Monthly Archives: June 2018

How to Make a Wood Frame for a Map Print

Tools Needed:

  • Minwax Clear Aerosol Lacquer
  • Minwax Polyshades Aerosol
  • Aerosol adhesive
  • Birch plywood backing
  • Pine molding

Appalachian trail map print ready for wood framing

My son Eric likes to hike, so when I spotted this map of the Appalachian Trail, I knew he would love to have it hanging in his apartment.

1. Seal plywood with aerosol lacquer

Piece of cut birch plywood sealed with Minwax Clear Aerosol Lacquer

I started by cutting a piece of birch plywood the same size as the map, then sealing it with Minwax Clear Aerosol Lacquer.

2. Spray sealed wood with aerosol adhesive

Use aerosol adhesive to secure map print to birch plywood backing

The lacquer dried quickly, after which I sprayed the sealed wood with a coat of aerosol adhesive, then pressed the map onto the wet glue.

3. Construct a frame and apply finish

Cut pieces of pine molding to make the map frame

I then cut some pine molding to start making the frame….

Applying stain and polyurethane in one step with Minwax Polyshades… and applied my stain and polyurethane finish quickly and easily in just one step with Minwax Polyshades.

4. Attach the frame to the backing

Tacking stained, finished wood molding pieces to plywood backingOnce it dried, I tacked the frame pieces onto the plywood backing.

Hanging finished wood map frame on wall

Which made this both an easy and inexpensive project for Eric, who is on the right in our family picture hanging in his apartment.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!



Building and Staining a Wooden Wine Rack

Tools Needed:

  • Minwax Wood Finish
  • Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane
  • Tape Measure
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Purdy Brush

Measure wood pieces to fit the right number of wine bottles

I have bought, given, and made more wine racks than I can recall, but they all had the same issue:  you couldn’t see the labels. Many wineries have very artistic labels, so I decided to make a small wine rack to display either full or empty bottles of wine that highlighted rather than hid the artistic labels. Using an actual bottle to determine my measurements, I began assembling the oak boards.

1. Cut slots for the wine glasses into the lower board
Create notches in each wood pieces to make the assembly easier

The lower board will hold four glasses, so I measured, drew, and cut out four slots for the stems.

2. Taper the side boards
Taper the corners of your wood pieces for an Arts and Crafts style look

The style of this oak wine rack will be Arts and Crafts, so I tapered the sides with two straight cuts rather than a curve.

3. Add pegged joints to the frame

Pre-dill all wood pieces before securing with wood screws

I also drilled 3/8-inch holes through the thin strips across the front, then glued in oak plugs to secure the strips with a classic Arts and Crafts detail:  the pegged joint.

4. Stain the wood rack with your choice of Minwax Wood Finish

Brush on a coat of Minwax English Chestnut stain to achieve an Arts and Crafts look

For an Arts and Crafts color, I chose “English Chestnut” in the Minwax Wood Finish Penetrating Stain line. After brushing it on, I let the stain be absorbed by the oak for five minutes…

Using a rag to remove stain to complete the process

… then wiped off all of the excess stain from the surface of the wood.

5. Apply a protective finish over the stainApply Minwax spray-on polyurethane to finish the project

While I could have brushed on a clear finish over the dried stain, I opted instead for the aerosol version of Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane, as the spray could reach into the interior — without leaving runs and drips — even better than a brush.

Completed wooden wine rack is read to install in your home

And as you can now see, simply by positioning the two horizontal strips below and above the labels — rather than across the front of them — our guests can now see just how artistic wine labels have become.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!



How to Rebuild an Old Shoe Rack

Tools Needed:

  • Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane
  • Pine wood panels
  • Birch plywood sheet
  • Wood glue
  • Hammer
  • Nails

Collapsed particle board shoe rack in need of repairs

I know it wasn’t all that long ago when my sons gave me this shoe rack as a gift, since particleboard shoe racks don’t last very long. While they meant well, my sons just hadn’t learned yet how quickly particleboard sags and falls apart.

Preglued pine sheets to replace old particle board sheets

So, I decided it was time to make a new one, this time building it using these pre-glued pine panels now available in many home improvement stores.

1. Cut two pine cleats and construct a frame

After cutting the two sides each 24-inches high to fit under my shirts in my closet, I glued and nailed pine cleats to support the three shelves.

Attaching new pine sheets form the improved shoe rack structure2. Attach the shelves to the frame

I dropped the lower shelf in first, and secured it to the cleats with both glue and finish nails, then did the same for the other two shelves. To make it even more secure, I also added a thin sheet of inexpensive birch plywood across the back.

Applying Minwax polyurethane to seal and protect shoe rack surface

3. Apply two coats of polyurethane

As you may already know, knotty pine does not accept a stain very evenly, so instead of staining I generally opt for two coats of clear Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane to seal, protect, and bring out the beauty of the pine boards.

The new shoe rack is now complete and ready to hold shoes

Certainly nothing fancy, but this pine shoe rack will last many, many years, which is more than you can expect from anything made of particleboard.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


Restore and Refinish an Old Dining Room Table

Tools Needed:

  • Minwax Wipe-On Poly
  • Absorbent cloth

Revive an Old Dining Room Table

When my youngest son, who is in medical school, let me know he needed a dining room table for his new apartment, I assumed that meant we were making a trip to IKEA. To my surprise, he asked about this oak Arts and Crafts table I had made several years ago, but had been using as a “project table” in our storage room.

Minwax Wipe-On Poly Finish

As you can see, the finish on the table was beginning to show some signs of wear, so I reached for one of my favorite finishes: Minwax Wipe-On Poly. I love it because you don’t need a brush, it can be applied over any clean, non-waxed finish, and it leaves a lasting sheen, plus extra protection.

1. Pour out a small amount of Minwax Wipe-On Poly on surface

Pour Small Amount of Minwax Wipe-On Poly on Surface

I always start by making sure the existing finish is clean, then I start by simply pouring a small puddle of Wipe-On Poly onto the table top. Start small, as you can always pour out more finish, depending on how dry the old wood is and how much Wipe-On Poly it absorbs.

2. Rub Minwax Wipe-On Poly into wood

Rub Minwax Wipe-On Poly Into Wood

Then I use a clean cloth — either an absorbent fabric or heavy-duty paper towel — to rub the finish into the wood. What finish is not absorbed you wipe off, again going in the direction of the grain of the wood.

3. Fill in scratches and unfinished areas

Minwax Wipe-On Poly Provides Durable Protective Finish

As you can see, Wipe-On Poly fills in those scratches and worn areas devoid of finish, and provides an even, hard, durable sheen of protective finish over the entire piece — which is what it is going to need in Blake’s apartment!

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!