Remodel a Rambler

Rambler remodel, Porch remodel, Entry remodel

Our new project! Due to a dryer fire, we have an opportunity to do a bit of remodeling at our little rental house (shocking amount of smoke damage! See prevention tips here). We’ve always wanted to update this home. The first decision was whether or not to follow the lead of the town and try adding some Craftsman Charm – but that feels a bit contrived and boring frankly – there’s nothing here that suggests Craftsman, in fact here’s the total amount of style this home has:

Remodel Dining Room

Wood flooring, mahogany trim and a 1950’s shelving detail – needs a coconut monkey, right?

It’s not a bad start though for what I really want to do, which is clean and modern. Modern has the potential to make the 988 square feet feel a bit bigger (ha!), accent the original good work/materials and maybe bring a bit of an authentic style to the home. I’m also very interested in being as green as time and dollars will allow me.

So I start with the front elevation. I’ve always thought that a home can be significantly improved with a well designed entry. The design parameters are: protection from the rain, add style, and to somehow convert the dry/dusty planting bed into something useful. The cost needs to be low and the maintenance basically non-existent.

Design Porch, How to Design an Entry

I start as usual (“how to” here) by enlarging a photo of the elevation and overlaying it with draft paper. Then I freehand multiple ideas until I find something I like…when (not if) discouraged I cruise the internet for ideas.

Design an Entry, Design a Porch, Remodel Rambler

Here’s the design to date – a simple shed roof supported by heavy wood brackets, bolted to a vertical piece painted the same trim color (white? off white?) It’s a tiny bit Craftsman with the construction detail of the angles and the bolting being exposed, but the shape of the shed is far more modern than a gable would be. Plus a gable would need to be much larger (read more pricey) and more detailed. I know because I drew one – yuck!

I will probably design the brackets on site, forcing someone in the family to hold up 4X4s as I take way too long to decide where they should meet the vertical. They love it when I do that.

I like this clean look, especially if the drought tolerant grasses will take in the concrete planting box. They grow in my yard and have been really hardy –  I’ll visit next week and see if they’re surviving. My next question is I wonder if I might be able to lightly stain the concrete a black or dark grey- a more uniform color might look really great.

Off to sand mahogany base moulding :)

~Monica

 

 

Repurposing a Machinist’s Cabinet

Sometimes the easiest path to creative repurposing is to simply clean things up and use them. One day this machinist’s cabinet showed up at Second Use and I brought it home for a little TLC.

Green design,  Re-purposed,  Second Use,  Salvage,  Repurposed furniture,  Repurposed storage,

I don’t like matching furniture, what can I say? I also don’t like smelly furniture, which is what this was when we found it at Second Use and Mary Jean got so excited about it –

Green design,  Re-purposed,  Second Use,  Salvage,  Repurposed furniture,  Repurposed storage

Mary Jean, excited about stinky machinist cupboard.

But – there’s something about little drawers, little pulls and built in shelves that I do like. And square shapes plus imperfection. And I had a coupon. So, there you go – I bought it.

Green design,  Re-purposed,  Second Use,  Salvage,  Repurposed furniture,  Repurposed storage

I scrubbed for two days, but despite my best efforts I couldn’t remove all the previous owners labeling (you were thorough sir!) – so I left some – until the day when I don’t like them anymore and will probably have to sand them away, but for now let’s call them patina.

I removed the middle door so we could appreciate the shelves that don’t line up and the little drawers.

Green design,  Re-purposed,  Second Use,  Salvage,  Repurposed furniture,  Repurposed storage,

And that was that! Added a few bright red accents (see Plumbop) and driftwood colored knobs – stuffed the hidden shelves and drawers and now I feel so organized :)

Green design,  Re-purposed,  Second Use,  Salvage,  Repurposed furniture,  Repurposed storage,

Green design,  Re-purposed,  Second Use,  Salvage,  Repurposed furniture,  Repurposed storage,

See? Clean, organized, and doesn’t match a thing!

~Monica

 

 

 

Quick Update for a Plain Built-in Cupboard

A quick project.

This built-in in our dining room has always bugged me with its flat doors that have no detail. Dining room built-in, 1911 house.

The other doors in our house have a simple raised shaker style border, which aren’t so fun to dust, but look nice.

While we were painting the floors it dawned on me that it would be pretty easy to give the doors a quick facelift with some trim. The husband said “sure, it’s a good idea, but it’s certainly not a priority right?” I said “oh right” and then went out the next day and bought some inexpensive molding. He rolled his eyes.

It was pretty easy – it took about 4 hours. This is how we did it:

  • Purchased Trim. We used hemlock lattice molding (.25″ x 2.25″).
  • Removed doors. We unscrewed the doors from the frames.
  • Carefully measured and cut (with a chop saw) trim to fit door.
  • Notched out trim for hinges with X-Acto knife and chisel/hammer.
  • Applied wood glue to the back of the trim, lined it up on the face of the door, and clamped the heck out of it. Protected trim from clamp marks with wood scraps.
  • Let it dry overnight.
  • Filled in any gaps with Elmers Wood Filler.
  • Sanded and eased edges slightly with hand sander.
  • Primed, painted.
  • Re-installed.

Here’s what it looks like now. I also got some new simpler bin pulls and knobs. The husband’s comment was “oh sure, I guess it looks better – but, would you ever paint the entire built-in a color? It kinda looks like primer right now.”

What do you think? Should I paint it a color?

Dining room built-in after, with added shaker style border.

Dining room built-in (after) with added shaker style border.

To see more of Heidi’s artwork, visit her at Old Stuff. New Stories.

Mod Podge the Chicken Coop – or How to Keep The Hens Happy

This post originally appeared at Mod Podge Rocks Blog. Check it out for more great crafting ideas.

exterior mod podge, chicken coop

Poopsie Lulu was upset. Her coop was looking shabby and in dire need of an update. It was High Time for a bit of love and attention.

Poopsie-at-the-Door-615x409She gave me a stern look.

Poopsie-Looking-Stern-615x528Yikes! I have a blog to write, Poops, (Hammer Like A Girl) – I am so sorry I don’t have time for this right now! You are a talented girl though – I bet you could tackle this on your own. (Time honored parenting advice) I directed her to Google for a few ideas.

Poopsie and “The Google”

Google-Chicken-Coops-2Whoa!! Dial it back a bit, girlfriend, how about we start with some Mod Podge . . .

So Poopsie and her coop-mate, Princess, did a bit more research and with a stroke of  cLuck they discovered the site, AllPosters, with a fine selection of poultry art! And cheep! Very eggcited, they set to work.

First they organized – gathering:

  • Paint brushes for Mod Podge, 1″- 3″ widths (which can be cleaned and re-used)
  • A pencil for marking where to apply the glue and paint
  • Mod Podge Outdoor
  • Mod Podge Antique Matte
  • A stiff squeegee/hand burnisher
  • Black paint, exterior
  • A small paintbrush for thin black lines
  • A wet rag to wiping off mistakes

Next, the girls cleaned and painted the offending front door.

BEFORE

Chicken-Coop-Door-Before-e1411414972265

AFTER

exterior mod podge, chicken coop Examining the poster they had purchased and realizing they were not happy with the overly pristine look of the print, they decided to experiment with aging it a bit by applying one coat of Mod Podge Antique Matte finish. These girls have discerning taste. After a 15 minute drying time it had just the right patina.

Holding the poster against the door, an outline was gently traced in pencil and filled in with Outdoor Mod Podge.

Modpodging-the-doorWorking quickly – especially for hens – they brushed the Outdoor Mod Podge onto the back side of their poster and applied it to the (still wet) door.

Modpodge-the-backThey carefully smoothed the poster onto the door with the squeegee/hand burnisher.

Modpodge-squeegeeNow those ever-clever hens decided to solve the problem of “glue creep” – glue creeping outside the edge of the poster and onto the door – by painting a border around the edge and about 1/2″ out. They also painted the distracting white edge of the poster. In this way the potential shine of the glue seems intentional. Free-handing the black paint gave the piece a more hand-made appeal

Paint-the-poster-edgeThe final four thin coats were applied the same day, allowing a 20 minute drying time for each coat. These layers were painted on all the way to the outside black line, insuring a good seal of the poster edges.

Thin-layers-of-exterior-modpodge-e1411358958596Well done my eggceptional girls! I knew you could do it!

Modpodge-Poster-FinishedHere’s Princess – she wants to share a joke with you.

Two ducks were sitting in a pond and the first one says, “QUACK!”, and the second one says, “That’s funny, that’s what I was gonna say!”

Princess
We love silly jokes and mod podge projects – send us something!

 

From Ugly to Lovely, Painting a Floor, Part 2

An embarrassingly long time ago, we wrote about a project we were working on – painting a fir floor. You can read about it here: From Ugly to Lovely, Painting a Floor, Part 1. (We didn’t realize that it would it be over a year and a half later before we wrote Part 2.)

After many delays (removing an existing wood stove, demolishing a hearth, installing new wood stove and hearth, patching various areas of the floor where there were old heat registers) it’s done! Well, the living room is done. The dining room isn’t quite done, but we are so excited by the results, we wanted to share some photos.

As a reminder, this is what the floor looked like before:

Floor_Before1

And here’s what it looks like now:

FloorFinished!

This is how we got there:

Because the floor was painted with lead paint, we didn’t want to sand it, so we used “Krud Kutter”. (Why do companies think it’s a good idea to use weirdly spelled names – what’s wrong with Crud Cutter?) This cleaned the surface and reduced the glossy finish and created a “tooth” for the paint to stick to.

Then we primed the surface using XIM UMA, a special primer/bonder. I’ve used this product in the past and have had great luck. It is designed for difficult to paint non-porous surfaces.

After allowing the primer to dry, we painted the floor. We used 2 coats of Pratt & Lambert’s WithStand floor paint in a special color mix of a dark charcoal gray, allowing 24 hours to dry in between coats.

The final floor:

FloorFinished2

The paint needs to cure for 7 days before placing any furniture or rugs. So meantime, this is what the dining room looks like:

DiningRoom_During

Yikes. I especially like the murderer’s glove in the foreground.

To see more of Heidi’s artwork, visit her at Old Stuff. New Stories.

Make Vintage Votive Candle Holders

This post originally appeared at Mod Podge Rocks Blog. Check it out for more great crafting ideas. DIY votives: vintage candle holders made from glassesOver at Hammer Like a Girl, we usually try to use materials that have been cast off, scrounged, or salvaged. So when we first were planning this DIY votive project, we thought it would be a great idea to use cut-off bottles. You’ve all seen the technique online – soak string in acetone, wrap it around a bottle, light it on fire, turn turn turn to get an even burn and when the flame starts to die down, dunk it ice water, and the bottle breaks where the string was, essentially turning a bottle into a glass. It sounds so cool (and easy). We went out and bought acetone, dug in our recycling bins and went to work. Maybe we were doing something wrong, but for the life of us, we could not get a nice clean break. The edges were jaggedy, like something you’d see in a bar fight. So with singed arm hair, we went to the Goodwill, where we bought 3 glasses for $.69/each instead. Here’s some instructions – not how to singe your arm hair – but for making unique decoupage votive candle holders. Continue reading

Contemporary Take on Vintage Photos

This originally appeared as a guest post on Seattle Magazine’s website. We recently were asked a question about working with large format graphics so thought we’d re-post the article here.

Here’s a relatively easy project to display old family photos in a contemporary way. Enlarge, mount on plywood, and frame with flat steel bar.

FramedPoster_final

Continue reading