A Landing Rescue

Before

We had friends over for dinner the other night, and while no one said anything about our worn oak landing, I could imagine the conversation on the way home: “I wonder why Bruce hasn’t done anything about their landing?”

 

Cleaner

Guilt can be an even stronger motivator than a deadline, so the next day I grabbed a mop, a bottle of Minwax® Hardwood Floor Cleaner and went to work. In just a few minutes, I had cleaned the floor and was ready to apply a fresh coat of clear finish.

 

Can

I could have used Minwax® Hardwood Floor Reviver, but our landing gets so much use (and abuse) that I chose something even stronger: Minwax® Ultimate Floor Finish.

 

Brush

After a light sanding and vacuuming up the dust, I brushed on an even coat of this strong, clear, water-based finish. Had I been doing an entire room, I probably would have opted for a wide painter’s pad mounted on the end of a four-foot pole, just to make it easier on my back!

 

Hero

And in less time than I would have spent explaining why my landing looked so bad, I was able to transform an unsightly first impression into a positive lasting impression.

From now through September 30th, take advantage of the Minwax® Fall Home Celebration rebate and save up to $15 on select Minwax® products that make and keep your floors beautiful! These specially formulated products enhance the natural beauty of your floors and can help protect them so they look great for years to come.

Be sure to check out Minwax’s new “Made With Love. Finished With Minwax.” campaign currently going on. The theme is ‘Find. Finish. Love.,’ celebrating the thrill of finding real wood pieces – sometimes in the least expected places – and the joy of making them into something we love.

Until next time,

“If you wait until you have enough time, it will never get done.”

Bruce

 

Driftwood Sculptures with City Farmhouse

By: Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger Jen of City Farmhouse is back with a fun DIY project that allows you hold on to your summer memories in a unique and beautiful way. Follow along as she demonstrates how to create these stylish driftwood sculptures. 

I am so excited to share this fun, easy & super stylish summer project with you today! Our collection of driftwood has grown each year, as “hunting for treasure” is a favorite summer pastime. No matter how old my boys get they still like the adventure, you honestly never know what you will find washed up ashore. We have found some pretty awesome pieces lately and it got me thinking, what else could we make with them? I love dimensional & sculptural objects, they add a flavor to open shelving & vignettes that no other accessory can. As I began to see some of the driftwood we found together as art, we all agreed these would make beautiful wood sculptures. Plus it’s a great way to hold onto those summer memories for all to appreciate for years to come.

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This project is part of the Minwax® Made With Love campaign that encompasses the concept of something found, finished and loved. I thought this was the perfect project since it’s found pieces from special moments shared together and created with such care, thought & LOVE:).

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We usually go for walks along the ocean once a week, we bring a few bags and collect what we like and feels unique to us. The trick is to sort through so we don’t bring the whole beach home with us. Sometimes we will sit with all the pieces if we have too many and give a reason why we should keep it, you can’t imagine how much 2 boys can collect in 30 minutes, lol. This piece below we knew was a keeper from the moment we found it, you can see the reveal in my bookshelves, it’s something special!

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They use long sticks to sift through the debris.

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Some beach gems….

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If you would like to make some of your own driftwood sculptures this is what you need….

  • Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish
  • drop cloth
  • latex gloves
  • mask (if indoors)
  • saw box
  • sander with medium grit sand paper
  • wood glue
  • poplar dowels (I used 1/4″ & 3/8″)
  • poplar craft wood (I used 1.5″ x 3/4″ &  2.5″ x 1.5″)
  • wired brush
  • foam brush
  • flower clippers (to cut the dowels)
  • wood glue
  • drill & bits (1/4″ & 3/8″)
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • stamps or marker (optional)

STEP 1-Cut your bases. I mixed these up cutting both square and rectangular pieces from both lengths of poplar with my saw box. Be sure your wood is secure before you cut to prevent any injuries.

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STEP 2 – Sand your bases. You can use sandpaper, a sanding block or an electric sander to smooth the rough edges.

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STEP 3 – Clean your wood. Take a wired brush or any large brush and work into the wood removing any particles, sand or debris.

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Step 4 – Cut your dowels. I waited until I had each piece in front of me to determine the length I wanted each vertical piece to be. Be sure to leave a little extra to fit into the base and your driftwood. You can use a flower clipper to cut these dowels or the saw, just be sure it is secured first.

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Step 5 – Drill into your driftwood and base. Take your drill & bit matching the diameter of your dowels and drill into both pieces. Measure for the middle of the driftwood piece and the base & mark with a pencil.

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Step 6 – Glue dowels into both ends. Put a little wood glue on each end and secure it into your piece at the base and bottom of your piece.

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Step 7 – Protect your piece. Be sure your wood is completely dry, if in question, leave in the sun for a few days. Seal your sculpture with Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish. Use latex gloves & mask for this part. Take your foam brush and apply, making sure to get into the nooks & crannies. Let dry for a few hours.

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Step 8 – Add a personal touch. Using a stamp or marker record the date and/or names to appreciate for years to come. Shane & Jack both made ones for their rooms from pieces they found so it’s nice to have a personal note at the bottom. Who knows maybe these will be in the family for a while, one can hope right?

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We made about 8 in all and just to show you different styling options I layered them throughout my den.

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Of course no post would be the same without a little photo of Denver.

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This is the piece from above, it’s my favorite, I love the contrast, shape and texture, it all works.

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I kept the base natural, without stain because I didn’t want it to compete with the organic beauty and tone of the driftwood.

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What do you think of the art we made with love from the found driftwood from our little beach adventures? I can’t tell you enough how much I LOVE this project!!! Not only was it easy but it was so cheap, it was under $25 for all my supplies. You can make about 20 with the purchased supplies.

From now through September 30th, take advantage of our Fall Home Celebration rebate and save up to $15 on select Minwax® products that make and keep your floors beautiful. These specially formulated products enhance the natural beauty of your floors and can help protect them so they look great for years to come.

Be sure to check out Minwax’s new “Made With Love. Finished With Minwax.” campaign currently going on. The theme is ‘Find. Finish. Love.,’ celebrating the thrill of finding real wood pieces – sometimes in the least expected places – and the joy of making them into something we love.

Jen shares DIY projects and thrifty decorating solutions. Her design philosophy is that bringing style to your home doesn’t have to break the bank. Learn more about Jen and visit City Farmhouse. You Can also follow her on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.

 

A Quick Fix For a Worn Floor

Daisy

I can’t blame Daisy alone for our worn bedroom floor. As you can see, we get a lot of sunlight and even some moisture around our exterior bedroom door. The door (not Daisy!) is on our list to be replaced, so I did not want to do a complete floor refinishing now. The wood did however, need something to make it look better — and to provide it with some real protection.

Cleaner

Instead of stripping, sanding, and refinishing the oak boards, I opted for an easier and faster route. First, I swept up the dirt (along with a few dog hairs), then cleaned the floor with Minwax® Hardwood Floor Cleaner.

Reviver

Within minutes, the floor was dry, so I then squirted on the water-based clear finish called Minwax® Hardwood Floor Reviver. Unlike polishes that quickly evaporate, Hardwood Floor Reviver is an actual floor finish that dries, hardens and provides a thin layer of protection.

Mop

My mop quickly spread an even coat of Reviver across the floor. As you can see, the difference is amazing.

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Since Minwax® Hardwood Floor Reviver is water-based, I did not have to worry about any fumes. And it dried so fast that Daisy never even realized what I had done before coming back to take her afternoon nap.

From now through September 30th, take advantage of the Minwax® Fall Home Celebration rebate and save up to $15 on select Minwax® products that make and keep your floors beautiful! These specially formulated products enhance the natural beauty of your floors and can help protect them so they look great for years to come.

Be sure to check out Minwax’s new “Made With Love. Finished With Minwax.” campaign currently going on. The theme is ‘Find. Finish. Love.,’ celebrating the thrill of finding real wood pieces – sometimes in the least expected places – and the joy of making them into something we love.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

 

DIY Bathroom Vanity with Thrifty Decor Chick

By: Guest Blogger

Sarah of Thrifty Decor Chick is back with another amazing DIY project. See how she created this beautifully modern bathroom vanity. 

Hey all! I just finished up a DIY bathroom vanity that I wanted to share with you.  My Dad and I built it together and I thought this would be a great opportunity to show off the staining process.

Here’s what we started with:

How to build your own bathroom vanity

I work with Minwax® occasionally to share how to bring stained wood projects into your home and I knew this one was going to be a great fit. I started with my go to, Minwax® Pre-Stain Conditioner:

Minwax prestain conditioner

It helps to prepare the wood for staining — it’s such a quick process it takes no time at all. I use a foam brush to apply:

Prepping wood for stain

You don’t even need to wipe it off, as long at you don’t brush it on too thick. I immediately started staining after that step with Minwax® Wood Finish™ in my new favorite color, “Provincial.”

Provincial stain by Minwax

It is such a pretty stain and doesn’t look nearly as red (at least on pine) in real life as it does in that photo above. It’s a nice in between brown tone. I usually use a foam brush to apply the stain as well, but when you’re working with vertical surfaces that’s a little trickier. Applying with a rag is a bit messier (use gloves for sure), but I think goes on quicker. I did two coats on the top of the vanity.

Staining with a rag instead of brush

If you use a brush to apply stain, you’ll need to wipe down any excess a few minutes after. When you use a rag you’re wiping off that extra stain as you go so you save a step. Staining is such an easy DIY project and I LOVE the instant gratification it gives. :) It’s so fun to see wood come alive when you work with stain. I always like to share a few staining tips with you that I think are important:

  • You need to give yourself enough time to complete one surface at a time. If you start and stop (and let the stain dry) you will see where you left off. Always leave a “wet edge” as you work — meaning keep moving across the surface with the wet brush.
  • It is important to let each coat dry well. If you add another coat too fast it will gunk up and take forever to dry. I usually only do one coat but you can add more for a deeper tone.
  • Gloves are always recommended! Even if you don’t use a rag to apply you’ll need one to wipe off excess stain afterwards.
  • If you can stain outside, great! If not, keep windows open or a fan running. And if you notice a weird smell coming from your dryer or oven after you stain, check out this post. :)

I did the top and then started the bottom part of the vanity…and the two pine pieces we used weren’t staining the same. I kind of figured this would happen because the 2x4s were a little rougher than the select pine I used for the rest of it. The 2×4’s were looking more red. But I had a plan! It added about $50 to the cost of the vanity, but I’m still coming in at less than $250 for the whole thing so I’m thrilled. I had some pine boards mitered down so we could wrap the legs. Here’s a reminder of how they looked:

Building a bathroom vanity

 

Instead of the 2×4’s, those are now covered in the nicer wood to match the rest. I also changed the shelf a bit and I’ll show you that below. I didn’t want the cut ends of the shelf pieces showing because I knew they’d stain up so much darker than the rest. The cut sides always absorb more stain.I grabbed a lawn trash bag and set up on the floor to condition and stain each board for the shelf individually:

 

How to stain easily

Like I said, using a rag makes the process SO much faster than a foam brush. It’s just faster to wipe it on and you eliminate taking off the excess stain after. I went ahead and installed the slats for the shelf when the stain dried and got ready for my next step. I wanted to use a polyurethane that would hold up to the water that will inevitably get all over the countertop. I chose the Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane I used when I refinished the potting bench last year:

DIY potting bench
Outdoor urethane for stained wood

I did two coats over the whole vanity and will probably do one more to the top. Between a good poly and lots of caulk around the sinks, the wood counter should hold up fine. You can use a fine grit sandpaper or steel wool in-between coats of poly, but I’ve found my new trick works just as well or better:

Sanding in between coats

Yes, just paper bags! It knocks down an rough spots but doesn’t create a cloudy look that sandpaper can sometimes create. It’s especially great for a final sanding after you’re done. Love it! Here’s a look at the finished project! Well, minus the faucets and mirrors and other finishing touches:

Sealing wood counters on bathroom vanity

Crossing my fingers the faucets will go in today! So much progress lately. 😁😁  I finally feel like we’re in the home stretch, even though there’s still a ton left to do. I found sinks and matching drain stoppers to go with them and I LOVE how they look.Finding faucets in stock that are tall enough was a little more difficult. I moved the sinks up towards the front of the vanity a bit to make washing hands/face more comfortable:

Wood counters on bathroom vanity

I only wrapped the front legs because you really won’t see the back ones when the baskets and stuff are sitting on the shelf:

Built in DIY vanity with sinks

You can see here how the slats now nestle behind the front piece. I love this — it streamlines it a bit more, and as I mentioned, the ends of the slats would have been much darker. When I wrapped the legs I considered painting the vanity white for a hot second. I thought it would look good with white on the bottom and a stained top, and it would! But I’m so glad I went ahead with the stain. It really gives this room some warmth. I love stained wood in contrast with the dark tile and the white accents that will go throughout the room as well. Here’s a before and after of the vanity and a peek at the shower tile that was finished up this morning:

How to build and stain a DIY bathroom vanity
How to build and stain a DIY vanity

My bathroom renovation is coming together just as I envisioned and I couldn’t be happier!

Be sure to check out Minwax’s new “Made With Love. Finished With Minwax.” campaign currently going on. The theme is ‘Find. Finish. Love.,’ celebrating the thrill of finding real wood pieces sometimes in the least expected places – and the joy of making them into something we love.

Sarah’s blog, Thrifty Decor Chick, features more great DIY projects that will help you have lovely home without spending a ton of money. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, or Pinterest for more.