Tag Archives: DIY

I made a thing.

If I DIY something and don’t blog about it, did it really happen?

Related: I turned to the power of chalk paint once again, and now the beat up old rocking chair on the porch looks brand-spankin’ new.


I’m not here today to talk about chalk paint again though, oh no. This time it’s all about the humble nightstand. Now that both sides of our bed are accessible, we wanted to have a pair of nightstands instead of just the one I use. I couldn’t just go out and but one to match mine, because it came from the seasonal clearance section at Target several years ago. Trying to find another one, or even something that coordinated well, came up with nothing. Shopping for a pair that I liked, could afford, and worked with the lower height of our bed also didn’t work out well. Solution: make ’em myself.

A couple weeks ago I grabbed one of the Home Depot gift cards we received for Christmas and bought a pair of crates, two sets of casters, and a quart of Minwax PolyShades in Honey Satin. The rest is pretty self-explanatory. I gave the crates a quick sanding, two coats of stain (left to dry overnight between coats), and attached the casters to the side-turned-bottom.




finished table is finished

This weekend I finally wrapped up Project Dining Table. Well, the top could use a little touching up, but in the meantime it’s done.

I’ve already posted about using chalk paint on the chairs and table base. I stained the seats a lovely chocolately brown several weeks ago, and finally finished the top on Sunday. All the stained bits received a coat or two of polyurethane as well. Unfortunately I did all the work on the table top in the basement, and thanks to the poor lighting down there I failed to notice a few uneven spots. So there may be some light sanding and re-staining in the future. Not the end of the world.

The whole living/dining space feels a lot cozier now that this table is there. The two other chairs are functioning elsewhere in the house, and the leaf will live in the basement until it’s needed.

photo taken in early morning light

photo taken in early morning light

photo taken at night with as many lights on as possible

photo taken on a cell phone at night with as many lights on as possible. ha

chalk paint is magical

We have a table! The dining set that formerly lived in Kyle and Jenna’s house now lives in ours. There was just one catch: Jenna had begin the process of re-painting it, and I would have to finish the job. Thankfully she still had all her supplies, and I was pleased to discover that my very first furniture DIY would be made much easier with chalk paint.

Jenna’s plan: the table top and chair seats would be stained dark, the chair legs/backs and table base would be painted with yellow chalk paint. Distressing optional. She had stripped and sanded the seats of 4 of the 6 chairs, and two chairs were at various stages of being painted. Upon take-over, I immediately painted the table’s base and followed up with clear wax. Eventually I moved on to the chairs.


The magic of chalk paint is not having to sand off all the old finish, you can just paint right over it. Such a time saver. I’ll have four of the six chairs fully painted and waxed before the party tomorrow night, probably. Progress! Although I doubt I’ll have time to get the seats stained. Meanwhile, I haven’t even started on the table top, and two chairs plus the table’s leaf are sitting in the basement with Citristrip residue that still needs to be removed. Oh well! It’ll all get finished eventually, but at least we’ll have somewhere for people to sit tomorrow.

I already have chalk-painting plans for our dinged up old rocking chair, as well as the $13 TV stand I found at Goodwill last weekend. All in due time.

you gotta put in work, work, work, work

Saturday we (mostly Darren) made several more house-related purchases, including a good sized charcoal grill and miscellaneous yard maintenance tools. I picked up the pendant conversion kits I had ordered for the kitchen. While at Home Depot, we grabbed some color cards. We decided on colors for most of the rooms we want to paint, and once we decide on a color for the living/dining room, we’ll be good to go.

When we got back to the house I installed the pendants and patched some old nail holes in the walls while Darren grilled dinner. Later I started priming the orange half-bath, and discovered that all of the painting skills I had learned in college have vanished. Between the two of us Darren and I got most of the room primed, but fortunately Darren’s friend Dan is a skilled painter and has offered his assistance, which we will be taking full advantage of.

I also hung this banner next to our front door. I bought it at the fair, from a delightful shop called i like you.

mn banner

front door is just to the left of the banner

On Sunday a hinge on our garage door broke, because of course it did. The automatic opener does not like this, but we can still close it manually. Darren was Not Pleased. But we went to Ikea as planned anyway. We picked up a lamp, a bench for the entryway, and shades for the kitchen pendants. Exciting.

Yesterday, Darren brought Dan over. Darren’s dad also headed over after work to help repair the garage door, and I went up after work. We ended up being there until nearly 10pm. In that time, Dan finished priming the bathroom (two coats!), the shades were attached to the kitchen pendants, the Ikea lamp was assembled, Darren finished removing the old caulking from the door and window trim in the living room, Darren and Lee fixed the garage door (turns out the automatic opener had been poorly installed and basically broke itself), I built the bench for the entry, filled some more holes, touched up the paint over the previously filled holes, found the grey paint for the upstairs bathroom and used it for the first coat inside said bathroom’s linen/storage cabinet. My painting skills still exist on a small scale, at least. I think that’s everything? Of course I failed to take pictures of any of it, save for this one I posted on Snapchat (username: trinalobax).

entry prog

Darren has Saturday off, so we’ll probably put some more time in. Lee bought him a nail gun (he also picked up one for himself. They were on sale, haha), so that should help a few projects along. That said, it seems like most of our spare time has been spent working on the house. I don’t mind, but at the same time I’m thinking we should take a few hours and just hang out. We still have a full two months before we need to be out of our apartment, so we can certainly spare a night off.