Monthly Archives: August 2017

DIY Bathroom Vanity with Thrifty Decor Chick

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. 

A Boxed Herb Garden

Pine Box

A friend of ours who loves to cook has a kitchen with lots of counter space, but no easy access to the outdoors. When I saw this unfinished box in our local craft store, I had the perfect gift idea.

Stain Better

I started with staining the raised portions using Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain in “Green Tea.” Once it dried, I sealed and protected the wood using Minwax® Polycrylic™ Protective Finish.

4. Hardware

And to give it some special character, I then added some inexpensive hardware on the corners.

Jars

Next, I put some decorative rocks in the bottom of some Mason jars, then planted herbs in each one, as well as a few flowers.

Hero

When it was all done, we had a decorative box filled with herbs and flowers to give to our friend for her kitchen.

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

Modern Succulent Centerpiece Planter with City Farmhouse

Guest Blogger Jen of City Farmhouse is back with a simple yet elegant DIY project to bring the beauty of nature into your home. Follow along as she walks us through the steps for creating this Modern Succulent Centerpiece Planter.

Hi, there friends! Over the last few years, I have become super fond of succulents, who hasn’t right?! I love the look, colors, sizes, shapes and the fact that they are low maintenance is a bonus for me. Plus you can find them just about anywhere lately, even the grocery store! I thought it would be fun to create an all season, modern succulent centerpiece planter for my kitchen table. I have teamed up with Minwax® for this project and to give my piece a rustic finish.

In planning this piece I knew I didn’t want the soil near the wood and that I wanted a modern vibe so I decided to use plastic planters I found at Target and set them inside the top. I actually created this piece based on the dimensions of these planters, so if you find other planters to use for this project, just alter your measurements accordingly. The great part about this is that I can also pop them in and out easily if I wanted to change the plants.

Modern-Succulent-Planter-677x1024

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • poplar craft board – Four 3ft lengths & One 2ft length (I bought mine at Lowe’s)
  • wood glue
  • finishing nails
  • clamps
  • jig saw or 4″ drill bit adapter
  • sand paper
  • 5 plastic pots from Target that are about 4″ x 4″
  • 5 succulents
  • potting soil
  • pebbles

DIY-Planter-683x1024

HOW THIS WAS MADE:

Cut your pieces from the above diagramMark off 5-4.25″ circles in the top length and cut them out using a jigsaw or 4″ drill bit adapterSand the openings to make them smooth.Take your bottom & 2 sides and glue & nail them, using clamps to hold in place.Once dry take your top with your circle cut outs and do the same, glue & nail.Then do the same for your ends, these will adhere to the outside of the box.After the piece is dry and secure, sand the edges smooth.Now it’s time to stain, I used Minwax® Gel Stain in “Aged Oak.” Be sure to have gloves on and use a cotton cloth to apply. The gel stain was SO easy!!!Next, I sealed it with Minwax® Paste Finishing Wax to give it a protective finish while maintaining a natural look.This Gel Stain is the best!!! It dries fast and no mess!!!

IMG_3065-683x1024

The finishing paste gives the same look on the wood but adds an extra layer of protection.

IMG_3084-682x1024

IMG_3086-675x1024

It’s time to add the planters! I selected 5 different succulents that I found at Lowe’s, all with varying hues, shapes and sizes.

IMG_3101-675x1024

Ta-da! Honestly, I wanted a no-fuss centerpiece that could stay through the seasons. I hit the nail on the head with this one, I absolutely love it!

IMG_3165-677x1024

The stain is just the right shade to balance all the wood tones and brown hues.

IMG_3172-1024x683

A little peek into my new den, aka old dining room.

IMG_3183-668x1024

My favorite part is the circle cut outs, it’s something different. I added pebbles to the planters to give it a finished look.

IMG_3142-678x1024

Modern DIY Succulent PlanterIMG_3187-681x1024

And more succulents in the open shelving:).

IMG_3204-681x1024

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 Mountain Wall Shelf

1. Boards

Living within sight of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I was inspired to turn these two 1″ x 4″ oak boards into a wall shelf with a mountain theme. What I liked about this project is that you can make your shelf and your mountain design whatever size you want.

2. first mt

I cut my bottom board 22 inches long, then cut some shorter boards to create my first mountain. As I mentioned, this is your chance to be creative, experimenting with different sizes and shapes.

3. second mt.

I then created my second mountain peak at the opposite end.

4. last mt

Two more boards, and my three peaks were complete. I used both wood glue, and short nails, to hold them together.

5. stain

For this project I selected Minwax® Gel Stain in “Coffee,” applied it with a brush, then wiped off any stain the wood did not absorb. Once it dried, I protected the wood with two coats of Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane in an aerosol can.

Hero

Once the last coat had dried, I hung my shelf on a wall and used it to display some of Leigh Ann’s antique bottles.

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