2015…In Reverse – Our Amazing Master Closet – Phase I

Yep, that’s right, I’m going to post about 2015…In Reverse.  I’m starting with the last project, our amazing master closet (which technically isn’t done, but may be by the time I do this post) and work backwards, but also try to stay current with new projects in 2016.  Sounds highly unlikely considering my track record.  I’m the worst blogger on the planet!  My downfall is the editing of the pictures.  It takes sooooooo long to edit and watermark them.  If I didn’t have to do that, I could crank these babies out no problem.  Anyway, here we go.  I can’t wait for you to see what we’ve done.  We are so excited to have this project (almost) done.  It’s so nice being organized.

This story starts out at the Habit ReStore, like a lot of my projects do.  We love that place. Let me start off by showing you a picture of our closet before.

2015...In Reverse - Our Amazing Master Closet

Shocking, I know. What happened is, when we moved in, we started out with a million projects…you remember, the fence, the carpet, all the blinds and fans etc? Then we did the shed. So, we just threw stuff in the closet, just to have it out of the way. We knew what was in all the boxes (yeah right!) for the most part, and at least we’d be able to find our clothes.

So this is the plan of our closet. It’s pretty decent size. Not ginormous, but good for us.

2015...In Reverse

I knew what I wanted in the closet, but I couldn’t seem to get it down on paper. We really do fly by the seat of our pants, and sometimes stuff comes to us! Like I said before, we were at the ReStore, I believe it was 11/21/15. We had just started walking around, when I heard my hubby calling me. He’s like, what do you think?

2015...In Reverse

I’m like, Mmmm, what do I think about what? That giant black entertainment unit? As soon as I said those words, I started to formulate a picture in my mind. He (my hubby) was definitely on to something. We looked it over, it was filthy, some of the drawer slides were broken, but the image in my head was amazing and it said take this baby home! All three pieces were $132.00. So we loaded it up and took it home.

So, now it’s Thanksgiving and we have family coming from NY and everything was going to have to wait. Once Thanksgiving was over, and we had fully decorated for Christmas, we were back on it. My hubby put together this temporary closet rod in our Gym (junk room) so that we could get the master closet cleaned out.

temp closet rod

Once this was done, we started emptying out the closet. I vowed that there would never be another cardboard box in my my closet. Lets hope I can keep that. Once it was empty, We tore up the carpet (again), and I took down those awful wire shelves/hanging rods. I had a zillion holes (big holes) to fill and patch and sand. My husband managed to get two coats of Sherwin Williams Anew Grey paint on the walls and I got all the trim painted a beautiful white/white. It was just the gallon of SW paint w/o the color in it.

2015...In Reverse

2015...In Reverse

Now it was time for the floor. I’m so excited about this. It’s going in our entire house, except for the bathrooms, laundry room and mud room. We have over 1600sf of bamboo in boxes all over the house waiting for the day we can install it. It’s going to look amazing.

2015...In Reverse

So this is our beautiful hand scraped bamboo from Lumber Liquidators. We absolutely love it, and they were a breeze to install. Hope the rest of the house goes as smoothly.

So, back to the unit from the Re-Store. We’d been working like dogs on it. All three pieces were 24″ deep and I felt that would take up too much space, so we cut them down to 18″. We used the Kreg Rip-Cut to do the majority of the cutting, but there were parts that we had to use a hand saw, or reciprocating saw. It was a tough job, but much easier thanks to the right tools.

2015...In Reverse

We put braces in the cabinets before cutting, so they wouldn’t fall apart on us.

2015...In Reverse

2015...In Reverse

2015...In Reverse

We had to do the exact same thing to the drawers. Luckily we were able to pull the back panel off the few inches we cut off and re-use it. Just some glue and nails and viola, shorter drawers.

2015...In Reverse

Now came the fun of sanding. There was a lot of sanding to do.

2015...In Reverse

2015...In Reverse

I don’t know what was on those drawer fronts under the ugly pulls, but it was like glue. Oh, wait, did I show you the ugly drawer pulls? You have to see these.

2015...In Reverse

Nice right? So, now it was time to prime. There was a lot to do. We did all the priming with a small 6″ roller and the occasional brush. They were really looking great.

2015...In Reverse

2015...In Reverse

Finally, it was time to paint. I like to use my Critter sprayer. It’s a pretty handy dandy tool. We had to set up a temporary paint booth in our garage so that there wouldn’t be too much over-spray.

2015...In Reverse

Not great, but it worked. Luckily the weather was warm for December and I was able to get everything painted and moved into the house. The pieces were heavy and I needed to get them in the closet to retro-fit them, so I could cut out the baseboard. There was a lot of moving them around.

One of the things I decided to do was to add beadboard to the backs of all three units. I love beadboard. This time I wanted to do something special. I decided to use my Cutting Edge Stencil in the Allover Paisley that I’ve used a million times on the beadboard in a lighter shade of gray than was on the walls.

2015...In Reverse

2015...In Reverse

I absolutely LOVE how this turned out. It’s just a nice subtle touch.

2015...In Reverse

Here they are, finally up on the wall. You can see the ledger board we used to hold them up there while we screwed them all together. This piece was very heavy. We really could have used another set of hands to help get this up there. We got super lucky with the drawer slides. We thought we were going to have to buy all new slides, but my hubby ended up cutting them down and we got new plastic anchors for the back and they totally worked! I was thrilled. That saved us a lot of money.

2015...In Reverse

I wanted to add a little something special to the sides of the drawers…can’t just have plain drawers now can we?!

2015...In Reverse

2015...In Reverse

With painting done on the main pieces, I was thinking about the rest of the closet. This piece was going in the middle of the long wall. We determined that we wanted double hanging on both sides, kind of like his/hers sides. I still wanted a place for long hanging clothes and shoes and we needed a dresser of sorts. The two towers connected to the top part left a big space underneath perfect for a dresser. We needed the storage, because I don’t like dressers in the bedroom, they take up too much room.

Enter this…

2015...In Reverse

Great right? Another successful trip to the Re-Store. There must have been a hotel remodel, there were a lot of these bedside tables. We nabbed three. We measured and determined that three plus a small filler strip on each side would fill the empty space under the main unit. Once we got them home we started right in. We had to cut these down to 18″ also.

2015...In Reverse

Did you notice the drawer slides? Those are the expensive ball-bearing slides. We luckily didn’t have to replace those either…Yay! I primed and painted immediately. Once that was done we connected them together and put on a new back.

2015...In Reverse

2015...In Reverse

2015...In Reverse

2015...In Reverse

I think they look great in this spot! You can see we stained a piece of 1/2″ birch ply for the top. It’s temporary, but I don’t want to spend more money on a top than it cost us to do the entire closet. Granite would cost over $500. Not going to happen. We’ll keep this for a bit and see what we can find. Now, I had to figure out the drawer fronts. I hated what was on them originally, they didn’t fit at all with the vibe of the other pieces. I was going to do a simple 1×2 frame with some beadboard in the middle. My hubby and I started talking about the original fronts. They were solid 3/4″ wood. Too nice to not use, but I hated that half moon. So, we decided to do a little experiment and see if we could re-use them by filling in the half moon with scraps that we had cut off the sides. I told him we’d try one, and if it didn’t look good, back to the original plan. I really wanted to build those fronts. Here’s how it turned out.

2015...In Reverse

2015...In Reverse

2015...In Reverse

2015...In Reverse

2015...In Reverse

2015...In Reverse

Not bad right? My hubby and I just love it. It turned out even better than it did in my mind. I love when that happens. Phase I of the Master Closet project is done. Woo Hoo. Now on to phase II

Until next time…

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Habitat Restore find to Graphic Paisley Buffet

Before and After Trash to Treasure
Hey all!

So, welcome to my latest project. I have to say, this is my all time favorite project. I had so much fun transferring this from Habitat ReStore blah, to this awesome paisley graphic buffet. So you know I love the Habitat ReStore. I go there a lot, and if you’ve been following my blog, you know I have done a lot of projects with items from the ReStore. Starting with the cabinets in my craft room and my $5 chair makeover. I also made my scrapbook paper tower from an old school mailbox. I LOVE that place. I even won a before and after contest at One Project Closer and Fox Hollow Cottage, with my Habitat ReStore Headboard to Chalkboard. That was so exciting for me. I had never won anything with something that I had made or redesigned.   So, let’s begin, shall we?

Buffet before

Beauty right? I know, not so much. But I knew it could be. The door made me think of something from the 1970’s. I thought about taking the door off permanently and just putting drawer pulls on the drawers behind the door. I’m glad I left it on. I think the transformation is even more dramatic because of that ugly door.

The rest of it was pretty awesome. I loved the hardware, like this keyhole.

keyhole and drawer detail

This baby needed a lot of work. It was missing both end pieces, which you can see in the picture. This had enabled it to loosen up a bit. I had to do a lot of gluing and bracing.
bracing the front to the back
Once it was solid again, I got busy sanding. I know everyone says you don’t have to sand or prime when using chalk paint, but the top on this thing was in bad shape. I mean bad.
Damaged top
One of the drawers looked like it had been chewed by a dog and one of the inside drawers (behind the door) was cracked. Some glue, clamps and wood filler, they were good as new.
drawer repair
There were other things miss as well.
missing parts
One of the four knobs was missing and one of the really cool hinges was broken. I’m still on the hunt for a new hinge.
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Cool right? I’m still sad that I can’t find a compatible hinge. I will probably just get two new hinges. :(. Originally, I imagine this buffet had sides that went right to the floor. Booorrrring!! I wanted to recreate the curves on the front of the buffet,and transfer them to the sides, so I made a template.
template
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Once I got the shapes I wanted, I merged them together into one stencil. Then I traced it onto the wood that I had purchased for the sides. I got really thin, about 1/4″ luan as that was all the space I had to work with. Anything thicker and it would have stuck out beyond the sides.
template
I cut it out with my jigsaw. This made a really rough cut. I didn’t want one side to look different from the other, so I clamped them together and sanded them to match.
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I absolutely LOVE how they came out. I think they really made this buffet special, don’t you?
new side
Some glue,nails, wood filler and a light sand and she was ready to paint. Woo Hoo. I was really excited to try some chalk paint. It’s all over blogland. Some is premixed and some is power that you can mix in paint you already have. I decided to go with the powder and I went with Websters Chalk Paint Powder.
Webster's Power Fiddes Wax
Websters Chalk Paint Powder and SW Tricorn Black
I mixed 8 tablespoons of chalk paint powder and 4 tablespoons water into 1qt. Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black. All my wood furniture (i.e. bedroom, dining room and kitchen) furniture is black. I wanted to stay with the black theme and just mix things up a bit. I have to say, I really like the chalk paint. The texture was nice and it went on very smoothly.
Websters Chalk Paint Powder
As you can tell, it definitely needed two coats.
Websters Chalk Paint Powder
How awesome is this piece?! I’m going to have great storage for all my holiday decorating stuff. The things you can’t store in the attic, like candles or things that might fade.
Here is the 2nd coat.
Websters Chalk Paint Powder
She’s looking good!
So, now my dilemma. What to do with the hardware. I first thought about my silver Rub N Buff.
Rub n Buff
I wasn’t feelin’ it. I was waiting for my aha moment, that moment when you just KNOW what you need to do. I was in the garage when the design for the buffet came into my head. I could picture it, like it was right in front of me. I really wanted this piece to be bold and dramatic, and I wanted the hardware to be bold as well. Let me know what you think.
spray painted white hardware
I love them. Since I was missing a knob, I went to Hobby Lobby (they have a huge selection of hardware) and searched and searched for knobs. I was thinking about a clear glass knob initially, but I couldn’t find any in the size or shape that I wanted. I had picked out some other knobs and right before I walked away, I saw these.
Hobby Lobby Knob
I thought they were PERFECT with the paisley graphic I was going to hand paint onto the buffet. I really think they are. What do you think?
Now it was time for the fun stuff. Painting the paisley graphic on to the buffet. It took forever to find and purchase an overhead projector. Wait…you thought I hand drew that?!!! I wish. I didn’t get any pics of the actual design up on the buffet, but here is what it looked like after I traced it on.
Paisley design
I was lovin’ it already. I traced it on with this really cool paint pen that I found at the register at Michael’s. Once the outline was done I used white craft paint to fill in all the fields. I really wish I had used latex house paint to paint the paisley. The craft paint was kinda thick and gloppy. I had to ad Flotrol to it to keep it smooth.  I really enjoyed this part.  Watching it take shape, like I pictured it.

Paisley Graphic
The last thing I did was paint in the groove along the bottom with the curlicue. That really finished it off.
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Well, there she is, in all her glory. What do you think? I love her. This was the most fun I’ve had on a project in awhile. I hope I get to do more projects like this.

Until next time…

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Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way by any of the products used in this post.

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Before & After – Old School Mailbox into Scrapbook Paper Tower

I finally finished it!  I know I’ve teased you a couple of times.  First time here and second time here.  I am so excited to show you how this turned out.  Most of you know I love going to our local Habitat ReStore.  It’s usually an every Saturday morning trip.  There have probably only been one or two times I haven’t found something I wanted.  Lucky for my bank account, not so lucky for me.  When I saw this really long kinda ugly mailbox that was probably mounted on a wall in a school or in an office, I wasn’t sure if I liked it at first.

Mailbox edit
See what I mean? Kinda ugly. But, the price was great and I loved the little tarnished brass label holders.
tarnished brass label holder
So, now the wheels were turning. One didn’t have any of the brass tags so I knew I didn’t want that one. Once I measured the size of the boxes, I knew what I would turn it into. On the truck it went. Now came the fun part. Turning it into something.
Habitat ReStore Scrapbook paper tower
Habitat ReStore Scrapbook Paper Tower
Here they are side by side.  I had to modify the bottom shelf on the left side tower to match the one on the right.  I knew I wanted to add a base molding and I would need something to nail into, so one of the boards we cut off, was put back on using the Kreg Jig.  Nice and sturdy.  See that piece of molding the brass tags are attached to?  It was a funky shaped piece of molding.  I knew the cabinets would never go together with that there, so we had to run the saw down it to take that off.  This did some damage that I had to repair later in the process.   Next step was kind of tedious, but necessary.

Habitat ReStore Mailbox Brass Tag Removal
This didn’t take that long…no really.   Ok it did, and it was like 100 in the garage. These little beauties came back to haunt me later on in the project. You’ll see… So, now it was time to put them together. I used the same principal as when you screw kitchen cabinets together. Pre-drill and screw. With the damage that was done cutting that funny piece of molding off, I had to use wood filler to fill in the crack. No pic on that. Sorry.
Screw cabinets together
Once I got them screwed together and the space between them filled in with wood filler, I did a light sanding. I couldn’t get a sander in the actual paper slots, so I used some liquid sandpaper. This was not fun. At all. Next step was to prime and paint.
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This is what I used to prime. I did the tops of all the boxes and then flipped it over and did the bottoms. I wish I had covered it a little more with primer before I started painting. I used the same Behr Popped Corn paint that I used on my craft room cabinets. Painting was not a fun project. I usually enjoy painting. I tried a roller, long handled brush and finally a flat painting pad on the inside of the mail slots. I got more paint on my hands I think, than on the paper tower. Jeez. What a pain. But it was really starting to take shape. I knew I wanted to use bead board, like I did on the craft room cabinets. I love bead board. I put on a piece of pretty trim molding on the front edge to butt the bead board up to. Kinda hard to see in this picture, but you’ll see when it’s finished.
trim molding
See that side? That’s why I needed the bead board. I wanted to put a base molding around the bottom to make it look more like a piece of furniture. We were having trouble evening up the bottom to make it sit level. I was afraid that if we kept cutting we would end up ruining the entire thing. So I used a board off an old pallet, extended it over the edge to create a new bottom. Worked like a charm.
pallet base board
I put felt pads on the bottom to protect the bamboo floors. I love how this turned out.
beadboard
Here you can see the base, bead board and the trim molding. It’s really starting to look like something. I’m getting excited.
Next step, crown molding. Oh boy. Crown molding can bring down the best diy’ers. I’m definitely not doing a tutorial on crown molding, but I don’t understand why the lumber mills don’t make it easier for the consumer. It all starts with the spring angle, I don’t know why they don’t put that right on the crown. Anyway, I have an awesome little tool called the Cut-N-Crown. It has saved my life many times. We met the designer/founder of this awesome product at our local home show. I will never do crown without this product. Ever. Here’s how that turned out.
almost done
I am so loving this piece. Painted it all up nice.  Now it was time to move it in and start finishing it up. Remember those tarnished brass tags? Oh yeah. Now I had to put them back on.
tarnished Brass tags
They have the TINIEST nails ever! I had to use my needle nose pliers to hold the nail. I ran a level across both boxes drew a line, held up the tag and marked the holes. Using the pliers I used a nail to start a hole.
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Tarnished Brass Name Tag
I did this 32 times, X 4 screws each = 128 teeny, tiny nails. I did the lower half sitting on the floor. I didn’t think I would ever get back up. I thought I was paralyzed. What was I thinking? Note to self, next time, put this up on saw horses and work standing up. Phew, I’m getting old. Anyway, here it is, in all it’s glory.
Habitat ReStore before and after
Love, Love, Love.
Habitat ReStore Paper Tower finished
I’ll use this for more than just paper. I can put scrapbook embellishments or my Cricut vinyl, things like that.
Here’s the before and after.
Habitat ReStore paper tower before and after
Well, there ya have it. I hope you love it as much as I do. This is my favorite project so far. Leave me a comment, let me know what you think. Until next time.

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