Category Archives: Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner

Vertical Garden Makeover + DIY Herb Markers with I SPY DIY

By: Minwax

Spot style you love, and do-it-yourself. That’s the mantra of blogger Jenni Radosevich of I SPY DIY. Once again, she’s partnered with Minwax® on a project sure to delight gardeners and DIY enthusiasts alike. Follow along as she takes you through the steps to makeover this lovely, vertical herb garden and create fun, stylish herb markers to keep track of them all.

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First up, thank you SO MUCH for all the love on my backyard makeover, we have been enjoying it every single day this Summer! I received a bunch of questions on the herb garden hanging on the wall,  which has been one of favorite parts of the outdoor space. It’s been so fun to walk out my back door and grab the greens I need for guacamole or pasta sauce.

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This vertical garden started off cedar, which did not match the grey deck and white washed fence, so I used Mixwax® Water Based Wood Stain and had the lovely people at the paint counters at Lowe’s tint it “Natural Linen.” It’s the perfect muted peach/pink that went perfectly with the color palette. Plus, the garden is pretty big, so the lighter color kept it from looking too overwhelming on the fence.

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Next up, creating makers for the herbs: Instead of using their names, my family and I decided to have a little fun and brainstorm what we use each for and mark them that way, Spicy! = Jalapeños!

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This whole backyard project has been so wonderful because my Sister and her husband moved in for the Summer and have helped me every step of the way. Now we get to sit back and enjoy it every day. The herb garden has been extra special, because my little Sister is a fantastic cook, and she had been teaching me her ways so I will keep up cooking after they move to Europe. It’s been so fun brainstorming recipes to use our fresh herbs in meals…and cocktails!  #sisterbondingFTW

All the steps and supplies for the Herb garden and markers after the break!

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Start with this Unfinished Red Cedar Vertical Garden (Buy it here!) and apply Minwax® Water Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner.

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Stain with two coats of Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain in Natural Linen. Then finish with Minwax® Water Based Helmsman® Spar Urethane to protect the wood from the elements and make sure that your vertical garden stays beautiful!

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After it dried, I secure the backboards by drilling deck screws through the back into the frame, then I hung the garden by screwing the backboards into one of the supports on the fence. Make sure you are screwing into something that can support the weight of all the dirt.

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Now plant the herbs! I poured potting soil into the open top, and then dug out space on each level for the herbs. Then watered once everything was planted.

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To make the markers, I bought inexpensive 8″ cedar shims and dipped them into Minwax® Water-Based Wood Stain  in “Woodrose” and “Driftwood” (Prettiest colors ever!) which are made from the White Tint Base.

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I wiped off any excess stain with a paper towel, and once they were dry I added letter stickers. Add the herb name or what you use each for!

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Add your markers to the herb garden!

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Thanks to my amazing sponsor, Minwax®, for partnering with me on this project!

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.

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

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 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

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.

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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.

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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.