Monday, November 2, 2015

Painting Cement Floors

Another post!? And it hasn't been a month yet?! I know! I must be really rocking and rolling or something, eh?

I do stuff almost all the time. I have a hard time just sitting around. But it is so much easier for me to just post pictures on Instagram and keep going, then to stop and write up a blog with pictures and everything. However, I have had several people ask me about the pictures I have posted over the last several days of me redoing my bathroom floor, so here I am, posting another blog entry. 

Let me start by saying that I have really, really, REALLY hated my kids' bathroom floor for a while, now. It was white, linoleum squares. I have two teenage girls and two dogs. Not a good combination!

Back in September, when I repainted my college kid's room, I had extra paint. It occurred to me, then, that it would be a very easy thing for me to use the rest of the paint on the bathroom floor. Anything would look better than what was down. I figured I could probably pull it off in a weekend, so I mentioned it to the other kid. She was not very enthusiastic about the brown color, and really kind of hinted that it might not be the best decorating decision. Ha! 

She was right. I had redone the rest of the bathroom last spring, and brown wasn't exactly complementary. 

So, I used the brown to paint my front door, and headed to Home Depot to get black. 

First, I scraped up the linoleum and tried to get to just the cement slab. That was the hard part. I knew about the white tiles, but those typically come up pretty easily. After getting started, though, I found this. 

YUCK!! And that roll out stuff usually takes WAY more effort to get up. There is SO much adhesive, plus 20-years of traffic and dirt and countless water issues to only make it a big pain. 

I started scraping about 8:00pm, on a Friday night, and finished getting the bulk of it scraped and swept by around midnight. It was WORK and I was very tired and sore. 

Here are the tools I used.

Too late I realized that gloves were a MUST! 

As you can see, when I gave up and went to bed, there was still paper backing and glue on the floor. 

The next day, I used soapy water and the small scraper to slowly get the floor as clean and bare as possible. I almost gave up and just went to buy more roll out vinyl, but I was feeling cheap and paint is only $25, so I kept at it. 

All the experts will tell you to use an etching solution to clean the cement, or to sand the floor with a pole sander and very course grit. It's ALWAYS recommended as a MUST. I didn't do it. I just didn't want to spend the $$ or wait the time. Maybe it would have been easier that wearing out a pair of gloves, and my back, with the scraping. I just don't know. 

Once you have bare cement, the rest is easy. Sweep. Vacuum. Mop. Sweep. I tried really hard to be sure I got up as much stuff as possible. 

Then I put down the cement bonder/primer and let it sit for 8 hours.

This was leftover from when I first pulled up carpet and painted cement 3-years ago. I still have a bunch left. Considering doing my patio....maybe. 

I got the porch and patio floor paint from Home Depot and painted it on. 

I did a couple coats since they only sell it in gallon containers and I have a small space. And that's it.

I did something similar in my daughters room several years ago, but I was pulling up carpet then. For that, you have to fill in all the gaps from the carpet tack with cement patch. That will add another day to the turnaround time.

I did see this at HD, and I keep thinking how much pizzazz it would add, but does a bathroom floor really need glitter?? We shall see which side of my personality wins out. 

At any rate, the floor already looks insanely better than what was there, and I spent less than $30. Granted, if you are having to buy everything for the first time, you will spend more. Seems like the primer is about $20, plus rollers and painters tape… So for about $60. But I have so much left over that I can use for other projects, that I don't feel like I actually spent that much money for the bathroom.

Total Cost: just under $30 for paint and Dollar Tree rollers.
Total time: 2 full days. Scraping was one day, primer and paint another. 
Outcome: SUCCESS!

Now go Make-Do something of your own. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pallet pumpkin

It look so easy on Pinterest, doesn't it? You just take a pallet, use a jigsaw to cut it apart, and turn it into a pumpkin for your front porch. "It's so easy," they say. "Anyone can do it." If so, then I should be able to do it. And I certainly have pallets. 

So I pulled out my Reciprocating saw, and started cutting. I realized very quickly that it made good work of the wood, but whoever said it would cut right through nails must of had a different brand of saw.

I finally gave up on cutting through the nose, and just cut around the nails. Then I had a much more manageable section of pallet with which to work. So I took it over to my sawhorse.

I sketched out a pumpkin shaped using a pencil on the wood, then got out my jigsaw and began to try and cut out that outline. It works really well, except for when it got to the hall thicker cross pieces. For that, I had to get out my circular saw. By then, I had every saw I owned sitting on my sawhorse table for use.

Once you get it cut out, you really are pretty much done. That is the hard part. From there it was just spraying it with several coats of orange spray paint.

Oh, after gluing up the piece that did not have an anchor because I cut the nails in the wrong place.

When I first painted it, the kid said it needed a longer stem, so I went back and cut more off the top so that it would have a more pronounced stem.

Then I went back over the stem section with some green paint, let everything dry, and voilĂ ! A reusable pumpkin for my front porch.

Oh! Somewhere during all of this, I did sand everything thoroughly. At any rate, it's done and it was basically free, and I'm very happy with it. 

I will probably try and make larger versions or smaller versions for subsequent years so that I can have a grouping. But this year I'm calling it good enough.

Cost: free, materials on hand. 
Time: one afternoon
Outcome: SUCCESS!!

Now go make-do something of your own! 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Summers Woodworking Birdhouse Challenge

Summers Woodworking is having a birdhouse challenge. Since they extended the deadline an extra two weeks, and I had an idea, I went ahead and built something. It is not Art, but it is pretty much all recycled or salvaged materials.

Here's the link to the YouTube video. 

Go watch mine, then look at my comments and get the link to watch everybody else's. There are some very amazingly skilled craftsmen out there!

Cost: 1 Can of spray paint $3.98
Time: 6-8 hours
Outcome: SUCCESS!!!

Now go make-do something of your own!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Saving $$

I have these free-spirited girls, who are really amazing to parent, most of the time.  Then there are the times when they do something so totally off the wall that there’s nothing to be done but laugh and paint over it.

Several years ago, my oldest was having all kinds of emotional adolescent angst and I figured it would somehow be therapeutic for her to have a couple of her friends over and let them repaint her room.  I provided them with several colors of paint, and they opted to go for the splatter-paint look.  Here’s a before picture of them investigating the paint.  See how innocent it all seems?

I go back about 10 minutes later to check on them, and all seems to be progressing as expected, so I close the door (to protect the rest of the house) and go back to baking cookies (I had a new recipe to try).  See the pic.  Just teen girls having a little fun.  No worries.

I come back about 20 minutes later to see if they’re done yet, and open the door to this. :o  :o  :o


The room looked like a crime scene!  What in the world happened here and what were they thinking?!  At that point, there’s nothing to do, but to make them shower, and promise to re-do it the minute she moves out.  

Fast-forward 3-years, and she goes off to college.  I get a 3-day weekend, Home Depot has a sale on paint, and it’s decided.  Repainting a room shouldn’t be that big of a deal, so I’ll just hit the highlights.  

First lesson learned is that you can make the room all one color again, but the texture created by the splatter paint still remains. See those drips!!??

Second lesson learned, is that the multi-colored floor really camouflaged how many stickers were also on the floor. I wound up putting down the first layer of paint, then scraping up the stickers and bumps that it highlighted.  

But the biggest lesson I learned is that spray painting the custom-fit blinds was much cheaper and easier than buying new ones.  I hung them from a post in my backyard and used 3 cans of black spray paint to get a very thorough coverage of the material.  After hanging them back up in the room, I’m so relieved I didn’t just throw them out!

I know the room is rather stark, now, but after all the color, I find it to be a relief.  Eventually, I will convert it to my craft room or something, but it works for now.

Total Cost: $17 for spray paint (with tax)
Total Time: 4 hours, mostly dry time
Outcome: Success! 
Now go make-do something of your own!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Enhancing my She Cave

So I have this shed in my backyard.  It’s WONDERFUL!  It’s big and has real walls, a big door, windows, electricity….it’s my workspace and I love it.  Except for July and August when it’s 100+ degrees here, in Texas, and the lack of air circulation in the shed makes for very sweaty projects.  I honestly think I lose about 5 pounds each weekend I’m out there in the heat!

At any rate, I saw this video on YouTube done by the wonderful April Wilkerson, and thought, EURKA!  I have a window AC unit. I should totally put that in out in the shed to see if I can just cool things off enough that I don’t worry about passing out when I get so focused I forget to keep slamming the water.

After much thought, I opted for a spot next to my workbench, thinking that the closer it is to me, the faster it will cool me off.  Makes sense, right?  Here’s the lovely wall that a kid started helping me paint.  


If you look at the picture for very long, you’ll have some foreshadowing on what the biggest issue with this whole project turned out to be.  Any guesses?  


After measuring the size of the unit, I measured and cut the 2x4 studs to build a support structure under the unit, along with a header, of sorts, to go over the unit. That’s when it hit me.  There was an electric wire in the middle of the studs and to add more in, I would need to disconnect the wires from the plug, pull the wires out, run them through the new 2x4s, and then re-attach. GAAAAH!!!!!! So. I drilled holes in the new studs through which to thread the electric wires that run to the plug nearest the unit. 


Then I turned the power off to the shed, pulled the electric wires out of the plug and backed them through the existing 2x4, threaded the new ones in, used my Ryobi Brad Nailer to attach the studs to the other studs, along with some other screws just for good measure, and then reattached the wires to the plug.  WHEW!  Trying to manipulate that electrical conduit was WORK and without power, I didn’t have my normal fans running, and it was July in Texas and I was so afraid that I had sweat all over the wires and would short out the whole thing!  YIKES! I was worried!  I can’t tell you how relieved I was to flip the breaker back on and have the shed not explode!


Next, I drilled pilot holes in the wall in what I was planning to call the corners of the opening.  After trying a couple of times to get the circular saw to cut out the opening, I gave up and went to borrow dad’s jigsaw, again.  I REALLY should invest in my own jigsaw!  


The jigsaw was the right tool and I quickly had the opening.  

After checking the sizing multiple times, I trimmed more area off the face, then built a header of sorts to frame out the rest of the opening.  Then wrapped the whole opening with the pink foam insulation stuff, and slid the unit into the wall.  

After I was sure it was snug, I emptied a can of spray foam insulation all around the edges to try to help keep out air/water, and then put more particle board over the whole wall area to help with the finish out.


Once I got it in, I realized something.  The unit blows air UP….not OUT…..thus the totally ghetto plastic trying to get the air to go OUT into the shed.  What a bummer!  At any rate, it’s done and I think once I get the rest of the shed insulated and walled off, the unit will have a much higher likelihood of success.  


Total Cost: $18 for spray foam insulation, and the pink stuff from Home Depot

Total Time: 8 hours, mostly because I kept having to stop and go get another tool/item.

Outcome: Partial Success. 

Now go make something of your own!

**NOTE: Looking at these pictures has promoted me to go out a faceplate on that plug. MUCH better! 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Patio furniture repurpose

Since entering that 2x4 challenge, I've been trying to build/create and post YouTube videos. I felt so bad that I had all these subscribers (a whopping 14), and almost nothing for them to watch. Ha!

I must admit, though, my heart and comfort are with the written word and still pictures (does anyone actually like how they look or sound in videos????).

At any night I built a fire in my fire pit, and D2 (2nd daughter) brought her homework, a flashlight and a blanket outside and completed it by the fire. She commented on our need for a side table on which she could set her drink and music, and it got me thinking. Here's the fire. It was really nice.

The next day, I went out to my shed to see if I could figure out a side table for outside, with existing materials. 

First, I grabbed some scrap 2x4, and built a rough frame. Then I painted some of my fence picket scraps and using my new Ryobi Brad nailer, affixed them to the side of the frame. I had some extra tile that I used as the top. I used construction adhesive to glue it to the wood frame. 

At first, I used some reclaimed scrap wood for legs. I painted them and then wrestled with how to connect them to the table. I used screws and brackets and didn't have enough clearance in the 12"x12" space to get all the screws in good and tight. It was frustrating!! 

Once I did finally get them on, I realized that the legs weren't even close to straight, and the table seriously wobbled. 

By then, I was tired and frustrated and felt like I would just have to live with it, and after all, it was scrap and would be outside being constantly degraded, so why did it matter? And I set it outside and went to bed. 

I probably would have left it like that and just thrown it out, eventually, if the dog hadn't gotten involved. 

We got so mad about her tearing up the wall, (see YouTube videos) that we chained her outside for a while. She wrapped the chain around the table and knocked off one of the legs. Now I had to fix it!

So, first I cut the legs off to the point where the one seemed to bow the most, which made a big difference. By then, the girls had given me a Kreg Jig R3 for Mother's Day, so I used it to drill pocket holes in the legs and between that, and the shorter/straighter legs, the table became instantly better! Now I actually liked it and wanted to improve it. 

I measured and cut more fence picket pieces and stained them with weatherproofing and used the Brad Nailer to place in the empty corners. I also went over it all with a sander to smooth out the rough spots. 

FINALLY! Something I could appreciate and post! :D 

Then I got to work on repurposing some other patio items. Here's the picture of those. Hopefully, I can get it all written up shortly.

Total cost: $0 Materials on hand
Total time: maybe 3-4 hours total, mostly me trying to figure it out and re-do it. 
Outcome: SUCCESS!!

Now go make something of your own...

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Video Post

Normally, I post written info with pictures about something I've created.  Today, I'm posting a link to a video I did about creating this.

Several weeks ago, I came upon the Summer's Woodworking 2x4 Challenge and it looked way too fun to not try.  The challenge is to see what you can build out of a regular 2x4.  Those things are cheap, so I figured it would be a relatively inexpensive way to challenge myself to do something new.
I gotta tell you. It was WORK!  Between struggles with the Table Saw from dullsville, and learning how NOT to use a planer or camera phone, I learned a great deal.  The video max length was 10 minutes, and I realized that cutting it down to that was almost as hard as making the thing.  I really like to document stuff!

At any rate, here's the video.  Hope you enjoy!

If I were doing it over again (and I may), I would shorten the post and lengthen the paddles.  I think I'm also going to do a cross beam base that will just sit over the top of the rain barrel (trash cans) when the lid is off.  I certainly have plenty of 2x4 scraps.

Cost: 2 planers, 1 mini jar of tinted weatherproofing, and 1 2x4 - $25
Time: 3 full days
Outcome: Success! I learned something.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Quick Pencil Holders

I'm BIG into reusing stuff, and my sister was throwing out a bunch of these disks when she moved last summer.

I took a small tub of them thinking that there HAD to be something that I could do with them. I got them home, and promptly forgot about them. 

Then, I happened to purchase an EXTREME number of zip ties for something else, and was in my shed trying to come up with something quick and easy I could create during one cold rainy day, and it all clicked!

I drilled holes in the corners that didn't already have them, and used small width zip ties to assemble these cute pencil holders. 

My teens quickly grabbed them for their rooms, much to my surprise! 

Cost: $0
Time: about 30 min to figure it out, mostly.
Verdict: SUCCESS! 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Not a DYI post

It's been just too cold to spend time out in my shed or yard. We had our annual ice storm this week, which was a bummer. 

My shed is calling me, and I am really hoping we only have about 3-more weeks of this. YUCK! 

I tried a really tacky art project that I'm never going to post. But it got me thinking about when I first started to let out my passion for reusing or repurposing things. 

That summer I used a bunch of pallets and reclaimed wood to customize my backyard, and I made my dad a birthday present.  It's really pieces of trees that he have me for firewood, hangars, and painted yogurt cups. I thought the shapes were too interesting to burn, so....Dad still doesn't understand it, but I like it, so I'm sharing pics.

When I took it to him, mom saw it and added bells to the painted yogurt cups. I got my crazy from her. ;)

Stay warm and safe! 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Another Pinterest success

You see things all the time on Pinterest, and you think to yourself, "I could make that". So you pin it. And three months later you go back and look at all your pins, and wonder if you're ever going to actually do any of them, or just keep pinning. Ha!

When I was putting up the Christmas lights, I came across a tree branch that was broken, and needed to be trimmed. Pulled out my saw, and trimmed it, thinking "here is some wood for that stuff I see on Pinterest". 

It sat in my shed for about a month, and then I decided to give it a whirl. Turns out, the hard part was getting a straight cut using my worn-out saw blade.

First I cut it into 4-5 inch sections. I realized pretty quickly that the bark on the cypress wood was just going to continue to flake off, so I sanded the outsides pretty thoroughly. Then used a drill bit to create a hole in the top for the tea lights. 

The 1 1/2 inch bit was the right size. Sawdust just went everywhere! You have to drill down pretty far, and I wish I had some clamps to hold the wood while I drilled. As it was, I wore gloves, because it kept trying to flip out of my hands.

I did try painting the bottom half of some of them, like Pinterest shows, but I did not like the effect.

The part of the branch that had split, and caused me to trim it, to begin with, was pretty interesting looking so I drilled some holes in it also.

After I had them all cut and drilled, I sprayed them thoroughly with some spray sealer. The sealer really helped to pull out the natural beauty of the wood.

Then I put them in bundles of three, and gave them as Christmas gifts... Except for the arch. The arch I kept for my mantle.

Total cost: $7.00 for the 1.5" drill bit.
Total time: 3-4 hours, mostly to allow for sealer drying. 
Verdict: SUCCESS!!