Over weeks I had paint-stripping and scraping sessions which involved me carrying this heavy door outside, spraying or spreading paint stripper on it, waiting oh-so-impatiently for the stuff to do its magic, scraping, sanding, and eventually moving the door back inside, frustrated that I couldn't remove the paint as easily as I had hoped.

(I took pictures during this process and promptly lost them when my cell phone went kaput because who really backs their stuff up to the cloud?)

I finally abandoned the idea of staining the wood and sanded the old paint off as well as I could (wearing a mask, of course ... which makes me sweat just thinking about it.) I even got out the Dremel to sand the intricate little corners ... which I then abandoned because it would have required more time and effort than I was willing to give on this project.

I decided to re-paint the door using the bright blue paint I had purchased for our master bathroom (another item still on the to-do list).

I painted it. Painted again. Did a little distressing with sandpaper. Realized the door had a sour/musty smell that did not go away with layers of new paint. Googled it. Discovered shellac was probably the answer. Bought some shellac. Got busy with life in the height of summer and moved the door so I wouldn't be tripping over it. Finally decided it was time to knock this sucker out and vowed I would complete it by the time I went to bed on Sunday.

So I went to town after church yesterday and bought a $3 piece of wood for the ledge and $2.36 worth of heavy duty wood screws. The crown molding I already had - it must have been an extra piece because it's been floating around in our closet since we bought the house. I grabbed a scrap 2X4 from my in-laws', which I would use as a little extra support for the door to sit on.

There were a couple of casualties.

I broke off one of those 3-inch screws that was supposed to hold this large piece of wood on the wall above my head. My fault. Because of course the walls in this house are not straight, and of course I had to push my luck and try to use a 59-cent screw to bend a solid wood door to the shape of the wall. FAIL. Don't try that, kids.

Also? I need a new level.

We should have a moment of silence for this guy. I remember buying this when we installed the tile floor in our front room. It has been with me through many a project, but I didn't realize I had left it on the bed and I sat on it. Oops.

Once I made up my mind on the paint scheme - Paint over the shellac? Leave the shellac as the top layer with the aged/yellowish look? - it was relatively easy going. Here's a shot after the door was up but before I installed the ledge:

The ledge was easy - cut to size, paint, and tack it on. The crown molding? No. Crown molding is from the debil. If you are a whiz at cutting and installing crown molding please don't tell me how easy it is. I will never do it again. I will buy those cheater pieces so I don't have to figure out any corners.

Fortunately I'm a whiz with spackle and sandpaper. And paint. Paint covers a multitude of mistakes.

Voila! The finished product.

I have some finish work to do on it - a little more spackle and touching up the paint, but I think it looks pretty cool. I'm not sure yet what I'll put on the ledge, but I love the idea of some large black and white family photos.

We have lived in this house for 14 years. We have added character with paint, wallpaper, flooring, furniture, etc., to every room of the house except this one - until just a few months ago when I finally painted the dirty white walls a soothing green (it really is pretty, but the lighting in these photos makes it look kinda' drab). More and more as the kids get older and stay up later I tend to retreat to my bedroom for some quiet time; now it feels less like a punishment and more like a haven where I can read a book, watch what I want on TV, take a snooze, or on the rare occasion that he's home, enjoy some quality time with my husband.


I love it!

Now if I could just get that master bathroom painted ...

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