Monthly Archives: May 2017

A Next Level Coffee Table Addition

1. Hero

A few months ago, I made this coffee table for my son Eric. While he certainly was appreciative, he joked that it was too low for him. Eric, I should point out, is six-feet-four-inches tall. His coffee table is where he eats many of his meals and works on his laptop, so, yes, it does cause him to lean over uncomfortably.

2. CutsThe solution, I decided, was to make a simple television tray that Eric could set on top of his coffee table when he needed some extra height. I started by picking up an 18” x 36” pine panel and cutting off two 7” pieces to serve as the sides.

3. Supports

I then glued, and nailed, two strips of wood to the underside to attach and support each side.

HoleKnowing Eric would need a place for either pens or a beverage, I picked up a plastic cup holder, traced a circle, then cut it out.

4. Polyshades

For the sides, I selected Minwax® “Classic Black” Polyshades®, brushing on just one coat before setting them aside to dry.

5. Poly-U

I decided to keep the top natural, so I applied the first of two coats of Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane.

Hero

When I was finished, I liked Eric’s coffee table tray so much, I decided to make a second one for our own coffee table. Now all it needs is a pizza sitting on it.

Be sure to check 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

Restore a Foggy or Cloudy Skylight

Opening

For years, the skylight in our bedroom has had a permanent foggy appearance. But aside from looking unsightly, there was no reason to undergo the expense of a new one. So when I spotted this large stained glass window in an antique shop, I got an idea.

NotchesThe window’s frame was falling apart, so I removed it and made a simple oak lap-joint frame, cutting the notches using a hand saw and a chisel before gluing them together.

Test While the glue dried, I applied three different Minwax® Wood Finish™ stains in different colors– Natural, Golden Pecan, and Golden Oak to a piece of scrap oak, then held it up against the skylight to see which would be the best match.

Can As it turns out, the Minwax “Golden Pecan” Wood Finish came very close.

Stain I applied my stain, let it soak in for a few minutes, then wiped off the excess stain before letting it dry.

Plugs Afterwards I drilled a shallow half-inch hole in each lap-joint for the screws that would secure the stain glass window to two strips of wood I installed inside the skylight. The wood buttons hide the screw heads and give the frame a bit of decoration.

Lacquer Frames like this one are ideal projects for Minwax® Clear Aerosol Lacquer. Just a couple of thin coats provide all the protection the oak will need, and the lacquer dries in just a matter of minutes.

HeroWhile the antique stained glass window and my new frame didn’t fill the entire skylight, it certainly made it look much better, giving it some vintage character and a little extra color.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

This One’s For the Birds

Old Birdhouse

Everyone loves to watch birds, whether at a feeder or around a nesting box. Putting up nesting boxes is a good way to attract birds year round. But as you can see by this bluebird house of mine, it doesn’t take long for unprotected boards to begin to swell, crack and warp. Before long they simply fall apart.

Before

Last week, I picked up these two cedar bird houses at my local home improvement store. This time, however, I decided to protect the wood before I put them up.

Helmsman For the first bird house, I selected Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane, which has special “blockers” to ward off the damaging ultra-violet rays of the sun while also preventing moisture from soaking into the wood’s pores.

Teak Oil For the second, I chose Minwax® Helmsman® Teak Oil. Whereas Helmsman Spar Urethane dries on top of the wood, the Teak Oil is absorbed into the wood, where it dries and hardens. It also protects the wood from sunlight and moisture.

Teak App I prefer to pour the Teak Oil into a shallow container, then brush on a liberal coat, which the wood quickly absorbs. After it dries, I will apply a second coat the same way.

Bordhouse

I purposely did not seal the insides of the nesting boxes, as birds prefer raw, natural wood near their chicks. But protecting the outside with either Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane or Minwax® Helmsman® Teak Oil will ensure that any birdhouse will be around for a long time.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

Herringbone Wood Headboard with Jenni from I SPY DIY

Minwax® has partnered with Jenni Radosevich of I SPY DIY. Her mantra is “spot style you love, and do-it-yourself.” See how she created this incredible herringbone headboard in no time at all.

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The concept of the herringbone pattern is pretty simple, but I thought there might be some challenges turning it into a headboard. I was beyond happy when this project ended up being easier and way less time consuming than I thought; and turned out even better then I hoped! The guys at the hardware store were skeptical when I showed them the inspiration pic and told them I planned on finishing it in a day. But all the cutting/staining/gluing only took about three hours. Then, I let the glue set over night and spent around two hours the next day adding the frame and poly coats. I made the accent color using Minwax® Water-Based Wood Stain in ‘Pearl Gray”, but you can switch it up to match the decor in your bedroom. All the supplies cost $150 dollars, which is pretty darn good for a custom headboard!

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What you’ll need: 
Plywood 4 x 8ft. 1/3 in. thick – for a queen bed cut to 70 in. x 48 in.
7/8in X 3in – 8FT Cedar Boards (18 boards)
7/8in X 2in -8FT Cedar Board (4 boards)
1 Quart Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain – Pearl Gray
1 Quart Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain – White Wash Pickling 
Minwax® Polycrylic™ Protective Finish 
Wood Glue (3 bottles)
2 inch wood screws
Paint brush
Clamps
Drill
Miter saw
Circular saw

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I did a bit of guesstimating at the hardware store and bought 18 – 8 ft. pieces of 3 in. cedar. After factoring in a few bad cuts, I had the perfect amount of wood. If you did some more math, you could probably save some money with 12 ft. pieces, but math hurts my brain…
Now time to blast your music and start cutting! Using your miter saw, cut the cedar to 18 in. pieces. After cutting each board down, I laid the pieces on the plywood backing. Place the pieces to create 90 degree angles (butt joints), that repeat to create a vertical herringbone pattern. Once I got to the ends, I cut smaller pieces making sure that all of the plywood backing was covered.

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Once all of the pieces were in place, I picked out every third one, brushed it lightly with the Pearl Gray, then set it back into place. Then, I picked out some random ones to stain white. I also flipped some of the raw cedar to show the rough side, and others to show the smooth side, to get a lot of different colors and texture. Doing it this way went a lot faster then I thought, and lets you really make sure you’re getting that unplanned, yet perfect, look!

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I experimented with ‘Slate’ and ‘Pearl Gray’ stain. I planned to use both, but ended up just using the ‘Pearl Gray’ and ‘White Wash Pickling’ because I did not want the headboard to look too busy. The ‘Slate’ is gorgeous though, and I can’t wait to use it on another project!

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On some of the white washed pieces, I used a super thin layer on the rough side of the cedar, and I LOVE how the wood peeked through. On other pieces, I added a second coat so they would be whiter.

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Once your stain is dry to the touch, you can start gluing down the pieces. My brother-in-law came up with the brilliant idea of using his nail gun to secure a zig-zag down the middle as a guideline. Then I worked my way out on both sides, making sure the pattern stayed straight and covered the plywood.

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Unfortunately, I don’t have a pic of the next step because I was holding down the wood while my Bro-in-law used a circular saw to cut off all the wood that hung over the plywood; but clamped down a piece of wood along the edge and then ran the circular saw along it to make a straight cut. Next, I created the frame by measuring each side and making 45 degree miter cuts. I did this by making a 45 degree cut on one side, then lined the short end up to one corner, marked the other corner, then cut. I clamped the frame pieces to the headboard and drilled in 2 in. wood screws around the perimeter to secure the frame.

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The final step was adding a Polycrylic™ Protective Finish, which was a game changer. It brought out all the beautiful colors of the cedar! Make sure to brush it on, in the direction of grain, then let dry completely.

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Securing the newly completed headboard to the wall was a two woman job. We propped it on top of the bed frame to get the right height; then using a stud finder, we then drilled eight screws through the headboard and into the studs to make sure it would stay put on the wall, and voila!

Can’t wait to see your version!

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For more of Jenni’s DIY projects. Check out her blog I SPY DIY and follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.