Over a month ago I was contacted by La-Z-Boy and asked if I’d like to participate in their La-Z-Boy Design Dash. The idea was to visit my local showroom and design a sofa. Then I’d meet my sofa in High Point, NC and design a room around that sofa. The concept sounded like fun. And the idea of getting away for a few days for some R&R sounded great! Little did I know, that there would be very little rest or relaxation involved.
A week later I received instructions to go to the local La-Z-Boy showroom and design my sofa. As I approached the showroom I was hesitant. I remember the vision of my grandfather’s old slouchy recliner. I was suddenly filled with trepidation. How could I “design” a sofa with flabby rolls of corduroy? I grabbed the door and opened it, and what lay inside literally shattered any preconceived notions I had of La-Z-Boy!
I was stopped immediately by what I saw.
I had a breathtaking reaction to this chair:
Everywhere I looked there was more beautiful upholstered furniture. Read more
Have you ever been bored with the way a room looks? For me, it was my living room. It houses the same sofa… The same lamps… The same golden frames surrounding the same prints we loved so much 13 years ago! I have a quick tutorial for giving your room a mini-makeover for not a lot of cash. This Easy Sofa Makeover will help you out.
Happy Monday morning y’all! I’ve been working like a busy bee this past month. So many projects! I need to clone myself so one of us can work on the projects like this dry erase message board and the other can write the posts. (Luckily I had an extra hour yesterday thanks to switching back to standard time.)
One of the reasons I’ve been so busy is that I will be giving my first demonstration at the Raleigh Habitat for Humanity ReStore this Saturday at 1pm. If you are in the area, I’d love to see you. Here is the address and more information about the ReStore. I will be demonstrating how I turned a
truly nasty greased wall cabinet into this charming shoe storage bench.
I’m not the type who can throw something away, so when I removed the cabinet doors to make the shoe bench, I decided to salvage them and make message boards. The first one was transformed into a cute chalkboard frame.
The other one was turned into a — you guessed it — a dry erase message board! And of course (because I love you), I’ll share with you how I made it.
- Cabinet door (pre-primed and painted)
- Plexiglass cut to the interior panel dimension
- Scrapbook paper (choose a light color that dry erase marker will show up on top of)
- 4 Nail head trim tacks
- 3 Cup hooks
- X-acto blade
- Metal ruler
- Sharpie marker
- Drill and bits
- Scrap of wood
- Needle-nosed pliers
- Dry erase marker
- E-6000 glue
1. If you haven’t already: clean, prime and paint your door. It isn’t necessary, but if you want to give your cabinet door a new look, go ahead and paint it any color you like! The sky is the limit on color. I used American Accents Antique Black.
2. Now, cut your scrapbook paper to fit inside the cabinet door panel. As always, be sure you are using a fresh new x-acto blade and a metal edged ruler.
3. Next mark a dot 1/2 inch from the corners of the plexiglass.
4. Drill a small hole through the plexiglass at each dot. Use a drill bit that is slightly larger than the nail on your nail head tack.
5. Lay your scrapbook paper into the panel, then rest your plexiglass on top of the paper. (I purposely didn’t glue the scrapbook paper so I could change it out when I want a décor change.)
6. Set a nail head into each corner hole in the plexi. Hold the nail with the needle-nosed pliers as you hammer each tack into the cabinet door.
7. If your tacks go through the back, flip over the cabinet door. Set the piece of scrap wood (red arrow) under the nail head and hammer the point of the nail to bend it to the side (so no one gets poked!)
8. Use a ruler to mark where you want your cup hooks mounted. Pre-drill holes for your cup hooks using a drill bit slightly smaller than the cup hook screw end. Then screw them into the holes.
9. Attach D-ring hooks to the back of the door.
10. Attach a dry erase pen to the board using string. Or if you find a marker with a magnetic cap, you can glue a magnet to the board using E-600o. Now you can hang the marker back on the board when you’re done writing a message.
That is how you can make a custom dry erase board out of an old cabinet door! I love how it matches the bench colors and can match anything I want it to by changing out the scrapbook paper. Shoot, I could probably put photos behind the plexi too!
I have a serious problem. I can’t bear to see a piece of furniture being thrown away. It could be the ugliest, most broken down chair and I still feel the need to save it from Mt. Trashmore. That was the case with “Daisy” this poor ugly chair that I found on the curb awaiting the trash trucks a few weeks ago. I threw her in the back of my car and brought it home.
|Two missing parts|
Only when I got home did I assess her condition. Moldy seat, chipping and peeling paint, structurally falling apart, cobwebs, missing parts…
|GROSS! Stained and moldy seat.|
…and then a dead roach dropped out! Ewwww! I must be insane. But, I still saw potential through all the disrepair.
This chair had some serious structural issues. I knew it was a case of tear her down and rebuild. This intro kept playing in my head the during the whole process:
I pulled apart the chair (mostly with my bare hands and then with some assistance from a hammer.)
Until I was left with a skeleton of a chair.
I stripped the paint layers off the chair using the same technique as I did for this chair (see details here.) Unfortunately this chair had 5 layers of paint, therefore it took several hours and several re-applications of Citri-strip to get down to the wood.
If you remember, there were several missing parts on this chair. I had a lightbulb moment when I realized that I could used the spindles from the chair back for the missing parts to connect the legs.
|I removed the back spindles.|
|Almost a perfect size and I had two of them!|
I cut down the spindles on the miter saw (but these could easily be cut with a hand saw).
And then notched the ends so they would fit into the holes on the legs. (I did have to enlarge the holes on the legs slightly using my drill and a 3/4″ spade bit.)
|Notching the spindles. Cut around the diameter, then cut from the end in towards the first cut. Repeat on all sides.|
After dry fitting all the pieces back together, I used Gorilla glue to glue the chair back together.
I clamped the chair tight by using rope to wrap around the chair.
Daisy had also lost one of her decorative corner finials. So, I bought two new finials at Home Depot for $5.
In order to screw on the new finials in, I had to plug the hole with wood. (As promised: a tutorial on filling holes in wood.)
I also filled the holes where the spindles used to be with wood putty.
Next, I primed Daisy. Just a side note here, one reason the original five coats of paint on Daisy were peeling and flaking is that the proper prep work wasn’t done. No sanding to scuff up the glossy polyurethane and no primer. It is so important to sand (rough up your surface) and use a primer. If you cut corners here, you might as well kiss your beautiful finish goodbye in a few years. Especially if the chair is exposed to the elements.)
Finally, I added two coats of white paint (sanding lightly between coats.)
The chair seat was in really bad shape. Therefore I decided to cut a new one out of plywood using my jigsaw.
|Trace old seat on plywood, use ruler to make straight lines, cut out seat using jigsaw.|
I checked my fit and then re-upholstered my chair. Check out this post to see how to re-upholster a chair seat.
Then for the finishing touches or the frosting on the cake. You can definitely do this step! The inset carving controls your brush for you. Kind of like bowling with bumpers.
And my chair is finished. Isn’t she beautiful!
Hard to believe that 48 hours ago this chair was definitely worthy of Mt. Trashmore.
The chair is super solid now, and doesn’t move at all thanks to the Gorilla Glue.
How about one last look at the before and after pictures?