Sunday, March 24, 2013

Foyer furniture, finally completed!

Aren't you guys just loving this warm, Spring weather? Oh right, it's been cold and we might get snow! I am so ready for warmer weather. In the meantime, I finally finished the entryway hutch!

Now, a word of warning. These pictures don't really display the color all that accurately. A lot of this is due to the flash making the color seem brighter than it is in real life.

After having assembled the top portion, I primed (1 coat) and painted (2 coats plus touch ups) the piece.

I then finished it with poly to seal the deal. The poly isn't as shiny in real life as it is in the pictures (again, due to flash).

I added hooks and secured the top to the wall. The plans called for attaching the top piece to the bottom, but I decided that would have been really difficult to accomplish and screwing the top into the wall made everything really secure (it's not going anywhere).

 I then added some stuff to hang on the hooks and a new piece of artwork (explanation below).

I had one more set of hooks, so I decided to attach one to the outside for larger bags or jackets. I ordered some baskets online that will fit in the top cubbies and can hold hats, gloves, etc. I may also add a pillow to the bench seat as well, which would have the added function of preventing the lid from banging against the back when you open it.

Back to the artwork. So, we were recently invited to a friend's wedding. One of my other friends from Bible study addressed all of the wedding invitations. When we got it in the mail, we were both blown away by how beautiful the lettering was. Due to privacy concerns, I am not including much of the address, so you will have to use your imagination (or check out my facebook if we are friends). Anyway, I picked up this frame from Target this weekend. I cut out just the address from the envelope, mounted it on some navy cardstock, and placed it in the frame. I really love the result, and it is a great keepsake of our first home.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Tree Hutch Top

Happy St. Patty's Day! The hutch portion of my tree hutch is finally done! I didn't get quite as much time to work on it this weekend as I would have liked, but we were doing lots of fun things with friends, so I guess that's okay. I started putting this together 2-3 weeks ago, and have been slowly working on it.

First, I started by cleaning up the long pieces that we had cut with the jigsaw. There were some uneven parts that I shaved down and sanded.

Then I attached the cross-piece with pocket screws.

I then screwed the divider in from the underside.

I then attached the 1 x 2 and 1 x 3 cross pieces with pocket screws.

I did the same for the piece that goes across the bottom.

I attached the beadboard to the back of the structure using wood glue and small screws.

I then attached the top piece with nails, but forgot to take a picture. I then moved on to the miter cuts. The top of the hutch called for crown molding. It took a few tries to get it right. I also messed up a few pieces before I figured out how to position the pieces and do the measuring.

I then attached the crown molding with a few finish nails that I covered with wood putty.

And here is the finished top hutch. I will add some hooks after it's painted so that we can hang things from it. And of course, it will be attached to the bottom bench part. But, it's definitely getting there!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bench painting: for real this time

I'm getting rather slow with these posts recently. I've honestly just been really busy with work, friends, husband, planning trips, etc. But I have made progress with the project. Of course, I first had to make a correction to the base part of the bench. What was wrong with it, you might ask? Well, I wasn't wild about the color. I liked the blue, but it was a bit too loud and teal for me. So, I repainted it. I sometimes feel like painting is the task I do the most around our house. I went and visited a local store to acquire a new paint color. It wasn't Home Depot, Sherwin Williams, or Benjamin Moore. I decided to try Annie Sloan paints. They are called chalk paints because they go on rather chalky, but you finish with a soft wax or clear coat and they do pretty well for covering furniture. I first heard about the paints from Centsational Girl and had been looking for an excuse to give them a try. 

I went with Aubusson Blue for the paint color.

As you might remember, here is the bench from the first round of painting. 

And here she is after the first coat of chalk paint. The color was just a little more toned down and seemed to blend a little better with the rest of the room. The great thing about the chalk paint was that I didn't have to sand the piece down again. Chalk paint can be used right over glossy surfaces without a problem. So, that was kind of awesome. 

The key with the chalk paint is that you have to use something to seal it afterwards. I used the Annie Sloan soft wax as a first coat. I actually found it a little hard to work with, so I switched over to the water-based poly that I picked up by General Finishes. It is still a little on the stinky side (even though it's water based), but it isn't nearly as annoying to clean up as oil-based polys. For the record, I though the soft wax by Annie Sloan was also pretty stinky, so maybe there isn't a way to avoid it. 

I'm pretty happy with the new color. It's much less intense and seems to work better in the room.

I have been working on the top portion quite a bit, and I almost have all the wood working pieces completed. But I will capture that in a separate post. I still need to make a run to Home Depot to pick up a few more materials before I can finish. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Final Bench Post

It's been too long, but the bench is finally done! The past few weeks have been primarily been filled with work. On the weekends, early mornings, late evenings, etc. But today, I finally got a break. And the bad weather kept J home too so we had a nice, relaxing day together. I think we both wish that it had been more snow and less gross weather, though. Anyway, over the past 3 weeks or so, I have been slowly painting the bench portion of the tree hutch. First, I used Kilz primer over the bare wood. I had spent time using wood putty to patch up the seams.

J and I decided on a blue color to go with the rest of the decor on the main floor. This is after the painting.

I then used a water-based gloss coat I found in a local shop. It is a little greener than the oil-based polys, and the smell is not quite as bad.

After about 2 coats of the gloss, and it had set for a bit, I attached the top of the bench with low-profile hinges. I had to order them from Home Depot online as I couldn't find them in stores.

And here is the finished product! I think it will look even nicer with the top portion of the hutch built! I put all our shoes in the hutch, which will keep them out of sight. It will, hopefully, keep the foyer looking a little nicer. (Imagine a pile of shoes sitting there before.

I also have some ideas for artwork in the nook, so stay tuned. I should have more time at home now, so I should be able to make progress on the top portion.

For the previous posts on the making of the bench, visit:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3