Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Stair wainscoting

I painted the wainscoting on the stairs last night. Utah is expecting two days of snow, so I won't be able to get more wood for a dew days. I thought I might as well finish the part I could.

I have also painted our upper cabinets, but haven't "antiqued" them yet. More updates to come.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Next project after the wainscoting

So, I've been planning out the next project, as I haven't finished the kitchen or wainscoting yet. My wife would like a "laundry center", and she has seen some things on Pinterest. I looked at them, and have decided I like the idea, but will build it correctly, as my old boss the carpenter would say.

We have a hallway in the basement, by our furnace and water heater. It has a little set back, which is an ideal place for this. Below are my Google Sketch Up renderings of what I'll be doing.

First, the overall view, from the side.

So the original plan called for the box to sit right on the ground. Now, having built kitchen cabinets and furniture this looks bad to me. It is purely aesthetic, but I wanted a toe-kick. Instead of being 36 inches off the ground, mine will be closer to 39 inches. I'll be grouping two side-by-side, and it will be 52 inches long. The height is taller than a standard cabinet, but that doesn't bother me, as you're going to fold laundry on top of it, and I think this might be a bit more comfortable.

Here is the front view. This cabinet is designed to hold six standard laundry baskets, so you can separate your laundry.

The original plan called for pocket holes to build this cabinet. I plan on employing my stacked dado head cutter, in the tablesaw. This will allow me to use glue and brads to hold it together, and not have to deal with the screws. This is also how I was taught to build cabinets.

Here is a view of the side. I will run a rabbit at the top, and a dado a few inches off the ground. (I'll do a follow up post with the exact measurements later.) That is it for the sides.

The top and bottom of each cabinet are a simple rectangle.

For the toe-kick, I'll cut two pieces. One will sit behind the other, and be painted black. This give the impression of a piece of furniture, but doesn't allow a bunch of dirt and garbage to get under the cabinet. I'll cut a simple arc on the front piece, mainly because I like Arts and Crafts style furniture, and this fits.

I will put a face frame around the front, to hide the edges of the plywood. This is the place I'll use the pocket holes.

The top will be a single piece of plywood, with a piece of pine wrapped around it. The entire cabinet will be painted the same color as the walls, and should make a nice addition to the laundry process.

Once I start the project, I'll post some pics.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


We've had a lot going on in our house. The wife has me doing some home improvement. It started when our youngest, who's autistic, figured out he could peel the paint off the walls. This went on for some time, and he peeled all of the paint off of our stairwell and most of our main hall. He then moved into the kitchen. This led to a big drywall repair session.

Basically, I skim coated all of the walls. In turn, this meant a ton of dust from the sanding.

After the sanding, I two-tone painted all of the walls. The bottom is white. The top of the hall is a tan, and in the kitchen a colonial blue.

I drew up the plans on Google Sketch Up, and got them approved by the planning board (the wife.). I started in the kitchen, using 1/2 inch MDF (multidensity fiberboard.). This paints well, and is relatively cheep. The only negative is that the cut sides need to be sealed. The cost effective way to do this is with drywall compound. You simply apply a thin coat. This will dry hard and take paint very well. here is the first wall.

I then moved on to the pantry.

I still have to buy some more paint to finish the wainscoting.

From there the foreman asked for some more changes. Our house was built in the 70's, and we have slab front, contractor grade cabinets. I found some small accent moulding at the Lowes. I don't understand the rules of English that make you add the extra 'the' in front of hardware stores, but it exists. Before:


I am now painting them a cream color, then we will be antiquing them.

We then decided to move our pan storage. We had a wall mounted hook rack that blocked our window. We ran out to Ikea and bought some wall mounted ones. We now have out of the way pan storage.

Then, Saturday night I caught the youngest trying to peel the paint on our stairwell. I had repaired this, and repainted it. The hallway, and stairs are stage two of the wainscoting project, and I know I didn't do the best around the edges (as they would be covered.) So I grabbed the last of the 1/2 inch MDF I had, and did this:

Needless the say, the wife is happy, and excited for the rest to go in. She can't wait for the paint. I'll post more pics as I go. Enjoy!