Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Family room – almost there!

Well hey there! We’re heading into week four of our family room renovation and I wanted to give you my weekly update. First of all – the whole it will cost more and take longer than you think thing? Yep. I thought this process would take maybe two weeks. It was on track to be done by the end of this week (three weeks in) but the sander the flooring guy uses is being fixed and that will push us back. So by next Wednesday I hope to have a “completed” room. Completed in that the construction is done – then my to do list starts and it’s a doozy. :)

After they are done I can start on the wall treatment, baseboards, priming and painting the fireplace and tiling it as well. Oh, and painting the whole room and kitchen. I honestly can’t wait.

Today two big things are happening – the floors are getting patched!:

patching hardwoods

I can’t wait to see this process! Our guy is feathering in new boards, then will sand down the entire room and restain and poly. Smaller areas he’s OK with just feathering and not redoing the entire floor, but he said it looks a ton better to just redo the whole area.

We have three areas total. The one above where the long wall was, a tiny spot where another one was near our mud room, and the last minute addition is this one:

patching hardwoods

Back when we had the fridge leak (that resulted in these beautiful hardwoods) we had the island put down before the floors. I immediately regretted that but it was too late. We were just so happy to have our island back in place after weeks of mess. :)

But the whole kitchen redo I've had planned for years involves a bigger island, so I will be building on to our current one. I want to move it away from the fridge and cabinets just a bit – maybe six inches both ways.

The floors won’t be sanded and stained till next week but by tonight we’ll have smooth floors and won’t trip in holes, so that is AWESOME.

The big progress has happened over by the fireplace. I showed you this pic early on I think:

building a fireplace

Here’s how that area above the fireplace looks now:

wall above fireplace for TV

Well, actually, they installed the board in the middle yesterday so I primed and caulked last night:

alcove for TV mount

The TV bracket will hang in that little alcove, so when it’s hanging it will look flush with the wall. I didn’t want to see the big bracket and I’m hoping this helps. The audio/visual guy comes today to finish all that up – for the first time ever I’m going to have someone else hang one of our TVs and it’s pretty awesome. :) (He is installing a wireless program too so it just made sense to have him do it all.)

The lighting is DONE and I’m SO HAPPY. They put in two directional lights over the fireplace – we had them before but I chose four inch lights this time. (Just for this spot – they are expensive!):

recessed light placement

Since the ceiling was already opened up and we were doing drywall repairs anyway, we went ahead and had recessed lights installed as well – six to be exact:

recessed light placement

Holy cats, that is seriously awesome. LOVE it. We have two in the old office area and it’s the perfect amount of light – and of course it’s all on dimmers. :) It’s so nice in here at night! My husband was so excited for it to get dark that night, it was hilarious.

MY favorite part is the fireplace area. This is my inspiration as a reminder:

built ins by fireplace

I love it for many reasons, but especially because it has the same deep fireplace that we are dealing with. After studying the photo for a bit I asked the guys to beef up the tops of the side cabinets. They did a great job:

built ins by fireplace

Those cabinets are just stock uppers from Lowe’s – are you surprised? They’re my favorite. ;) I wanted them deeper than 12 inches though so they could hold the TV components – so they beefed them up from the inside. You can’t even tell they were 12 inchers:

built ins out of kitchen cabinets

Brilliant. They even took out the adjustable laminate shelves and rebuilt nicer, thicker ones. I love them! I’ll cut out the fronts of the doors and replace the wood with metal sheeting like this – I have to do that so the components can breath.

So by the end of today, provided all goes well, we will have flat floors and the TV and speakers will be hooked up again. This means I can finally arrange all the furniture just the way I want it – I’m very excited for tonight. :)

I’ll get all that moved just in time to move it all back out next week so he can sand and stain. :)

Everything is going GREAT – I’ve been so pleased with the process and all the contractors. There’s only one hiccup so far – they had to tear the island apart to get it out. It looked like this:

board and batten kitchen island

And now it looks like this:


I nearly teared up, not gonna lie. This poor island has been redone so many dang times. Now the island extension idea may happen sooner than I thought. :)

We are nearing the end – WHOO! The costs really haven’t been that bad at all. We only increased the plan a bit when things like the lights came up. We’re adding some sound system stuff that is a little extra too, but other than that this reno is insanely cheaper than our original plan of adding on to the house.

Thanks for sharing my excitement along the way! :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Wood planked coffee table

Hey hey all! It’s about time to get some DIY going up in here! With the family room under construction, our blogging conference a couple weeks ago and just basic summer slug-ness, I haven’t done much lately.

I’ll have plenty to do starting later this week – the big stuff is almost done in the family room. Then it’s my turn. :)

We haven’t had a coffee table in that room for a while – I took out our square one about a year ago and loved how open it felt, so it stayed that way. (It now lives at my sister’s.)

When I moved the furniture around to the way I’ll have it when all the construction is done I realized I really wanted one again. But I needed it to be long and skinny. I don’t have any long and skinny so I’ve kept my eye out for something that might work.

A few weeks back I found this at a local antique/thrift shop and it had me at WHEELS:

leather top table

You know how I love wheels. They are my jam.

The top of the table was a mess though, and I couldn’t figure out what to do with it as I stood there, so I left it. (No returns so I had to make sure it would work.)

Fast forward a few weeks and I couldn’t get that table out of my head. I went back, it was still there and it came home with me. I still didn’t know what I was going to do with the top but I had to have it.

Initially I was thinking of sanding it down lightly and restaining the damaged parts, but when I got it home and took a closer look I realized it was a real mess:


I thought about keeping the leather top – for a minute. Then I got it cleaned off and saw it was beyond repair. The leather was cracked, which didn’t really bother me. But it also had paint and what looked like burn marks on it as well. And when I got it cleaned off I realized it was a very unattractive puke-brown color. Not so sad I couldn’t salvage it after that. :)

We have enough natural wood in the family room anyway, so my next plan was to paint it. I turned it over and realized I could take the top off:

removing top of coffee tableThen I cleaned the heck out of the thing:

cleaning before paint

Grody. I lightly sanded it to get more grime off:

sanding furniture for paint

Then took it outside to spray prime it -- I just used a basic gray primer. By the way, I mention this a lot but it’s worth saying again – make sure to clean any piece you’re going to spray paint! If you don’t you’ll get the dreaded crackle.

I picked up another gray spray paint called silver fox by Valspar for the main color – I figured it would be easiest with the detail on the table.

Outside it looked decent, but when I brought it in I realized it was BLUE. Like, baby blue. What the??:


ARGH. Spray paint lids not matching the color are quickly becoming one of my biggest pet peeves. DIYer probs.

So I grabbed some chalk paint, which is what I should have done from the start. (But I still would have primed – these reddish stains can bleed through.) I used my CeCe Caldwell gray that I already had:

CeCe Caldwell pittsburgh gray

I shared my thoughts on this paint and how to apply it here – I really love these paints. It dries much lighter:

CeCe Caldwell paint

But when you apply the wax it gets richer and darker. I did have issues with the wax this time though, more on that in a minute.

I came up with a plan for the new tabletop – first I grabbed some scrap luan and cut it size with my jigsaw. I stained it just in case you’d see it under the new tabletop:

replacing top of coffee tableI used my nail gun to nail it into the edges where the old top sat. You can see there how much darker the chalk paint gets when you apply the wax by the way.

Then I used some very thin boards from Lowe’s (they are called craft boards) that I stained dark walnut by Minwax (one of my favorite colors):

 dark walnut stain

The boards were more than I planned to spend but I needed a very specific thickness and they also had to be decent, stainable wood.

I put a little bit of glue down on the luan and then laid the craft boards down:

wood planks on table top

And nailed them in as well:

wood planked table top

I took the old tabletop with me to the hardware store so I was able to find a combination of boards that fit the top almost perfectly. These boards aren’t all the same size – two are the same, the other two are different sizes. It didn’t bother me and I actually like that they aren’t all the same:

wood planked coffee table

I’m not thrilled with how that skinny board stained up – I used conditioner on all of them and that one doesn’t look as good as the others. But it looks rustic…that’s what I’m going with for anyway. If it bugs me I’ll replace it. Or live with it. :)

The top is super smooth – I stood back when I was done and was SO happy with how it turned out:

wood to replace leather top

I LOVE it:

gray table wood top

The sectional will be moved soon so ignore the rug placement and all – this will get flipped to face the fireplace when the TV can be moved over. Hoping this week!


coffee table on wheels

I’m bugged out by the wax this time – this wax has done this the past two times I’ve used it. It gets blotchy and doesn’t dry well in some spots. Most of it looks great – it’s just certain areas. Usually this happens when you use too much, but I wiped this sucker well so I know it’s not that.

It’s frustrating because I’m going to have to sand down a couple spots and do another coat of paint and wax to correct it. But I LOVE the look – the dark wood combined with the gray is luscious. So it will be worth it. :)

There were a few issues along the way but I ended up with a coffee table I love in just the right size. The table was $20 and I spent about $25 on wood (those smaller pieces get expensive!) – not bad at all! Don’t overlook those pieces that are a mess – they can be turned into beauties!

Have you made over any messes lately?