Saturday, July 19, 2014

Refab Old Laminate Book Shelf

This little dilapidated bookshelf moved to the top of my project list when it completely collapsed in my toddler's room.

Here it is in pieces.

 The plastic-y lock bolts that holds together most laminate furniture had ripped through the particle board, so I removed them and drilled some pocket holes using a Kreg Jig for when I put the pieces back together.



 Since I was going to be painting both sides of a lot of boards, I made a few painter's pyramid stands using scrap wood and 2 1/2" screws. The pyramids let you paint both sides of a board at once since you can immediately flip it over and paint the other side.

I drilled holes all the way through the squares
Then I used my countersink bit so the head of the screw would be flush with the wood once drilled in
 Then I put in the screws
 and I had some pyramids to rest and flip my boards on when I painted them. The tips of the screws leave tiny marks on the paint, but once you paint a second coat, you can't tell anymore.

Since it was laminate, I lightly sanded the surface to try to get a good paintable surface without wearing it all the way down to the particle board. It took two coats of Zinsser primer and about 3 coats of semi-gloss paint.

I put the pieces of the bookcase back together.

And flipped it over so I could add some feet that I got for $1 a piece at the Restore. I used some scrap 2x4s and 1x4s to raise up and attach a metal plate.

I used wood glue and my nail gun to attach the wood and then screwed the legs into place.

At this point, Calvin found his missing bookcase and thought it made a great bench.

I wanted to add some thin crown molding at the top, so I attached a scrap shelf to the top, overhanging so there was 1/2" on all sides once the crown was in place.

I also added a narrow base molding to the bottom. Here it is in all it's hodge podge glory!

It went back outside to get painted with my paint spray gun and then I went over the top with a roller.

To add some more stability, I cut a piece of 1/4" birch plywood to go on the back. I put a map on the board before I nailed it in place. I've been irritated with glue and mod-podge lately, so I just used double sided tape and was pleased with how smooth it laid down. The map it pretty thick material, so I'm not too worried about it getting torn.

(I used the other half of the map last year to mod podge on this chair)

It had been several days since I painted the shelves, so the paint was well set and I put them on.
 Here it is with Calvin's stuff on it.Whew! More organized.
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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sleigh bed headboard bench

I've had this headboard and footboard to a sleigh bed in my shed for some time. It's MDF, so it won't be water friendly and I knew I wouldn't be able to fully sand it down to paint it, but I decided to go ahead and turn it into a bench for my front porch.

I cut 16" off each side of the footboard to make the sides, but they didn't match up very well because of the slope of the frames. I decided to cut an angle at the top of the footboard pieces to fit the slope of the headboard better and then I could cut the bottom of the side pieces accordingly.
I ended up taping a ruler to the bottom leg...
Then I was able to trace the angle on a piece of paper...

Then I could draw the angle at the top of the side pieces to cut out with my jig saw...
Once they were cut, I could see where the bottom piece needed to be cut to fit the headboard. This made my bench even narrower than the anticipated 16", but there wasn't much I could do at that point.
Here it is with the pieces matched up, but not screwed in yet.

 I drilled three holes on the foot board pieces with my Kreg Jig. I attached the bottom of the foot board to the headboard, but left the top ones unscrewed, so I could fiddle with them after the frame was inside.

Next, I needed to build a frame. I probably should have just measured it a million times and created the frame before attaching it, but I was worried about getting the measurements wrong, so I just marked and cut the exact lengths as I went. I started with a 2x4 along the back of the headboard.

Then I cut and attached the side pieces (and two middle ones) leaving room for a 2x4 to go across the front.

I used a level and a stack of scrap wood to hold the front 2z4 piece while I drilled it in place.

Then I was able to move the top of the side pieces to a place where I could drill them into the headboard.

 And drill the side of the frame into the side of the bench
 I wanted to paint the bench black and have the seat be a stained color, so I dragged this outside and lightly sanded and wiped it down with a wet rag.
 I used my HVLP sprayer to paint it. I started with a coat of gray primer.
 Then I sanded it and did another coat of primer.
I ended with 2 coats of black semi gloss (sanding in between--sanding really does make a huge difference). I bought 3-1x4x10s to cut for the seat and used a scrap 1/4" piece of plywood to help space them. I was literally one slat short and luckily found a scrap piece that would work at the end so I didn't have to go out and buy another board.

 Once I had all the slats cut, I took them off to stain them. I like to put my hand in a ziploc bag and then put an old sock over it to rub the stain on the wood.
 I let them dry on an old vinyl tablecloth. Once they were dry, I flipped them over and stained the other side. The nice things about the bag is I can just roll the bag and sock off my hand so they are inside out and then the sock doesn't dry out right away before you use it again.

Tip: If you get stain on your hands or even on your clothes, you can use cooking oil (vegetable, canola, sunflower, etc.) to get it off. Since it's oil based, water doesn't do much to help you clean up.

I put the pieces back on and used my finishing nail gun to attach the pieces in the front and back.

I like the finished piece, but it looks a little squatty on my front porch. If I make another headboard/footboard bench, I think I'll make the sides at least 18" long.

Once the 4th weekend is over, I plan on coating it with a few coats of outdoor varnish.

Thanks for stopping by!