Category Archives: Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner

A One of a Kind Table Top Clock

1. Hole

I saw this fifteen-inch, unfinished table top at my local home improvement center and it occurred to me that by drilling a hole in the center, I could transform it into a unique clock.

2. Drill back

Before I put my drill away, I used it to cut away enough wood on the back for my battery-powered clock component.

3. Cans

Since pine is a soft wood, I opted to first brush on a coat of Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner. This helps reduce the blotchiness when I applied my stain. For this project I choose “Classic Gray” Minwax® Wood Finish™.

4. Gray I gave the stain about five to ten minutes to soak in, then wiped off all the excess.

5. Ring Hands

Just to add a splash of color, I stained this wooden ring with Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain “Crimson.” I then glued it onto the clock face and assembled the hands of the clock.

Hero

Regular numbers seemed a little mundane, so I opted for these colorful self-adhesive stickers instead, making my clock even more unique.

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

Take Gardening Indoors and Create a Wall Garden with MyFixItUpLife

By: Guest Blogger

April is Minwax National Woodworking Month®! Download the Minwax National Woodworking Month® mail-in rebate form and you could save up to $17 on select Minwax® products. 

Guest Blogger Theresa of MyFixItUpLife is back with a great project allowing you to show off your green thumb inside your home. Follow her step-by-step instructions to learn how to create this gorgeous indoor wall garden to put your succulents on display.

Enjoying pretty little plants can be a year-round pleasure with a custom-stained pallet indoor wall garden.

1-measure-succulents-Minwax-Succulent-Pallet-Wood-Wall-ArtThe size of the succulents dictated the size of this indoor wall garden.

I’ve been a little obsessed with making projects from pallets and finding new ways to display succulents around my home. Those little bulbous plants are so perfect for a busy family lifestyle, as they don’t require much maintenance beyond watering. And they only like to be re-watered when their soil is dry.

As I was thinking about new excuses to incorporate succulents into my formal-farmhouse home decor, I landed on the idea of creating living wall art as an indoor wall garden. Vertical gardens can be any size and shape, which makes creating them so much fun. And a wall garden can be customized to the style of your home, just by changing the material, shape, and the stain color.

For this project, I immediately envisioned using a charming color that I’ve chosen before for our dining table makeover. I smile about the Antique Jade from the Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain collection every time I sit down to eat. After months of use, the joy still hasn’t faded into the background, and I suspect it never will.

Supplies for the indoor wall garden.

Succulents. Before I started on this DIY project, I ordered a collection of succulents from Amazon in 2-inch pots. The two inches became the measurement that dictated the rest of the project.

Pallet wood. We have been building a variety of projects with pallets over the past few months, so I was lucky to have a collection of cut-offs in our wood pile. Finding a pallet can be easy or tough, depending on where you live. Typically your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore has pallets.

Stain. I chose Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain in Antique Jade, and used a synthetic brush to apply the stain.

Tools. For this project I used a cordless miter saw (an oscillating tool with clamps also would work), tape measure, impact driver, pencil, square, oscillating tool for sanding (sandpaper works fine, too), and all-purpose glue.

How-to for the indoor wall garden.

2-measure-pallet-wood-Minwax-Succulent-Pallet-Wood-Wall-ArtThe first step to this project is measuring the pieces.

2d-measure-pallet-wood-Minwax-Succulent-Pallet-Wood-Wall-ArtAfter marking each triangle, I checked the hypotenuse of the triangle.

3c-cut-pallet-wood-Minwax-Succulent-Pallet-Wood-Wall-ArtCutting each triangle is fairly easy on a miter saw, but it isn’t the only saw that can cut the pieces.

5-layout-the-pieces-for-the-planter-boxes-Minwax-Succulent-Pallet-Wood-Wall-ArtAfter cutting each piece, I lined them up to check that I cut everything I needed.

6-create-the-backer-for-the-planter-from-pallet-wood-Minwax-Succulent-Pallet-Wood-Wall-ArtThe next part is creating the backer for the wall garden. We have a collection of small pieces of pallet wood, so it was a patchwork project fitting them all together.It would be much easier with long boards.

7-sand-the-backer-and-pieces-of-wood-Minwax-Succulent-Pallet-Wood-Wall-Art

8-wipe-clean-pallet-wood-Minwax-Succulent-Pallet-Wood-Wall-Art

9c-measure-Minwax-Succulent-Pallet-Wood-Wall-Art

10-glue-and-screw-pieces-for-planter-boxes-Minwax-Succulent-Pallet-Wood-Wall-Art

11-check-measurements-as-working-Minwax-Succulent-Pallet-Wood-Wall-Art

12c-ready-for-stain-Minwax-Succulent-Pallet-Wood-Wall-Art

IMG_2830The first step in staining involves some Minwax® Water Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner, which helps promote a uniform acceptance of stain. When working with pallet wood, I definitely recommend using a pre-stain. After the pre-stain is dry, which is about 15 minutes, lightly sand the finish before applying the stain.

13-first-dip-into-stain-antique-jade-Minwax-Succulent-Pallet-Wood-Wall-ArtThere’s something magical about opening a can of color. I chose Minwax® Based Wood Stain in Antique Jade. I always make sure to carefully dip the brush so not to get too much on the brush for the first few passes.

Screenshot-2017-02-22-11.36.50The Cottage collection from Minwax® has a really sweet color palette of charming colors, perfect for a farmhouse style home.

14b-brushing-on-stain-Minwax-Succulent-Pallet-Wood-Wall-ArtWhen staining wood, I like to go slow. Rushing a stain project can compromise a really good finish, and this stain will make the project last a very long time.

15-lining-inside-bottom-of-the-planter-boxes-for-water-sealing-Minwax-Succulent-Pallet-Wood-Wall-Art-gorilla-glueI lined the bottom of each planter box with clear tape, so to add a bit of extra protection against water in the planter boxes.

IMG_2832-2The next step is sealing the stain with a protective finish. I recommend using Minwax® Polycrylic™ Protective Finish. It is ideal for sealing light-colored stains.

IMG_2271My little wall garden makes me very happy. The stain elevates the look from feeling like a rustic pallet into a sweet little wall art that warms up the room.

16f-Minwax-Succulent-Pallet-Wood-Wall-Art-e1487787068146Filled with little succulents, the wall art is a little pop of bliss in my home. Enjoying succulents in a new way, I’m happy to have spent the afternoon creating this project for my family to enjoy year-round.

16d-Minwax-Succulent-Pallet-Wood-Wall-Art

16b-after-Minwax-Succulent-Pallet-Wood-Wall-Art

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.

Create a Beautiful & Simple Magazine Rack with Just Two Board Pieces

We tend to keep our favorite magazines around for a while before recycling them. So when I saw a simple plan for a two-board magazine stand, I knew it was for us. I started by cutting a notch in the center that was equal to half the width of each 30” board. I then sanded each side smooth.

Since I was using pine, a wood that turns blotchy when stained, I gave it a liberal coat of Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner, then waited fifteen minutes before staining.

I wanted a grayish color to blend with the couch in our family room, so selected Minwax® Wood Finish™ in Classic Gray,  and applied it with a foam brush, then wiped off all the excess stain before letting it dry.

For my clear finish, I selected the spray version of Minwax® Clear Aerosol Lacquer, which dries in just a matter of minutes. After it did, I assembled my two-board magazine stand simply by slipping the two notches together. No nails, no screws, and no glue required!

The finished product compliments our couch perfectly, and gives me a handy way to display my magazines close by.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

How to Make a Giant DIY Chalkboard with Thrifty Décor Chick

By: Guest Blogger

Sarah of Thrifty Decor Chick is back with another amazing DIY project. See how she created a giant chalkboard to create a school house look for the perfect space. 

Hey there! I’m still in beast mode as I work on finishing up the loft/craft room/office makeover. I’m determined to get it done by the end of the month and I think I’ll make it!

I got a TON done in the past few days. I’m excited to share the little DIY project I added above the cabinets.

Craft room before the chalkboard

I’ve always known what I wanted to put up there. A massive chalkboard. I knew it would be a fun place for organization but also would look great against the white background.

This was a fairly inexpensive project for the size and I’m loving how it turned out. I joined up with Minwax® as I do occasionally to share how I use their stains, which I used on this project as well.

The first thing you’ll need to do is get a SMOOTH board. This is important, obviously, as you’ll be writing on it. :) You can spend $50 on some nice smooth stuff but I didn’t want to spend that much, so I kept looking. You know I love the luan for the DIY shiplap look I’ve added in here, but it’s not smooth enough.

I ended up finding a higher grade luan/plywood that was $19 for the sheet. I had it cut down to the size I needed — this is how the smooth side looks.

Plywood used for the chalkboard

We held it up, made sure it was leveled and then nailed it in.

Close up of plywood being nailed in

You can paint before hanging or after, I prefer standing up to do it. I taped off the edges (although I was adding trim so it wasn’t really necessary) and did two coats of a dark paint as a primer (I don’t have any tinted primer right now) and then two coats of the chalkboard paint.

Finished painted chalkboard

I loved it right away! It was the perfect contrast against the planked walls and I love it with the sconces!

Here’s a tip that some don’t realize — you really need to “season” a chalkboard before using it. This will make it easier to erase the chalk down the road. I haven’t always done this and the chalk still wipes away with a wet rag, but if you are using a real eraser especially, I always suggest doing this.

You just take some chalk on it’s side and rub it over the whole board until it’s covered.

seasoning the chalkboard

Then wipe it away — if you want a real cloudy board you can use an eraser or dry rag. I use a wet one because I like how it looks after the fact. :)

Then it was time to stain my trim. I found a pretty chair rail to use — before I started staining I made sure to pre-stain with Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner.

pre-staining the chalkboard trim

I can’t express how much better your staining projects will turn out if you take the extra few minutes to use this. I used to be too impatient every time and some wood would turn out crazy blotchy. You just wipe it on with a foam brush and then let it dry. You can stain almost immediately.

I went with my favorite Minwax® Wood Finish™–dark walnut. It’s a classic, darker stain that is really brown — no red tones to it at all. I use these foam brushes (at a great price!) to apply all my stains.

Staining chalkboard trim

Be sure when staining to not let any part of it dry — so don’t stop one part and then start up again later. You need to keep what is called a “wet edge” while staining. With smaller projects like this it’s not hard to finish up, but if you are tackling something large, be sure you have time to focus on it.

Don’t worry if the piece looks a little iffy while you stain. See how uneven it looked while I was staining? Let it sit for a bit (I usually only let it sit for a minute or two, but the longer you wait the deeper the stain) and then wipe with a clean towel.

Wiping off stain

The more you wipe the more it will even out. If it’s still not right you can add more stain and do it all again.

I absolutely LOVE how it turned out. You know how much I love contrast (if you don’t know, I DO) and it looks lovely. The stained trim just makes the whole thing.

Chalkboard with trim

I was on a roll and got the cabinets painted too. They turned out great, I just have to do a few touch ups.

painted cabinets

I love love love the sconces with the chalkboard.

Chalkboard with sconces

I have a few ideas in mind for this — one is a permanent calendar I can write on each month. I also plan to dress it up with photos and other fun stuff to bring in more color.

Finished chalkboard with banner hanging

The whole space is very white right now (which I’m actually quite liking) BUT there will be plenty of color coming in with art, pillows and accessories. I picked up some bright knobs for the cabinets last night but I have to see them on before I decide on those.

These were two of the last big projects, whoot!! Some minor stuff is left to do and the desk and countertops, which a big element in here and also the most expensive. I’m just so happy that this room is so close to done and that I love it as much as I hoped I would.

Finished product

I’m loving the nod to a school house look the chalkboard creates — this room will be used for homework and projects, so it is fitting. :)

Just for kicks let’s look at how far this room has come. I’m dying to decorate this space but will hold off till the counters and desk are in. It’s so close!! This is going to be such a fun room. :)

Unfinished craft room

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