Category Archives: In the workshop

It’s been a year.

I was told that in order to have a successful blog, you must write consistently. I think that is true, although life has a way of getting in the way of the things you want to do or the things you HAVE to do. I have been doing what I have had to do for the past year. Now I can write about the things I like to do again.

I also think that a successful blog happens when you have a catchy title, lots and lots of friends, and content that is original and stuff people can use.

My blog may not be considered successful, but it is all me.  YAY ME!!!

So…on to a post!!!  Yes, I have things to share!

This is the story of a little table.  I was taking my other half to work one morning recently, and I took a direction that he wasn’t completely in agreement with.  As I turned the corner onto a residential back road, there were two tables on the side of the road.  I saw them…let out an, “AWWWW”…and stopped and backed up.  I got them,… both.



This little table was one of them…and the cutest thing. But, what I noticed right away was that the second shelf was split, and the spindles were all coming out or loose.


Now, the spindles (which I LOVE) I could fix, the second shelf, I knew that it could be fixed, but that it would not be nearly as sturdy.  I likes me some sturdy furniture.  Hey!  I have grandkids!!  So, I knew that a modification would be in this little guy’s future.


So, this is what I came up with.  I put the top shelf, onto the bottom shelf. It worked.  Now at this point, I knew this cute little table had sat outside in the weather. Mainly because the finish was a little milky, and it was scratched up pretty bad.  So I stripped and sanded her down.  I did what I now call my signature finish on her, and painted the bottom, stained the top.


This is before I antiqued the legs and skirt and applied polyurethane to the entire piece.


I know the pics aren’t the greatest, but this is the finished product!  (Buffy is doing her best to photo bomb!)  I used Minwax dark walnut and polyurethane satin finish, the paint is Valspar Coconut Cream I used Minwax dark walnut to antique it by waiting for the paint to cure, brushing the stain on, and then wiping it off.

So! you will see me on here more!!

From my garage to yours!!!





Working on Hutch Turned Bookcase!

Hello Everyone!

Ok…so, have you ever gone into a big box hardware store looking for furniture feet or legs?  Just to find out that they are way out of your budget (In my world, any amount of money is out of my budget! lol) at approximately ten dollars a piece, for just furniture feet? Don’t even get me started on table legs!!  Its more than I want to spend on a piece of furniture that I just rescued off the side of the road or was given so that it didn’t go into the local landfill.

The point is to find a way to remake furniture and do so with the idea in mind that it shouldn’t cost a fortune!!  I aim this blog at people who are young and just starting out, or are just plain frugal!!  And in my world…re doing a piece of furniture for a 100 dollars is not frugal!  I am not saying that doing things on the cheap is always easy…but it is doable! I also think that if you are going to spend money, it should be well thought out and in the right places.

Take this desk/hutch for example.  My son and his wife gave me this piece of furniture when they moved into a bigger space. They have made two additions to their amazing little family, and are in the process of “reworking” their spaces.  (that would be that expand, retract, rethink thing that happens when you move!) The hutch and desk together were more than I wanted to attempt…so I separated them.

Here is the hutch now with feet (I am sorry, sometimes I get so excited when I get an idea that I forget to take the before pictures!) and shelves.wpid-20150827_135827.jpg

Now I will go there and say, she doesn’t look like much. I added the bottom shelf, and the feet.  the bottom shelf is pallet wood, sanded, tacked and screwed into the bottom. The feet…yes, lets talk about the feet!  Those are the finial tops for post! You can find these in the fence and deck lumber area of you local big box hardware store. (I got these at Lowe’s)…for approximately $3.40 plus tax each.

When I started working on this piece I really did not like how it was going. It seemed top-heavy (which it is) and bulky (which it is). I did not like the frame piece that I added to the bottom (so that I could add legs) showing. So I just knew that trimming the bottom out was in my future. Off to the hardware store I went!!

wpid-20150922_193358.jpgI added the trim pieces at the bottom, and I did a crappy job!  My miter saw quit working and I no longer have a miter box….so I just squared them up and nailed them on!!! I am still not happy with that but I figured I will change it later, once the saw is replaced or working again. I also shimed up the front feet to make the entire piece lean back a little. This is an easy “ish” thing to do. I simply took a paint stir stick and cut two pieces of it, and drilled holes to fit over the screw in the foot, and screwed them back in. It helped a lot and made the piece more stable.

Once I had that done, I used a de glosser or liquid sander to take the shine off of the piece.  It is my personal opinion that you can paint anything, you just have got to know how!!  When it comes to anything with a plastic type laminate and/or particle board or fiber board USE A DE GLOSSER!! Do not attempt to sand it with sandpaper! I have done this and what I got was scratched up plastic or shredded fiber board…do what works for you, this is just my experience.

wpid-20150925_111834.jpgI love this part, when you start applying the primer. I used Zinsser water based 1,2,3 primer here.  I loves me the Zinsser!!!  (note, they do not sponsor me or my blog, I just really like their products! Use what works for you!) This primer is great for laminates. My word of advice on primer is to read the label!! It will tell you if it is good to use on wood, laminate, metal, MDF or particle board. It will also tell you if you need to sand first to use it or not!!  NOTE: the old school concept of oil versus water based; now a days we have water based formulas that work as well as oiled based products.  THAT HAVING BEEN SAID if you are going to use a piece in what I call a water area (a table top, kitchen, bathroom, or someplace where you might have to scrub it more often than casual use) do yourself a favor. Either use the oil based primer and paint or do your research and find the water based alklyd paints and primers that are out there. Word of caution: Water based alklyd paints (Sherwin Williams has one) are NOT cheap!!  Not that any paint is, but these run around 60 bucks per gallon.  Although I hear they are better for the environment as far as disposal is concerned, are much easier to work with due to easy clean up and less fumes and they are as good as the old school oil based stuff! I know someone who used the water based alklyd on her kitchen cabinets.  I would have sworn they were done with an oil based!

Here I used a water based primer, and a latex paint. This is a bookcase that will see very casual use.

wpid-20150925_115011.jpg         These two pictures are the first coat of primer and the first coat of paint.  I have to slow myself down at these points mainly because I want there to be wpid-20150929_123928.jpga chance for the primer to fully dry (I am in Florida, which equals humid. I always give primers overnight and first coat of paint overnight!). If it is not, the first coat of paint will not fully dry and the whole piece will have a tacky feel to it.

Also, when you are at this point, the urge to rush is there because you are finally getting to see what you have worked so hard on coming together.

I am so pleased with how this bookcase turned out!

My daughter wanted this to match the Jesse table I posted earlier.  So I pulled out the stencils and went to work. 


Although I did love the piece in the creamy white we painted her, this pic is after the second coat of paint.  The stencils did add that bit of oomph!  Also, I want to point out something… My daughter initially wanted for the engraved embellishment on the top of this bookcase to be filled in with wood filler.  I have learned something about doing that…I ALMOST ALWAYS, undo it later.  It just never seems to look right. The advice being that you should work with what you have.
So, in the same terracotta color, I painted the top center embellishment and placed the scroll stencil on the sides.  I think she came out really pretty! 

wpid-20151001_115200.jpgThe stencil placement was decided by my daughter… Just to give credit where due.

When I was done stenciling, I let all of it dry overnight, and used Varathane’s water based poly on it and let that dry overnight.

It always feels good to know I kept something from filling a landfill.

From my garage to yours!


Making the Workbenches

I have to tell you, I never thought in a million years I would be so excited over a workbench.  My Pop, who lives in North Carolina has them in his shop (by the way…it is a whole bunch cooler than mine. Here is a shout out to you Pop!!) but I never thought about what it took to build one.  Until now….


I didn’t take any pictures while I was constructing these, mainly because I was so excited to build them.  This one is just a simple two shelf bench. I took how I saw other benches built and put it all together, and built one to suit me.  I figured out what height was comfy for me to work at, and how much space I would need to work on.


I felt the first one came out so good…and as I needed to get some of my power tools off of a project that they had accumulated on (a table that I had been working on until I needed space to put my table saw, etc.). So I decided to build another one, but this time with three shelves.

20150218_113247 - Copy


It’s a little shorter, but it is also wider and longer.  I wanted to be able to store my table saw, tile saw, drill press, stand sander, and miter saw on it.  I got most of them on it!  I built these in one day each. It is a fantastic project for someone starting out.  I used my jig saw, drill and electric screwdriver, a square, a pencil and a tape measure. Give it a try!!