Category Archives: Family

A Potting Shed Project for Leigh Ann

W-BeforeAfter several years of sharing space in our garage, Leigh Ann and I decided to build her an 8’ x 12’ potting shed in our back yard. I, of course, wanted to add some “extras,” starting with these two matching stained glass windows we found in a salvage shop.

 

Clamping

Since the exterior siding will be cedar to match our house, I first made two simple frames from rough-sawn cedar boards, notching the inside of the window frames to hold the stained glass.

 

Teak OilThe rough-sawn side will be exposed to the sun and rain, so I protected it with two coats of clear Minwax® Helmsman® Teak Oil, which penetrates deep into the pores and brings out the rich, natural color of the wood.

 

StainThe inside of the cedar was smooth-sawn, so I gave it an additional sanding before staining it with Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain in Leigh Ann’s choice of “Deep Ocean.”

 

Poly CSince it will be on the inside of the potting shed, I sealed the stain with two coats of clear Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish using a synthetic bristle brush.

 

HeroEven though I still have some trim work to do, I naturally wanted to show Leigh Ann how the salvaged windows would look from the inside of her new potting shed.

Until next time,

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

Bruce

PS – Here’s what her potting shed looks like before the siding, door and shingles.

Shed Windows

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.

Made with Love: Rejuvenating My Kids’ Wood Wagon with My Fix It Up Life

Guest Bloggers Mark and Theresa of MyFixItUpLife are back with a fun project sure to pull on your heart strings. Follow along as the couples embrace the spirit of “Find. Finish. Love.” to revive an old wood wagon as a heart-felt gift for their kids. 

This wagon may not be the greatest woodworking project you’ll ever behold, but it’s made with love for my kids. Thing is, we never used it.MyFixitUpLife_Wagon_Made-With-LOve_Minwax1630-1-800x600

As with many intentions in life, we got busy. And it got stuffed in a forgotten corner; piled on with more forgotten stuff. Forgotten.

1-MyFixitUpLife_Wagon_Made-With-Love_Minwax_0683-800x600

But this wagon has a story. It’s dear to us. It’s wrapped up in how Theresa and I met and our first project together. Time to take life by the handle again and to start making new memories.

The wagon is made with wood that carpenters use to build shelter—spruce and fir mostly. You can get it anywhere and it’s usually a little, let’s say, lived in. It has all the dings and scrapes you’d expect a workmanlike hunk of wood to have.

What I enjoy about working with these kinds of woods is that their beauty is brought out by what you put into working and shaping and loving them.

And, this wagon looks slightly like a monster truck because I made it originally for Jack’s older sister when I lived closer to the beach. Its first lot in life was to be a beach wagon.

But we got busy.

And life happened.

Time to make some changes. Hello past, here comes tomorrow.

2-MyFixitUpLife_Wagon_Made-With-Love_Minwax_0688-800x600

Made with love, to us, sometimes means going back to the beginning. The spruce boards I made the original out of needed some serious sanding. Not a ton of fun, but we used three grits of paper (60, 100, 150) t0 bring the spruce boards back to vibrance. Also, sanding opens the grain of the wood, ideal for stain penetration.

12-MyFixitUpLife_Wagon_Made-With-Love_Minwax_0896-751x1024

Before applying our coatings, we took extra care to get the dust off the wood. Compressed air is great for this. If you don’t have a compressor, using an old paint brush is great too. Follow up with some spray detergent and a damp rag (like you’d clean your kitchen counter).

3-MyFixitUpLife_Wagon_Made-With-Love_Minwax_0695-800x600

The neglected spruce deck boards on the wagon gulped in the Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner, which we like to use as a base coat so the stain soaks in as evenly as possible.

11-MyFixitUpLife_Wagon_Made-With-Love_Minwax_0893-768x1024

Since the wagon’s rails were coming apart, I re-made them from a Douglas fir 4×4, carpenter-grade. It has the tightest, straightest grain of the construction wood available at the home center.

6-MyFixitUpLife_Wagon_Made-With-Love_Minwax_0723-800x600

I love this gray, Minwax® Wood Finish™ in “Classic Gray. When staining individual parts like this it pays to have a plan, because you have to stain all six sides at once. For these parts, we stained the front, the edges, then stood them up on the thin side and covered the remaining surfaces. It’s not perfect, but it works. Always check for streaks and runs (inevitable because: Gravity). Just strike them off with the brush.

7-MyFixitUpLife_Wagon_Made-With-Love_Minwax_0729-800x600

Since gravity  is always on, I use it to my advantage. Before using a stain—and this may not be in the Minwax® rule book—I tip cans upside for a few minutes before using them. To my mind, this lets the stain move uniformly through the can without me stirring it with a stick for longer than necessary. I still stir it with a stick. No shaking.

5-MyFixitUpLife_Wagon_Made-With-Love_Minwax_0711-800x600

Small parts can be frustrating to sand. When possible I use an inexpensive—and versatile; you can use a stationary sander for all kinds of stuff—bench-top sander.

8-MyFixitUpLife_Wagon_Made-With-Love_Minwax_0768-800x600

Applying this dark stain (it’s Minwax® Wood Finish™ in “Ebony”) was like applying a liquid mirror. And while we could have gone with the more sort of obvious colors of childhood here, we wanted a look that was a little more furniture than toy.

10-MyFixitUpLife_Wagon_Made-With-Love_Minwax_0806-800x600

Using this stain required me to slow down and go to a quiet place. There’s a balance between how quickly you can apply it and how quickly the wood drinks it in off the brush’s ferrules (bristles). There’s something just a little perfect about the balance.

16-MyFixitUpLife_Wagon_Made-With-Love_Minwax_0937-800x600

The last coat is one of my favorite things for outdoor protection. Even though this wagon will spend most of its life indoors, it’ll see beach sand or rain or who knows what from time to time, so I locked in the color and locked out the weather with Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane.

Bring it Mother Nature.

17-MyFixitUpLife_Wagon_Made-With-Love_Minwax_1008-800x600

It pays to have a plan. Since I wanted to brush the urethane on the sides, I needed a place for them to dry where they’d barely contact anything so I made a little hanger. Is this perfect? No. But neither is life.

MyFixitUpLife_Wagon_Made-With-LOve_Minwax1643-800x600

Love is said to be perfect though. And that—we hope—is what both kids feel when they see, use and roll around with this project from my heart.

MyFixitUpLife_Wagon_Made-With-LOve_Minwax1641-800x600

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.

MyFixitUpLife shares design inspiration, DIY tips, and behind-the-scenes interviews MyFixitUpLife’s husband-and-wife duo, Mark & Theresa, design, renovate, and share how-to tips to make your projects easier and more fun.

Driftwood Sculptures with City Farmhouse

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.

IMG_3994-1-683x1024

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:).

beach-10-1024x768

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!

beach-5-1-768x1024

They use long sticks to sift through the debris.

beach-9-768x1024

 

Some beach gems….

beach-13-1-768x1024

 

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.

IMG_3931-668x1024

 

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

IMG_3935-683x1024

 

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

IMG_3949-683x1024

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.

IMG_3950-683x1024

 

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.

IMG_3955-683x1024

 

IMG_3954-683x1024

 

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.

IMG_3959-683x1024

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.

IMG_3970-662x1024

IMG_3960-683x1024

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?

IMG_4074-676x1024

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

IMG_3988-1024x675

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

IMG_3982-683x1024

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

IMG_4014-683x1024

IMG_3991-1-674x1024

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

Driftwood-717x1024

IMG_4056-683x1024

IMG_4022-676x1024

IMG_4051-683x1024

IMG_4057-677x1024

IMG_4059-676x1024

IMG_4083-676x1024

IMG_4070-683x1024

IMG_4046-672x1024

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.

Hero

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