Monday, July 28, 2014

Master Makeover: DIY Plain to Paneled Door

Checking another project off the to-do list today...

So, I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to do about our doors.

Here's an old shot from the hallway:

After I painted the walls an almost white/super light gray shade, it just turned into the hallway of no color. I knew I needed to do something with the cheap hollow core doors but didn't want to break the bank. In a perfect world, they would all be beautifully constructed and detailed solid wood, but there's no way I'm spending that much on all of the doors in the house.

Then I gave our foyer closet door a makeover...

And I loved the results. It was simple enough to do to the rest of the doors in the house.

I briefly considered making them all stained wood, but that requires veneer (which is quite costly), so I decided to go with paint instead. I ran through a few gray options but decided they would compete with the gray in the floors, and then I saw this from Dear Lillie and was absolutely sold on black:


There's just something about black doors that brings character, richness and sophistication to a space. It's the perfect way to break up all the white and gray in our home. Plus, our kitchen and front doors were already painted black so it was an easy answer for me.

Fortunately, our bedroom door was completely smooth so I didn't need to apply veneer over it (our foyer door had that faux wood grain texture which I covered with veneer). That meant that all I'd need for this project is a $12 piece of 1/8" thick plywood from Lowe's. For the foyer I used the $30 cabinet-grade 1/8" plywood because I wanted to stain it. The $12 plywood is in the molding/paneling section (next to the beadboard) and it is pink toned, which is perfect for painting.

I've already covered the basic method for installing the strips which you can read about in my foyer door post.

It's so easy though... just measure and cut, spacing your horizontal pieces out evenly, and secure with a nail gun.

Flip it over and repeat for the other side. You'll need an arbor to drill out a hole for the door handle.

Once all my pieces were attached, I sanded down the rough edges with my Mouse.

Then I spackled the nail holes and caulked where the boards met the door for a seamless look.

After drying overnight, I gave everything a nice thorough sanding with finer grit sandpaper (including the actual door panel).

Since I added 1/4" of depth onto the door, I had to remove the door stop casing or else it wouldn't close properly.

To do that, you must first cut a line with a sharp edge on all sides...

Then pry the pieces off. Luckily these ones came off really easily (you can see the three pieces in the hallway).

Some of the nails will stay in the door casing which you can just hammer back in, and break off the ones stuck in the molding.

Then clear the built up caulk from the door casing and the trim pieces so it's nice and clean for reinstallation:

I decided to hang the door back up first before painting it because 1) it was 100° in the garage, and 2) I could turn on the TV in our room to make it more enjoyable. It really doesn't matter either way, you just have to be slightly more careful to not paint the casing.

I used the same black that's on the kitchen and front doors, except in a satin finish—Valspar's Dark Kettle Black.

I haven't tried their new Reserve line yet, but I can't imagine needing anything better than their Signature. The coverage is amazing... here's after just one coat:

Of course the plywood took to it better than the painted white door—it almost covered in just one coat!

All it needed was two coats and a few touchups. Easy, fast paint job (excuse the poor lighting).

Black kitty approved.

Once the handle was back on, I shut the door and nailed the casing pieces back in place so the new door would shut properly.

Then I filled the nail holes and caulked it back in. (I still have to sand and touch up paint... that will be done tonight).

Ahhh... so rich.

It's a little difficult to see the detail through photos (I have to bump up the exposure a bit, hence the grainy-ish pics) but it's really lovely in person. Black doors are my new most favorite thing ever.

I love the way it ties into the wall paneling.

I'll be converting all of the doors eventually. This hallway needs some loving, I know. One step at a time.

Alright folks.... 3 more master bedroom posts until the big reveal! I'm trying to decided which task to tackle next. Either way, it's pretty much smooth sailing from here on out so I can relax for a couple weeks before moving onto the next big project.

Check back in a few days to see what happens!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Master Makeover: DIY Floor Mirror—from Ikea to Vintage

I've got a fun project for you today...

We've had this Ikea Mongstad mirror for as long as I can remember. There's nothing wrong with it, it's just a little too plain and modern for my ever-evolving taste. I'm trying to incorporate more vintage/farmhouse style pieces into our home, and only keep things I really love. This mirror wasn't special—it was just taking up space.

I've been drooling over these beautiful mirrors everywhere on Pinterest...



Such lovely detail...


So the other day as I was browsing the trim aisle at Lowe's (my second home), an idea popped into my head when I spotted this fancy molding...

I could simply attach it to the mirror by framing it out and I'd have my own vintage-esque shabby chic mirror. Easy.

Originally I had planned on going all out and adding detail around the outside and inside edges, but when I started adding up the costs, I decided to scale back a bit. The pieces range anywhere from $15-$20+ for 8 feet, and I needed three pieces to make a single rectangle around the perimeter. (Note: this is not a cheap DIY project).

I ended up selecting three pieces of the expensive molding (at $19/peice) and cut costs using primed MDF baseboard for the second row (I already had some at home so I only needed two pieces), and then two pieces of skinny detailed molding which were just $5 each. The total came to around $75.

After laying out my pattern, it was time to start cutting.

The fancy molding was actually crown, which meant the edges were angled and not straight. I wanted the trim to line up flush with the edge of the mirror, so I ripped it down with my table saw.

Here you can see the uncut molding on the top, and the ripped piece below it.

Once those pieces were all ripped, it was time to make my cuts. Simple stuff—45° the whole time.

The mirror already had a seam on each angle so it was easy to see where the molding should line up.

I worked my way around the mirror, piece by piece, and used my nail gun to secure them in place.

Then it was time for the next row—the baseboards.

In order to get the third row to fit without overlapping, the baseboards also had to be ripped down 3/8" or so. After trimming those to size, I attached them to the mirror, the same way I attached the first section.

Finally, I finished off with the inside pieces.

After everything was secure, it was time to spackle the nail holes and caulk all the seams.

Once dry, I used my new BFF to get everything nice and smooth:

After vacuuming up all the dust, it was time to paint!

I applied a couple coats of Kelly Moore's Swiss Coffee in satin using my angled brush and let it dry:

To give the mirror more of an authentic vintage look, I had to distress it. I wanted little peeks of black showing through (like my detail inspiration photo earlier) but the wood underneath wasn't black, so sanding it wouldn't give me that result. So I grabbed a q-tip, a can of Minwax's ebony stain, and dabbed it on randomly:

It didn't matter that it was on top of paint, it still stuck surprisingly well.

Once dry, I went back over it with my brush, letting hints of the stain show through in certain areas.

I wanted the distressing to be subtle and this method worked quite well.

And here's my special new "vintage" mirror in the room...

I don't think $75 is a bad investment to get this type of detail... big floor mirrors in a similar style are sold for a whole lot more.

And it makes me happy. So that's definitely worth it.

Next in line for a facelift—this plain jane door:

That's what I'll be doing this weekend. Hope yours is just as exciting!

One quick matter of business... if you've been thinking about picking up one of my Cityscape posters, now is the time! I've teamed up with Touch of Modern to offer my most popular Cityscapes at 25% off for the next five days only:

Join here now to take advantage of this flash sale and get an instant $10 credit towards your order!

Have a happy weekend, friends...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Master Makeover: Trim, Rug, Dresser & More...

We've been quite busy in here the past few days! On Thursday I showed you our panel wall, and here's how it looks after mounting the TV and bringing the dresser in...

I ended up swapping out the original hardware with some $2 pulls from Lowe's. I like the simplicity much better.

Saturday morning I scored some cheap finds at the local flea market...

This antique chair was just $5 and fits perfect in the empty space beside the dresser. It doesn't have a seat, but that's an easy fix which I'll get on ASAP.

I also found the perfect side table next to the bench—an old wine barrel for $5.

Speaking of benches... I ended up choosing #3.

It was between that and number 2, and I'm really happy with my choice. In the end it just came down to color and fabric—I had my heart set on linen.

You may also notice the addition of a rug... had their big summer sale so I snagged this big 8'6 x 11'6 jute rug for just $233 shipped—insanity. Yes, it's the same one I have in the studio, dining room, and living room.... but it's amazing and I can't help myself.

It seriously helps warm up the space.

And now the major game changer... adding trim!

I bought almost $200 worth of crown, baseboard and quarter round to take care of all these unfinished edges that have been driving me crazy for weeks. We bought the easy crown with the built in corners so all you had to do was straight miter cuts—no confusing compound angles involved.

They were given a couple coats of the white used everywhere else in the room (Kelly Moore's Swiss Coffee in semi gloss).

We made sure to miter the edges where they came together to help minimize the seams.

Some parts were tricky...

Over the wardrobes, the gap was too large for the crown so we added an extra piece as a base using scrap wood:

If you recall, here's what we were working with before:

And now... ahhhhh.

The chunkier baseboards also made a difference. Before:


And the quarter round in the corners really finished things off nicely.

Now, if anyone remembers the original plan for this room, you may be wondering why we haven't added a fireplace where this mirror is.

It's something I'd still love in the future, but at this point I decided to hold off and focus on other areas (like our living room fireplace which is in desperate need of a facelift). Not sure when it will happen, but I'm enjoying the mirror here for now.

Someone asked to see the panel wall and plank wall together in the same shot—well, it's a little tricky since they are on opposite sides of the room, so here's the best I can do:

I'll post a video for the reveal so you can see how everything works together.

I think they play quite well together.

This room is looking almost finished, right? Not so fast. Here's what's left on the to-do list:

1. New bedding. We've had this quilt and comforter for-ever and they don't fit our king bed properly. 

2. Curtains. I'm having them custom made on Etsy and patiently awaiting their delivery. I plan to bring in some color & pattern here and soften the hard lines going on.

3. This empty wall. I'm still making some decisions, but it will be brought to life soon.

4. This panel wall. I'm not going to clutter it up, but there is one project I want to hang on the right side of the TV. And of course the chair needs a seat.

5. The entry wall. I plan on hanging a couple hooks and, well, you'll see...

6. The door. This is probably the biggest project left. I'll be adding the same paneling as our foyer closet door, but it will be painted black.

7. Organizing inside of my wardrobe/creating a vanity area. It's going to be jewelry heaven up in there.

8. This mirror. It's a little plain... I'm going to fix that starting today.

I also have a couple small decor surprises I'll throw in before the big reveal (gotta save something for the end, right?) So as you can see, we still have a ways to go. Hopefully I can knock it all out within the next few weeks. Better get started on that mirror now—back to Lowe's I go!