Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Dining Table Refinishing

Hello and happy fall!

Our much loved dining room table has received a facelift and we would love to share it with you!  We had this table built over a dozen years ago, or so.  The top was made out of 100 year old barn board.  It is beautiful and sturdy and has stood the test of the 90 children that have called our place(s) home, many family parties, holiday dinners, crafting get togethers and a plethora of homework assignments.  It has earned a few scares over the years, but they just add to the patina.

Here is a "before" photo of our dining room which we shared with you last fall.   Over the last couple of years, we noticed that the varnish has "yellowed" making the table look more orange than it did in it's early years.  After talking about refinishing it for a while, Ian decided that the timing was right to work on it one week this past summer.

After taking the table apart he used a belt sander and palm sander to remove the old varnish from it.

It took two days of sanding and fussing over it to get it "naked".  As is often the case, I got the easy job of picking out the paint and stain colours!  You know the "glam" job! As in the job, where I don't stand outside in the heat, covered in saw dust and sweat with tingling hands!  I chose "soft chamois" from Benjamin Moore for the legs and skirt.

We wanted a high quality matte paint, for long life and wash-ability.  This is what they recommended at our local store. Ian says to tel you that it paints on really nice!

 We opted for for an exterior stain (read super durable for a table that is used daily and washed several times a day) in a warm soft grey.  This stain is tint-able in several colours, we chose "Georgetown Grey".

We also decided to give the top a coat of finishing wax, this adds an extra layer of protection and is a fairly quick and easy job to buff on a couple of times a year.

And I have to tell you that we are so in love with the way it turned out.  It is an amazing first step in getting this room looking how we envision it!

It is always a great feeling when things start to come together!  The products for this makeover cost just under $70.00. Not too shabby for a completely different look, and why I always recommend buying "real" wood pieces.  You can easily give them a second life, save money by not replacing them and not add to the land fills.

We are currently on the hunt for new chairs to match the "new" table.  We are thinking of keeping and repainting the two end chairs and adding chair pads of some sort.  Although, I would really like something wicker or upholstered.  We have chairs in mind to replace the back two chairs (which will be re-purposed elsewhere in our home), I am sourcing out the best price. And I am about halfway to convincing Ian that he can and should build me a bench that coordinates with the table to replace the two chairs at the foreground of this photo. Wish me luck!

And hey, thanks for visiting!
Ian and Laura

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Deck Modification Phase 4 | Hot Tub

When we last filled you in on our deck renovation, we had replaced the stairs and started building the extra section of decking to access the new hot tub.

Well as you can see we finished the little deck addition, so we now have safe entry into the hot tub.  We picked up a couple of little mesh chairs (perfect for wet bottoms and towels) at our local home store for only $12.50  piece. They weren't quiet what we had in mind, but it was hard to argue to price tag!

And that is pretty much where we left things for a couple of weeks while we entertained guests.

But Ian was really anxious to get going on the rest of the project. You will notice in the "before" photo above, the decking has large gaps.  They were treacherous to anyone sitting in a patio chair, more than one chair leg got sucked down there. So shortly after our guests left, he started working again.

He used a large reciprocating saw to cut down the old deck boards.  Which were not in fact deck boards or even pressure treated lumber. They were 2x6's!  Then he pulled out the boards, working on half of the deck at a time so that we still had access for us and our dogs.

Once all of the floor boards were out, he reinforced the deck by adding in more joists, so they they were 12 inches on centre instead of 24. He also added in some blocking as there wasn't any before.

Because we could only do half the deck at a time, we were also able to save a bit of money by buying 8' deck boards instead of 16 foot.  Plus we could bring them home ourselves and thus saving on delivery charges.

The planking / decking part went pretty quickly and before we knew it he was woring on the second half of the deck.

Following the same process as before, this picture makes me more than a little nervous!

And once again,he was at the decking phase, it takes a lot of time and sweat equity to get the this point, but it is so rewarding.  He keeps telling me he loves this stuff!

And wow, do we ever appreciate that we have no gaps to fall into anymore!

After the deck, he moved on to railings - safety first you know ;) We wanted a change for the balusters.  As you can see in this before photo (below), the existing railings and balusters really restricted our view. In fact the whole deck felt dark and heavy and enveloping.

 So we explored a few options and ended up coming up with this idea. We love the modern / farmhouse / industrial look they add to the deck. Plus they are so open and airy, it just FEELS better.

The only downside is that they are not galvanized, so we had to give them a clear coat of spray paint. But it was a super quick job.

Most of the posts you see are the existing posts, although Ian did add a couple of extra posts.We also maintained the original rim joists.  The only problem was that they were all covered in thirty year old varnish and stain. Yikes.  We used a belt sander to clean them up and then added a coat of  a brown paint on preservative.  This should help all of these pieces last quite a while longer and now they match the new decking!

We have used the deck so much this summer! It was definitely a great idea to stop working inside and move outside for the nice weather!

Next up is skirting, lighting and decor!  We may be in the home-stretch.  Although we are debating on whether or not to call it quits until the spring. We found out we need to replace the flooring in our 575 sq.ft. family room so we do need to move inside soon!

Thank you for visiting!
Ian and Laura

PS anyone want to guess how many screws we used?

Friday, 9 September 2016

DIY Candle Holder


A couple of weeks ago we went for a drive to check out a few neighbouring small towns / hamlets, one of our goals along the way was to check out this little home decor shop, which actually was quite large.  It is in an old house and there is room after room filled with eye candy!  We picked up a few treasures, one of which was something that Ian had been coveting for quite a while - we will share those things later on. Our son loved that there was an ice cream parlour in one of the little rooms!  Definitely a win for the family!

While there we spied these candle holders, pictured below.  They are cute, and I thought they would be nice in our family room, but they came with a hefty price tag ($90.00 for the trio) and I wasn't sold on the colour (they look green in this photo but are actually quite blue).  I do love it but it doesn't mesh with my colour vision for the room.  So I snapped a quick picture with my phone, hoping that we could recreate them.

A week of so later when Ian was working on the deck some 4x4 post scraps were heading to the trash bin.  Well you know I scooped them right out again!  Ian cut them to size for me, we just sort of eyeballed the heights based on the size of the largest piece. After that we sanded them with a palm sander, next came the fun part of painting and staining.

First we gave them a quick coat of chalk finish paint, in a warm grey by Americana Decor called Primitive.

And then we rubbed on a gel stain in a colour called Weathered Grey.  This stuff is super easy to work with.  You can wipe on and off as many coats as you like, the longer you leave it on before wiping it dry, the more colour the wood takes on.

Then we tapped into our stash of Mason jar lids (yes, it's a thing! ha!) we flipped the rings upside down and the lids right side up and Ian screwed them into place.  We contemplated painting them black via a spray paint, but quickly decided we liked this warm metal colour..  They are perfect for holding pillar candles!

The final step was to wrap the bases with rope, we used small nails to hold either end in place.  Each post was wrapped 9 times, because I have a thing for odd numbers.

The bonus was everything that we needed to complete this project with the exception of the rope, we already had on hand.  Making this a $5.00 DIY!

We love the way they turned out, they will look great in our family room oce it has had it's makeover!

Thanks for visiting!
Ian and Laura

Monday, 5 September 2016

Inexpensive Outdoor Movie Screen


Our family loves watching movies and in the summer we enjoy outdoor movie nights.  Over the years Ian has created several screens for our flick viewing, but the one he created this summer was probably our favourite!

First he created a frame using 2x4's, although 1x4's would probably work just as well, we just happened to have the 2x4's left over from another project.

Then he wrapped the frame with a painter's drop cloth that we picked up at Home Depot.  He secured it to the back of the 2x4 frame with staples.

Finally he hung the screen from the back of our garage using large hooks, one set on the frame and one set on the garage wall.

The screen measures about 5' x 8', and is just perfect.  We enjoyed several videos under the stars this summer and hope to be able to do this again next year!

Thanks for visiting!
Ian and Laura