Category Archives: Repurposing

Upcycling A Pair of Stained Glass Doors

When my good friend Jim called from a local antiques shop, he really sounded excited. He had found these two arts and crafts stained glass cabinet doors and knew they would look great in our home. After a quick measurement, Leigh Ann and I realized they would fit perfectly in our two narrow bedroom windows.

The cabinet doors were covered with several layers of old white paint, so rather than risk sanding or stripping off any hidden lead paint, I decided to attach thin oak strips to create a new framework around the stained glass.

After nailing the strips of oak to the old frame, I filled the countersunk holes with Minwax® Stainable Wood Filler.

Once it had dried, I gave the new oak and the Stainable Wood Filler a quick sanding with #180-grit sandpaper, then vacuumed off the dust.

Since this was a small project, I reached for a tube of “Oak” Minwax® Express Color™ to stain and finish my new frame in one easy step.

Once the restoration was complete, all that I needed to hang them were four hooks and two lengths of chain. In just a few hours, I transformed two painted cabinet doors into two oak stained glass windows that provide both privacy and artistic color to our bedroom.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by.

Bruce

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

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

A Not So Lazy Susan

A few weeks ago I turned a weary and battered three-drawer nightstand into a handy rolling stain-and-finish cart, loaded with my brushes, rags, stirring sticks, openers, and gloves.

Yesterday, while going through some drawers in my workshop, I came across the mechanism for a turning Lazy Susan that was leftover from a television project. Rather than let it go to waste any longer, I had an idea.

I attached it first to the bottom of a circular table top I had once built but never used (sense a pattern here?) because an unsightly crack developed down the middle.

After giving it an extra coat of  Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane for protection, I then attached it to the top of my rolling cart, making it possible for me to spin it to bring something from the back to the front. Or I can spin it while spraying or brushing a stain or finish on a small project, making it easier to get to all sides. Two unused items = one useful project.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce