When to Hire a Plumber by JB at Building Moxie

I know here at The DIY Show Off you have become accustom to only the highest, most top quality and tantalizing DIY projects one could, well, show off on the internet. Today, though, and with the permission of our always gracious hostess, Roeshel, we are going to take a little break from all that. ha! Instead … for today, and today only, let’s call it “DIY Know How.”

building moxie

My name is JB, I host the website BuildingMoxie.com, and I am going to help you answer a question that has plagued diyers since the beginning of time – When, Exactly, Do I Hire a Plumber?

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And on thinking about putting together an article full of advice on When to Hire a Plumber, I have to admit – it really isn’t all that easy. How can I tell you when you need to hire a plumber? I don’t know you, I don’t know your experiences, and certainly do not know what your skill level, with plumbing … is.

And if I take that into consideration, then the answer I come to is quite simple. Let’s say – you should hire a plumber if you have a plumbing job that is beyond your level of plumbing skill. …Viola! Thanks for having me. We’ll be here all week, and don’t forget to tip your waitresses (I mean – Roeshel and I mean – send her money).

It really doesn’t make for much of an article, and it probably isn’t exactly what you came to DIY Know How to hear. Right?

small bathroom remodel vanity Pfister faucet

The question of “When to Hire a Plumber” is really a question of “When do I DIY?” vs. “When do I Hire a Professional Plumber?” And idk … maybe you are a “List Person” (like so many) and looking at a list of individual plumbing tasks might help.

When Do You DIY?

Tasks homeowners commonly tackle themselves:

  • Toilet Repair – the most common issue folks find with their toilets is the infamous “running toilet.” Often repaired with a minor adjustment or by replacing a toilet flopper and/or a fill valve. There are other common repairs, but most can be accomplished with a trip to the home center, plus a quick chat with a home center associate.
  • Faucet Repair – the most common issue with faucets is the dreaded “leaky faucet” (which may in fact be a little bit of misnomer). More accurately a dripping faucet, this condition is commonly caused by worn seals. Equipped with as much info as can be found on the faucet, most dripping faucets can be repaired using matching parts found at a home center or a hardware store.
  • Toilet Replacement – there are several situations that may lead to replacing a toilet. Most traditional, one- or two- piece toilets can be installed within an hour, let alone an afternoon. Many manufacturers are now marketing “no tools” options these days, making this a job any homeowner can accomplish.
  • Faucet Replacement – there is little that can add instant zing to a kitchen or bath like a new fixture. Many of today’s manufacturers provide excellent installation instructions in packaging. And more are adding video support too, accessed from a computer or via a smart phone.

Toilet parts in a Toilet Tank

There are ample resources out there that can help you get through any one of these tasks easily.

When Do You Hire a Professional Plumber?

Tasks homeowners will often hire out:

  • Snaking Clogged Drains – as a homeowner, the time will come when a plunger just won’t be enough to take care of a blocked drain.
  • Leaking Plumbing Lines – be it copper or cpvc (plastic), most individuals will opt to have a professional plumber repair that occasional leaky line or fitting.
  • Installing New Supply Lines – due to codes, it is probably wise to employ a professional plumber when installing new plumbing supply lines.
  • Installing New Drain Lines – because drains are only one part of the battle with draining water, it is wise to employ a professional plumber when installing new drain lines. Their knowledge of venting will come in very handy with laying out and installing new drain lines.

clean up from unglued supply pipe

I know these lists are in no way comprehensive, and I’m proud to say I have successfully tackled, at least once each, all of the items that appear on my “When to Hire a Pro” list. Whether you DIY or not might come down not only to the skill, but more squarely to the tools that either you already have and/or the tools you are willing to make the investment in.

Additional Considerations and, well, Reality – the “What Ifs”

Even though I consider myself a high-functioning DIYer, with a pretty decent set of tools … willing to tackle almost any plumbing task, I do still find that I call in a plumber for help, occasionally.

repairing a cast iron pipe with pvc

When I discovered a pretty nasty crack in the cast iron main sewer drain as it entered the concrete slab in our basement, I hired a plumber. While it’s likely that I could have successfully repaired it (after a trip to the local rental center of course), I felt, this time – time was of the … essence.

Not too long before that, I hired a plumber too, at $750 … a guy I knew, on a Sunday – to take care of a blockage, in that same sewer line, somewhere between my house and the curb. In that case, it took a pair of guys about a ½ an hour to get us back in business.

Now, I know, you might be thinking: “$750! … for a half an hour of work? … What?! “Career change!”

Truth – I happily paid it. I paid it because I understood the “what ifs” of the situation. What if I couldn’t get that line clear with the equipment I chose to rent? What if I had to make additional trips, surely frustrated, to get a different tool at the rental center? What if … I just couldn’t get it open at all? And … What if … and worse, what if I damaged that pipe? Boy, just to think …. So, yes, I paid that price – though it was a little high, and I paid it pretty happily.

Additional Considerations – Codes and Permits

When we remodeled our kitchen, the adjoining bath and our laundry room, a few years back – I hired that plumbing out, but worked beside my friend to both learn and help cut labor costs. When we updated an existing bath and installed a new bath in 2011-2012, our contractor too hired his plumbing out. He hired a plumbing sub and rightly so. Plumbing codes are universally pretty clear on this – if you are installing new plumbing, you need a permit (often only pulled by a licensed plumber) AND you need an inspection.

building a shower bench

So … When Do You Hire a Plumber?

So, in this regard … When Do *You* Hire a Plumber? Well, perhaps a good universal answer came from friend of mine, who was recently discussing a running toilet. He said, “My goal is simply to be able to fix the basic plumbing maintenance issues that come up around the house … a running toilet, a leaky sink faucet, or if I’m feeling frisky – I might try replacing or installing a hose bib. The rest I think I might just call a plumber.”

Plumbers in my area usually bill hourly at around $120, and adding the cost for any needed part, you can see why a simple repair, made by a professional plumber, can add up pretty quick.

So I’ll suggest, it may be wise to build knowledge and skill when it comes to home plumbing. Many basic tasks are easily accomplished with a little know-how and with the right parts and the right tools. And with some basic repairs behind you, you might be surprised to find that you have the courage to step up to more complex tasks, like: installing a garbage disposal, repairing a shower faucet, installing a new vanity, or even a complete and complex bathroom redo that could land you right on the front page of The DIYShowOff.com.

You’ll be proud you did it and your wallet might thank you too.

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JB Bartkowiak is blogger-in-chief at the do it together home improvement website BuildingMoxie.com. There you’ll find articles like 4 Plumbing Myths & the Basics of Plumbing … plus many more.

DIY: Removable Decorative Window Frame

DIY MAGIC WINDOW ART TUTORIAL

As a member of the Lowe’s Creative Ideas network, I’m participating in the September “window treatment” challenge. I was provided with a Lowe’s gift card to complete my project…addressing this bathroom window:

DIY Removable Decorative Window Frame Tutorial

Our main floor bathroom has a window that sits high up (no one can see in and the view out is of the treetops). The window is not framed. I’ve tried a curtain on this window, but with it sitting so high above the toilet tank, it just doesn’t look right.

bathroom window

This project would be great for window privacy too!

Materials I used:

  • 1×3 pine boards to create a frame
  • Flat corner brackets
  • Gorilla Wood Glue
  • Wood filler
  • White paint (leftover Valspar Signature in satin finish)
  • Picture frame hanging hardware
  • Screen (36″ wide)
  • FrogTape
  • Staples
  • Stencil
  • Craft paint
  • White vinyl table cloth
  • Vinyl decals

Removable decorative window frame: 

I started with creating a frame for my window using the 1×3 boards, corner brackets, Gorilla Glue, wood filler and paint. It’s best to miter the joints, add glue to the joints and brackets (be sure that screws are not longer than depth of frame). Fill joint lines with wood filler and lightly sand once dry. Prime/paint frame.

DIY removable wood window frame

Cut screen to fit inside the wooden frame with enough room to fold under borders and to staple to the back side of the frame.

  Removable window frame DIY

Stencil a design on the screen and let dry. I used Cutting Edge Stencil’s Allium Gladiator Flower Stencil (it sort of looks like dandelions and butterflies). FrogTape was essential in working with the screen by holding it flat and in place. Once paint is dry, staple screen to back of frame. 

removable decorative DIY window frame tutorial

You may think to stop here but when I hung the frame (in the daylight), the stenciled design wasn’t visible. It simply looked as if I only framed the window.

So I cut a piece of white vinyl table cloth to size (a bit bigger than the inner space of my frame with an extra inch around the borders to staple it into place) then I added vinyl decals to the white tablecloth. (I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out a bike and quote.) You could also try a light colored/patterned fabric or paint your own design on canvas…just remember that your stenciled screen will show when it’s dark outside.

removable decorative DIY window frame tutorial

I stapled the white tablecloth into place. 

Simply hang on nails using the sawtooth picture hangers. Easily removable – as simple as taking a picture off the wall.

Before…

bathroom window

During the day, the bike and quote show up…

bathroom window covering

and at night, the stenciled screen shows up as well…

DIY window frame

It’s easily removable for when I want to open/access the window and lets in a lot of light during the day. Yay! Love the result…window dressing, window frame and art. What do you think?

See more fun DIY ideas at Lowe’s Creative Ideas, follow Lowe’s on InstagramPinterest and sign up for the Creative Ideas magazine and app!

Spring 13 Blogger Badge Subscribe Banner Version

*Disclaimer: As a member of the Lowe’s Creative Ideas Creators and Influencers network, I received a Lowe’s gift card to complete this project for a mini outdoor makeover challenge, however the tutorial images, instructions and opinions are my own. 

How do Painted Faucets Hold Up?

Nearly four years ago, I painted the faucets in our budget friendly guest bathroom makeover. You can see how I painted them here

painting-bathroom-faucets

Do I regret it? Not one bit. Has it held up? For the most part. Here is how they look four years later…

painted faucet durability

These faucets are in a guest bathroom that gets used every day however it’s not heavy use. And I learned after taking this picture that the spout was even less chipped than shown. That’s mostly dried toothpaste. Oops. 

The fix: Since my paint is not flaking, I sprayed Rustoleum’s Metallic Oil Rubbed Bronze onto a styrofoam plate (until I got a “puddle” of paint). Then I used a Q-Tip to touch up the paint.

painted faucet touch up

Once that was dry (a few hours), I sealed the touch ups with clear nail polish.

touching up painted faucets

Good as new!

DIY painted faucets  

Guest ready once again…

painted faucets

For us, painting the faucets updated the old vintage pedestal sink and kept the cost of our bathroom makeover down. Finding separate hot and cold faucets with their own spout was a challenge so painting the faucets worked for us. I do have to say…it’s rather odd having one spout for cold and one spout for hot. There’s no dilly-dallying washing hands under the hot spigot…ouch! Filling the sink is the only option for “warm” water. Strange, isn’t it?

And in case you’re wondering, the painted floor has held up well too! guest bathroom

See the entire before and after: Bathroom Reveal.

Full painting faucets tutorial: painting-bathroom-faucets

Easy DIY Projects – The Power of Paint

The Power of Paint: Paint and FrogTape (used in each project shown below) are my #1 DIY go-to materials. 

Walls

Walls
Picture 1 of 8

A fresh coat of paint on the walls will clean up and brighten a room instantly and can even inspire a complete room makeover. Be brave and try a fun stencil or different colored accent wall Chevron Accent Wall

 

When it comes to transforming our house into a home we truly love that reflects our lifestyle and personality, “do-it-yourself” projects are a great budget friendly option. Not only can the result be a gorgeous home, but each DIY accomplishment can be empowering.

Our favorite saying around here is ‘imperfection adds character’ but really, I love that DIY projects are rewarding and motivating for creating a comfortable home for my family. There are no rules. YOU can make our home the way you want it to be. Paint has played a huge part in making over our home. 

So there you have it…paint is my #1 favorite DIY material. What’s yours?
 

*This sponsored by FrogTape. FrogTape provided by Shurtech. The opinions are completely my own based on my own experience.

 FrogTape Blog Squad

DIYShowOff favorite projects round up and a welcome to my local friends!

Hello! Summer is a busy time of year. If you missed some of the fun projects here at DIY Show Off, today I’m sharing a bit of a round up of my favorite DIY projects. If you’re a regular visitor (hey there!), please bear with me as I welcome my local friends today. 

welcome DIYShowOff friends

If you’ve recently stumbled across the article in the Cranberry Eagle and found your way here to my online home, welcome neighbor! I’m so glad you’re here! It’s a pleasure to “e-meet” you! I’m Roeshel and I live in Butler. DIYShowOff started as a journal for the home renovations on the fixer upper home we purchased in 2007 and has evolved into a place where I not only share our do-it-yourself home decorating and home improvement , but encourage others to give DIY a try. And sometimes I add a bit of un-DIY-related life tossed in from time to time. Blogging for the past 6 years has been such a joy, brought so many amazing people into my life and given me so many fun opportunities. I’m so humbled by the kindness of the DIY community (thanks, friends!) and so blessed to be doing what I love to do. 

Roeshel and Rosie

Roeshel & CocoRosie, our Italian Greyhound

DIY has always been an interest of mine, not only reflective of a tight decorating budget (although usually!), but because of my creative drive. I spend more time in our home than anyone else and believe there are no “rules” when it comes to decorating. So why not just do what I love? Cleaning always leads to rearranging. Creating pretty and comfortable surroundings invites a positive attitude. It just feels good to have a clean, organized, functional and personalized environment to call home.

family room  

All it takes is a little patience and smidge of bravery. Home blogs are an awesome source of motivation filled with real life inspiration. I’ve gathered together some of my very favorite DIY projects.  

Chandelier Flower Planter

how to make a chandelier planter

Free Standing {vertical} Pallet Herb Garden

free-standing-vertical-pallet-herb-garden

Dresser Drawer Shaded Dog Bed

DIY Dog Bed

Summer Home Tour

DIY Show Off summer home tour slide

More before/after home projects.

powder room

Painted Upholstered Chairs

painted upholstered chair tutorial

No Sew Scripted Drop Cloth Drapes

Globe Light Fixture Cover

globe light cover

Wall Mounted Pallet Shelf

diy-wall-mounted-pallet-shelf

Painted Floor Tutorial 

DIY, painted floor, stenciled floor

House Number Flower Pots

house number flower pots

Decorative Baseboards

easy decorative baseboard tutorial

FrogTape Stenciled Wall

stair landing

You can see more DIY inspiration here:

DIY project tutorials

A home tour in progress here:

Roeshel

and some fun small apartment renovating project too. 

herringbone accent wall

What projects have you worked on to make your house reflect your personality and lifestyle? 

Oh! And local friends, I’m organizing a fun DIY/thrift shopping local event this summer. It’s so fun meeting people who share my passion for decorating and DIY! You’re invited to follow along and stay up-to-date:

Thanks so much for stopping by! 

diyshowoff.header.png

Decorative Baseboard Trim Tutorial

Family room DIY started with installing new baseboards (super easy tutorial) with bulky 1×5 boards…

DAP Dyna Flex baseboard caulking tutorial

and includes plans of beefing up the baseboards too. This project is sponsored by FrogTape. In an effort to “practice”, I choose to give it a trial run in our half bathroom.

powder room

The result: success!

trim and tile

Here’s what I did:

easy DIY decorative baseboard tutorial

Before, baseboards are a nice chunky size with shoe moulding.

baseboard before

I measured each width and cut my skinny decorative trim to size (yes, tricky mitered cuts…you may want to purchase extra trim. Thankfully this skinny decorative stuff is inexpensive).

I used the spacing of my level to hold the trim in place. For a bigger room, I’d pencil a level line for leveling up trim while nailing into place.

beefing up baseboard trim

Using my nail gun and level, I nailed the trim into place.

attaching baseboard decorative detail

Then caulked the cracks using DAP paintable caulking. Tips for caulking trim:

  • Use FrogTape on the wall right next to the trim for a clean line.
  • Dip finger in water and smooth caulk. Have paper towels on hand.
  • Remove FrogTape before caulk dries. Then let caulk completely dry before painting.

After the caulk was dry, I reapplied FrogTape to the wall and to the floor, pressing down where the FrogTape would meet the paint line to activate the Paint Block Technology (keeps paint from seeping under the tape).

decorative baseboard tutorial

Paint baseboard, wall and new trim. I used a primer + paint. And did two coats.

painted decorative baseboard

Remove FrogTape by pulling away from the trim while the second coat of paint is still wet.

FrogTape

All done…beautiful thick easy baseboards with architectural detail.

easy decorative baseboard tutorial

Before:

baseboard before

After: easy, cheap and gorgeous!

trim and tile

DIY decorative baseboard trim

Definitely happening in the family room next…well, unless I decide to do a board and batten. DIY decisions, decisions. :)

Sharing at Domestically Speaking

*This post is brought to you by FrogTape. FrogTape provided by Shurtech. The opinions are completely my own based on my own experience. For more FrogTape projects ideas, check out the FrogTape Blog Squad.

 FrogTape Blog Squad

Thrifty Gallery Wall and Room Accents

Angel’s room, part 2:  This post is sponsored by FrogTape. The other day I shared painting and stenciling faux-paneled walls. Loved the soft lilac color and subtle damask stenciling.

paneled damask walls

These pictures were taken last year at this time…I’m so behind! I apologize in advance for the poor quality. The reveal photos will be better!

painted paneled walls

This is my niece’s room. Angel loves all things art including drawing and painting and since I was working with a tight budget, I knew that thrift store picture frames for her to display her work on a gallery wall with room to grow would be the perfect way to decorate one of the walls in her room.

thrift store gallery wall

Picture frames were painted with a touch of Valspar’s sample paints in Raspberry Brown and uh…I don’t remember the other color but it looks like Raspberry Sherbet. I had Bri create some chevron patterns on the back board of the frames using FrogTape for a temporary pop of color until Angel arrived and unpacked her own art work and drawings.

FrogTape chevron

Even the light switch cover on the same wall got a painted stripe-y design using FrogTape and coordinating colors in order to blend in with the gallery collection.

light switch cover on gallery wall

I added a few thrift store prints, a spray painted owl plaque, plate and empty frames then laid it all out on the floor to get an idea of placement. I like placing the largest piece in the center and working my way out. And yea, that green carpet. Yikes! But sometimes you have to work around what can’t be changed, especially in a rental space. It’s a small room, so not much of it will be seen.

gallery wall display

When I was happy with the layout, I transferred it all to the wall. I love the collected look and can’t wait to see Angel’s artwork added to the mix. The gallery wall has room to grow on either side, top and bottom.

thrifty gallery wall

Sometimes you have to work around what can’t be changed. ::hello ugly green carpet:: It’s a small room, so not much of it will be seen, especially with a full sized bed going in the room. I was able to find a colorful rug runner with Angel’s favorite color purple, our additions of raspberry and a touch of green to run along side or at the bottom of Angel’s bed, so the carpet hopefully won’t feel so out of place…

multicolor rug runner

It helps!

gallery wall and area rug

Thrift store lamps were spray-painted a dark plum color…

painted lamp

and pretty coordinating accent pillows on clearance at JoAnns…

purple pillows

All done and just waiting for Angel to move in. She loved it, by the way! I’m still hoping to get over to get some room reveal pictures. One of these days. :)

thrifty gallery wall

Sharing at Home Stories A to Z.

*This post is brought to you by FrogTape. FrogTape provided by Shurtech. The opinions are completely my own based on my own experience. For more FrogTape projects ideas, check out the FrogTape Blog Squad.

 FrogTape Blog Squad

Painted Stenciled Paneled Walls

Angel’s Room: When my sister planned her move from Florida to PA last summer, I can’t tell you how happy we all were! We love having her ‘home’!  The budget for decorating their rental home was super tight. I wanted to surprise my teenage niece, Angel, with some pretty and fun accents in her bedroom. I know it’s not easy for a 16-year-old to move away from friends, but we are so excited to have our family local again. I wanted her to have a welcoming, pretty space of her own.

This blog post is sponsored by FrogTape. The walls are paneled (that old faux-paneling sheets) and since it’s a rental, we had no choice but to ignore the ugly green carpet.Thankfully it was clean, only in this one bedroom and in decent shape.

paneled walls before

Rental Tip: It never hurts to ask the landlord if cosmetic changes/home improvement materials can be reimbursed or if material receipts can count as cash towards the security deposit. I’m almost always given a green light. Free labor for the home owner and more personal choices for the renter.

With permission from the landlord to paint the paneled walls, I chose a Valspar Signature Paint + Primer. Color is “Lilac Mist”. Painting paneling is NOT fun. All of those grooves. Hard work! But it is worth the effort. The next day, I then used my damask Cutting Edge Stencil (held in place with a piece of FrogTape) and simply rolled on the stenciled design using leftover white paint.

damask stencil

The result is very subtle and so pretty…

lilac and white damask

I let the paint dry for a day before using FrogTape Delicate on the walls so I could paint the moulding around the room…

FrogTape Delicate

Pretty, isn’t it? Light, soft and subtle and much better! Even the landlord approved.

paneled damask walls

{reveal pictures will be better quality!}

Next up: some thrifty wall decor and room accents.

*This sponsored by FrogTape. FrogTape provided by Shurtech. The opinions are completely my own based on my own experience.

 FrogTape Blog Squad

HomeTalk Kitchen Chat

When we moved in, our kitchen left a LOT to be desired… (before and after kitchen)

kitchen-before-and-after

A huge renovation was not in the budget, but we were able to make some changes to brighten and update our kitchen with some DIY over the years…

kitchen-makeover

(DIY kitchen projects/home tour)

Interested in discussing YOUR KITCHEN? I’m excited to be joining blog friends, Heather, Jennifer, Jennifer, JB and Hometalk to answer kitchen questions and discuss all things kitchen. You’re invited to join the HomeTalk “Let’s Talk Kitchens” Facebook chat tomorrow, April 18th starting at 2 pm and an opportunity to win one of four prizes!

HomeTalk Facebook Chat

The official Kitchen Chat has ended but there’s always talk of kitchens (and everything home related) at HomeTalk and it’s free to join!

At the Picket Fence

Building Moxie

Four Generations One Roof

Jennifer Rizzo Design Company

The DIY Showoff

Hometalk

Pantry Progress and PaintStick Review

It’s been one of those weeks where my DIY projects don’t produce a jaw-dropping reveal, just behind-the-scenes DIY. However, there is progress! I recently had the opportunity to review the HomeRight PaintStick. You know how much painting goes on around here and I actually have a thing for paint gadgets (remember the edger?) so I was excited to give this a try.

A few weeks ago, I shared our plans for turning this space…

open pantry before

into an organized open pantry area. Here’s my inspiration, {pantry from Emerson Made}:

Emerson Made open pantry

First up, I needed to prep for painting by filling holes, sanding and taping off what I didn’t want painted with FrogTape. Then I cut in around all of the trim in this room.

paint-prep

This old house has high ceilings so I chose the HomeRight EZ Twist PaintStick to assist me in getting the painting job done.

I watched the helpful videos on HomeRight‘s webpage for tips. They sure made it look easy enough which made me even more skeptical – like a “too good to be true infomercial”. But surprisingly, it was easy! I think opening the package was the most difficult part.

The paintstick holds paint right in the stick! Attach a tube into the paint can, attach the paintstick to the tube, pull back on the handle and “fill ‘er up”.

paintstick-ez-twist

It takes a bit for the paint roller to become saturated, just roll and twist the handle to release the paint. The roller itself has small holes, releasing paint from inside. I had the walls and ceiling painted in less than an hour. It really was awesome!

painting

 

Ugh…that trim. Scratched up from installing bamboo floors and in need of shoe moulding. We’re getting there. In the meantime, I’m planning on doing a subtle stenciling/paint treatment on these walls and ceiling, so both were painted with the same paint in an eggshell finish (color is Valspar Cool Grey).

cool-grey

I was dreading the clean up, but it was surprisingly easy enough and not quite as time consuming as I anticipated. I simply cleaned the parts in the basement utility tub with water according to video directions.

What I liked:

  • Eliminating the need for a messy paint tray and possible drips paint from tray to wall or ceiling. 
  • The speed of painting without having to go back and forth to a paint tray.
  • The coverage (cover an 8′x8′ area with one fill)
  • Minimal paint waste (left over paint stays in the can…easy to empty the paint in the paintstick right back into the can too).

From beige walls and creamy trim to cool gray walls . The walls look so much better, but ahhhhh! That trim! Yellow-y next to cool gray. Guess what I’m doing this weekend?! Ultra white trim coming right up and one step closer to an open pantry! Woo hoo!

cool-grey-paint

So for you: “Yay or nay” for painting gadgets? For me: anything that makes the job easier/quicker!

This post/review is sponsored by HomeRight but the opinion is my own.

This is a sponsored post brought to you by FrogTape. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

FrogTape Blog Squad

DIY {wall mounted} Pallet Shelf

Mr. DIY’s hobby isn’t DIY {it’s mainly mine and I take full advantage of his muscle power}. He does have several hobbies including cooking (lucky me!), grilling on his Big Green Egg (lucky me again!) and home-brewing. Not my thing…but I do think being a ‘beer-chemist’ is kinda cool and he enjoys it. Hey, those hobbies are DIY in a way.

homebrew

The problem: Supplies and materials are often scattered in the basement, hiding in built-ins in the dining room, sitting around in the kitchen driving me crazy or just ‘lost’ sparking a lot of temper tantrums and wasting precious free time on the hunt for supplies. And when he finally has a free weekend to cook up a recipe, he’s often searching for empty bottles, caps, hops, grains, what-nots and tools-of-the-trade. Or more often, “I” become detective in the search because I’ve probably stowed something away where it doesn’t below in an effort to de-clutter. Oops!

The solution: Making the space in the open basement stairwell an organized home brew supply station, library, storage area with a fun rustic/industrial vibe. Everything in it’s place, easy to find.

We’re starting with a wall-mounted pallet shelf for holding an empty bottle collection. The bonus: {I love that this project is all about making his hobby more enjoyable and it inspired us to work together as a team, a date night or two at Lowe’s.}

diy-wall-mounted-pallet-shelf

Materials:

  • Pallet 
  • Three 1 x 3 x 4 pine wood planks
  • Rustoleum’s Ultimate Wood Stain (color: Kona)
  • Rustoleum Polyurethane (matte finish)
  • 2 Purdy 2.5 inch angled paint brush for stain/poly
  • Rags
  • Hanging Hardware (wall anchors, screws, toggle bolts)

Tools we used:

  • Crow bar
  • Hammer
  • Nail gun (finishing nails)
  • Saw
  • Dremel Multi-Max (sanding)
  • Drill (hanging)

DIY Pallet Shelf Tutorial

1. After we found the perfect pallet (tips about working with pallet wood from Funky Junk Interiors), we decided to use the back of the pallet as the front of the shelf and removed 1 plank using a crow bar and hammer. {How about those wool socks with flip flops? He’s all mine, ladies!}

prying-pallet-wood

pallet-before

2. Measure and cut the 1 x 3 x 4′s to fit between the front and back pallet planks to create “shelves”.

diy-pallet-shelf

3. Position the 1 x 3 shelf bottom into place. We used a level to ensure shelf bases weren’t crooked. Some places were a little tricky and needed hammering into place or lifting the old pallet plank a tad with a crow bar, while positioning the 1 x 3 into place.

pallet-shelves

4. A finishing nail gun (and a good eye for lining up the nails in the 1 inch area) secures the shelf bottom to the sides of the individual shelves. {Forgot pictures of the nail gun step…it’s just so much fun!}

We added a few screws to some of the pallet face-boards to tighten things up.

diy-pallet-shelf

5. Sand all sides and splinters.

6. Stain. I used Rustoleum’s Ultimate Wood Stain.

rustoleum-ultimate-wood-stain

Brush on in the direction of the wood grain. Wipe away in the same direction with a rag. Rustoleum Wood Stain dries fast! {Not shown: I did wear latex gloves to avoid stained hands.} Isn’t this rich dark brown gorgeous? It’s called “Kona”. Love it!

staining-pallet-shelf

7. About an hour later, I was ready to seal the stained wood. Using the same technique, I applied Rustoleum’s Polyurethane and let it dry for 24 hours.

8. Hang! I used FrogTape for marking the area we wanted the pallet shelf to hang.

hanging-pallet-shelf

I marked the studs with a chalk line.

finding-wall-stud

Wall color: homemade chalkboard paint using Benjamin Moore Hale Navy.

We used 6 drywall screws {screwed into the wall studs} to secure our pallet shelf to the wall.

hanging-diy-pallet-shelf

I have to say, he doesn’t always see my vision, but once things are put into action and start coming together, he loves it! He spent about 30 minutes styling his new pallet shelf, stepping back and re-arranging it over and over. Success! And just like completing one DIY project leads to more, this little pallet shelf inspired a lot more creative ideas for his home brew supply space/beer library. Keeping things organized so stay tuned!

styling-diy-pallet-shelf

Organized, right? What do you think?

diy-pallet-shelf

The plan: A place for everything and more DIY:

  • A DIY light fixture.
  • Built-in shelves on the wall above the ledge for supplies.
  • Ladder for reaching high shelves.
  • Slate tiled stairs and landing.
  • More inspiration: laboratory/brewery/library Pinterest board.

homebrew-organization

Ps. DIY dates inspire daydreaming and communication (sometimes the occasional fight with the opportunity to make up too!). Do you enjoy working on DIY projects with your spouse? Do little projects inspire bigger dreams?

Linking up to Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before/After party and Project Inspired.

Spring 13 Blogger Badge Subscribe Banner Version

*Disclaimer: I’m a new member of the Lowe’s Creative Ideas Creators and Influencers network! I received a Lowe’s gift card to complete this project for a spring cleaning/organization challenge. Each month I’ll have the opportunity to participate in a themed DIY challenge however the tutorial images, instructions and opinions are my own. 

*This is a sponsored post brought to you by FrogTape. The opinions are completely my own based on my own experience.

 FrogTape Blog Squad

 

Accent Wall Before and After

Patti (my youngest sister) is renting but has permission from the landlord to paint…and to be creative about it too. The entryway wall before had peeling paint…

wall-before

I scraped and sanded until we had a smooth finish. Holes and cracks were patched using DAP’s DryDex (spackling that goes on pink, dries white) and sanded.

dap-drydex-spackling

The walls got a coat of primer and a base coat in a neutral light gray color.

Using FrogTape Delicate (the yellow painter’s tape with PaintBlock Technology, safe for freshly painted walls) the next day, I created a chevron/zigzag pattern.

accent-wall-tutorial

Then painted the zigzag stripes alternating a left-over darker gray paint and left-over gray-beige paint (the color under the tape is a lighter gray).

As soon as I were finished painting the second coat (while it was still wet), I removed the FrogTape Delicate.

removing-FrogTape

Next up cleaning the dingy vinyl floor and decorating.

After (paint is still drying):

accent-wall-after

Patti just happens to work part time for a thrift store so she gets first dibs on all of the eclectic treasures (and has a good eye for what can be transformed). Lucky girl! If it was me, I’d never get out the door with a paycheck. I’d be trading those dollars for thrift store goodies!

Even though the wall now sports a busy pattern in 3 colors, the colors are neutral enough to work in some fun colorful accents and patterns. {All accessories found on Polyvore.}

teal, gold & gray

teal-gray-entryway

 coral, black & gray

coral-gray-entryway

emerald & navy

navy-emerald

gray & mustard

gray-mustard

Looking forward to seeing what she does, how about you? Which color(s) do you like?

This is a sponsored post brought to you by FrogTape. The opinions are completely my own based on my own experience.

 FrogTape Blog Squad

Pantry Makeover Prep and #ReadyDoneClean Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed. And the winner is… winner1

winner2

Congratulations, Jessica! I’ll send you an email to get your mailing information!

We’ve been using an enclosed porch as a temporary pantry ever since we removed a closet from our kitchen but with warmer weather approaching, it’s going to need to be moved inside for better temperature control. So, it’s time to start considering a pantry makeover.

Inspiration: I have had this open pantry image from Emerson Made saved in my inspiration files forever.

Emerson Made open pantry

via Apartment Therapy

The ideal spot is the ‘room’ behind this back wall in the kitchen… farmhouse kitchen

It’s wider than a hallway and sits between our kitchen and living room and has FIVE doorways. Time to make the most of what has always been a waste of space. The freezer will be relocated to the basement.

open pantry before

The first step in prepping for painting is to examine the walls and fill any holes, cracks or imperfections with spackling, letting it dry and sanding smooth. My Swiffer Sweeper is handy for cleaning up the spackling dust.

Then time for a little clean up. This area is so dark and un-used, meaning it often gets overlooked even though we walk through here nearly every day. Cleaning up before painting is important. Ever get cobwebs on your wet paint brush? No fun. A Swiffer Sweeper with a dry sweeping cloth works really well by attracting dirt and dust from virtually any surface, including walls, ceiling and baseboards with it’s 360 degree swivel head. With the long Swiffer Sweeper handle, I don’t even need a ladder to dust the 9 foot ceilings and corners.

I DO clean so I’m embarrassed by the dirt that accumulated in this dark, unused space. Yikes! This is just from the ceiling, walls and trim above 5 door frames. It’s not something you’ll want to paint over.

dirt and dust

I can’t believe it took cleaning this room for me to actually see the dirt. Gross! Next prepare for painting by taping off trim. Then paint!

After painting, I use my Magic Eraser. It’s is so powerful that it removes more grime per swipe than the leading all-purpose bleach spray cleaner, and it has no harsh chemicals. I seriously have a basket full of Magic Erasers. With a husband who loves to cook, I use them all.the.time. for cleaning up spills and drips on white kitchen cabinets too.

magic eraser clean up

It’s going to feel so good to use this space, for it to be lighter and organized! I can’t wait!

You can find all of your painting supplies, including the Swiffer Sweeper and Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, at the Home Depot near you. Be sure to visit Paint Like a Pro at HomeDepot.com for a paint calculator and more great DIY painting and tips.

Home Depot P&G Prize Pack

Ready to paint?

Get ready. Get done. Get clean. Giveaway

#readydoneclean-giveaway

DIY Painting #ReadyDoneClean Prize Pack:

  • Swiffer Sweeper
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Original
  • $50 The Home Depot gift card

(1) entry per person: Simply leave a comment below describing your next paint project to enter to win.  Giveaway starts today and ends March 1, 2013. Open to US and Canadian residents. Winner will be chosen randomly and announced shortly after.

*This review and giveaway is sponsored by The Home Depot and Proctor & Gamble, however opinion is my own and these are products I do purchase and use even when not sponsored. Read more about the DIY Show Off disclosure here

How to install a tiled backsplash

We’re finally shopping for tile for behind our stove area so I wanted to revisit how our kitchen has evolved and the tile we chose for our back splash as well as review the steps we took to install the tile. Our kitchen when we bought the house was outdated…

When we moved we only paint the walls green, inserted new SS appliances and range hood. We lived with it for 3 years then painted the cabinets and finally replaced the countertop with granite (Virginia Jet Mist). Working as time and budget allow sometimes mean waiting for the things we want.
tile-backsplash-tutorial
We had a savings to get started on our dream kitchen (the dream where we have savings but the dream without winning the lottery.
The back splash:

Materials:
Venatino Polished Marble Tiles 12×12 mosaic, 5 Venatino Pencil Borders
OmniGrip Maximum Strength Adhesive
Tile Guard Natural Stone Penetrating Sealer
QuartzLock Grout - silver
FrogTape
Caulk

Tools:
Tile saw
Trowel
Float
Putty knife
Bucket
Sponge
Bucket
Paper towels
Rags
Caulk gun
DAP Pro Caulk Tool Kit

Back Splash Tutorial:

1.  Apply caulk to gap where countertop meets the wall.

2.  We used a DAP Pro Caulk Tools to make an even/straight line, but a using your finger (and water) works just as well.

3.  Prep area.  Cover countertop or clean as you go to protect the counter top.

4.  Upper cabinets sit back further than the edge of the countertop. We wanted out backsplash to cover the entire area. We started at the edge of the counter for our backsplash. Decide how your tile edge will be finished.  We used a matching border from the countertop’s edge vertically and ended at the bottom of the end of the wall cabinet.  We mitered the joint where vertical meets horizontal.
5.  Apply border and tile with OmniGrip Adhesive using a trowel.  Coat the wall (can be done directly on drywall).  OmniGrip is pre-mixed so there’s no guessing on consistency and this product works really well for a back splash.
6.  To lessen breakage and crumbling when cutting (the vibration nearly pulverizes edges of the marble), we used FrogTape on cuts.

7.  Apply pressure to ‘set’ tiles in place.

Another shot of how we ended the tile on the countertop/cabinet edge.

8.   Let dry at least 2 days.

9.  Seal tiles using Tile Guard.  Wipe on with a rag.  It dries within seconds.

10.  After drying, prep area by covering countertops or clean as you go – dried grout {We chose Quartz Lock in a darker gray} will be hard to remove.

Have a bucket of water handy.

11.  Apply generous amount of Quartz Lock to the float using a putty knife.

Quartz Lock is pre-mixed. We cover with a plastic grocery bag, then the lid with a tight seal and save leftover for a future project.
12.  Add grout to spaces between the tiles, filling every gap, working in small areas going to next step and starting again with the next area.  Smoosh it in the gaps.
13.  Using a well-wrung wet sponge, wipe in a diagonal motion (except when necessary against countertop and cabinets), wiping away grout from tile.  Grout should stay in the cracks and gaps, but be cleaned away from tiles.

14.  Rinse sponge.

15.  Repeat.

16.  Let dry.  Grout will hide imperfections/crumbled edges of marble tile.  Don’t stress with tiny chips. Grout will disguise them. We have an old farmhouse, so our motto is “imperfection adds character”.
Before Grout:
After Grout:
Kitchen before:
Kitchen after:
We’re thinking of stainless steel tiles for behind the stove but I haven’t decided on the pattern or shape of tiles yet.
We just calculated that we’ll be in our house 7 years this summer. And we’re ready to put the finishing touches on the kitchen. About time, right?  We’ll be removing the cabinets above the stove to install a proper vent. It means losing those two cupboards but more on a pantry coming soon too. What do you think?
I think the chef’s dream stove/range is on that ‘winning the lottery’ dream kitchen and he’ll have to make do with what we have but it’s functional. Sorry, Mr. DIY.
See more about our kitchen makeover at our Home Tour
DIY Show Off farmhouse kitchen makeover
Similar products for this project:
Star Quartz Quartz Lock 2 Ug Tile Grout-Birch 18lb bucket
Carrara Marble Italian White Bianco Carrera 3×6 Marble Subway Tile Honed
Custom Building Products TLOSQT-3 TileLab OneStep Cleaner and Resealer
Frog Tape 82021 Pro Painters Masking Tape, 1-1/2-Inch by 60-Yards, Green
Pro Caulk Complete Caulking Kit (As Seen On TV)
Goldblatt G02391 1/4-Inch By 3/8-Inch By 1/4-Inch Square Notch Trowel With Plastic Handle
TBC Margin Trowel Float 6″x 2-1/2″ Professional Gum Rubber Face Bonder to Foam Rubber Pad. Speciality Grout Float Designed for Hard to Reach Areas. Narrow Width & Offset Handle Allow Work Under Toe-Kick Space Under Cabinets and Small Areas. Float 11″
SKIL 3540-02 4.2-Amp 7-Inch Wet Tile SawThis is a sponsored post brought to you by FrogTape. The opinions are completely my own based on my own experience. FrogTape Blog Squad

How to Flatten an Area Rug

Every time I make the trip to Ikea, I have to resist the temptation to fill my cart with all of their luscious textiles. But on my most recent trip, I couldn’t resist the $19.99 Gislev rug

Ikea Gislev area rug

…great price, pretty rug in a generous 4 x 6 size? Yes, please. I knew right away it’d help anchor the seating area in our little sitting room.

sitting room at Christmas Christmas sitting room with painted striped chairs

New rugs come packaged in a roll, which leaves both ends curled. Ugh! Don’t you hate that? Huge tripping hazard for sure. Normally, I add weight with boxes, furniture, books, even paint cans. But this small room is a high traffic area to our basement and that would create an obstacle course for sure. {and with a woodburner helping to heat this old house, trips to the basement are frequent in the winter months.} FrogTape on rug border

Solution: I grabbed a roll of FrogTape and taped down those edges. flattening a rug

I let it sit for a day or two until we were expecting guests then removed it. rug border with FrogTape It worked! FrogTape was gentle enough on our slate floor. There was no sticky residue when I removed the tape. Hallelujah! And the ends of the rug are now flattened… Gislev area rug

Lalka is happy with her new comfy area rug in a room that gets flooded with sunshine…{I use FrogTape to pick up cat hair that won’t sweep up on this low pile area rug too.} ragdoll

I’m trying this technique in the family room where the area rug curls up. FrogTape won’t hurt the finish on our bamboo floors either.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress.  flattening the border of an area rug

Does this happened to you? What do you use?

I’ll share the sitting room re-decorated later this week!

Sharing here: Home Stories A to Z: Tutorials & Tips

*This is a sponsored post brought to you by FrogTape. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. Results may vary. 

FrogTape Blog Squad

A Chartreuse Door

Mini-makeover…

When we first installed the sliding door, I embraced it’s original old paint.

interior sliding door

But over the past year, it did feel more “dirty” even after a good scrubbing than “charming”. It just reminded me of the cold weather and dirty snow…blah. You can’t tell from the pictures. But it did have that dirty old worn finish.

Remember how my brain sometimes works with DIY? It’s usually a spur of the moment decision that wasn’t in my plan for the day or ever. That happened with painting the sliding door in our dining room.

And remember when I painted the door in the apartment renovation

apartment door

I fell in looooove with that color. A beautiful happy shade of green.

The beginning of the new year consisted of cleaning and organizing the basement somewhat. I stumbled across packed boxes of supplies and tools from the apartment renovation…still not unpacked since November. While putting things away, looky what I found:

Valspar Gilded Pesto

chartreuse green

And just like that, in that five minute time span, I decided to paint the sliding door in the dining room, to add some “spring” color to the dingy, dirty, neutral white. No wonder it takes me FOREVER to clean. Distractions get me every time.

FrogTape

I started by taping off the glass around the mullions with my favorite stash of FrogTape, making sure the edge of the tape was flush against the corner where wood met glass. It doesn’t leave a sticky residue when removed…and I’m all for making a last minute DIY easier.

{you can see the dirty original paint job better in this picture}

FrogTape on glass

{curtain is for privacy in the guest room or maybe hiding junk in what’s become a storage room…ummm, I’m not telling}

I used my thumb to burnish the edges of the Frogtape to prevent paint from seeping underneath.

burnishing the tape

Then applied two coats of my sample container of paint.

painting door

 

{oops…One coat looked great while wet so I removed tape. I did a second coat on the flat parts after coat 1 was dry}

I removed the tape immediately after the second coat, pulling away from the wood.

removing tape

Ta-da…the after:

painted door after

 

again…here’s the before:

shabby chic dining room

What do you think? Do the seasons aid in changing your decor? How finding inspiration and materials that you forgot you had when cleaning and organizing? Either way…I’m loving the new pop of color!

chartreuse paint

  • paint the built ins and add hardware to the bottom doors
  • swap out the light fixture (wait ’til you see the new one!!!)

*This is a sponsored post brought to you by FrogTape. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. Results may vary. 

FrogTape Blog Squad

Sharing at:

Beneath My Heart’s Best DIY Projects of January

FJI’s Saturday Night Special

Thrifty Decor Chick Before and After party

First project of 2013

You may be wondering what I’ve been up to. Where have I been? Besides cursing my camera for starting off 2013 with a non-working auto-focus which forces me to use my iphone camera.

Well, I’ve been right here at home. Working on some no pressure sorts of things at an easy pace. The first of the year had me packing up Christmas

Christmas ornaments

which led to organizing the basement…because I sort of messed it up digging out Christmas decorations and piled up empty boxes in a hurry to resume making the upstairs pretty for the holidays.

DIY Show Off Christmas Home Tour

All of the decorations are in hiding and the basement clean up is nearly wrapped up. Our scary OLD OLD OLD part of the basement will never be pretty but I do love the additional storage space it provides.  {never say never. I could win the lottery and then…possibilities!} Be warned. These pictures of a 90 year old basement are not for the faint of heart and do look as if they’re still-shots from “Hoarders” {hence, no watermarking. lol!}…not something you’re going to see in the next issue of House Beautiful:

basement mess

Of course it was one of those “make a bigger mess” before it looks better types of projects”.

  • Dig EVERYTHING out.
  • Unpack boxes and storage containers.
  • Purge.
  • Create a pile for donating.
  • Fill 3 garbage bags.
  • Have tissues on hand…dust can induce sneezing and a runny nose.
  • Wash dirty hands every 30 minutes.
  • Listen to happy upbeat music, sing, dance throughout the obstacle course you created.
  • Separate and organize things in to related piles.
  • Pack neatly and in an organized fashion.
  • Label boxes and containers.
  • Pile it all back up where it will fit.

This may take days. Family might send out a search party. You’ll need a shower with lots of scrubbing. Oh, and lotion for those extra dry hands.

You may wonder why the heck you’ve been hoarding 584 empty boxes of various sizes.

I organized some decorative accents I like having on hand. It’s like my own secret store for shopping from home.

shopping from home

Must have spray paint supply…

spray paint supply

I even managed to create a work space using an old farmhouse table. It’s not much of a “project” in the way of fun or pretty or a “oOoOohhh” reveal. But you know how much better it feels to get chaos under control, right?

And it feels sort of like nesting for adding a furbaby to our home in the near future. I want everything to be perfect…even the scary old spidery dusty basement that no one but me sees. Oh and well now, you‘ve had a glimpse too. I know you’re torn between feeling honored and horrified. Sorry about that.

And, all that lead to finding the chartreuse paint that I used on the apartment door…

apartment door

{Valspar Guilded Pesto}

because yes, the boxes of apartment renovation supplies have been sitting unpacked, haphazardly tossed in a corner from the car. For months. And cleaning/organizing the older part of the basement meant putting those things away too. Finally.

And where am I going with this? Organizing the basement, finding the left over paint? Well that lead to an unplanned mini-project upstairs which I’ll share with you tomorrow.

wink

What have you been up to? Don’t forget to share your latest DIY at the party.

DIY Show Off

Looking back: 2012 DIY recap

As a DIY’er, I’m always taking a look at what’s not finished, what needs work and planning my next project. But at the end of the year, I love looking back and reflecting on everything we did accomplish. 2012 was a busy year! Here is a recap of some of my DIY. {Warning: This is long. Who knew? Some of these feel like a lot longer than the past year.}

First and foremost…whether you’re a long time DIY Show Off reader or it’s your first visit…welcome! And THANK YOU for your support and encouragement in 2012. 2013 will be my 6th year of blogging and I’m looking forward to many more years!

January – a DIY dressing room reveal with ideas for organization

dressing room

 a stairway/landing makeover

after {now} and all dressed up for Christmas…

stair landing Christmas time

February: vintage inspired craft room reveal

vintage craft room

Reading nook and living room updates…we’ve since installed new distressed wide plank bamboo flooring.

gallery wall, thrift store wall art, console table, stair wall, living room

blue Valentine DIY decorative accents

fun wood block accent tutorial

March: a painted foam puzzle playmat

painted foam playmat, rustic vintage restaurant sign, do it yourself, tutorial painted rug

a tissue paper pouf wreath

tissue paper wreath

 a DIY canvas table runner

clock theme dining room

Easter decorating DIY

 Easter, decor, do it yourself, faux chocolate bar sign, wood sign, centerpiece

DIY peacock feather triptych

April: easy DIY baseboard tutorial

DAP Dyna Flex baseboard caulking tutorial

and talking about chandeliers

repurposed coffee table

May: Styrofoam convex mirror tutorial

DIY convex mirror tutorial

opening the pool at mom’s! I shared my mom’s idea for hanging beach towels…a DIY beach towel rack from large double curtain rod.

curtain rod towel bar

In June, I found some “before” kitchen pictures and shared our kitchen makeover in reverse…

now…

farmhouse kitchen

{more of our eclectic farmhouse kitchen details}

before…

farmhouse kitchen before

The Haven conference was definitely a 2012 highlight: my favorite topics {DIY and decorating} and meeting others I’ve “known” who share my love of DIY and blogging…who’s going this year? This girl right here!

Haven 2012 swag bag

July – I had the pleasure of hosting the Pittsburgh I LOVE Thrifting Day for the 2nd year! An opportunity for my favorite past time: spending time with my girls and family, thrift store shopping and meeting local blog friends.

DIY Show Off #ilovethrifting

August: DIY distressed chevron sign {wood plank}…

garden sign

headboard door pediment

DIY repurposed headboard

Summer & Fall 2012:

before

 apartment walls before

Apartment renovation – I took on renovating a tiny three room apartment from minor cosmetic to interior decorating. From refinishing floors, lots of clean up and painting, a budget friendly bathroom makeover and tons of DIY thrifty decorating fun! While meant to be a summer project, it’s turned out to take a little more time. I don’t mind. You know I love working, DIY and decorating. I will be taking final photos this week and sharing the reveal in the next few days! So exciting! But here are some projects related to renovating and decorating the tiny apartment that I did have a chance to share…

after

Tiffany & Co. spray painted steamer trunk

bathroom floor before

bathroom makeover - before

bathroom floor after {tips for tiling}

Daltile Carrara ceramic tile

See all things related to the apartment renovation here! Reveal and more project updates coming soon.

herringbone accent wall

Rustoleum Countertop Transformations:

Rustoleum Countertop Transformations before and after

Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations/painting kitchen cabinets:

before

apartment kitchen before

after

Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations pure white

September: rustic DIY sign tutorial

distress sign tutorial at DIY Show Off

a kitchen bar makeover. An outdated kitchen bar set gets a new look for a tiny eat in apartment kitchen. kitchen island makeover

October: A little behind the scenes of the DIY Show Off blog. {more of my blogging story and the “real” life behind blogging…not as glamorous as it look!}

life of a blogger quote

November: how to turn a coffee table into an upholstered ottoman.

DIY upholstered tufted ottoman

Decembersitting room mini-makeover.

and a little motivation with colorful Christmas decorating to get the family room makeover going in 2013…

colorful eclectic Christmas

Coming up in 2013? It’s a little ambitious, but here’s a look at my DIY wish list:

  • family room renovation – time to get this eclectic room done! I’m considering making it a bit of a craft space as well. Current craft space is a bit jam packed and upstairs. Who needs a family room right next to a living room anyway?
  • front door and front entryway – I long for a front door, a beautiful welcoming front entry for welcoming guests.
  • pantry and kitchen island – these were meant for 2012 but never started.
  • laundry room makeover – I have the ugliest laundry room on the planet. When we moved in, I relocated it from the scary spidery basement to the first floor. That’s all I can say.
  • bathrooms…I have 2 upstairs that need renovated. Huge embarrassing bathroom spaces. I’m ready for a dream bathroom, relaxing cottage style.
  • master bedroom…always last on the DIY priority list, but maybe ’13 will be the lucky year. ?
  • Not DIY…rescuing a dog (working from home = little socialization and missing the company of our doxie).
  • Haven 2013! Bring it on!
  • Working on some blog design and layout changes as well. Toying with the idea of a new lifestyle blog (with DIY here of course) but thoughts of keeping up with two blogs is sort of scary!

Want to see more DIY?

Would you be interested in DIY Show Off continuing the annual yearly “looking back” linky party? In the past, it’s run the first week of January.

Like what you see? Stay up-to-date in 2013…
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Must Have Tool {and a giveaway!}

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. WINNER is Judy D. who says: “Planning on starting a dyi kitchen project and have only a couple tools on hand. Great giveaway.” Congratulations, Judy!
As you know, we renovated an apartment over the summer. We had the opportunity to review a screwdriver. The timing was perfect and the Master Mechanic Swift Driver seriously rocks! If I didn’t think so, I wouldn’t be writing this. Seriously, it’s the one tool that was always within reach and made a lot of our DIY projects easier.
Here’s the official description:

A new twist on an old tool. Master Mechanic dual-drive screwdriver employs a patented gear drive ratchet design that doubles your screwdriving efficiency. Drives the screw when you turn the handle clockwise AND counter-clockwise. 29-pc. set includes flexible shaft extension and multiple bit sizes for a variety of applications. Includes 7 phillips, 3 slotted, 4 hex, 3 square, 4 star, 6 SAE nut driver bits, and bit case. Ergonomic handle has a non-slip rubber grip and can store bits.

What I love. . .

  • No electric, no batteries required.
  • The dual ratcheting action was a lot easier on my hand and wrist! Every time I turned my wrist, it was working to get the job done, both left and right. It’s lightweight too.
  • I loved that I didn’t have to go searching for a specific type of screw driver since it has multiple interchangeable bit sizes (which can be stored in the handle) and since the bits are universal…I could grab one for the cordless drill when needed.
  • We ran into several tricky tight spots and the flexible shaft extension came in super handy (and even attached to the cordless drill).

Take a look at how I used it A LOT during the apartment renovation {still use it!}. From removing and re-attaching cabinet hardware to changing out doorknobs to installing shelving brackets to tightening vanity screws to hanging a mailbox to assembling furniture, this tool was super helpful.

Using the Master Mechanic Swift Driver

Example: When I’m re-attaching cabinet hardware and place the screw into the pre-drilled hole, I turn the screwdriver clockwise. Then, when I turn counter-clockwise, it’s turning the screw, pushing it further into place too. I love that! I don’t have to change my grip! Just keep winding right, left, right, left. Then with a push of a button, the same works in reverse to remove the screw. So cool!

So, if you are looking for a great gift idea for a DIY’er a non-DIY’er too or stocking stuffer OR you’re tired of sore palms or digging for the right screwdriver, I know this would be a HUGE hit. The recipient is not going to be disappointed, won’t ask for the gift receipt and WILL use it!

The Master Mechanic Swift Driver is available {and on sale!} at True Value Hardware.

$100 True Value gift card Giveaway

True Value gift card

Need a little help with Christmas shopping for a Master Mechanic Swift Driver? Want to grab one for yourself too? One lucky DIY Show Off reader will receive a $100 True Value gift card. Open to US residents 18+ only. Giveaway starts with the publishing of this post (TODAY! Monday, 11/26) and ends Friday, 11/30 at midnight EST. Winner will be chosen randomly and announced shortly after.

What is on your True Value Hardware wish list? Answer in the comment and check +1 on the rafflecopter widget. Follow True Value on Facebook and share the giveaway for additional entries (be sure to +1 on the widget!). Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We were chosen by True Value to be one of the members of the 2012 DIY Squad. I have been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY projects. However, the thoughts and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own. I have not been paid to publish positive comments and no one has twisted my arm to participate. 

 

DIY Ceiling Mount Drum Shade Light Fixture Cover

In the apartment: Staying within a very tight budget inspires creativity. The main floor of the rental had a boring light fixture and we wanted to do something a little more fun. A thrift store drum shade was a great solution and worked with existing ceiling mounted light fixture base. {peek of the thrifty gallery wall}

DIY Drum Shade Ceiling Mount Light Fixture Tutorial

I originally purchased a steel nipple {are you giggling?! who decided that was a good name for hardware?} for a lamp kit, but it was too big in diameter to fit through the hole in the existing light fixture base. Lucky for us, True Value Hardware is within walking distance of the rental. So convenient. Great for finding last minute things and a huge selection of everything plumbing (and lamp kits too). I found that a ‘toilet’ plumbing piece {a rod threaded on both ends} was a perfect fit. We simply unscrewed the existing base, added a nut near the hole in the center of the existing base and screwed in the threaded rod and re-attached the base of the light fixture.

Next, Just center of the drum shade over the threaded rod and the finial holds it all into place.

threaded rod in DIY drum shade light

 But the ugliness is visible from underneath…

DIY drum shade light fixture

Solution: Measuring the diameter of the interior of the drum shade, I made a pattern/stencil from cardboard (tracing the interior of the shade).

cardboard template

We used the cardboard circle as a template for cutting plexiglass (2 circles). We found cutting plexiglass to be a challenge and cut a larger circle, wrapped the edges in FrogTape to help minimize cracking and chipping then used our Dremel Trio to cut the circle border on the FrogTape. Note: this project is NOT for perfectionists. Amateurs (like us) achieved a jagged circle but we’re okay with that. 

plexiglass with FrogTape

Remove FrogTape and transparent protective cover from plexiglass. We didn’t get a smooth cut, but it’s not extra noticeable when placed into the drum shade and hot glue and ribbon or beads can cover the jagged edge.

We also drilled a hole in the center of each piece of plexiglass for the threaded rod.

I ironed my doily and cut out the center circle…

ironing doily

and put the plexiglass into the drum shade {plexiglass, doily, plexiglass}, resting it on the lamp shade supports (drum shade will be installed ‘upside down’). Note: You may want to use a spray adhesive on one side of the doily to keep it from sliding as you’re layering plexiglass, doily, plexiglass. I also used hot glue to attach a string of beads to hide our jagged cuts.

plexiglass doily drum shade

So pretty DIY ceiling mount light {a little off center, hence the suggestion for spray adhesive as noted above}:

doily drum shade light

Then just put the drum shade into place, secured by the finial…

DIY drum shade light lit

We love how it turned out – but note: plexiglass is more expensive than we anticipated. So while it still worked out to be a less expensive option than a pretty drum shade ceiling fixture and prettier than a boob light, it wasn’t super cheap like I had planned. Approximate cost breakdown: plexiglass $25, drum shade $5, doily $10 + finial and threaded rod.

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We were chosen by True Value to be one of the members of the 2012 DIY Squad. I have been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY projects. However, the thoughts and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own. I have not been paid to publish positive comments and no one has twisted my arm to participate.  

This is a sponsored post brought to you by FrogTape. The opinions are completely my own based on my own experience and project results may vary.

 FrogTape Blog Squad

Tips for painting a herringbone patterned accent wall

Apartment progress!

Herringbone Accent {on textured} Wall

I’ve shown sneak peeks of the apartment renovation progress and you’ve likely seen the herringbone-like accent wall in the kitchen area…

painted accent wall

Base paint color: True Value Easy Care – Baby Elephant (soft neutral gray) & Accent color: True Value Easy Care – Sweet Honey

Since we own this rental space, I was able to get a little creative in adding a fun accent wall as a backdrop behind some open shelving. Before paint…

apartment walls before

Yes…I have ‘plans’ for a DIY radiator cover but I must confess that I feel it’s a LOT ambitious and I’m scared. Working up the courage to give it a try sometime this month. Anyway, after paint {including painting kitchen cabinets and Rustoleum Countertop Transformations}:

find center of wall

The open wall space above the wainscoting was the perfect spot to display open shelving as a solution for more storage/organization in this tiny apartment. True Value’s Easy Care Platinum and FrogTape were all I needed to add some interest to a flat textured wall. The pattern also helps disguise the un-hidden pipes. I put together a quick tutorial video using my iphone {pardon the portrait orientation, poor quality…amateur videographer but working hard on getting better!} explaining how I achieved the herringbone pattern:

The wall was finished and I was so happy to be able to move forward on the renovation! Shelves are budget friendly Ekby shelving and brackets from IKEA… IKEA Ekby

{installation was super easy using the Master Mechanic Swift Driver!}

Woo hoo! painted accent wall And just when I felt super good about a little DIY success, something went wrong upstairs with the plumbing. The joys of DIY… upstairs plumbing leak I was just too exhausted and heartbroken to deal with it. My Mr. DIY fixed the plumbing issue in the bathroom above and Bri’s boyfriend, Steve, saved the day by patching the ceiling below. patching ceiling textured ceiling and I set about touching up the paint… touching up paint Now, all done for real… herringbone accent wall If you missed it yesterday, I shared the hardwood floors before/after refinishing:

staining hardwood floors

More apartment renovation, decorating and furnishing coming soon!

We were chosen by True Value to be one of the members of the 2012 DIY Squad. I have been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY projects. However, the thoughts and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own. I have not been paid to publish positive comments and no one has twisted my arm to participate.  This is a sponsored post brought to you by FrogTape. The opinions are completely my own based on my own experience.  FrogTape Blog Squad

Refinishing Hardwood Floors {apartment progress}

How I refinished the apartment hardwood floors…

When we started the apartment renovation, I knew the hardwood floors would need to be refinished. Previous tenants had some sort of mishap and the finish was ruined…{I try not to think long and hard about the details of the mishap. ::shudder::}

condition of hardwood floors before:

hardwood floors before

We started by sanding the floors (well, by “we” I really mean, I supervised while my nephew controlled the beast known as the orbital sander). Once the steps to strip the old finish was completed and floors and sawdust were cleaned up, we were ready to refinish the original hardwood for a new look.

All sanded!

sanding hardwood floor

I headed to True Value for the materials I needed {and a few other things too but more coming on that soon}:

  • Minwax Wood Finish, stirred not shaken {Color is “Dark Walnut”}. Minwax has great informational guide too.
  • Minwax High Build Polyurethane (clear satin), stirred not shaken (martini is optional)
  • FrogTape
  • angled 3.5″ Purdy paintbrushes – “White Bristle” {recommended for stain}
  • angled 3 ” Purdy brush – “Black China Bristle” for polyurethane
  • old clean rags {I actually had these on hand but you CAN buy them at True Value too!}
  • Optional: latex gloves {I lived with brown stained nails for a day or two…oops.}
  • Suggestion: pillow for knees and definitely old clothes {not sold at True Value}
  • 220 grit sandpaper
  • Mineral spirits and clean rags

Staining Hardwood Floors

The process is a fairly simple DIY. The task is just time consuming (and a little labor intensive because of my position on ‘old knees’). Since I was working with two small rooms, I opted to use a brush and work on my hands and knees vs. a roller.

I started in a far corner of the room, working with the wood grain, with the direction of the wood planks, working my way out of the room – don’t work yourself into a corner – no fun being trapped!

For extra protection, tape off baseboards/shoe molding using FrogTape.

I dipped my Purdy brush into the can of Minwax stain, tapped off the extra and applied the stain in a corner, working along the baseboard along the length of the wood plank. When I noticed that some of the stain wasn’t absorbing, I let it sit for a few minutes then wiped away the excess with an old rag.

staining hardwood floors

I worked in 2-4 foot sections in length as I went along right to left in my room, working my way towards the door. Sometimes I did a larger number of planks as well, just find a rhythm that works for you.

refinishing hardwood floors

Bedroom done. I worked my way out into the hallway…

staining hardwood floors

down the stairs and around the bend…

staining stair treads

and started the main floor in a corner, working my way out the door.

staining hardwood floors

Sounds like I ended up at Grandmother’s place (over the river and through the woods) and a lot quicker than it actually took. ! 

TIPS: Since I’m working my way actually out of the apartment, I had to make sure to grab things I needed like purse, keys, cell phone, etc. Turn off things that you don’t want to leave on during the drying period. The radio blasted during our drying time. Oops!

Note: Two coats can be applied (see Minwax for further instructions). I loved the color one coat achieved so I skipped this step. Sealing the floor will also darken the color a bit. One coat of stain:

dark walnut hardwood floors

I let my floors dry a few days but we were working in an unoccupied space. I applied the stain on a Friday and returned the following week to resume refinishing by sealing the floors. Sealing the floors is NOT optional, it’s required. It’s necessary. Stain does not protect the wood, only colors/enhances the beauty.

Sealing the floors…

sealing hardwood floors

I used the same process as above to seal the floors. Starting in the far corner of the room, I repeated the same steps of dipping my paint brush into the polyurethane, tapping, applying in the corner, brushing right to left (the direction I was personally working), along the baseboards and working my way out the door.

It really enhances the rich beautiful color:

minwax high build polyurethane

I let the first coat of polyurethane dry 48 hours.

My most UN-favorite part: once the first coat is dry, lightly sand the entire floor with a 220 grit sandpaper. Clean floors of dust with mineral spirits and let dry. Then apply a second coat of polyurethane using the same steps. Repetitive. Time consuming. But so rewarding!

Allow to dry for 12 hours to resume “light use” (however – test the floor first!). Remove FrogTape.

Stand back, remember the before (try not to gag):

hardwood floors before

Admire the gorgeous after: 

apartment sneak peek alert!

dark walnut stained hardwood floors

Pinterest tip: Did you know that if you rub a wood scratch (floors and furniture) with a walnut (circular motions, filling in the scratch), the walnut oils will fill in the scratch and heal the wood wound? Great snack, too!

Estimated total cost of DIY refinishing 2 small rooms of hardwood (approx. 250 sq. feet) = $250.00 and a few days of recovery…but nothing that would keep you out of your True Value hardware store to prepare for your next DIY. ;)

Joining Sarah’s party today:

TDC Before and After

We were chosen by True Value to be one of the members of the 2012 DIY Squad. I have been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY projects. However, the thoughts and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own. I have not been paid to publish positive comments and no one has twisted my arm to participate. 

This is a sponsored post brought to you by FrogTape. The opinions are completely my own based on my own experience. 

FrogTape Blog Squad

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