DIY Floating Shelves

IMG_7356

I am so excited to FINALLY share this project with you all! I have been working on it for what feels like forever. Wait…you mean…having a baby will drastically change the amount of time in the day you have to accomplish things?!?! Case in point, I’ve been trying to write this blog post for 3 days now 🙂

When I started placing the furniture in the nursery, I knew I wanted this corner to be the “play” corner or the area for all the toys. Landon already owns quite a few books so a book shelf seemed like the way to go but I also wanted room for some sort of toy box (a post on that to come in the future) so shelves up on the wall were necessary for space. Enter the DIY Floating Shelves from Shanty 2 Chic. If you haven’t checked out their site before and you enjoy DIY building, check them out. If you’ve ever searched for DIY building projects on Pinterest, chances are you’ve come across some of their work. Their projects are always really well explained and the plans are very detailed.

I did make some adjustments to the original plans because the plans called shelves that were 3.5′ in either direction and I only had room for 2′. So, my plans are for 2′ long corner shelves and the materials listed are enough for 3 shelves. If you follow the plans on Shanty 2 Chic, their plans are for 3.5′ shelves and the materials listed are for 1 shelf so make sure you double or triple the amount of wood depending on how many shelves you want.

So, here we go…step by step 🙂

Supplies
NOTE: Before purchasing the wood, see the note in step 6 regarding the 2×4 and 1×6 boards

3 – 2″ x 4″ x 8′
2 – 1/4″ x 24″ x 48″ plywood
2 – 1″ x 10″ x 8′
2 – 1″ x 6″ x 8′
kreg jig for pocket holes
drill
2 1/2″ pocket screws
nail gun
1 1/4″ brad nails
3″ screws (torx or dry wall, whatever you prefer, these will be to screws the support boards to the wall and into a stud)
stud finder
wood glue
paint
hardware (for decorative purposes, I’ll show you what I used when I get to that part below)

Step 1: You will need to determine the height placement of each shelf. You want to think about what you are going to put on the shelves and how much space you need in between each one. I wanted my shelves to take up the majority of the corner and knew I was going to be putting some taller items and books on them so here are the measurements I used…
Floor to ceiling, the room is 96″ tall. Each shelf is approximately 4.5″ tall. Based on that, I measured out equal spacing from ceiling to the top shelf, between each shelf, and from bottom shelf to the floor, which was 20.5″.
Ceiling
20.5″
Shelf #1: 4.5″
20.5″
Shelf #2: 4.5″
20.5″
Shelf #3: 4.5″
20.5″
Floor

You will also want to locate the studs in your wall and mark those as well as you will drill each wall cleat directly into a stud.

Step 2: Build your wall cleats.
Using the 2″ x 4″ x 8′, make the following cuts
3 pieces @ 2′ (long wall cleat)
3 pieces @ 1′ 10 1/2″ (short wall cleat)
12 pieces @ 7 5/8″ (cleat braces)

When constructing each wall cleat, you will use one long wall cleat, one short wall cleat and 4 cleat braces, 2 1/2″ pocket screws and wood glue.
Using a kreg jig, drill for 2 1/2″ pocket screws into one end of each cleat brace then attach the cleat braces to the cleats as shown. I didn’t measure the placement of the cleat braces, just lined up the wall cleats (long wall cleat against the corner, short wall cleat against the long wall cleat) and then marked where the cleat braces should go so that they just met each other at the corner edge. The other two cleat braces went at the opposite ends of the wall cleats.

IMG_7179

Step 3: Attach wall cleats to the wall
Use a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the 3″ screws. Line up a wall cleat where you want it and drill a pilot hold into the wall cleat directly over the stud, check for level. Using the 3″ screws, attach the wall cleat to the wall in at least 2 different points.

IMG_7178

Step 4: Attach bottom panels to braces
You are basically going to wrap the braces in wood to build out your shelf. Using the 1/4″ plywood, make the following cuts (I made the cuts at home but if you don’t have a saw, you can ask some in the lumber department to make the cuts for you)
3 pieces @ 23 1/4″ x 9 1/4″ (long bottom panel)
3 pieces @ 14″ x 9 1/4″ (short bottom panel)
Use a wood glue, a nail gun and 1/4″ brad nails to attach 1 long bottom panel and 1 short bottom panel to each set of braces.

IMG_7182

IMG_7187

Step 5: Attach top panel to braces
Using the 1″ x 10″ x 8′ make the following cuts
3 pieces @ 23 1/4″ (long top panel)
3 pieces @ 14″ (short top panel)
Attach 1 long top panel and 1 short top panel to each set of braces using wood glue, 1 1/4″ finish nails and a nail gun.

IMG_7195IMG_7198

Step 6: Attach the side trim
Using the 1″ x 6″ x 8′ make the following cuts
6 pieces @ 4 1/2″ x 9 1/4″ (side front trim)
NOTE: Because 2×4 are used for the wall cleats, it requires the front and side trim to be only 4 1/2″ wide which is not a width you can buy and will have to rip the board down to 4 1/2″. Again, you can have them do it for you in the lumber department. If you have a table saw at home then you can do it yourself. The other option would be to use 2″ x 3″ for the walls cleats instead of 2″ x 4″. By using 2″ x 3″, you will not need to alter the width of the 1″ x 6″ boards.
Attach side front trim pieces using the same method, wood glue, a nail gun and 1 1/4″ finish nails.

IMG_7240

Step 7: Attach front trim pieces
Using the remaining 1″ x 6″ x 8′ boards, make the following cuts
3 pieces @ 14 3/4″ x 4 1/2″
3 pieces @ 14″ x 4 1/2″
Attach using the same method, wood glue, a nail gun and 1 1/4″ finish nails

IMG_7246

Step 8: Finish with paint and decorate!
I used wood filler to fill in nail holes and the seams. Once dried, I went over the wood filler with 180 grit sand paper to smooth it out.

IMG_7331

I used Heirloom Traditions chalk paint in A La Mode to finish the shelves, topped with clear wax, and sanded the edges for a roughed up look.

Finally, I added some hardware to the corners to give the shelves a bit of an industrial look to compliment some of the other pieces in the nursery.

IMG_7311

I used metal corner braces similar to these from Lowes, and furniture tacks to attach them, spray painted all the pieces with black matte finish spray paint and roughed them up with some sand paper before attaching.

IMG_7306

That’s that! Then I decorated 🙂

IMG_7354IMG_7347IMG_7345IMG_7353

IMG_7356

Advertisements

Inspired by…Grain Mill turned Farmhouse

My mom is really going to LOVE this post 🙂 Pretty sure her dream is to turn an old barn into a home. Or at least into an event venue that she can run a business out of. Well mama, here is your inspiration! This is a 161 year old grain mill that was bought and remodeled by a couple of antique dealers, obviously they knew what they were doing.

The first image is the before…and the transformation is just magic. Now let’s go find a barn to buy mom!

01-20-101-20-2CLX010117_05701-20-4CLX010117_058CLX010117_05901-20-7CLX010117_062CLX010117_062CLX010117_060CLX010117_061

Original article from Country Living

Breakfast Nook Table

IMG_5751

So it’s been a month since I’ve posted 😦 #1 I can’t believe it has been that long! #2 That also means that this pregnancy is moving along insanely fast! In just 1 week I will already be 24 weeks!! I’m starting to panic about all the things I haven’t even begun to tackle in the nursery yet, not to mention finishing my registry, researching daycare/nannies, take some baby classes…the list just keeps piling up!

I’m beginning to get the nursery design underway. I have my design scheme and have picked out a crib, chandelier and rocker with glider. Good start, right? The biggest project in the nursery is going to be designing to closet layout which I’m going to start tackling in the next week or so.

In the meantime, I finally finished the table and chairs in my breakfast nook! We won’t talk about the fact that I started this project when we got back from Hawaii (also about the time I found out I was pregnant) and my projects all went downhill from there. It feels good to complete some things that have been sitting for so long, I feel so accomplished!!

You might recognize this table from my entry way. When we first moved into our house, I found this table at a thrift store for $40 dollars and painted it white. The chairs came from my old dining table and were black before. I painted them with 3 coats of Heirloom Traditions chalk paint in A La Mode. I put on 1 coat of Heirloom Traditions soft clear wax and then lightly sanded the edges so the black paint would show through a bit.

IMG_5757

I searched FOREVER for these chair cushions!! I couldn’t find anything I liked. Then, one day, when I wasn’t even looking, I spotted these at Home Goods and had to snatch them up! They are actually outdoor cushions but this area gets direct afternoon sunlight so outdoor cushions are actually great because the fabric won’t fade from the sunlight.

IMG_5756

White pitcher: Homegoods
Faux fiddle fig leaf stems: Z Gallerie
Wood Tray: Target

IMG_5754

Honeycomb Chandelier: Cost Plus World Market

IMG_5759

Last things to be done in this area are crown molding, a new exterior door and hardware to the deck and new flooring. I’m hoping the new flooring will happen in the whole house in the next year…it will really change the look of the house and complete many of the rooms. Stay tuned!!!

How To: Adjust Chandelier Height

IMG_5655.JPG

Before baby came to be, the room getting all my attention lately has been the kitchen. Now, I’ve realized my bedroom and the nursery need to be ready in just 6 short months. That may seem like a long time, but, I tend to move at a very slow pace. I’ve really done nothing to our bedroom since we moved in other than painting the walls that same color as the rest of the house. The thing that really drove me crazy was the huge Tommy Bahama style ceiling fan that just didn’t go with any of my décor. So, I decided that would be the first thing to go.

I bought this Rustic Wire Chandelier light fixture at World Market yesterday, and it happened to be great timing because they are having their Friends & Family event with 30% off your purchase through Monday 5/2.

When I got the light fixture home, removed the ceiling fan and took the new fixture out of the box, I realized the chain/cord on the chandelier was so long that the fixture would basically be sitting on my bed if I hung it as is. Now, could I hang the fixture at the right height and somehow drape the cord around the top of the fixture? Yes. Am I too much of a perfectionist for this? Yes. Since I’ve had to adjust the chain/cord length on every hanging light fixture I’ve installed, I decided to show you all how to adjust to the proper height.

Step 1
The first step is to figure out how long you want the chain to be by determining the height of the bottom of the chandelier. For a chandelier hanging over a bed, the bottom of the fixture should be approximately 7 feet from the ground. My bedroom ceiling is 9 feet high so that means the bottom of the chandelier to the ceiling  should be 2 feet. However, that actual chandelier is almost 2 feet tall so the fixture ended up hanging about 6 1/2 feet from the ground.

IMG_5626

Step 2
Now that you’ve determined how long the chain should be, it’s time to adjust the length. The electrical cord can be fed through the ceiling cap and adjusted in step 3. For now, you will focus on the chain (if there is one). I pulled the electrical cord through the ceiling cap until it was the length I wanted. The excess chain should be hanging around the bottom of the cord. Starting at the bottom of the chain, I pried the bottom chain link open and removed it from around the top of the chandelier. Every 5 links or so, the chain will be attached to the electrical cord. I worked my way up the chain links, unattaching them until the chain was the same link as the electrical cord. Once you have the desired length, you will need to reattach 1 chain link to the bottom of the chain and to the top of the chandelier to reconnect the two.

IMG_5628

Step 3
Now that the chain is the correct length, you have extra electrical cord above the ceiling cap. You should have the ends of the white, black and copper wires exposed to connect to the electric box in the ceiling. (that additional white string you see in my photo is just that, a string that you cut away) You only need a few inches of this wire exposed so you will remove the outer layer of the electric cord (the black plastic outer layer) by making a tiny cut vertically, without cutting through any of the internal wires. You’ll be able to pull the wires apart in order to remove the outside layer down toward the ceiling cap. Remove the outer layer until you are approximately 2-3 inches from the ceiling cap.

IMG_5631

Step 4:
Now that the outer layer of the electrical cord is cut away, you can shorten the wires connection wires. Each wire has a colored covering protecting it and also distinguishing which wire is for which connection. You need about 1″ to 1 1/2″ of copper wire exposed from under the wire covering. About an inch from the end, use a wire stripper to remove the outside layer. A wire stripper will allow you to do this without cutting any of the actual wires. (I did this with scissors, but if you do this…be very very careful to not cut through any wires). Once cut the covering, you should be able to pull it away to exposed the end of the interior wires.

IMG_5635  Your chandelier height should be adjusted! Now time to remove the old fixture and install the new one for an updated look! See my post How To: Change A Light Fixture for those steps.

IMG_5668

How to: Change a light fixture

IMG_4826
My friend, Janine and I made a trip to Ikea the other day. On the way, we decided to pull off the freeway in search of a cute little café she had heard of. We didn’t find the café, but we did find THE BEST home store I have found in Portland to date. It is called City Home and it is the most amazing mix of vintage & new, rustic & eclectic. It really has something for everyone. I just know I am going to be back again and again, especially after bringing home this light fixture that I am absolutely obsessed with. And don’t worry, I did get some cute little faux herb plants from Ikea as well, those will be used in a later post.

I wasn’t really planning on doing a blog post on my light fixture but when my husband was so surprise that I was going to change out a light fixture, I thought, many people might be too afraid to do this themselves because they don’t realize how simple it is and what a quick and easy way it is to update to look of your home. I’m thinking this “How To” type of post might become a new thing for Just Like Playing House. Let me know what you guys think and if you like it, I’ll keep ’em coming.

Let’s get started!

Here is the light fixture that was originally in the space.

IMG_4786

Don’t mind the plaster on the walls, just patching some nail holes 🙂 I’m not sure if you can tell from the picture but whoever installed the light had left the wiring hanging down around the fixture. This light had been driving me crazy for so long.

Step 1: Turn off the electricity to the light. Go to your breaker panel and shut off the power source to the right part of the house you are working on. Before getting started with step 2, test the light switch to be sure you turned off the right breaker.

IMG_4796

Step 2: Unscrew decorative cap from light fixture to expose wiring. You should find 3 sets of wires twisted together and topped with plastic wire connectors. The wires will most likely be black, white & copper. When your power source is shut off, you can safely unscrew the wire caps and untwist the wires to disconnect everything.

IMG_4798

Step 3: Your wires are now disconnected and your light fixture is attached to the ceiling by light mount plate screwed into the electrical box. When you are ready, you can unscrew the light mount plate to remove the fixture. If you are working with a heavy fixture, you may need a second person, 1 to hold the fixture while the other unscrews the light mount.

IMG_4800

Step 4: Attach your new fixture to the electrical box with a light mount plate. Again, you might need a second person to help hold the fixture up while you attach the mount plate. New fixtures should come with a mount plate that is already threaded on the wires and ready to attach. Your fixture wires will not look as long as mine do. This fixture was actually wired as a lamp, with a wall plug on the end, so I had to open up the cord to expose the wires. Normally, a ceiling mount fixture will have just enough wire exposed to connect the ends together.

IMG_4803
Step 5: Connect your wires together, matching up the wire cover colors, white with white, black with black, and copper with copper. Take the ends, twist them together clockwise and top with a plastic wire connector.

IMG_4808

Step 6: Test your electrical work by turning the breaker back on and flipping the light switch. If you light turns on…SUCCESS! You did it!! Turn the light switch off to finish the job

IMG_4809

Final step: Attach the decorative cover. Tuck the wires up inside the electrical box and attach the decorative cover. New fixtures will come with some sort of screws to attach this piece.

IMG_4810

That’s it!! Now sit back and enjoy your new light fixture!

IMG_4827

IMG_4831

Pillar Candle Chandelier

IMG_3786

We moved into this house and one of the things I loved most was the huge open area off the kitchen where I could create a dining room complete with a farm table for entertaining. The only problem, and something I didn’t want to tackle, there was no overhead electrical in the room! Yes, I will add lamps to the room to brighten it up but you can’t have a gorgeous farm table with no rustic overhead light fixture!! It just felt weird.

This is what I came up with, inspired by the many pillar candle fixtures I’ve seen at so many home retailers.

IMG_3794

 Because there was no overhead electrical and because I didn’t want to attempt fixing that problem, I used battery operated flameless candles. This is a safer option anyway when the candles are overhead and in a not-so-accessible location.

Supplies
1″x12″x48″ Poplar Board
Paint or stain in color of your choice (I used Minwax Dark Walnut)
Drill & 1/2″ Drill Bit
3/8″ Sisal Rope (about 5 feet)
2 ceiling hooks
flameless candles
level

Step 1: Measure in 1 1/2″ on each corner of the poplar board and use the 1/2″ drill bit to drill 4 holes.

IMG_3754

Step 2: Stain or paint you poplar board to the color of your choice. I used Minwax Stain in Dark Walnut. I brushed on 1 coat of color and wiped off the excess stain with an old rag to let the wood grain show through.
IMG_3760

Step 3: While the poplar board dries, attach you ceiling hooks. Determine the area you want your chandelier to hang. From the center, measure out 2 feet on each side, this is where each hook will go. As you screw the hooks into the ceiling, end with the hooks facing away from each other.

Step 4: Cut 2 pieces of rope, each 4 feet long (this length may vary based on how high your ceiling is). Lay your board in front of you, turned horizontally. Feed 1 end of rope #1 through the top right hole of the board. On the underside of the board, tie the rope in a knot so that there is about 1 inch of rope hanging below the knot. Feed the other end of rope #1 through the bottom right hole of the board and make another knot. Repeat on the left side of the board with rope #2. Place the center of each rope on the ceiling hooks and check for level.

IMG_3767
Step 5: Add candles and enjoy!

IMG_3815

Painted Front Door

IMG_3649
My mom painted our front door black when I was younger and I’m pretty sure I looked at her like she had four heads…and look at me now. Yep, four heads, just like my mama. When I decided to change my front door, what I really wanted was a huge, knotty pine wood front door with a speakeasy grille for a peephole. Like the one on the vacation house in the Hamptons on the current season of Kourtney & Khloe take the Hamptons…anyone know what I’m talking about? However, that kind of thing isn’t in the budget right now so I decided to try painting the door before anything else.

As always, lets start with the before photo:

IMG_3319

Nothing special, just a plain white steel front door. To prep before painting, I wiped down the door with a wet rag and then took 200 grit, fine sandpaper and lightly sanded the door to get any imperfections out and also create a rough surface for the paint to stick to. Then I wiped the door down a second time.

I decided to leave the door on the hinges while painting, 1) because I was by myself and didn’t know if I could lift the door once it was off the hinges and 2) because I didn’t want to deal with keeping the dogs away from a wide-open front door and thus having to chase them up and down a large hill which is my neighborhood if they got out. I did remove the doorknob and deadbolt before painting and changed the hinges out afterward. Keep in mind when doing this that you will need to leave the door open partially as it dries between coats, which will take a couple of hours. Mine took about 5 hours to dry between each coat but I also did this on a pretty wet, cold and rainy day. Painting on a dry, warm day will speed up dry times.

For the paint, I chose Rust-Oleum High Performance Protective Enamel in High Gloss Black. This paint is super sticky but it covers well, it took just two coats. The key when you are painting a door is to go slow and to paint in the direction of the panel.

IMG_3654

Can you tell how I changed the brush strokes on the different sections of the door? It’s a bit tough to see. Start by painting the deep grooves between each panel, turning your brush horizontally for the top and bottom grooves and vertically for the side grooves. Next, paint main panels that are surrounded by grooves, moving  your brush vertically. Third, paint any horizontal panels on the main frame of the door, moving your brush horizontally. Finally, paint the outside and center vertical panels moving your brush vertically. See the diagram below from the blog Love, Pomegranate House…hopefully it helps. She does a great job of demonstrating the flow and direction to take.

DSCN8850-JPG

Once your paint has dried, you can change your hinges and put the deadbolt and doorknob back on. I updated mine to a Schlage brushed nickel metal handleset.

IMG_3380

And that was it! Any easy update that you can complete in one day to update your home! Would love to hear if you try this out on your own door. Comment on the post and let me know how it turns out!

Room Makeover…My Master Bathroom Vanity

IMG_3205

Ok, ok…so it’s not an entire room makeover again…I haven’t gotten that far yet. But only because I haven’t gathered up the courage to re-tile my shower and bathtub just yet. Be patient…it will happen. This mini-makeover, again, happened by accident. I just can’t help myself! I decided just before going back to work that I wanted to get all the walls in my house painted, that it would make me feel like I accomplished a big project and like I was at least making some progress in this oh-so-slow DIY remodel process. So, I started painting away, one room at a time. Then I got to the master bathroom. As I was prepping the walls to paint I decided to take down the large plain contractor grade vanity mirror to paint behind it. Boy was this a huge pain in the you know what! That thing was heavy!! Since I wanted a better looking mirror in it’s place anyway, I decided to not put the old mirror back up and to just go find a new one. Easy enough. Except, then I wanted a new light fixture to replace the old copper one. And then I couldn’t stand the gold faucets and towel rings. You get the point…once I started, I couldn’t stop until the whole area was remodeled and redecorated. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, my husband knows I’m a DIY addict. I have yet to seek help.

So, here we go. Let’s start with the before picture…

IMG_3095

Isn’t she a beauty…man, this before and after thing is kind of embarrassing! So this is what I started with. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all bad. We do really like the grey marble counters in our bathroom, the problem is, they don’t really go with ANYTHING else in the room. Tan floor & bathtub tile, gold faucets, copper light fixtures and cabinet knobs and pea green walls…

I started with the colors in the marble and went from there. The taupe wall color that I was already using throughout the house was going to match the taupe lines in the marble perfectly and I love myself some brushed nickel fixtures right now so I continued with that in this room as well. First things first, I painted the walls and replaced the mirror and light fixture.

IMG_3224

 I used the same color paint as the entry way, Valspar Lyndhurst Timber from Lowes but for the bathroom I used a semi-gloss finish instead of a matte finish. The light fixture is Portfolio 4-Light Brushed Nickel Vanity Light from Lowes. The mirror is from Home Goods.

Next, I installed the new towel rings and faucets.

I used the towel ring and sink faucet from Moen’s Boardwalk collection at Lowes. I’m always that person who is a bit over-confident when I first start a DIY project, then, about halfway through, I tell myself I’m crazy for ever deciding to DIY my entire house and I want to sit on the floor and cry. And then I remember that you can find ANYTHING on the internet, including how to dismantle an old faucet! This was not the easiest thing I’ve ever done, mostly because the metal seemed a bit corroded on the inside which made getting the pieces apart a bit challenging. Have no fear though, once you get the old one out the hard part is over. The new faucets are so simple to install, you’ll think you should become a plumber. But don’t.

Next up, freshening up the cabinets.

IMG_3209

They were already painted white when I started, however, it was a pretty awful paint job. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to paint cabinets to freshen up a room but if you’re going to do it, take your time! Use a small paint brush and be delicate. Make sure your brush strokes follow the grain of the wood and don’t let the paint drip or pool. The goal is to make the cabinets look custom, not like a 4-year-olds art project.

I stripped the cabinets down, took off all the hardware, sanded off the old paint and started fresh. I know you can’t really tell from the photos, but trust me, this made a world of difference. Now, had the cabinets just been stained with a clear coat finish, I probably would’ve painted right over it without sanding (like I will soon do to my kitchen!! In my head, I was saying that while squealing like a little girl.) Once the painting was finished, I reattached the doors and drawers and added new knobs, allen + roth Brushed Nickel Square Knobs from Lowes.

Final step: decorate!

IMG_3204

I’m a bit obsessed with this little terrarium/vase that I found at Cost Plus World Market. It’s not originally what I set out looking for but I fell in love with it. The apothecary jars are from Pottery Barn, the PB Classic Glass Canister in small. I also got Ralph Lauren white hand towels from Marshalls for $5 each. The soap dispensers were a wedding gift, also from Pottery Barn, they do still carry them as part of the classic collection along with the apothecary jars.

And that’s that!

All in all, I spent about $500 on the mini-makeover. Pretty good, considering $200 of that was just for the faucets. Now to tackle the bathtub and shower tile!! Wish me luck and stay tuned for the full room makeover update!

Converting carpeted stairs to hardwood

IMG_3026
I feel like I’ve been a bit MIA this week. There has been a lot going on and a lot of good things in the works but this week I definitely struggled to balance it all. Here’s to hoping I get my act together next week 🙂

The exciting news is that I did get my carpet stairs converted to hard wood! This was by far my biggest project to date. Now, luckily for me, my stairs are fairly simple in that it is just the risers and treads, no banisters or newel posts to deal with. I was hoping that when I pulled up the carpet I would get lucky and discover original hardwood stairs but sadly, just nasty, paint-splattered plywood.

I am most certainly not an expert on this so all I can give you is advice from my experience.

Tip #1: Be ready to complete the entire staircase once you start, if possible. Once you start taking the staircase apart, you are going to have a big mess (and in my case, insulation) under you staircase and you won’t want to leave that open to rest of your house for too long.

Tip #2: Start at the bottom and work your way up, one step at a time. Start by removing the existing stair parts, risers and treads for the bottom 2 steps. Cut you new hardwood risers and treads to fit the space. Place the first and second riser using wood glue and nails. With the upper and lower risers in place, you can place you first tread in the same way. As you work your way up the stairs, you’ll lay the upper riser followed by the tread below it.

Tip #3: I used both wood glue and nails to secure my stairs and will counter-sink the nails, fill nail holes with wood filler and stain the wood later. Because I used glue and nails, the stairs were VERY secure right away. If you are not using nails and are just gluing your stairs, be prepared to not walk on them for at least 3 days. The most common reason to not use nails is if you paint you stair parts before installing them. I’ve come to learn that when installing anything, it’s going to get dirty and you’ll have to touch it up anyway, so better to save time and paint once you’ve installed.

Here are my photos in order of how my stair parts went in. I used Unfinished Oak Interior Stair Tread & Unfinished Oak Interior Stair Riser, both from Lowe’s.

IMG_3012

My first step was to remove the carpet, underlayment, treads & risers from the first two steps.

IMG_3014

Second, placed the 1st and 2nd risers.

IMG_3020

Third, place your first stair tread. Don’t mind Ella in the background, she’s just supervising my work 🙂 At this point I also removed the parts from the third step.

IMG_3021

You get the pattern at this point, right? 🙂

IMG_3022

IMG_3023
IMG_3026
Finished product! They turned out so well! Now to touch up the walls, and stain the steps 🙂 my plan is to have white risers and stain the treads the same color as the floors. I’ll be sure to post the completed photo once the painting is done!

Baseboard How-To

IMG_2872
I started installing the baseboard in the foyer this week and realized I should have done this before the crown moulding because it is way easier to do. The fact that the baseboard sits flat against the wall makes both cutting and installation much easier. I actually used door & window casing as my baseboard because I liked the look of it more than the floor baseboard options. And I chose a moulding that was already primed because I wanted to paint it white.

Supplies
Baseboard
miter box & saw
measuring tape
1 1/2″ finish nails
hammer
nail punch set
wood filler
paint & paint brush for finish

When I did my crown moulding, I painted the boards before I cut and installed them and I ended up having to repaint them to cover the wood filler, marks from the hammer, etc. So this time, I decided to wait to paint until after installation was complete.

Some rules to follow for cutting and installation:
1. Pick a starting point and move clockwise around the room
2. If possible, try to use one continuous piece of moulding per section so there are no seams in the middle of the wall.
3. Determine what type of cut you need on the left side (flat, inside corner, outside corner) and make that cut first. Then measure the section you are working on, keeping the measuring tape flat against the wall. Remember: measure twice, cut once. Using that measurement, mark the back side of the moulding.
4. Using the miter box, place your moulding flat against the side of the miter box with your cut line lined up with the proper angle cut.
Take a look at the photos below for some visual aids.

IMG_2846
My first section needed to be flat on the left side (to go up against the door casing) with an inside corner cut on the right side. My cut line is on the back side of the moulding and is lined up with saw guide for the 45° angle cut on the right side. Use the pegs to hold your moulding in place while you cut.

IMG_2850
Check your work by placing the cut moulding in it’s designated spot to make sure you have a snug fit. I also don’t nail down the moulding until I’ve cut a few sections and made sure it all fits together. The next piece needed an inside corner to fit  with the first piece and an outside corner on the right side.

IMG_2852
The final piece of moulding for this section needed an outside cut on the left side and a flat cut on the right side to meet the closet door casing. Once all three pieces were cut and fit together nicely, I used the 1 1/2″ finish nails to secure the moulding in place, counter sunk the nails with the nail punch set and then filled the nail holes with wood filler. I also used wood filler on the corner seams to give the moulding a smooth and seamless look.

IMG_2854
I had removed the old baseboard in order to lay the new flooring and the new moulding I installed was shorter than the original so I used plaster to smooth out the wall surface so I could paint over it with the wall color. Then I used my Valspar Semi-Gloss interior paint in white to finish the trim with a nice glossy look.

IMG_2872