March 23, 2015

How to Add Wainscoting to the Living Room


 

Last week I went into great detail of how to add easy Wainscoting to the walls.  So at the risk of completely repeating myself, I'll refer you there for all the specific details.

Today I'm just sharing a quick how-to for the living room.

Check out this before and after.
Anyone else really love looking at befores and afters?



As you can see above we started with some old basket/flag boarders which were all removed.  After that we painted the walls Coventry Gray by Benjamin Moore. 

Then we trimmed everything with 2" poplar boards.


Then we added the slats, chair rail and crown molding.

Last, we wood filled all the holes, caulked all the gaps, primed and painted everything -- including the baseboards and the doors.

As an added bonus, get Netflix and watch all the seasons of New Girl while you work. 
 Really makes the time fly.
After 18 hours of straight painting on my last day, everything was done, hooray!

So here's a look from inside the dining room.


We switched our red couches to the other living room and got this nice big, gray sectional, which suits the room much better.



Everything turned out so bright and lovely. 
 We have loved this project, it has made such a big POP in our living room.  
It was a ton of work, but totally worth it!


March 18, 2015

How to do Easy Wainscoting

Last summer we bought our first home.  It was very exciting. There's so many things about being homeowners that my husband and I really enjoy.  But making the home really ours has been the most thrilling.





Early on we knew exactly what we wanted our dining room to look like.  However we had No Idea where to even start.  So I started my research.  I had no idea what wainscoting was.  I just knew I liked this look-- but what was that bottom wall stuff called?

BM Revere Pewter
Image Source

Eventually, with the help of Houzz I discovered what it was that I liked so much-- Wainscoting!

With that helpful keyword, I began my research.  I read tons of tutorials and pinned the useful ones on my Home pinterest page of how to do wainscoting.


But really, we used this tutorial by Make it and Love it (one of my favorite bloggers- anyways) and this one by Jenna Sue and mixed them up and made them our own.

We thought about covering the walls, like the Make it and Love it post, but our walls really aren't textured and we decided it was a lot of extra work that we didn't need to do.  It was then that we came across the Jenna Sue post and learned about using our original baseboards and building the thin wood on top.  It was just what we were looking for.

Here's how we did it!

Materials Needed
1. Paint
2. Primer
3. Wood Filler
4. Caulk/caulk gun
5. Wood glue
6. Poplar boards (1/4" x 48" x 2") = underneath chair rail and under the crown molding on windows
7. Poplar boards (1/4" x 48" x 3") = vertical slats
8. Poplar boards (1/4" x 48" x 4") = vertical window and door trim
9. Crown molding = above the windows
9. Saws = Miter and jigsaw
10. Sander
11. Brad nail gun

For those of you not too interested in reading all the details, here's the quickest explanation of what we did.


For the rest of you...here's the nitty gritty:

STEP ONE:  Prepare the walls.  
For us, this included taking off that terrible, faded gingerbread man boarder, and weird corner wall wood-things.  Then we had to decide on our wall color.


STEP TWO: Paint your top paint color going down far enough to where your wainscoting will be.
  We looked at many, many different hues of blue, but finally settled on Buckland Blue.



STEP THREE:  Glue and staple (using nail brads) the boards onto the walls.
We used poplar boards because they were smooth and worked great.  We used the 4" boards to trim the windows and the doorways.  We used the 3" boards for all our vertical slats.  The 2" boards were on top of our vertical slats (underneath the chair rail) and under the crown molding, on top of the windows.


We started with the 4" boards that were the trim to the doorways and windows, then we placed the horizontal 2" boards all around the room. We wanted a good level surface to work with so we were very careful leveling each horizontal board. We wanted our wainscoting to come up 38 inches, so after subtracting the height of the baseboards and the chair rail, we nailed the 2" boards 32.5 inches off the ground.

Once we had those in place, we cut the vertical slats and placed them around the room, 16 inches apart. We had to play with the placements a little to ensure it looked good going around the corners and so we had equal numbers on both sides of the wall. Sometimes the spacing was 16.5 inches to make a corner look good and other time it is 15 inches. But once it was done, you can't tell there was a difference in the spacing.We quickly discovered our floors we not perfectly level, so sometimes we had to cut a vertical slat 32 inches and other times 33 inches, even though the majority of them were just about 32.5 inches. So instead of cutting them all at once, they were all individually measured and cut. This added a considerable amount of time to the project.



STEP FOUR:  Wood fill all the staples and spots where the wood meets.

STEP FIVE:  Once dry, sand down the wood filler until smooth.

STEP SIX:  Any board pieces that are over outlets should be carefully measured and cut out with a jigsaw.

STEP SEVEN:  Measure and cut out the chair rail to fit in each corner, make sure the corner fit at 45* angles.
Then staple the chair rail on top of 2" boards.

STEP EIGHT:  Wood fill staples and sand smooth.

STEP NINE:  For the windows, measure and cut out the crown molding to be placed on top of the 2" boards.  Cut crown molding with a 45* angle to make a cap, with a miter saw.  Staple and glue in place.  Then fill in the staples with wood filler and sand down.  Any gaps can be filled with caulk.

STEP TEN:  Once everything is stapled in place and filled and sanded smooth, it's time to Caulk everywhere. Basically everywhere where there's a gap, it needs to be caulked.
 I liked caulking it with the gun, then using a wet finger to smooth it down and into place.  I kept a wet paper towel in a bowl and re-wet my finger very often.



STEP ELEVEN:  Prime everything!

Because I was covering red and did not ever want to see any red, or even a hint of pink, I ended up priming just my red walls twice.


Then I did a third layer of prime on the red walls and a first layer all over the wood.


With the primer over everything I could finally see a hint of what we were hoping for.  It was very exciting!


STEP TWELVE:  Paint everything!
I painted everything Ultra White, it was semi-gloss.  It was paint and primer in one, so I basically did four layers of primer (only necessary if you're covering red).
And guess who happily does not see any more red in my dining room?
  Yep, me.


All done!  Enjoy your beautiful new room.
  It really wasn't that hard, but a bit time consuming.


The room is so bright day and night it really is one of my favorite places in the home, now.




One last before and after to make me happy.



This wasn't the only place we added wainscoting.
Check in next week to see what we did to the living room.


March 13, 2015

Knot Top Romper

The March challenge for Project Run & Play is this cute Knot Dress by Me Sew Crazy

I decided to give this pattern my own spin by adding Sunny Day Shorts to the bottom, instead of a skirt and make it into a darling Knot Top Romper.



I used knit fabric, which makes this romper so comfy.

Now it's time for my favorite game, "Find the Pockets!"...

There they are!



 This turned out to be a really fun, simple sewing project.

I also decided to take the knots out of the back, so the romper would be more comfortable, but I left the circle.


One last smile to brighten your day!

February 10, 2015

Simple Fish Valentines

I've been having an inner struggle with Valentines this year.

As per usual, I wanna hang up the towel and just go to the store and buy valentines like a normal person.

And as per usual, I also really want to just make them.

I even stood there in the aisle yesterday and gave them all the once over and came home empty handed.

The problem?  

They're valentines.  They're going to be looked at, trashed, rummaged through while searching for candy-- their only redeemable quality (<-- in the eyes of a school-aged kid).

But then again...I kinda gotta make them, too.

So the DIY-er in me wins again.  At least for the preschooler, who only needs 7 cards.

I was looking around this morning, looking for just something simple that I could just print out for free and be done.

Then I came across this Tutorial by Keeping it Simple-- and before I was knew what I was doing, I was turning off the printer and getting out my craft supplies.



This simple valentine was perfect.  My daughter and I worked together side by side while listening to Disney songs.  It probably took an hour to do start to finish.

Here's how we did it!

MATERIALS
1. Sturdy construction paper
2. Bowls for tracing (large and small)
3. Pencil + Sharpie
4. Swedish fish
5. Ziploc Bags
6. Hot Glue Gun


STEP ONE:  Trace out two large circles on sturdy construction paper.  
Trace a small circle in the middle of one of the large circles.


STEP TWO:  Outline that with a Sharpie.  Write out your sayings around the small rim. We used, "You are O "Fish" ally my Favorite" and "Valentine, you're a great catch!"  I wrote it in pencil, and had my daughter trace it with the sharpie.


STEP THREE:  Hot glue the large circle onto the front of the Ziploc bag.


STEP FOUR:  Open the bag and add the Swedish fish.  Hot glue the top circle piece on and cut the Ziploc bag off.  Hot Glue in between layers so all the fishies stay inside.

After I was all done it occurred to me that it would have been really fun (and probably cuter) to sew around everything, instead of using hot glue.  Ah, well, there's always next year, right?


All Done!



This cute preschooler told me she was excited to pass these out tomorrow and ask each kid which color they would like.


Happy Valentines Day!!