Category Archives: Repurposing

A Rolling Holiday Serving Cart

The holidays are always a time for parties, so when I took a closer look at this 1990s rolling microwave cart Leigh Ann had been using to pot plants in our garage, I got an idea.

All it had was a thin natural finish over the birch boards, so a light sanding with #150-grit sandpaper quickly removed it, along with the unsightly water marks.

Inside the cabinet was a single shelf and an open storage area, which I decided to use for a wine rack. Needing just four boards, it was easy to cut and nail together.

Under the shelf, I wanted to hang glasses. Using some scrap wood, I made some simple glass racks.

Birch boards always look great when kept natural, so I knew this was an ideal project to finish with four coats of Minwax® Clear Aerosol Lacquer. Note: see how I have my garage door open for ventilation? You can see, too, how the Aerosol Lacquer brings out the natural rich color of the wood.

Remember those dated round, white porcelain knobs? I replaced them with a more contemporary pair of square knobs.

When I was done, the rolling cart looked like this when closed….

And like this when open. The white center section is the original formica, after I scrubbed off the dirt from Leigh Ann’s potting projects. And in case you want a closer look at the interior….

Here it is.

So, the next time you are out hitting the thrift shops, keep an eye out for an out-dated kitchen cart you can easily transform into a contemporary serving cart.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


A Workbench Transformation


I enjoy working on old furniture, which means I need wide workbenches. This maple workbench proved to be too narrow for many of my projects, so I moved it over to a storage room. But Leigh Ann decided it would be a perfect addition to her new potting shed, so we loaded it into our truck and brought it back home.

I knew this would be my best opportunity to give the maple workbench a quick makeover, removing the two woodworking vices that would only get in her way and refreshing its worn finish.


After washing off the dust and dirt, I lightly sanded the legs with #220-grit sandpaper. I then used the aerosol version of Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane to replace lost finish around the feet and to strengthen the finish on the legs, shelf and drawer.


The top had some more serious issues, but Leigh Ann reminded me that she was going to be using it to re-pot plants, not fix dinner, so I opted not to give it a complete refinishing.


Instead, I cleaned it thoroughly, scuffed it lightly with #220-grit sandpaper and brushed on a coat of Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane to protect the wood against dirt, water, trowels and flower pots.


When Leigh Ann came home, the workbench was ready for us to carry it across the yard and into her new potting shed. She will give the new finish overnight to completely dry, cure and harden, but we could already see that the narrow workbench is perfect for her 8’ x 12’ potting shed.

Until next time,

Refinish, recycle, repurpose.


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.

Driftwood Sculptures with City Farmhouse

By: Minwax

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.


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:).


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!


They use long sticks to sift through the debris.



Some beach gems….



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.



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



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


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.



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.





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.


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.



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?


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


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


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



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










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 Clock From Pallet Scraps

1. Start

Using a few scrap pallet boards in my garage workshop, I decided to make a simple clock. I cut three the same length, added some trim around the edges, and drilled a small hole in the center.

2. backHere’s what the back looks like after I inserted an inexpensive, battery-operated clock, attached to the wood with a nut and washer on the front.

3. Poly

While I like the rustic look of pallet boards, I think they look even better after a light sanding and a coat of water-based Minwax® Polycrylic™ Protective Finish.

Clock #s

It dried fairly quickly, after which I pressed on a set of self-adhesive numbers and the clock hands.

Clock Hero

And in no time at all (yes, a bad pun), my pallet clock was finished and ticking away.

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!