Category Archives: Home Decor

Step it Up with this Ladder Display Rack

While cutting up a wooden step-ladder may seem just a little strange, it actually made my wife Leigh Ann very happy. Not only had she been warning me that this old cobbled up ladder was going to collapse under me, she also had seen photos of old ladders being used as towel displays in kitchens and bathrooms.

While she was insistent that I didn’t sand off all the old paint splatters, it did need a light sanding just to eliminate any rough edges and to bring out some of the natural grain of the wood.

Since the rungs would be a challenge to brush on a finish, I opted for the aerosol version of Minwax® Polycrylic™ Protective Finish. Polycrylic is water-based, so it dried quickly and did not change the color of the wood. But it did give it just enough sheen to bring the old wood to life.

To hang it, I drilled a quarter-inch hole at the top of each side, then inserted a knotted loop of cord. I set the ladder in our family room while I went back to get a hammer and a couple of small nails. When I came back, Leigh Ann had already started experimenting with hanging dish towels from it.

I managed to get one more picture before she grabbed it and took off to see which room it would look best in. I headed back to my workshop to start another project….

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by.

Bruce

Restoring an Antique Bench

As much as I enjoy digging through antique shops, I continue to shop online, which is where I found this c.1910 Arts and Crafts stool with fabulous deep carvings.

But the oak was very dry, and the old, original finish needed protection against water, pets and guests. I knew immediately the best – and fastest – solution would be a thin coat of Minwax® Paste Finishing Wax.

Minwax® makes a high quality paste wax in two colors:  Natural and Special Dark for darker woods, such as my vintage stool.

All I needed to apply the wax was a soft cloth, which I used to work the wax into the pores of the wood. The dark stain in the wax also repaired some of the scratches and wear to the stool.

After letting the wax dry for about ten minutes, I took another clean cloth and buffed it up to a satin sheen. Less than thirty minutes from start to finish, my Arts and Crafts stool is already in our living room.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

Reduce Clutter with an Old Drawer and Mason Jars

 

I have to admit, even I was stumped over what I could possibly do with this old, small oak drawer that had long since been separated from its dresser, and was now taking up valuable space under Leigh Ann’s workbench.

But then I spotted a box of vintage Mason jars at a thrift shop for 50¢ each, and had an idea. I pulled the drawer out from beneath the workbench, cleaned it up and discovered the sides had never been stained or finished. Since I wanted both sides to look as nice as the front of the drawer, I slipped one of the eight pre-moistened stain-and-finish cloths out of a “Maple” package of Minwax® Wood Finishing Cloths. In just a few minutes, and with just one cloth, I had stained and finished both the sides and back.

While the water based stain and finish dried, I started pulling Mason jars and their lids out of the box and getting them ready. I discovered I could fit five into my lone drawer, which was perfect for what I had in mind.

The old drawer then fit perfectly atop our kitchen counter, near the stove, where I now use it to hold wooden utensils, plus a few flowers to brighten up our work area.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

How to Create a Simple Base for an Unusual Piece

When I saw this unusual piece of Southwestern pottery, I knew it would look great in my son Eric’s apartment in Salt Lake City. But as you can see, it has a small base, which made it easy to tip over.

The base had a hole in the bottom, so I devised a way that I could mount the pottery on an unfinished pine board I found at one of our local craft stores.

Minwax One Coat Polyurethane

First, though, I stained the board with Minwax® Wood Finish™  in “Classic Gray” to give the wood more of an aged, worn look that would go well with the piece of pottery. Afterwards, I protected the wood and the stain with a coat of Minwax® One Coat Polyurethane in a semi-gloss sheen.

To prevent the pottery from tipping over, I traced the opening in the bottom of the piece, cut out this piece of wood to match it, then ran a screw up through the bottom to secure it in place on top of the wood base.

I then was able to slip the piece of pottery down over the block of wood, which stabilized it, while still enabling Eric to lift it off if he decides to display it differently.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce